Finishing off the prospectus

Still in double duty mode, printing the prospectus for Graven Images and the first sheet of the edition at the same time. Next, printing the drop cap:

Printing the red drop cap.

After struggling so much with the text type, it was nice to print one, simple perfect letter.

Drop cap 'W'

The next job was the first of three halftones. These are, in two cases, shots of blocks from the collection that were not cut, or only partially cut, and a large one of the open case. Owosso Graphics produced the images from magnesium plates, and the quality is exceptional. However, I had to use a Dremel to bevel the edges on two of them, to prevent them from showed up in the proofs. But this first one, a halftone of a block prepared with an illustration but not cut, was perfect in the proofs.

Magnesium plate inked on press.

The challenge with halftones is to balance dark and light with not too much impression. When your paper is stiff and has a rough surface, printing halftones can be very trying. It tried to use enough impression to eliminate the moiré pattern generated by the textured paper, but not so deep as to eliminate detail.

With type, I slowly add ink until I feel there is enough on the rollers, then carry on with the run until I detect the ink becoming faint. I add a tiny bit of ink to the rollers, and let it run for a bit to distribute the new ink, to prevent it over inking some parts and not enough on other parts of the form. With the halftones, just adding micro elements of ink caused initial over inking. I learned well into the prospectus that I had to stop, clean off the block, run a few proofs and start again. This seemed to clean up most problems. In the end, it printed well, but I wonder if I should have given it just a bit more impression. We’ll see with others that are on the press for today, and later next week.

Printed halftone of an uncut block, featuring a sailing ship in rough seas. A tiny portion - the topsail - has been engraved, but the rest is just India ink. You can see the pattern of the textured paper bottom right.

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