Portfolio under way, full steam

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and while I’d like to blog what I’m doing every day, I’ll have to summarize the work and some of the challenges at once.

For starters, I decided to print the prospectus and the opening pages of the portfolio at the same time, since two of the four pages were (almost) identical. I cut paper, printed the back text of the prospectus, then set up title page to print 100 passes for the prospectus and 100 passes for the edition. Same routine for the first page of “Foreword’ text.

The press has been set up, more or less, with furniture for the duration of the run, as shown below

Sideways lock-up arrangement

For the first page of the foreword, I used the older type that I bought second hand from Don Black’s in Toronto. At worst, it would be so badly worn that I would have to reset the entire form. At best, it would print beautifully. In the end, I think I landed somewhere closer to the latter, having to replace a single character or two from each line. These dinged and worn sorts are thrown out immediately to prevent them from mixing back in the font. Below is my marked up copy; the highlighting indicates the change has been made. This shot was taken after round one, then I went over the proof again and found more problems. It’s taken me all my life to learn to let things sit a bit before going over them again. I envy those who can do it perfectly the first time.

Mark-up for weak type

Of course, one can’t always be certain that weak type is the problem. It is possible three or four sort went into the trash needlessly. The cause could be an issue with the press bed, the drum packing, ink distribution on the rollers, worn rollers etc. On the whole, I’d say I’m 90% happy with the end results. Even going over the proofs with a glass, I still can see issues in the final run, but at some point, you just have to let the press roll.

End run - text

Layout template

The above shot gives an idea of the paper colour. Colour is the reason we went with Mi-Teintes, a Canson paper normally used for pastels, but available is a wide spectrum of colours. I will use this paper again, but not for double sided work, since it has one smooth side and one rough. I’d use it for broadsides anytime. I dampened the prospectus; there was some minor cockling of the paper, but not too bad. The problem was getting it to dry thoroughly. Paper left damp for too long means mould. Yeah, that’s not good. But the prospectus came out well enough.

Once completing work the title page and back matter for the prospectus, both of which do not follow the standard page margins, it was time to follow get back inside the lines. The white template above has windows where the text appears; I use this template through the entire run, laying down over type on the press or on proofs to be able to see at a glance if everything is where it is supposed to be.

Explore posts in the same categories: Letterpress printing


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