Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Letterpress errors [ " Letterprerrors " ]

Regular readers of my blog might know that I've been learning to Letterpress over the past few months. Letterpress printing is an old technique which involves setting lines of metal type, putting them in a printing press, and then imprinting and inking the whole shebang onto paper. It produces beautiful results quite unlike any other - the metal type often leaves a slight imprint into the paper, so that you can 'feel' the text with your hands. It's a lengthy and laborious process that used to form the mainstay of printing, but with the advent of computers, has fallen into disuse. These days it is mainly used by enthusiasts and diehards, and wordy nerds like me.

Currently I'm in the process of setting and printing a short story I wrote last year entitled 'A Stranger Came'. Letterpress seemed to be the ideal way to present this story - I'm doing a short run of about 90, which I will then bind myself once all the pages are printed. I expect the books to be finished some time in early May.

It's been an interesting few months, and I've learned loads. Here, in this blog post, I'm going to post a few of the mistakes I've made while printing, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes yourself - if you're going to try and operate a printing press, that is.

This is what happens when your lovely, expensive paper falls off the press and into the rollers.

And this is what happens when skin from the ink gets onto your typeset.

This is what happens when you don't line the paper up properly....

...and this is what it looks like when you do it right.

Currently reading

A Mercy Toni Morrison
The Hell of it All Charlie Brooker
Travels in the Scriptorium Paul Auster

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