Big Jump Press

Glorious, Glorious Text

I ask you, is anything better than printing text? Is there anything more glorious and exciting? Over the last two days I have been laying down the text of the appendix under the completed imagery. With a single action, an assortment of images becomes an organized thought. When the folio rolls off the press suddenly laden with crisp, black text, this is what happens in my head.

To begin, I mixed my ink. As you may or may not remember, I had some serious trouble with my black ink a few weeks ago. Having done some serious excavation, I have found some useable ink in the center of a stiff mass and so I can move forward with my printing life having learned an important lesson about shipping things in sub-zero temperatures.

The press was already inked in black because I had been printing the last two halftone images earlier in the day, but still I needed to clean the press and remix. Printing images in black and printing text in black require different kinds of black ink. Pantone Black, the mixing black used for images and mixing colors, is relatively loose. Black 10850, type black, is stiffer and tougher. Some printers use it right out of the can, others mix it in with a red or a blue to add depth and richness. I cut it with violet, generally in a rough one to one ratio.

Boom! Look at that! Information laid out for our consideration! Thank you, text. Below, have a look at the days progress. Three folios and a colophon of black text.

I devoted the following morning to the headings. In my original design, I had pegged the headings as blue (as you might be able to see below: the folded folio on the top is a mockup.) Looking at the finished folios, however, I reconsidered and selected a warmish gray. Mix this, ink that, register that and bing bang boom it was time to print.

Here it is, finished. My only dilemma at this point is whether I want to print a centimeter scale to the left of the clothespin. (you can see something similar in the mockup.) Any thoughts on that?

UPDATE! Due to overwhelming 4-0 popular demand, the scale is in!

7 comments on “Glorious, Glorious Text

  1. growlygracepress
    June 14, 2012

    Put the scale in!

  2. shannon
    June 14, 2012

    i like the scale 🙂

  3. Yup put the scale in!
    Thanks for all the in depth explanations, makes for some interesting reading 😉
    I mainly print with wood type, no expert on printing books! So I’ve never heard of Black 10850 but this is interesting because UK suppliers don’t stock it either!
    Anyway I’ve a new art platen coming soon (when I find the room) which was originally used for printing halftones and such, might have to have a go at printing some. Love how you have overlayed them on colour!
    You mentioned polymer plates in the UK, major problem!
    You could try
    I get mine from here
    they will fit a deep relief boxcar base but the only trouble is they are steel backed so a bugger to cut and not flexible! I don’t use a base so not a problem for me 😉
    If you get any luck let us know on twitter!
    Brew finished, your blog well read, now to get inked up and ready to roll 😉

    • Big Jump Press
      June 14, 2012

      Thanks for those links! I used to print with steel backed plates, and I remember well the sharp pain of slicing my fingers on the edges when they smacked down on the magnetic base! I will let you know if I find a source for the transparent plates. There is a possibility that we might be able to start making them at Ink Spot Press here in Brighton. Cross your fingers. Good luck with the platen!

  4. Lara
    June 14, 2012

    Yes to the scale! I am just loving being able to see how you put together a book. It’s making me think I’ll drop out and become your apprentice.

  5. Big Jump Press
    June 14, 2012

    Thanks everyone for all of your comments! The scale is in!

  6. Laura.
    June 14, 2012

    yeah, the scale is GOOD. love it. it’s so exciting to see it all come together!

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This entry was posted on June 14, 2012 by in Letterpress, Work in progress and tagged .
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