A proof sheet, at its simplest, is a waste sheet used to test the position, inking levels, impression, spelling, or other variable about what you are printing before you start using the precious, pristine, perfect sheets that are destined for the edition. Over the course of printing an edition, I print on these sheets with all manner of things in an utterly non-logical way. Text runs in all four directions, images are printed one on top of the other, and often pencil lines cross out rejected placements. I destroy many of the sheets as I use them to lay down plates, or cut them up to check for spacing by laying pieces of them out on a table.
But is that all? No, I say! The chance juxtapositions that result from this kind of automatic process can yield great things. Like, for example:
And now, AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN A PRIZE (of questionable value)!
If you are interested in winning your very own proof (of questionable value) from the printing of this edition, this is what you should do:
1. Write a three to five line poem on any subject of your choice. The only restriction is that the poem MUST include at least three of the following words or phrases: proof, letterpress, bakelite knobs, polymer plate, Pantone mixing guide, pica ruler, and rubber roller.
2. Submit the poem by posting it in the comments section before 10pm UK/ 5pm USA Eastern Standard on Wednesday.
With the help of visiting printer and friend Jessica Peterson of Paper Souvenir the poems will be reviewed and dramatically read. We will select a top three,and the winners will receive a proof in the mail. The proofs might look something like the first image in this post, or it might look something like this:
The good news: If only three people or less submit a poem, all three of you win!