Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Old school prepress. And I mean REALLY old school. Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Search Search Module
Collapse

Advertisement Advertisement Module
Collapse

Featured Images Featured Images Module
Collapse

Mediabistro Creative Sites Mediabistro Creative Sites Module
Collapse
Latest Topics Latest Topics Module
Collapse

  • PanToshi
    Reply to Logo design for Game Developer
    PanToshi
    Are you seriously considering passing off a stolen logo graphic as "your design" to a forum of professional designers? Freakin' hilarious.

    Copying someone else work is not what...
    Today, 03:45 PM
  • KitchWitch
    Reply to Hello all!
    KitchWitch
    Hi Edz and welcome to GDF.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything...
    Today, 03:34 PM
  • KitchWitch
    Reply to Colors for a map...
    KitchWitch
    Hi Gorgon and welcome to GDF.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done...
    Today, 03:33 PM
  • KitchWitch
    Reply to Logo design for Game Developer
    KitchWitch
    In addition to whats been said above, your company name and logo should not be created in the same process. People who do this tend to be too willing to change their company name to suit a cool logo design....
    Today, 03:31 PM
  • Laceycowgurl
    Reply to Print image quality
    Laceycowgurl
    Thanks guys! I had a very stern convo with the boss yesterday. Hopefully it will keep him a bay until the next project. He's just as cheap as he can get and refuses to pay for photography. He's lucky...
    Today, 03:19 PM
Advertisement Advertisement Module
Collapse

Sponsors Sponsors Module
Collapse

X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Old school prepress. And I mean REALLY old school.

    Let's go back to the days before computers and laser printers, and digital printing.

    In fact, let's go back to before film, press type, rubylith, and stat cameras.

    Heck, let's even go back before the big Linotype-Hell compositors.

    I present to you the state of the art in graphic design equipment for the 17th and 18th centuries:



    This is a hand-operated press in the historic print shop at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, which I visited this weekend.

    It was common for there to be print shops in seaports. These shops would print up contracts between shipping companies, employment contracts, classified ads, shipping manifests, and various other materials used in the shipping industry.

    To create your printed piece, you started with a line compositor, which was just a piece of metal that you held in your hand. With your other hand, you would grab letters from a case that contained the font you happened to be working with at the time. Capital letters were in the top case, and the smaller letters were in the bottom case. This is where we get the terms upper case and lower case.



    You would create a few lines of type (moving from right to left, so that you weren't spelling "backwards"), then place them in the layout, and repeat the procedure until you were done. All of your centering had to be done using pieces of metal, and each letter had to be individually placed, the result of which you can see below.



    Line spacing was controlled using thin pieces of metal, which is of course where we get the term leading.

    Once your layout was finished, you placed the slabs of wood (called furniture) around it, and tightened up the contents with a key in the holes you see above so that it all stayed together. Then you would ink the plate up, put it in the press with some paper, and pull the big lever.

    It was slow, but at least it was true WYSIWYG, and there was very little down time for technical troubleshooting.

    Later, some of the bigger print shops moved on to steam presses, but the lever-operated presses were common in offices and small print shops for centuries.



    I just thought y'all would find this peek into the history of our industry interesting. I felt it was one of the hightlights of my trip to Mystic Seaport. I think I could see myself doing the job with this equipment and enjoying it at least as much as I do with computers. There's a great immediate gratification and hands-one quality to the work that I think would make it enjoyable for me.

  • #2
    and don't forget to mind your p's and q's... LOL!

    Comment


    • #3
      There is a press like that I got to see at a history museum in Marietta, Ga.
      Let me see you make decisions without your televisions.

      N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."

      Comment


      • #4
        Lol, Pd!
        Let me see you make decisions without your televisions.

        N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, those p's and q's could get awful confusing!
          Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
          mediamainline.com
          cyclopsphoto.ca

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PrintDriver
            and don't forget to mind your p's and q's... LOL!
            Yes, the operators of the press mentioned that the expression came from the old press days!

            Comment


            • #7
              Believe it or not I worked for a printer called Georgetown Atlas Printing in Washington that did the same thing. Set type by hand. Had the old windmill presses.
              Man I'm old.
              WYSIWYG

              Comment


              • #8
                and I thought it was bad when I worked a a company a few years ago who was on os9 still.
                Less be more.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mynock
                  and I thought it was bad when I worked a a company a few years ago who was on os9 still.
                  I was 17 years old and it was a summer job. The roof of the building was slanted. It was modified that way back in the 1950s so that the platemakers can hang the offset plates outside so the sun can expose them.
                  WYSIWYG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jimking
                    Believe it or not I worked for a printer called Georgetown Atlas Printing in Washington that did the same thing. Set type by hand. Had the old windmill presses.
                    Man I'm old.
                    Didn't you work on some kind of almanac or other?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We have something similar for doing all or diecutting and perforatings
                      It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PrintDriver
                        and don't forget to mind your p's and q's... LOL!
                        Reminds me of something I read -- that the term "out of sorts" comes from the olden days of printing when the printer would run out of ... well, er. sorts! lol
                        You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. --GWB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I especially enjoyed the ancient can of Varn presswash. They've kept their branding pretty consistant through the centuries.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Those pics are awesome, BK. I love how you broke it all down for those who may be totally unfamiliar with the history of early typesetting and composition. Very cool history lesson.
                            "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!" - Ricky Ricardo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              very cool. i live right near there i'll have to go check it out...i of course knew about the seaport but wasnt aware of this particular part...thanks for the cool little lesson!
                              i think that type of stuff is really cool...hands on things really catch my interest
                              -sean
                              'your anger is a gift...'

                              ckeck out Analyze Think

                              inside my head

                              Comment

                              Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us
                              Working...
                              X