Long-Distance Letterpress: Precision Makeready
Why You Should Totally Take This Class
Understanding height-to-paper or type height is fundamental to letterpress printing. Any object that is type high (US .918in / UK 0.928in) and has a flat surface will print. Precise makeready (the process of perfectly calibrating a block to the ideal printing height) in combination with the correct press packing will affect the quality of a print tremendously. Almost any object can be printed—from very soft to rock hard—if it is calibrated correctly. If the block is too low, it won’t touch the ink rollers or the paper. Too high, and it will bite into the paper, dent the press packing, or even damage the block and possibly the press. How do you stay within a safe range?
This class will focus on:
- learning how Dafi prints from alternative materials in his studio
- calibrating blocks using calipers or a plate height tester
- the theory and practice of the correct thickness of cylinder packing on a cylinder proof press (Vandercook or similar)
- the importance of precision when working with unconventional materials
All participants will receive a copy of the class project via snail mail as a tangible reminder of the experience.
What You’ll Learn
In this workshop Dafi will explain the importance of precision in makeready and cylinder packing. Dafi will introduce various ways to precisely measure the height-to-paper and explain the recommended tolerances. Peppered with relevant examples of his poster work, he will then demonstrate the uses of unconventional materials in relevance to the topic of precise makeready. While this class will focus mainly on cylinder proof presses, most aspects (especially block makeready) work similarly on a platen press.
Who is it for?
This class is suited for designers/printers of any level who are interested in safely experimenting with printing different materials. A basic understanding of letterpress printing is required.