printed journal @ mcba

pressure printing
last night was session 1 of 2 of the printed journal workshop at mcba. it’s been a while since i’ve taken a class there – mostly because my life was focused on less important things (like work), but also because the classes didn’t excite me (a change in management has resulted in new classes that look fab). this class is a good intro to printing for me, and a refresher on bookbinding.

we started by creating the art work for the book covers: we cut out label paper and attached it to a template for pressure printing. i hate being put on the spot to create! i had a glass of wine after work, so wine was on the brain and i created wine glasses. when creating monochromatic pressure prints, layers help create different tones, as the top most layer is closest to the paper. (jenn, if you’re reading this, and can further expound on the details of this type of printing in the comments area, please do so… we didn’t get a good explanation of how it all works – we just jumped in!) in addition to the wine glass, i added another layer to represent a half-full glass of wine, and a third layer as a highlight. the image above is the cover coming out of the press. more after the jump…

then we printed lines with transparent white ink on our signature papers on the vandercook printing press:


the lines are created by a polymer plate, which is the yellow piece in the image below:


the final results:

book cover and signature papers

next thursday we cover book boards with our cover paper, and bind the journal. binding options include hard bound or exposed spine – it sounds like the majority of the class prefers the exposed spine, and i think red thread would be lovely for my new wine journal (which may be titled 2008: the magical year of drinking). i’ll post photos of the finished book next friday!

update: jenn has posted more information in the comments section below. she has done a lot of pressure printing, and has more detail than i could provide! she also sent along her company’s holiday card, which was printed using the same press at mcba:

holiday card

lovely! i especially love the skyline on the back panel. they obviously used more packing, and darker ink colors, as the images are more prominent. my wine glasses were printed with translucent white ink, so they are very subtle. but i’m still excited to see what it looks like when the binding is done! i’ll post about the book in a week…

2 responses to “printed journal @ mcba”

  1. jenn says:

    Fabulous and Great Job!!

    The covers you were printing are also referred to as pressure prints, as it is pressure on the template that creates the image. For the pressure prints I have worked with, we’ve had as many as 8 or 10 layers of paper. The paper is actually just sheets of label stock (8.5×11 works fine). The goal is to layer the sheets of label stock to match your design. Where there are more layers, the image will be darker. The tonal differences between layers can be subtle. Packing can also adjust the contrast in the image. This means that you can add another sheet or two or three of paper between the press drum and your template to increase the pressure overall. I hope that all makes sense.

    Fish – I have a great sample of pressure printing I can email you to post. Give me a few minutes to shoot it.

  2. fish says:

    sweet, thanks so much jenn! i walked into the class at 6:01, and they must have started early as i didn’t get all the details. we only did 3 layers – the instructor (allison couldn’t make it, so we had a sub) said that if any more than 3 layers are used, then you lose detail? send some photos if you have time and i’ll post them! oh, and we did pack, but only with one sheet for the covers. i didn’t pack for the signatures – i don’t like writing on lined paper, so the lines are nice and light and non-constricting.

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