Thursday, October 3, 2013

Letterpress Poster Printing ... And A Little Wood Type Puzzle Solved

 I've been doing more printing lately. This is the first poster I've ever printed. I am pretty happy with it! It was a give-away for my demonstration at our Farmer's Market - we had a bit of a celebration on the first day of the new Cottage Food Law, and I figured, why not promote the really big event of the season: The Harvest Fair!  The demonstration was fun and I met a couple of printers - boy they must be right that once printer's ink gets into your veins it never goes away,  because nobody gets excited to see my type the way former printers do. It is worthwhile to hold a little exhibit just for the chance to make some erstwhile printers really really really happy! :-)

After I started looking at my little Line-o-Scribe proof press to figure out how to use it for a portable demonstrating press, I remembered a couple of cases of very small wood type that I bought when I was first outfitting my shop and haven't used before. They are small fonts and, lucky for me or I never would have gotten them, were not as desireable at the time for people looking for that large newspaper and poster faces they could print with their Vandercooks. Turns out these are perfect for flyer-sized posters on my press.


 Now, here is the wood-type puzzle I mentioned in the title:

A little oddity of note: see that "4" in the lower right (stage right) corner? When I first set it, it was backward! And another small face also had backward - aka not mirror image - fours! I kept turning it upside down to try to fix it, about drove me batty. Then after a couple of days, I looked at the pieces of type again.

Can you solve the puzzle? 

Answer is below,

under the photo...





When I looked at the type after clearing my mind, I was able to see that they didn't need to be flipped 180 degrees, but turned a quarter turn.

In both fonts, the number crossbars for the number fours are exactly the same length. Thus, when standing on their crossbars, they look like they are non-mirror-image cutouts.  It was just a fluke that they were all turned
wrong in their case, looking for all the world like they belonged that way!


  1. It is one I always come back to! While I have antique equipment, there are new tools sold at Hobby Lobby that enable printing using photopolymer plates - which is what many young printers use so that they can create their designs on their computers. I don't use them, but with the new little machines, it makes the hobby more accessible. :-) Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  2. Do not print logos or text very close to the edge of a poster or banner, the text may be cut off, the text may look crooked, and some printers will reject the file outright or reduce the poster.



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