MONDAY: PRINTING PRESS BUILDING CHALLENGE
This project is a BLIND BUILD CHALLENGE! Try to build a working cylinder printing press and a movable type printing plate.
In short, we’re going to build a flatbed press that uses a cylinder to apply pressure.
What is a cylinder printing press?
In presses that operate cylinder to plane, called flatbed presses, a cylinder provides the pressure while the typeform retains its flat surface, generally in a horizontal position. Generally, too, the bed is mobile to allow the typeform, as it moves back and forth, to pass under the rollers of the inking system.
A flatbed press is a printing press employing a flat surface for the type or plates against which paper is pressed, either by another flat surface acting reciprocally against it or by a cylinder rolling over it. It may be contrasted to the rotary press, which has a cylindrical printing surface. There are also flatbed presses that do not use a cylinder to apply pressure.
What is movable type?
Movable type is the system and technology of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document usually on the medium of paper. Gutenberg did not invent movable type – Bi Sheng of China’s Northern Song Dynasty did in circa 1040 AD! However, Gutenberg improved the process with his introduction of metal movable type; Sheng used porcelain.
Moveable type was a HUGE improvement to mass production of the written word. Movable-type page setting was quicker than woodblock printing. The metal type pieces were more durable and the lettering was more uniform, leading to typography and fonts.
Functional requirements of a working cylinder flatbed press:
- The cylinder must be held in place, yet must be able to spin.
- There must be space for the printing plate to slide beneath the cylinder.
- The moveable type on the printing plate must all be on the same plane to create a proper forme (page image, ie, printing plate with movable type).
Your kit contains all the pieces you need to make a functional cylinder press and printing plate with movable type:
Some pictures to get your brain thinking…
THINK ON THESE THINGS:
- What is printing?
- How did people print before the digital age? Before movable type?
- How did people communicate via text/image before printing?
COOL HISTORY OF PRINTING RESOURCES!
- GRAPHICS ATLAS – a sophisticated resource that presents a unique, object-based approach for the identification and characterization of prints and photographs.
- PRINTMAKING (Khan Academy / MoMA) – A video playlist that introduces you to printmaking as well as the 3 main types: relief, intaglio, and lithography.
- PRINTS AND PROCESSES (Minneapolis Institute of Art) – A video playlist that includes relief, intaglio, lithography, and screenprinting processes.