The site for prepress & print devotees

Prepressure covers design techniques, PDF, PostScript, fonts, JDF and numerous other prepress topics that have to do with printed communication and graphic arts.

IPEX in Beirut?

This animated slider about the history of print is worth the five minutes it takes to go through it. Just take it with a grain of salt. No, Benny Landa did not invent digital printing at IPEX in Beirut, Lebanon.

Metric and beyond

The page listing paper sizes is one of the most viewed ones on this site. Now that Google directly tells you how large an A4 page is on its search results page, that will not last. Coming up with something better is going to be difficult, however, since it already exists. Watch the video and prepare to be amazed.

Five hundred years of printing

This is an interesting book, even though it is academic and can be quite dry. It also stops 500 years after Gutenberg started printing and doesn’t cover the evolution after the second world war. I’ve used notes from reading it for a major update of the ‘History of printing‘ section of this site, especially the period from 1450 to 1800.

While doing that I stumbled across the video below about the history of the first printing press, hosted by Stephen Fry.

500 years of printing

Growth of online print

Whattheythink.com published this graph showing the evolution of the online print market in Europe. The growth varies by country, with southern Europe trailing the more northern countries.

Online print in Europe - 2011 to 2019

In Late March 2021 PrintWeek put up a poll asking printers about their web-to-print plans. I find it odd that 17% of the respondents are only now looking into this.

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Print is doomed

70 years of IKEA catalogs

The IKEA catalog is the most distributed book in the world. In 2013 over 200 million copies were printed. Meanwhile, that copy count may have gone down somewhat, as the company is experimenting in some countries with replacing the annual edition by seasonal mini-catalogs.

You can now browse the Swedish editions of all the catalogs from 1950 till now on the IKEA museum site. Below are the covers from every past decade. The sizes are not proportional, as I wanted to cram all of them in a single image with identical gutters. Note the jump from black and white to color, with the layout and color quality improving dramatically in the ’80s. Erase the date on the 1990 edition and you might convince me it is this year’s ‘retro catalog’.

Ikea catalog covers from 1950 to 2020

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More postcards

I’m still fascinated by photochrome prints, so during the holidays I added a set of postcards of castles and palaces.

photochrom postcards

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