The 2017 archive

These comments and polls appeared on the home page or in the Twitter feed of Prepressure.com during 2017. A separate page covers the 2017 prepress news.

November

Poll

Check it out in the righthand column.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: In ’95 I was a trendsetter and sold the future of the US newspaper industry…. on Craigslist –

Craigslist

Prepress Pete is tweeting

I also like their pop songs, not a Gorillaz fan though –

Blur typeface example

 

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: They both have air pumps but don’t confuse a 2017 Miele with a 1940 Miehle – prepressure.com/printing/histo… #printing #history

Miehle vertical cylinder press

October

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Just admit it, you were waiting for this one to come around – prepressure.com/fonts/interest… #TypefaceTuesday #fonts #typography

Comic Sans typeface example

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: ‘Metropolis’ showed a future in which a rich class rules and can afford very expensive posters – prepressure.com/prepress/histo…

Metropolis movie poster

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Difficult, coming up with something meta about Meta – prepressure.com/prepress/histo… #TypefaceTuesday #fonts #typography

FF Meta type example

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: The print is called ‘Young lovers with a clock’ but who watches the time when you’re in love? – prepressure.com/printing/histo…

Suzuki Harunobu - nishiki-e print

Prepress Pete is tweeting

I bet women named Lucida are beautiful as well – prepressure.com/fonts/interest… #TypefaceTuesday #fonts

Lucida typeface example

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: the 130+ year fashion cycle – prepressure.com/printing/histo… #ColoringBook #history

Little Folks - the first coloring book

Prepress Pete is tweeting

It’s fun, but not a circus – prepressure.com/prepress/histo… #TypefaceTuesday #fonts #typography

Picadilly typeface example

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: OMG, CMYKOG was such a PITA, YMMV but I’m glad it is AWOL, ROFLOL – prepressure.com/prepress/histo… #prepress #cmyk

Pantone Hexachrome 6-color printing

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Google knows it when you stare at their typefaces – prepressure.com/prepress/histo… #TypefaceTuesday #fonts #typography #privacy

September

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: They should have called it the DesignWriter II, it still looks great – prepressure.com/prepress/histo… #Apple #History

Apple LaserWriter II

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: With such a last name, how can you not end up founding a successful printing company? –

Quad/Graphics Inc

Prepress Pete is tweeting

All those Twitter bots must love this one –

OCR-A typeface example

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: In the Twenties magazines started selling by the millions –

Prepress Pete is tweeting

The Indigo and DCP-1 were launched the same year and made a bigger impact, nuff said! –

Kosmik typeface example

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: 10 years ahead of your time? Great! Maybe more than 1000 years ahead? Wow! –

August

Prepress Pete is tweeting

This Helvetica precursor was created when cursors didn’t even exist yet – prepressure.com/fonts/interest… #TypefaceTuesday #fonts #typography

Akzidenz Grotesk typeface example

July

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: For travellers Baedeker guides were ‘the Google of its time’ – prepressure.com/printing/histo… #history #printing #publishing

Baedeker travel guide

June

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback:  Miniature Bibles were yesteryear’s way of tweeting the holy book – https://www.prepressure.com/printing/history/1700-1799#1727

tiny Biblia bible

The 70 Second Guide to Offset Printing

Two years ago I learned to use Blender, a 3D application. All the students had to make a short movie at the end of the year so I decided to create an animation that would be relevant for this site. It was fun but even though it took my computer ages to render all the frames I wasn’t completely happy with the end result. My movie is too grainy, too grayish and it features a somewhat quirky panning motion. It needs to be redone but this year’s project of learning JavaScript and jQuery kept me from doing so. Finally I decided to just put it on YouTube anyway and maybe update it later. Enjoy!

The bang and interrobang

In his weekly video Frank Romano talks about the bang and interrobang.

Frank Romano video

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: Shipping these new presses might take us ‘a nanosecond or two’ – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-2012

Landa nanographic press

New poll: what type of files do you receive?

While awaiting the results of the GWG poll on PDF usage, I decided to reuse one of their questions, just to see if the feedback on this site would be substantially different. The poll asked visitors which types of files they either send to a printing company or received as printers.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: Stop the presses! There is war! No… wait! Start the presses! –

May

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: the guy in the back is calling to ask if the machine can also be used to print stuff – Xerox 914 plain paper copier

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: Two birthdays in a row, 1987 really was a fruitful year –

QuarkXpress 1.0 splash screen

Not bad for an industry that some consider ‘dead’

Every day 520 million newspapers are read worldwide.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: I’m moving to San Seriffe to marry the daughter of Pierre Myriad – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1977

San Seriffe

Font poems

I’ve started adding examples of typefaces to pages. First up are the pages on 1966, 1977Arial and Caslon.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: One day my boss had me trained on a Repromaster 2200 to learn ‘the old ways’ – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1983

Agfa-Gevaert Repromaster repro camera

April

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: In those days, men were men and presses were made of German metal – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1950-1959

Heidelberger Zylinder 54x72 cm offset press

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: David Pelham creates the iconic book cover for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1972

David Pelham book cover

The phototypesetting era

I’ve lately gotten interested in phototypesetting – the typesetting systems from the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. Expect some more updates of the history of prepress pages about that era.

Compugraphic Compuwriter II

Illustrator and QuarkXpress turn 30

Earlier this month Adobe Illustrator turned 30. Boing Boing posted links to three videos about the history of Illustrator. It is funny that most of the comments on the article are from people who still have fond memories of FreeHand, its main competitor for so many years.

QuarkXpress 1.0 splash screen

QuarkXpress also celebrates its 30th birthday. The above 1.0 splash screen is briefly visible on the anniversary page and I’ve also added it to the 1987 prepress history page.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: Thou shalt commit adultery! – https://www.prepressure.com/printing/history/1600-1699

Wicked Bible

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: when it comes to I do not mind stereotypes – https://www.prepressure.com/printing/history/1700-1799

paper stereotype

Font versus typeface

The type snob is an informative article about typography. It focuses on web design but a lot of the recommendations apply to print design as well.

font versus typeface

March

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: The Macintosh IIfx, the best computer I ever worked with. Period. – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1990

Apple Macintosh IIfx

The poll: photo calendars

Each year my employer creates a beautiful calendar, using a variety of inks, substrates and printing techniques. That limited edition is popular with customers but I wonder how many people still value printed calendars at home. That is why a new poll asked visitors if they have photo calendar at home.

The previous poll asked visitors which version of Acrobat they use.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: Louis Braille publishes his alphabet for the blind in 1829 – https://www.prepressure.com/printing/history/1800-1849

Braille

 

Plantin-Moretus revisited

Last week I spent an afternoon taking pictures in the Plantin-Moretus museum.
Press room at Plantin-Moretus

Get your cards here

It is kind of fascinating that US citizens can ask their president to sent them a greeting card because of an upcoming birthday, wedding, retirement or other special event. You just have to fill in a form on the White House website. Since that site is currently being reworked, the page is temporarily offline. What you cannot ask, though, is the Christmas card that US presidents since Calvin Coolidge in 1927 send to their staff and supporters. Below is the 2013 card of president Obama.

President Obama Christmas card 2013

February 2017

Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals

Who can resist a freebie? While working on a page about imposition I accidentally stumbled upon a free book about graphic design and print production. You can download the ebook version or read it online. It seems like a decent introduction but I haven’t read much yet, so you will have to find out yourself.

book on graphic design print production fundamentals

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: crude spot colors in funny penny prints – https://www.prepressure.com/printing/history/1800-1899

A 19th century penny print of Jan De Wasscher

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: using Comic Sans in Photoshop 3.0 for the labels of my ZIP disks – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1994
Comic Sans

PDF, what is it FOR?

Computerphile is one of my favorite YouTube channels, especially when printing and prepress related topics are covered. The video below has some nice PDF-related anecdotes in it but also discusses why the file format was developed in the first place.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: Adobe kills FreeHand & the Scots get a fancy banknote – https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-2007
Scotland 50 pound note

PDF 2.0

This summer the PDF 2.0 specifications will be released. For a standard that has been in the works for eight years, the list of new features that are relevant for prepress operators is fairly limited. A short overview can be found on the PDF versions page.

Keep in mind that specifications are just a starting point. It will take software vendors at least another year before applications , RIPs and workflows properly support the standard. Once the tools exist, users will have to go through a learning curve to make use of the new functions.

There are a few resources on the web that provide more information on PDF 2.0. I like the series of articles done by Martin Bailey on the Global Graphics blog. pdfLib published a highly technical 4-page overview. A few of the specs get discussed in this What-They-Think interview with Mark Lewiecki, Senior Product Manager at Adobe.

Discussing PDF 2.0 with Adobe

Emoji and print

You may find them ridiculous but since emoji characters are part of the Unicode standard, fonts increasingly support these icons. I was curious how many of the thousands of icons somehow relate to the printing industry. There is obviously a printer icon but also a nice range of print products. Stationery, newspapers, books, currency or maps: they are all there. Below you see the Apple version.

print products icons

I also looked for icons that depict the trade. At first, I could not find any but then it hit me: they are hidden in plain sight! The committee that decides on these emojis did take our business serious and they provided emojis for both file delivery and prepress!

prepress icon

January 2017

Old prints

I like old prints, such as photochroms, so it was a pleasant surprise to stumble across the card below. The ‘Actien Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation’ will celebrate its 150’th birthday next year. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell: you might know the company by its abbreviated name, Agfa.

Agfa photochrome print

Best wishes for the new year

Keep those presses busy! While they are at it, take your time to have a look at what happened in 2016.

Diorama from the Boston public library

<2016 – 2018>

10 December 2017

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