Nice letterpress site

Has everyone had a chance to look over this Neenah Paper-sponsored letterpress site?
Pretty pages, nice links and terrific videos.

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Why do designers think that anything printed letterpress has to have distressed lettering? I was tired of this representation 15 years ago.


I couldn’t get past the misspelling of Gutenberg’s name. Is proofreading a dead art? I would think it a very important part of any kind of printing. I do however, have no complaints with their paper. Stuart

I saw two instances of lack of proofreading of Gutenberg’s name. I didn’t search hard for other errors, but it does seem that reading proof is a lost art.


to all

Proofreading is something like weather forecasting. (We have been having atrocious forecasting in Australia.)


“Gutenburg” and “Johann” instead of Johannes, not fitting a site that claims a relatively serious mission statement.

Also, am I the only one who shudders when people say Gutenberg “invented” the movable type printing press?

The Chinese and others had printed from movable type for centuries before Gutenberg industrialized the process, but somehow no one cares to mention that in their captions on letterpress printing. Gutenberg’s impact cannot be understated, but there is no need for such inaccuracies, especially if one claims to be telling the “history” of something.

Neenah papers are good and their heart is likely in the right place, but whoever they paid to write/build that site…

“cannot be understated”? If it weren’t mentioned at all it would be about as understated as possible. I believe what Gutenberg actually invented was the adjustable type mould, but that’s not glamorous enough for the PR folks.


Tough crowd! Respect!

Just to keep the roll of Gutenberg in perspective. To celebrate the ending of the 20th-century, Time Magazine named him the “Man of the Millenia” for being the most important and influential person of the past ONE THOUSAND YEARS.


Well, just to keep the role of the TIMES magazine in perspective, they once featured Yassar Arafat as ‘a man of peace’, and framed the head of the current disaster serving as American president within a halo. :o)
Additionally, if memory serves, it was the standardization of the printing process that was hailed as being the single most important invention of the millenia, not simply the man most commonly associated with that doing. And there does remain the Gutenberg/ Coster argument.

Or do you mean “role” of Gutenberg, as opposed to “roll”? Well, he might be rolling in his grave.
Proofreading is something far more exact than weather-forecasting, but the fact that the English language has diverged so much into English, American, Australian etc. means that a proofreader would be correcting to the customs of a specific region (or even a single printing house), not the entire language. Too bad spell-checking has replaced the proof-reader even among printers.

AdLibPress, haha, sorry, English is my second language and I was posting after midnight :) I meant to say that Gutenberg’s role in the history of printing, or history in general, “can not be denied”…

His effort in industrializing printing brought about a revolution in the dissemination of information and increasing access to knowledge. It could be said he shaped the world in a positive way more than any other individual, before or since.

kimaboe, why apologize for someone else’s error? It wasn’t you that referred to the “roll of gutenberg”.

They jumped from the 1700’s to the 1900’s. I was hoping to see a picture of dickg in there.

Guilty as charged on the “roll.” I have two little reminders posted on the wall down in the shop to console me when this happens.

“It’s a damn poor mind indeed that can’t think of at least two ways of spelling any word.” - Andrew Jackson

“I respect a man who knows how to spell a word more than one way.” - Mark Twain

Just trying to stay well respected and in sound mind.


I do think spell check works behind our backs, thinks it knows better.

Now I see that U.S.A. has more than one kind of jogger; Paul Brubaker is holding an auction which includes a jogger..


to Village Press

From my experience, I KNOW that SPELCHEK is quite certain it knows better. When I am using English (New Zealand), it throws up a flag on Zealand.

Some users do not know how to access the correct shape for an apostrophe at the start of a word, and on one lot of text I was typing recently, the computer insisted on capitalising some characters which needed to be lowercase. Try typing a.b.c. as a test (and no, that was not the string I was trying to include in the text. There is a good reason, undisclosed here, for not quoting the string of characters I was trying to “typeset”.)

I remember overhearing a salesperson saying to a client “That’s what the computer does” when the client objected to a bad hyphenation; I wonder if I should have tried to overcome the salesperson’s ignorance, that we did have ways of forcing hyphenation according to human (not computer) brain. Also several other problems of correcting the false ideas the computer had, which had inadvertently been altered from what it had been at the start. On the other hand, I would have liked to have a salesperson beside me when a client objected to the tint/hue of the blue we had for his spot-colour job, he wanted to change to a “different” blue, which we could not do at that time; I think he was just trying to be difficult.

When we went to cold type, the typesetting machine would stop if it encountered a capital X in one of the italic founts; we could only guess that some programmer had included this for testing purposes as an escape route, and forgot to remove it?
Even today, there are problems with SPELCHEK that it does not know the differences of the various parts of the words which derive from the noun lead (a metal) and to lead (a verb).; also such words as discreet and discrete;.someone (human) falls for this kind of trap quite often. And Australian English is deteriorating/changing because someone gave a cake to Tom and I instead of to Tom and me. We followed (mostly) British English until we had, on many occasions, a problem with the word gaol which would come out as goal; eventually, most newspapers in Australia bowed to the forces-that-be, and now the word is spelt as jail, which is understood by readers. (Not for nothing is Australia sometimes referred to as the 52nd colony/state of U.S.A.)


Alan, when i was a linotype operator at a daily newspaper we had girls that typed the stories and punched a tape, i believe they typed the story on one coutinuous line then the tape was fed into a computer that punched another tape and broke the first one into lines and did the hyphenation of the words, then that tape was run on the tts machines.. The head of the social department would every so often come barging into the comp room and God help you if she ran into you first, i can still hear her screaming about the linotype operators breaking the word therapist, the-rapist, she swore we did this just to get her mad, it was that darn computer.

Tough crowd! ;)

The girl who helped bring that site to life is super nice. She’s passionate about keeping the craft alive and is actively raising awareness to help save The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum:

If you see an error or something that needs to be corrected, I know she would appreciate a kind email. We’re all on the same team here, ya know? :)

Vettelove, well said

Seems like when someone does something positive such as this site, some of the regulars seem to pick it apart for no good purpose.

I find the negative posting very distracting to the overwhelming positive aspects of Briarpress. Its such a good resource to our little niche in the cosmos.

guys & gals his real name was john gooseflesh,
and when he got famous he became johne from
gutenberger. yum..

guys & gals his real name was john gooseflesh,
and when he got famous he became johne from
gutenberger. yum..

Agree with CarolinaPrinter. I used to work at a monthly magazine in the Haberule, photo type, hot wax paste-up, photo-stat days. Moments after an issue hit the stands, some one would invariably call, prouder than punch about a typo or printing glitch that they had discovered.

Some people seem to get a buzz from that sort of negative stuff. I suppose it makes them feel superior for making the discovery of some one else’s error.

It’s great that our BP crowd is a steward of things letterpress, but we should (and mostly do) make the effort to be supportive of people’s good intentions or efforts

Vettelove, as the one who brought up the whole proof -reading issue I apologize to your friend, you are right,and a better man than I would have brought the Gutenburg/berg issue to her privately. I will try to remember that there are real people with real feelings on the other side of this computer. My point wasn’t that hers is a bad site, I found it fun and hopping, my point was that proofreading seems to not matter anymore and that grieves me. As a commercial printer of 36 years I have it in me to be very careful of the spelling of people’s names. Eating a run of business cards or letterheads cuts right quick into the profits.

Gutenberg was Johannes’ mother’s family name. Things were pretty matriarchal back then. I’m not near my reference books right now, but Geinsfliesch (SP?????) which literally means “goose flesh” was his father’s family name. Hence the John Gooseflesh reference above.

While we are at it, Lucian Bernhard is moniker made up by Emil Kahn. Who obviously needed to design something more elegant for his professional name.


@Foolproof546, I found your reference,to Johnny’s name.
The Book,by Douglas McMurtrie 1943.The truth is a great deal is unknown about Johnny. But lets say just he was born around 1400. Europe was crawling out from the dark ages you know burning whitches/midwives, drawn and quartered heretics and the like. I have a very hard time accepting womens lib and matriarchal society was in full blume. The church controlled just about everything
and seeing they were in the marriage business I sincerely
doubt young johnny took his mothers name. So I was just
having fun with this thread. best james

I agree with some of the posters on here. dude, i just got hammered by a few people on this site for asking a question. i’m mad i responded back with anger. But some people on here are some of the most belittling people i ever seen. i’m not going to get sucked in again because a lot of people tried to help me, but i only focused on the jerks. i’m not sure way angry people are on here. so sad for them :(

we’re all trying to make it in life

Taking your mother’s family name also had a lot to do with which family (paternal or maternal) had the higher status. Class and lineage were very important. In this case it was mom’s. Not uncommon at that time. Keep researching James.


Just a follow-up on the lastname thing. Anyone care to guess what Prince Charles or his son Prince William’s last name actually is????? Their official status is being from the House of Windsor but in actuality their father/grandfather was Phillip Mountbatten when he married Queen Elizabeth. Who would actually guess that they have a German lastname?


Rick, Charles was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg, like their close relatives in Norway and Denmark, no? Although I’m fairly sure William is not, and never was.

“However, by Letters Patent of 8 February 1960, Queen Elizabeth II declared that her children with Prince Philip would belong to the House of Windsor, as would any agnatic descendants who enjoy the style of Royal Highness, and the title of Prince or Princess.”

The British Royals are reportedly very German in their traditions, including opening their gifts on Christmas eve, not Christmas day :)

My family is related to all of the British monarchs (all the way back to mythology). It is fascinating to see how German, Norse and French lineage is interwoven within their histories. I’m also related to all of the US presidents, and the connection to British royalty is found in almost all of their ancestral lines as well. I figure my predilection toward repairing machinery comes from my German lineage, but the printing gene comes from the line that is connected to B. Franklin (my 11th cousin 8 times removed). How’s that for name dropping?

If you go far enough back, everyone in the world is statistically certain to be related ;)

@Foolprooh546, I took up your invite to do more research
on “Johnny” also to back up my stance I researched Albrecht Durer. First off I’d like to address Douglas McMurtrie’s. “The Book,The Story of Printing and Bookbinding” He states on page 136 that ” We have seen that printing, and even printing with movable types, had been in China and other Oriental lands long before the apperance of printing in Europe. But we have also seen that in those Far Eastern lands the conditions were unsuitable for the acceptance of printing, so that the invention did not take root and flourish there.” What a load of BS.

This I found out about Johnny,His dad was a Patrician/goldsmith and he was born of this man’s 2nd wife who was the daughter of a shop keeper. So a shopkeepers daughter has more status than a goldsmith/patrician?

Now we come to Durer. His dad had no resources
was an immigrant to Germany, married his boss’ daughter.
My question here is if it were the custom to take your moms name, if she was of a higher class why then is
Albecht’s surname his fathers?

Women were considered property in those times, certainly
a horrible notion.

My resources were St Andrews University and E.M. Hanebutt-Benz. I look foward to your debunking.
best james

just a follow up on Times “man of the Year”
1938 A. Hitler
1939 J. Stalin

Paul, last picture i saw of you i could see the Ben Franklin coming out in you.

I do have a high forehead and bifocals, but unfortunately none of my printing presses are made of wood.

Well, James, I have way more fish to fry than digging into my library. I will tell you what my cloudy memory can conjure up right now. I recall a rather lengthly story about why the surname Gutenberg was used and it had something to do with the family having to move and live with the maternal relatives. Either for political or financial reasons, and thus assimilating into the Gutenberg “clan.”

Its probably been forty years since I’ve read all of that.