Best approach to halftones

Today, I joined Briar Press. By way of introduction, I’d like to make a brief statement about who I am.

I have over forty years of experience in the publishing/printing business. As I approach the end of my career, I would like to join an online group to discuss the latest developments in traditional letterpress printing. The demands of my employers have always forced me to web-fed offset. Letterpress has always been a lofty ideal placed upon a pedestal for. It is my firm belief that understanding this aesthetically beautiful printing method will help design books that will drive back the burgeoning wave of e-books about to flood the market.

I dream of the day when illustrations by the likes of Arthur Rackham and Helen Mason Grose make the Kindle and Nook irrelevant.

image: Rackham.jpg


image: Grose.jpg


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Hello & welcome. I believe your dream will not transpire, but we can keep the fires burning here none the less!

Perhaps I should have expanded a bit more on my dream. As a pragmatist, I realize that the lid on the Pandora’s box represented by Kindle and it’s ilk has been opened. However, what gives me hope is that someone who spent money to buy a volume of Emily Dickson’s poetry would love to have a beautifully bound, exquisitely printed copy of that same work displayed on their coffee table or adorning their bookshelves.

As a personal example, I took great joy in reading Tolkein’s” Lord of the Rings” Trilogy in the beautifully printed edition released on the 100th anniversary of Tolkein’s birth. The 1200 page masterpiece was illustrated with 50 of Alan Le’s most stunning pieces. I can’t imagine my son anticipating Peter Jackson’s cinematic version if his introduction had been through a Kindle or Nook.

I guess that’s where I see the value and importance of letterpress at this pivotal point of ascendancy of the ebook.

ahhh what dreams we have
I respect fine work done in print. I still like to read a real newspaper rather than an electronic edition. I recognize that neither the content nor the spelling in the newspaper is fine printing.
There may be a large reward in what you propose, but I think the reward will be in your pride of accomplishmet, rather than a hoard beating a path to your publishing house. Don’t quit your day job.
If you choose to go this way, gather or create a couple of the graphics. Line art will print better than most halftones.
Find a printer with a good size press and print them. This will tell you what can (or cannot) be done.
There is a printing and publishing house in San Francisco that still does some very fine printing of limited edition work. Very satisfactory for the coffee table. Appropriately expensive. They operate with two names. I can remeber only one. Spin up Arion Press.
Please keep the Briar Press community of inky fingered printers informed of your progress along this path. We all wish you good fortune.

Arion Press + M&H Type = Grabhorn Institute