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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mind your 'p's' & 'q's' - literally

And your 'b's' and 'd's'.....

So, I was commissioned to create some swing tags for Misohappi a wonderful Etsy store who just happens to make awesome aprons that fit just so!
Anyway, this was my first effort at hand setting type. My very first proof came out like below:

hamb crafted dy mj so haqqy los angeles california

OK granted, all of my type was mixed when I received it, and I had to sort it into fishing tackle boxes so give me a break but I made myself laugh.
I learned alot from the whole experience:

  1. you need a good collection of spacers to go along with your type - something I did not have so I had to resort to trimming down quotation marks and commas.
  2. the nick that is found on the bottom edge of all the type gives you a HUGE clue as to which way up the type goes (der!)
  3. locking the type up is difficult when you don't have a good selections of leads and line spacers.
  4. locking up is like putting together a puzzle and is time consuming trying to make sure there is even pressure all around the text
  5. having  a second chase would come in very handy so you can get on with other printing somethng I dont have so I made do with photographing the lock up so I could refer to it when I need to lock it up after the job was approved
  6. using a craft stamp - something like a mini stamp pad that you can daub over the text a get a quick impression rather than inking up the whole press is a great time saver.
  7. inks can appear to have a different colour when applied to small amounts of text rather than a more open flatter surface. Text appears a lot darker - even though it's not...
  8. Measure twice, cut once.... the hand setting, locking up, proofing, editing mixing ink, planning, took 10x longer than the actual printing but it was great fun! 
  9. chase locked up
We got there in the end! Each tag was printed 4 up - pass1, rotate 180°, pass 2, flip over pass 3, rotate 180° pass 4, and then cut down to 8cm x 3cm, with added tear off perforation. Printed on Letterpress Lush paper 30% cotton, 70% paper pulp.

Final prints

x100 - yippee