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Re: Laser printing



As a letterpress practitioner I have a preference for the slower, hands-on
processes of the pre-digital era. My students don't understand why I prefer
traditional photographic methods instead of digital photography and
letterpress instead of computer typesetting. I find these methods allow me
a more intimate understanding of the art that I am creating. So I am not a
"computerphile", per se.

That said, isn't this attitude similar to the monks who copied books by
hand when they heard about Gutenberg's 'new-fangled' method? Were the
binders of that time aware of the permanence of letterpress? While I don't
like the look of a laser-printed object, there is no reason that it cannot
be a quality product. Is that $899 your assumption or the author's?
Besides, the basis of letterpress printing is so that one could print many
copies cheaply. How is that different than laser printing? I have seen mass
produced letterpress junk passed off as 'limited edition'.

Placing a blanket value on the process, or at least the products of a
particular process is a dangerous proposition. The market will pay what it
considers to be a reasonable amount. If for some reason the product is
considered worthless, the assigned price will not be paid. If the product
is deemed valuble, people will pay the asked-for price, if not more.

If you feel that your reputation for quality work will be damaged by your
association with this book, simply don't do it. No one is forcing you to
take the job. Since I only do work as a sideline rather than a
profession I
have the luxury to refuse anything that runs contrary to my principles. If
you are a professional, you must balance principles with your ability to
stay in business.

John Tonai

Yehuda Miklaf wrote:

> A client recently brought me a book that he had printed on his laser
> printer to be bound. It was a small edition, numbered and signed. I have
> no idea how much he was asking for it. I had qualms about binding such a
> thing, since, as a letterpress printer, I have a strong prejudice
> against these 'new-fangled' methods. Can we really know how permanent
> they are? Does anyone care? I tend to think that if I'm producing fine
> art, it should have some degree of guaranteed permanence. Am I being
> unrealistic? Old-fashioned?
>
> Now a friend is asking my advice about buying a printer to print his
> books. What do I say? OK, if he wants to spread his art around, no
> problem. Print off a few hundred at $899 each. But signed, numbered,
> supposedly to-be-rare books.
>
> Speak to me, Oh List!
>
> Yehuda Miklaf
> Jerusalem
>
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