The Press in Our Lives

The most important thing I learned in this class is how important the world of the Press has been in our lives. Now, I just type all my essays, see the individual letters be arranged into words on this device without thinking at all. Then, all I have to have it in a physical form is to go to a printer and press the print button.

I never knew until this class that printing in the past required setting one letter by letter, and how much effort and time it took to just write four lines. I think I took about a total of 6 hours to set the type for four lines, a title, and the author’s name. During this time, I had to re-set the type twice because I could not transfer the type from the galley tray.

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Type on the press, Maryland Institute College of Art. Photograph by Reina Arakawa.

 

Next we did the “printing” processes, which again took a huge amount of time. I had predicted correctly about brushing the type with ink, but I did not know that to get a final copy it would take about 5 proofs. My funniest mistake was that I messed up by u and b wrote the Star-staugleb banner instead of Star-Spangled. The proofing process was a really valuable experience because it made me realize how important accuracy and experience was in printing, even though amateurs can type on computers and print things now.

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Proof and final title of “Star-Spangled Banner.” Photograph by Reina Arakawa.

 

I also really liked learning about the progression from hand-set type, to linotype, to typing through methods using light. After a day of hand-set type, linotype seemed like the most brilliant thing ever.

Overall this class made me appreciate printing techniques and the opportunities it brought for people.

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