Split fountain printing

split fountain printing

Of all the kinds of printing available, split fountain is without a doubt my favourite.

If you’re not familiar with the process… Typically when printing, a single colour only is used in each ink fountain (pictures to follow), and while gradients can be printed using modern process colour printing – the standard mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black found in your average home/office printer – printing methods like letterpress are typically limited to solid colours as a wooden or metal block stamps a colour into a stock, a method which doesn’t allowing blending of multiple densities and layers of ink.

By blending inks directly in the fountain, split fountain printing allows for some wonderful effects in letterpress and screen printing which otherwise wouldn’t be achievable, combining blends of colour with the more exotic stocks and debossing effects that aren’t available with standard offset printing.

The best of both worlds.

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Answering “how much does printing X cost”

ink fountain

When in the preliminary stages of a graphic design project involving print, people often contact me asking something along the lines of “How much for 1,000 business cards”. While it might seem that many business cards are more or less equal, there are a dozen factors which dramatically affect the cost of printing, and without knowing more about your desired outcome answering the question accurately can be tough.

While it’s a reasonable assumption for clients to make that the cost of putting ink to paper should not vary much, different outcomes can require significantly more labour on behalf of the printer and also need additional equipment to achieve the desired result.

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Find work experience at a printing house; Advice for design students/new designers

letterpress feed table

While “book learning” is all well and good, in my opinion nothing beats hands on experience.

While undertaking my studies in graphic design years ago and learning about printing – the printing equipment itself, printing processes and how to prepare print ready artwork for clients – by far the most useful information wasn’t learnt in the classroom, but when volunteering for work experience at a printing house.

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