The Dingbat internship has been a blast! I’m learning so much and I’ve really enjoyed it. Here’s one of my recent insights to letterpress printing:

Registration is an important part of every job that is run through the press. It’s the process of aligning the paper and printing plate to create a print that looks just as it was designed to look from the digital proofs. Basically, it’s making sure that the print comes out straight.

The press prints only one color at a time. So, multi-color jobs are run through the press multiple times using separate printing plates for each run. For example this two-color job for the Tall Cello Man went through the press twice, first for the blue and then for the gray, and required two plates, one for everything printed in blue and one for everything printed in gray. To make sure registration is perfect, we use guide and crop marks which are printed in the same place on both plates. The paper and plate are then lined up so that the marks of the second plate lay directly over the marks of the first after the paper is run through the press.

Sometimes the first couple runs will yield a print that’s a tad askew, but after adjusting the plate or the alignment of the paper as it enters the press, we get it spot on.