On the hottest day of the year, my grandmother’s vintage finger-biter fan is keeping the breeze moving in the shop.
In the shop today, printing the yellow band on a greeting card. Dark indigo band is next. Then the back. Five times through the press in all.
Happy Type High Day to everyone observing the Gregorian calendar, and recognizing nine hundred and eighteen thousandths as your type standard.
Here begins a regular feature of the Tin Can News. ( Or if you are reading in reverse chronological order, this will be the last post. )
When I started as a printer, more than twenty years ago, I hustled my way into my first job. I wanted to be a printer, and all I had was ambition and a few ink drawings that I wanted to sell copies of. The small-town newspaper editor that hired me needed a press operator and was willing to give me a shot at it.
Thus began my dive into learning the printing trade in a one-press-operator town. The editor, near retirement age, had grown up in the print shop, but had spent most of his time: covering the city council, taking photos of house fires and car accidents, selling ads, calming down disgruntled customers, taking change-of-addresses over the phone, editing sloppy news copy, pasting-up pages just before deadline, enlarging prints in the darkroom, all things I would get to experience, as well, in my next fifteen years at the paper.
There are now several good resources online with all sorts of good advice, perhaps passed down through the ages from master press operator to printers devil. If you are starting out in this trade, I encourage you to follow their advice. Read all you can. Talk to other printers, most of them exist entirely for the chance to expound their squirreled-away knowledge. Some are jerks, but not many.
When you have expended every sensible attempt at making legible prints, one-at-a-time, and it’s late, the rest of the world is sleeping, and the lamp still burns over your press, and you just want to go home. Maybe you’ll remember one of these methods, and you will be inspired to improvise, ‘cause so-and-so made do, and got the job done, with the wrong tool for the wrong job. Press on.
Updated tag line
No longer print & design
Whatever, a rhyme
Mankato Life just posted a profile on Tin Can Valley Printing, covering my work in letterpress printing.
If this is your first visit here, don’t waste your time reading any of the news beyond this post. Seriously. Go poke around in the gallery. I’m slightly better at uploading pictures than writing news posts. But not much.
Everything new is old again.
Logged in to make a few updates to plugins and software.
Created a post just to prove my existence.
I’ve been adding a few pictures, here and there, to the galleries. Mostly old stuff. Not much new. Just old things I’ve forgotten existed.
Vintage tin can prints.
If you’ve been checking in, you’ll notice a few changes and additions, here and there. I log in once-in-a-while and play with some things, or upload a few more pictures while I’m getting a feel for the new layout, but I’m still a long way from home.
Check back, follow me on Facebook, if you want, no pressure. Or look me up on Tumblr. There’s a bunch of pics there, but it’s all more process-type stuff, behind-the-scenes, nitty gritty, tchotchkes, and such.
Maybe you like that kind of thing.
If you’re here, reading this, I just have to warn you that this site is still in progress.
This does not represent the creation of a well-planned and engineered user-experience.
I’m still messing around with everything: layout, typefaces, colors, organization, content, etc.
Keep checking back.
Don’t you just hate websites? I do.
Well, not necessarily from your side of the screen. I love it when I can visit a site on the web, using a computer and either learn something or be entertained.
But from the other end. This is painful.