Tuesday 27 July 2010

Printing errors #1: The Hickey

See the hole in the F? That's a hickey.

This is caused when a piece of grit gets onto a printing plate on the press. An inkless outline of the offending article is created as the piece of grit gets coated in ink, but the immediate area surrounding it isn't.

You have to have a keen eye to spot them while on press and when you do, you have to remove the piece of grit by stopping the machine and carefully using a cloth or finger to wipe it off. I've seen printers try and do this while the press is still running. Not a good idea if your rag gets caught.

The printer should also hunt through the printed sheets and remove them, or tag the affected batch for the finisher to remove later, and add an according number of overs to the print run to make up for the wastage. However, they can often get missed and end up in the finished job.

Printing errors will become a repeating post to Dublog, as and when I spot print errors in publications I come across. They will consist of terms and explanations of errors I picked up in my time as a printer/finisher many years ago. For the purposes of these posts, printing errors refer to anomalies that are thrown up through the process of offset lithographic printing, not typographic mistakes, which are often wrongly attributed as 'a printing error'.

Shifting deadlines

We're having new windows fitted at the back of our house. 3 up, 3 down, bespoke wooden imitation sashes. Funds wouldn't stretch to real sashes.

We were told by our fitter that they were ready last week and that he could get a helping hand to fit them this week.

This means I've had to move all my computer equipment to a room unaffected by the building works and covered everything else in dust sheets. My studio is currently under wraps.

Unfortunately, this is the week I'd planned to work towards finishing the McJunk book. This was my to do list:
Finish the 8th essay draft and get proof read
Design the cover and title page
Add all the folios to both versions (softback and hardback editions)
Order ISBN numbers and barcodes
Add the above to the imprint page and back cover
Upload to Blurb and order trial copy
Design promo materials and online ads
Design basic promo website (mcjunk.co.uk)
Sign off trial copy and order promo paperback copies
Mail out promo copies

Unfortunately, because of my RSI, I'd never attempt this amount of work at anything other than my desktop set up.

There is absolutely nothing I can do about this situation and the fact I'm on holiday for a fortnight from next week, means that the above list won't get touched until I'm back at the day job and will have to be completed alongside that.

That's the trouble with self-initiated projects. If I was working for a client I'd find a way around this. I'd have to. I'd have to dose up on Ibuprofen and arch over my MacBook, as I'm doing now writing this. But with a project I've set the boundaries on, I'm not prepared to risk a major flair up of my RSI, especially as I'm off for nerve conductor study tests at the hospital tomorrow.

However, sitting around, doing some light surfing and posting, working my way through a stack of CDs, DVDs, recorded TV and unread books and magazines for a week isn't exactly a chore. As long as I can tune my mind into not worrying about my sliding schedules.

Tuesday 13 July 2010


Anti Design Festival

Fleet: Art In The Haven Ports. Landguard Fort

A weekend trip to Felixstowe saw Claire and I taking in Landguard Fort's part in Fleet: Art In The Haven Ports. Well worth a visit.

Gavin Turk's Les Bikes du Bois Rond.

Elizabeth Wright's Languard Fort Shoot.

Tod Hanson's Containerisation

Fleet: Art In The Haven Ports
Landgaurd Fort Shoot
Landguard Fort, Fleet

Saturday 10 July 2010

Stasis symbol

In 2003 I took a series of photographs of buildings on Ipswich quay. These concrete beasts were a local landmark and due to be demolished to make way for a redevelopment of the area.

One of the malt stores in 2003

This is what I wrote about these photographs in 2008…
"I had always been attracted to these buildings situated on Ipswich Quay. Sheer monuments to function, they lacked any flourish of decoration; their only purpose was purpose. I saw a beauty in these audacious concrete monoliths that, once I learned they were to be demolished, I had to capture. They have since been razed to the ground and replaced with flats for people who own yachts."

In their place we now have:
A second Pizza Express
The Jerwood DanceHouse
Several Bistros and Cafes
The Mill, a 23 story apartment block
An extension to a hotel
More flats

Unfortunately, the town planners have so far failed to address the two busy roads that separate the town centre from the quay. This forms a physical and psychological barrier and unless you have a specific reason to be there, you literally have to go out of your way to enjoy this part of town. Therefore, the artistic impressions drawn up for the planning stages of this regeneration are more populated than the reality. To be fair, it is much more populated than previously, when people had to dodge large grain lorries. And now the waterfront university is establishing itself, you can see the potential.

Unfortunately, there is still an element of stasis, as work stopped on another apartment block a year ago and it has stood skeletally dominating the skyline ever since. An enormous metaphor for the recession.

This town is coming like a ghost town

In some ways this is a fitting tribute to the old concrete malt stores that stood on this site for many a year. It's a shame that it is all boarded off though, and you can't freely walk around this ghostly structure.

Good news though, I heard a couple of weeks ago that work is to start on this building again, once new student accommodation being built on the waterfront has been finished in August. All we need now is a little joined up thinking to create a joined up town because unless you are a student, tourist, yacht owner, work on the waterfront, use the quay as a cut through to the station or have the luxury of extended lunch hours and expense accounts, you're unlikely to go there often, if at all.

Before the cranes came down, Nov 2009