Printing Techniques & Design Examples

Printing Techniques & Design Examples

Up until the 1960s the most common way of printing was by letterpress (relief printing from type and photo-engraved metal blocks). Type and blocks were rectangular, wedged together for printing in a frame i.e. columns of text type separated by a vertical bar. Tschicold’s poster (above) has a true structure of letterpress printing.

Herbert Matter’s leaflet

Tourist brochure, Zurich 1935 (Herbert Matter)

Whereas Herbert Matter’s leaflet however, conceals the rectilinear framework by using half-tone blocks with rounded and feathered edges, overprinted in colour It’s structure derives from the folds of the conventional format of tourist brochures.

In this next example Sandberg has used the year 1907 literally, and typographically, as the vertical axis around which the exhibition is centred. Dates run along the top of the page. The life span of artists is indicated by the repetition of their surname from year of birth to death.

Sandberg typography poster

‘Europa 1907’ (William Sandberg)

The way we read the Esquire cover (right) depends on colour. The photograph of Kennedy, in sepia, distances it in time, reminding us of older images, perhaps even family memories through rose tinted glasses. The hand might be ours, the reader’s, it’s full-colour realism wipes away the sentiment expressed by the ‘tears’.

Magazine Cover 1964 (George Lois)

Magazine Cover 1964 (George Lois)

The designer George Lois has used the techniques of the ‘New advertising’ of the 1960s, where words ‘Kennedy without tears’ and image were integrated into a single idea.

(More Graphic Design History coming soon…you lucky pups!)




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