Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Arts and Offset Printing

Have you ever been curious about how offset printing works? So much of the printed material passing through our hands on a daily basis is printed on an offset press, yet small offset duplicators can also be a great tool for producing art and small editions of books or prints.

Offset printing has played an integral role in the small press movement producing chapbooks, flyers, posters and ephemera over the decades. As more and more small print shops are moving toward digital printing, offset duplicator presses are becoming available to artists, much in the same way that letterpress began to be available several decades ago.

This spring, the Oregon College of Art and Craft is offering a brand new, and entirely unique workshop opportunity that will provide a glimpse into what it takes to produce an offset printed edition using traditional and alternative techniques. Perfect for book artists, letterpress printers, and printmakers who are interested in learning about the technology of small presses and their potential for producing artwork.

Survey of Offset Lithography for Artists

Offset lithography in its current form has been around for close to a hundred years. Known primarily as an industrial production printing technique, offset printing (particularly the use of small format machines) has played an integral role in the history of independent art, design, and literary printing. Often perceived as being technically complex, this survey will help demystify this printing technique through classroom discussions and on-site shop visits. This four-day workshop will introduce students to the basic principles of offset lithography, touch on its social history as well as its use in the commercial printing industry, and provide an overview of machine function, manual image composition and plate making. Through hands-on exercises students will engage in mechanical image composition using both traditional and artistic techniques, and collaborate to produce a finished edition using those images, which will be printed at a local print shop.

You can learn more about the workshop Survey of Offset Lithography for Artists on OCAC's Community Programs page.


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