Edge Coloring

Hi All,
I’m wondering if someone out there can walk me through the edge coloring process. What medium to you use, especially when you have to match a pms?

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Anyone?… Anyone?… Beuler?

I don’t do any edge gilding or coloring. We are spoiled rotten with the best in the business right here in the neighborhood.

R Marchetti & Brothers Inc
87 Richardson St, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 387-4772‎

There is a pretty good article on them and their edge gilding techniques in Book Arts Vol. 2 No. 1 from 1977. I will scan it for you when I get a chance.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

I’m going to try this myself: Edge colouring with Sharpee Poster Paint Pen:


I imagine the same technique could be used with Tria Pantone Markers:


Slow & requires a deft hand — but suitable for small runs.


Thanks for the replies. Daniel, no rush on the scan, but I am interested in learning more about them. Nearby resources like that are priceless.

I don’t have much time for hand work, so I’ve always turned down the opportunities when they have arisen, but after perusing the work at beastpieces.com, I just can’t help myself anymore.

There has got to be a way to do this quickly and efficiently. What I was thinking, was after trimming, leave the lift under the clamp and then coloring it while under pressure. I can’t imagine a marker will be very uniform, but it has to be a PMS product or you wouldn’t match the color you want. Makes sense right? Maybe I’ll just come up with my own method.

Daniel, on a different note, I had a former student of yours came into my shop the other day. It looks like you lit a fire in another burgeoning artist. Keep up the good work. I’d like to stop by sometime (maybe after I spy on Marchetti).
Waldwick Printing Co

Have you seen this video of Crane & Co. gilding stationery?


or this one…


Might be something in it for you.

RMG: Amazing videos — that woman has a masterful hand.

A little snooping turned up this:


Which supports a suggestion from my local letterpress printer that firm clamping and an airbrush might be just the ticket.

Bring on the PMS rainbow gradient edge spraying!


just a thought, and it may not be a good one, but…. would a firm clamp and a hand brayer work??? there’d be no worries about color-matching if it did.

I’ve heard of the hand brayer technique, and I’ve heard of people taking the rollers right off the press at the end of the run and doing it. This certainly isn’t the best way to do it, but it works.

Or maybe try a rag with a little ink worked into it.

Barker - bingo! That’s how I do it. Getting the color right can be the fussy part.

Watne — I’ve been pricing out airbrush kits, not something I know much about, but I’m assuming I need a small ‘art’ kit. As for hitting on air brushing as the solution, as I said, I was given a hint by a kind but necessarily cagey professional — but the link above from an old book-binding manual confirms it.

(PS - There’s an airbrush attachment for those tria markers too.)

Hi, all—

Just a thought, but maybe something to play with: there is a simple and cheap device available at art supply stores for spraying water-based, non-toxic colors. It’s a folding metal dealy that you stick one end of into a pint mason jar of paint (say), and blow through the other, creating a spray. Breath passes over the top opening of the tube stuck at a right angle in the ink, creating a lower pressure in the tube which draws the ink or paint up into the air stream.


Brian — You’re describing an atomizer:


This is like the device in the link I posted above (and repost here) from an old bookbinding manual:


Thanks, barker—that’s it exactly. I usually don’t view the links because I’m on dial-up.

Best regards, Brian