Devil’s Tail and Inky Lips poster questions

Paul and Casey,

In my spare time, I am turning attention to poster/broadside printing with our wood type collection, and I am also sponsoring some students with lino carving tools and supplies. We will collectively print the works as a group project.

Can you please make recommendations on paper based upon your personal preferences? We will be using our UNI III primarily and perhaps our KSB on occasion.

Also, any good reference materials that are available new or used on lino carving that you would recommend would be great. I have already turned them on to your video Casey…

Thanks for any help from Paul, Casey or anyone else with advice and opinion.

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For a really good reproducing thick paper that can be printed dry I would recommend Arches 88, it is a bit expensive these days and only available in white, but to me is the best of the ‘art’ papers. The second I would recommend is Stonehenge, which is about half the price. It gives you a better assortment of colors, and has a really nice surface. When I commercially made posters I used Railroad Board or Box Board, C1S (clay coated one side). It is non-archival, but is cheap and heavy with a good surface for printing (rubber-based inks will not dry on it). I preferred a 24pt board. The only thing I would recommend about cutting lino is: Do Not Used Hunt Tools. I use Japanese woodcut tools that I purchased from McClain’s in Oregon. Also try to get battleship linoleum rather than the golden linoleum that has become more available, try to get lino that is fresh, because the modern linoleums tend to dry-out and become crumbly.


Thanks Paul.

You were a step ahead of me. I should have specified that we will have the “art” focused projects as well as more commercially focused projects like you did at Ritz. I was hoping for recommendations for both.

I am assuming that you bought the linoleum in rolls and mounted it yourself. Any recommendations there?

All good info. Thanks again!


When you buy rolls use a hair-dryer at a low setting to gently take out the curve. I found a great floor adhesive, but now I couldn’t tell you what it is, a flooring company could help you with that (I think it may have been a Forbo product). Make sure you get the jute-backed lino, it adheres better. I mounted the sheets to 3/4” plywood, and found that a sheet of medium thickness binders board brought it close enough to type-high to make it workable. I experimented with a European linoleum flooring product made by Forbo, and was able to buy off-cuts from a flooring installer. It is harder than art linoleum, but I felt that it could be a good alternative source of materials. I didn’t get to the point of cutting a full image with it, but it worked well for background tints which took quite a bit of abuse. The big problem I ran into was voids in the plywood which would collapse during printing, I don’t know what can be done about that. Here is a product I just found online, it might be worthwhile following up with them:

The art linoleums are too soft, they are made that way for easy cutting, but I have found that a slightly harder product is what used to be sold to artists, and it cuts just as easily with just a bit more pressure.

Sometimes attaching to HDF or MDF board is an alternative to plywood, because it’s a more even density and doesn’t seem to have pockets as paul mentioned above.

It may be a bit more expensive but is more assuredly uniform.

@HavenPress Thanks Mark.

I recently worked with an artist who used vinyl flooring offcuts which we printed on an Albion press. She got some fabulous results.
Her cuts were just laid on a pile of perspex sheets with a blanket of eight sheets of newsprint taped together and nothing under the the tympan.
(Perspex sheets were used for the base as it allowed for the height to be adjusted easily)

A valuable (to me at least) series of postings. Thank you and keep up the good work.