Neenah’s new Engraving Video

Neenah Paper Co. continues to support the traditional printing methods like letterpress and, in this new video

that shows an application of engraving. I think the two vignettes used in this example are lifted from stone lithos rather than previously engraved pieces. They look very much like the images found on litho stones that were used as transfers for other work, like stocks and bonds. But a wonderful process, and in this example, the Cronite press is still made and occasionally can be found on the used machinery market.

Log in to reply   12 replies so far

Great video!

Well, I care! That was a great video showing some beautiful work being done with some really swell equipment. I was surprised to see Chip Foreman because I used to work for him at his shop, Digital Engraving here in SF.

Now I have seen some of the new proof printers made by Roland
and a few others that simulate almost every printing process, including scoring and cutting in one pass, but obviously they’re designed for 1 or 2 prototypes and not 1,000.


This is a little song for you.


Michael Osborne is an instructor at the university I went to in SF.

His packaging classes always produce some outstandingly crafted and finished work. Good to know that there is still some craft being taught in modern design programs.

Aaron….. you are right in that a lot of folks don’t understand, and/or don’t care. Fortunately, a lot of folks DO care….. as evidenced by the video mentioned above (which is fabulous), and shops like Hatch Show Print, and so forth.

Yes a lot of work IS done on the computer nowadays, even things like boxes and so forth…. but there is still a niche for high quality work and/or artistic printing. The trick is to find those folks who DO understand, and then cater to what they need.

Billy…. some of the new computer printers are indeed impressive, but they are unGodly expensive to operate. I think I’ll stick to my old woodblocks, etchings, and metal type…. and just do my own thing.

By the way, the new press has been done and in operation for a few months now. I guess I really should take a few pics of it, huh?

The engraving video touched close to home for me as I ran the engraving plant at Carlisle Co. in San Francisco for a year back in the late 1960s and fell in love with the process. We hand Cronites and hand fed presses and did demanding work for some of the top corporate clients in the Bay Area. Even Hewlett-Packard had engraved cards for all the top executives, but these days, I wonder if they use some crappy digital stuff.

Packaging is indeed going heavy into digital printing, especial shorter run quick turn-around stuff. It is competing seriously with flexography and has about done in short run litho just in the past year or so.

Having wandered San Francisco for the last few years, I’ve encountered quite a lot of engraved business cards from people working at the big tech firms. There is still some cachet attached to having your cards done properly, even in the world of startups.

I think The Ligature, featured in the video, does a lot of that work. I definitely remember them being present at a few of the industry gatherings I attended there.

Thanks for the Michael Osborne mention. What a small small world. Back in the day Michael Osborne was a “just starting designer” and I was the production manager at JKO, a graphic design organization in Palo Alto, CA. This had to have been the late 70’s or early 80’s. Michael went off to start his own design firm in San Francisco and I decided to load tons of letterpress stuff into a 40’ trailer and move it all to a farm outside of Des Moines, Iowa.

I am still here and have told everyone from the beginning that I will die here for I have simply accumulated way to much “stuff” over the succeeding decades to even think of ever moving.


Shades of the past—I was a production manager/estimator at a design firm called ATD, Inc. in Palo Alto when I made a similar move to the mountains of Colorado, but in 1970. We had some of the Jeep account, but Kaiser sold it to Chrysler, then there was a mild recession in the high tech firms, and business soured overnight and it was time to bale. I was buying printing, even hot metal type setting, and was a couple of blocks from where my older brother worked at H-P so we had lunch together once in a while. Later on he would spend vacations with me in Colorado, helping to move presses, all the time lecturing me on how wonderful all the computer/high tech stuff was and “why didn’t I get it?” He even put together my disassembled Model 31 Linotype one vacation and it worked, and then he went back to design LED applications for the automotive industry.

Amazing, ironic story, Fritz, re you and your HP-employed brother. Something of a modern
allegory there.
Dan, thanks for the great Pete Seeger link…

I wish I worked around engraving. It is a true art.

Sorry, about what I posted and removed.

Many great people have worked in the printing industry for hundreds of years. People that took nothing and make a work of art.

I am very sorry about my earlier post, it had nothing to do with printing. A nice lady came to work at my 40 hour a week job. She told me I was wash up and of no use to her or anyone. She based that on another lady at my job telling her to stay away from me. The pain is killing me!

Hi Fritz,

WOW! Deja vu all over again! You undoubtedly bought some of your typesetting from Atherton’s Typography. I ended up with a few fonts from there.

Are you going to be coming to Type on the Cob II in June? I’ll be helping to host that and it would be great to reminisce about our days in Palo Alto.

For any others wondering about Type on the Cob II, this is the bi-annual conference of The Ladies of Letterpress that will take place at Printers’ Hall in Mt. Pleasant, IA, June 11-13, 2015.