Split Fount on Platen Press

Yes, it CAN be done! The technique is simple; either disable or remove the ink disk dog so that the ink disk does not rotate. Then you put a few blobs of ink on the disk about where you want the impression(s) to appear. You need far less ink than usual as you are only inking a fraction of the disk’s area… something I had to learn the hard way.

Other things I learned:
1. Get somebody to proof-read the copy. This avoids having no space between “Ampersand” and “Storybooks”.
2. For maximum effect, the text or image to be printed in split fount needs to stretch out a bit. You can see the gradient in “AmpersandStorybooks” just fine, but in the calendar date, it is barely discernible.
3. No two impressions are exactly the same; the gradient gradually shifts a bit as you progress from the first impression to subsequent impressions.
4. Darker colors tend to dominate. My yellow quickly became green as the blue mixed with it.

All in all, it was a fun experiment on a cold day when the car won’t start. Now it’s time to clean up the press and bolt the ink disk dog back onto the press.

image: DSC03211.JPG


image: DSC03212.JPG


image: DSC03213.JPG


Log in to reply   1 reply so far

Right on! Dale Raby. I think I remember from long, long ago a Wharfedale press - single colour machine of course, with three colours running at once with home cast typemetal dividers in the duct (and I think I recall a trace of soap on the rollers at the division points but that may be wrong) to keep the three colours entirely apart for the run, one only saw the lovely blend effect when the wedges were removed during wash up after the run ended!. I have myself done blends
on letterpress platens just as D-R describes and indeed silk screen too come to think of it.