Printing a Book One Page at a Time
It’s been a long while since Glenn Fleishman was an ink-stained wretch, but today this technology journalist is publishing a book the old-fashioned way: cranking sheets one at a time on a vintage Vandercook proof press.
Fleishman is printing a collection of articles about printing and typography that covers topics such as curly quotes, the 19th-century origins of SHOUTY CAPS, and the centuries-old “This page intentionally left blank.” (He funded the printing with a successful Kickstarter campaign, “Hands On: The Original Digital.”)
The Hands On book-printing project echoes Fleishman’s career. He started as a typesetter and designer in college, and then moved away from ink and into pixels in the form of desktop publishing and, eventually, Internet publishing and podcasting. But his return to his roots isn’t all nostalgia: The heavy iron and inky aromas of the press room are melded with modern technologies, such as building layouts in Adobe InDesign CC, making photopolymer plates, and laser-cutting chapter numbers.
For months now, Fleishman has been a fixture at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts, which houses a small but vibrant—in activity and hue—room dedicated to letterpress printing.