Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

The relevance of 19th century continuous tone photomechanical printing techniques to digitally generated imagery

Author: Hoskins, Stephen, Paul Thirkell
Name of conference:IIS&T SPIE Electronic Imaging Conference
Place: Santa Clara, California, USA
Date: 2003


Collotype and Woodburytype are late 19th Century methods of reproducing photography in print without an underlying dot structure. The aesthetic and tactile qualities produced by these methods at their best, have never been surpassed. These processes fell into disuse because of the difficulty of printing, the highly specialised skills required and the time needed by an artist/technician to make complex multiple colour film separations. The processes have characteristics not found in digital output techniques. The full rendition of continuous tone, a means of producing a colour set beyond four, without an interference structure and the ability to produce proven archival printed output. This research aimed to provide a context in which the development of four-colour CMKY printing may be viewed as an expedient rather than logical route for the development of colour printing. It is viewed as a practical platform and research tool, for the production of conservable printed output using more than four colours without an interface structure from a digitally generated file.