Public Letterpress – Roger Maynor Lecture

Took the day off work to go to this brown bag lecture today. Very glad I did because not only was it completely awesome, I invited my good friend Sterling whom I got to catch up with at Dazbog afterwards.
Anyway, I found this lecture very inspiring. Why? Well, because I have a warm place in my heart for printing. My first job in high school was at a copy and print store in Conifer. I worked there for 5 years until the business tanked, and then worked at another print store in Denver for about 6 months and eventually lost interest in the business. Roger’s agency really reignited my love for the printing industry. He’s doing things I wish I was doing at my previous jobs. I had never heard of the duplex paper technique and wasn’t very familiar with laser etching. Basically the technique entails “laminating” or gluing layers of paper together and then using a laser to cut/burn varying layer of paper to reveal the colors and textures.

The reason for this technique is because of the transparency of the ink in letterpress and offset printing. For example, you wouldn’t be able to print a yellow on a black paper. Using duplexing and laser etching, you are guaranteed the color of that paper and you get laser accurate detail. Roger had an example of an extremely intricate lace pattern done with laser cutting. Another option is to use metallic inks or foil stamping.

Other things that were amazing:

1. I loved the idea Roger had for a client where he designed a sticker that can be placed on a standard business card that could be used for new employees or changes of address, etc. All you would have to do is create the standard card and then print the stickers for all your employees in differeing colors or whatever.

2. Did not know about photopolymer plates. I always thought metal was the only material used. Photopolymer plates are apparently less expensive and work perfectly for shorter runs. Good to know!

3. Liked his business plan of being a design agency as well as a printing agency. When one industry is slow the other usually picks up. Plus I LOVE both industries.

4. Using the transparency effect of layer inks. You get a third color for free! Totally awesome since I LOVE the transparency effects in photoshop and illustrator.

5. I can agree with Roger’s love of package design, especially in the alcohol and liquor world. I live right by Tipsy’s Liquor World, which claims to be the largest liquor store in the world. Honestly I go in there sometimes and just look at the rows and rows of sparkly glass bottles with all the color cool and funcky designs. He’s very right. These companies have to have their products stand out among the hundreds of other competing bottles which makes their designs so amazing.

6. “I don’t believe in any rules, I’m not afraid to try anything.” I admire this in people. I’ve always been afraid of making a mistake, and always felt I needed to be perfect first try in everything. Something I’m working on. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. All in all a short but worthwhile lecture.

Side note: I though Roger Maynor was an older 40-something…with the name Roger I only assumed.



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