cow-gumWhen you’ve been around as long as I have you can remember the old ways of the printing process before computers moved in.

I don’t mean Letterpress (I’m not that old!) I mean traditional Lithographic Printing, using base board artwork, Reprographics (film and plate making) through to plates on press.

The Printing Process before Computers – Tools Of The Trade

I wanted to see how many tools, acronyms, words I could remember, some might still be used and some might not! I do invite anyone to post any that I’ve missed or any funny stories from what we like to call the good old days.

I think the best way will be to just list what I can:

Cow GumFilmPlanning Up
LetrasetPositiveQuarter Tones
ScalpelTransparencyPainting Up Negs
Swann-Morton BladesDrum ScannerContact Frame
Spray MountMatchprintPlate Making
Bromide PrintChromalinWet Proofs
Dark RoomRubi TapeColour Filters
Enlarging CameraNegsContinuous-tone
Art BoardEmulsionFlat
Rotary Pen 0.5MoireEmulsion Up
Tracing PaperScreen AnglesEmulsion Down

It was a time when printing your business stationery wasn’t advertised on the TV for £3.50. Now Im not saying we all haven’t adapted to the times and print costs have come down quite remarkably but I do miss the good old days.

If I needed some copy setting for a holiday brochure then I would get into my car and drive into Birmingham, I would sit and have a coffee and cigarette wait for it to finish then drive back.

The photographer (and there was plenty of them driving a Porsche) would drop off a 5 x 4 transparency that would require to be scaled up using the enlarging camera onto tracing paper to give the dimensions to the Repro House.

I invite people to post below any terms I’ve missed or stories from the good old days.