Print experiment: “reality is analog”, part VI–repro photography of print edition

After the printrun and final cut, I documented the print edition with a repro camera to find out about the fluctuation of the printing process.

The animated clip below shows that besides minimal changes of the position (also possible because of not 100% accurate positioning for repro photography), the print result of each poster varies slightly.

Differences in color application, but also minor flaws like particles on the printing rollers or inked blind material (in German printing jargon refered to as “Spieß”) that touches the paper in the print run, show a range of stuff that may happen during analog print production.

example for print flaws in letterpress printing.
colour application can variy, especially in printing with letterpress materials. however color application can be adjusted during print run.

Of course, for high quality printing jobs print operators are aware of these mistakes and know how to avoid them.

Still, for the experiment, the flaws add to the topic. On the one hand it shows what parameters have to be taken account, while on the other side minor mistakes can be seen as coincidental effects, adding an individual and unique note to each of the posters. Besides these little imperfections underline the characteristics of analog products.