The right half (recto) of the cover of What You Will is complete: 44 runs. 17 remain on the verso. And then 28 on the jacket. Because I am back “on the clock” at the Press at CC, production is being adjusted slightly—I will print the jacket, 1-2 runs per session on weeknights after work, and do the cover, 2 runs per session, on the weekends. The runs on the cover are 4 times as long (2 covers x 2 sides) as the runs on the jacket. So now both pieces will develop simultaneously, and hopefully there will be images of both as they build up.

Long projects like this, with lots of printing, always help me generate new technical ideas as I’m working. Things happen that I did not anticipate, sometimes those things are interesting. The important thing, as always, is to pay attention.

I am intrigued by the surface of the printed areas of these covers. I am also intrigued by the deboss/emboss of the large, “negative” type inside a solid block. The use of multiple impression depths in combination with figure/ground reversals seems promising.

This book was conceptualized and designed (and went into production) when I was still in the Bay Area, when I had no reliable access to lead type. I had to make the book with what I had access to: photopolymer plates. It made sense to me to convert that constraint to an advantage—to make a design that fit with & drove the work and could only be achieved through photopolymer. This is what led me to the transparent, mirrored letters and the “negative” type blocks. This book could not be printed digitally. This book could be printed offset. But then that’s where things like impression and other on-press interventions come in.

I have been asked why I don’t offset print the NewLights books. The answer, at times, is as simple as: because I don’t know how to run an offset press. It’s important to me to be able to participate, actively, in the production of these things. & now, to set these things up so that they require that active participation to function.

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