Trip to printed matter

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The Nook

Even though its the 21st century, I still have not familiarized myself with e readers. I have my reasons and its the same reason it took me so long to upgrade my flip phone to a smart phone. Its not the technology that dissuades me from even touching it, its the price. I’m sure that if i give it a chance, I would love e readers.

After much research and discussion, I felt the nook is an e reader I would use and not worry about money, although if someone were to shell out $400 for an Ipad, I would love to have that instead since MAC products are usually higher quality than most other products. Androids are my favorite brand since I am already familiar with them and I think they operate the same as a MAC and cost much less. But, I dont mind spending  a little less than $200 on an Nook. Unike Kindle or Kindle fire, I like that I can go to two different places instead of one to get free wifi. I like to play games on any device that I have, so knowing that I can play flash games on it is a plus. The natural look and feel of the screen and the good lighting is a great feature as I dont like to have to strain my eyes to read. The long battery life is a plus too.

Currently, I use my android phone as an e reader. Another great feature of the nook is that I can download a nook app on my smartphone and read book on it like an e reader. I think the app I downloaded is great and it makes me not see the need for an e reader at all. Im sure its better, but  to me its just one more device to carry.


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The offset printing press demo

Today, I had a mind boggling experience of learning about the offset printing press. The offset printer is a sleek, paper printing machine, where you can mechanically or physically control how the print will look. Compared to the older printing press machine the class and I experienced, this machine was a lot more difficult for me to understand. Eventually, I understood how just using Cyan. Magenta, Yellow and Black ink can produce an image that looks to have a million colors. I also had the chance to zoom in on images and see the little box shaped pixels first hand. It was interesting and reminded me of saurats dot paintings. Its the same principle, colors are mized together to form the color printed. This trip makes me think that as far as technology goes, the basic principles of color printing with CMYK is expressed.


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5 Great moments in print history I…

  1. The invention of paper in China in the year 105
  2. The invention of the printing press in Germany by Gutenberg in 1455
  3. Invention of the first stream-driven mechanical press in 1814 England
  4. The first commercial halftone illustration in a newspaper in 1885 New York City
  5. Invention of Linotype which is the first successful automated typesetting machine in 1886 New York City

Definitions in typography

  1. A font is a variety of typesets (a metal cased letter piece) of a single size and style of one particular typeface.
  2. A family in type is a font of a specific weight and style such as italics or bold font.
  3. Serif is a type of typeface that has curved brackets. An example of a serif font is “Times new roman.”
  4. Sans serif is a type of typeface that does not have any curved or straight brackets on a letter. An example of a sans serif font is “Helvetica.”
  5. Decorative and display fonts are used for decorative, attention grabbing and design purposes only. An example of a decorative font is “Rosewood.”

Great moments in print history II…

  1. The birth of desktop publishing in 1985, such as, for example software Aldus Page maker and Linotype L300 image setter
  2. The first direct-imaging (DI) offset press in 1993 called the Heidelberg GTO-DI (an improvement of the 1991 version)
  3. The first “e-book,” the rocket ebook is invented in 1998
  4. Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is adopted by the industry in 1944.(The process of CTP technology is that a digital image is transmitted directly from a computer to a plate used on a press.)
  5. The invention of high-speed, wide-format inkjet printers in 2005


  1. RGB is the use of Red, Green and Blue “light” to reproduce a variety of color. Its an additive  color model used for web and screen only.
  2. CMYK is Cyan, Magenta, yellow and Key (Black). This four color model  is a subtractive color model, used in color printing, and is also used to describe the printing process itself. Used in print.
  3. Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel. In theory, when mixed together, they form a neutral gray, white or black. examples of complementary colors are red and green for non web media and cyan and red for photography and web media.
  4. 4 color (CMYK) vs. spot color printing (Pantone). The difference between these two methods of printing are that CMYK is useful for prints that use a lot of colors like photography. Spot color is used for more vibrancy of colors and media that has very little color used such as business cards and logos. a specific pantone color is used.

E- Portfolio is an electronic form of a portfolio which serves the purpose of organizing, storing and displaying works such as photographs, audios, videos, print, etc. An e portfolio can be viewed on a webpage.


  1. Characteristics:
  • Percentage of brightness or white light.
  • Opacity, or transparency
  • Calendaring, or smoothness
  • Weight Measured in the weight in lbs of a 500 sheet ream
  • Caliper, or the thickness of a paper.
  • Bulk, compares the caliper to the weight

Grain direction refers to if the paper fibers are parallel to the long or short grains.

Making paper: Process

  1. Paper is made from fibers called cellulose. Common types used are found in trees.
  2. This cellulose is than beached and washed
  3. The pulping stage: paper is washed, cooked and bleached until it is only 99% water
  4. Then it is put in a paper making machine which drains the water and flatten the fibers
  5. The paper is finally heated to evaporate the water and dried.
  6. Then paper characteristics are applied.

4 Binding processes:

  1. Saddle stitching: connecting facing pages in the middle using staples.
  2. Side wire stitching: connecting facing pages in the middle using string. an old process
  3. Mechanical binding: Paper bound with metal spiral wires or plastic rings.
  4. Perfect binding: Most used. Paper is bound by pressing a hot glue inside the cover and attaching the end of the page to it.


  1. Halftones for printing: Are little dots of color that are either circular, elliptical or square put together to form an image for printing.
  2. Halftone dots: are either round which is good for portrait photography, elliptical, which is good for various types of objects and square dots for very sharp images that have a lot of details.
  3. Image assembly: arranging the images together in order for printing
  4. Layout: the arrangement of graphic elements and type on a page
  5. Scanning: electronically transferring an image to the computer
  6. File formats: The encoding of a file. ie: jpeg for images.
  7. Programs used to create page layouts: Adobe Indesign and QuarkXpress.

10 products of the graphic communication industry.

  1. Books
  2. Periodicals
  3. Catalogs
  4. Direct mail
  5. Directories
  6. Financial and legal
  7. Packaging
  8. Technical documents
  9. Promotions
  10. Corporate products

Bonus: The importance of the Gutenberg Bible

Gutenbergs bible was the first mass produced printed book. It was then that more and better innovations to printing was made. Gutenberg’s bible and printing press paved the way to modern printing and typography. If it was not for the invention of the printing press, the history of print might not exist.





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Idea for visual quote


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The Force: Volkswagon Commercial

Discuss the Product, Target Audience, Headline, Tagline, Visual Elements, Goals of the Commercial.

The Volkswagon is a German made car that is sold in America. As with most products that have competitors, Volkswagon’s commercials must have a unique feel to it that brands them as that product, and not another automobile. Judging from this commercial, It looks like Volkswagon has decided to go with an emotional approach; steering away from talking too much about the actual product by making it into a story.

The goal of this commercial is for middle class consumers to consider Volkswagon’s when buying a car. I personally think this is a great method for having consumers remember the brand Volkswagon because emotional advertising is usually more memorable than rational. This commercial targets upper middle class families as the “story” is about a upper middle class little boy pretending to be Darth Vader. Most people like cute kids, so this almost makes it memorable. They went a step further by having the consumer guess what product they are selling until the end. Overall, this cute story telling ad, tied in the relevance of the car as something that is “amazing” or has the force.

This commercial does not have a tagline ready, but I think from the music borrowed from Star Wars, Volkswagon wants people to remember them from the music and storyline. Its not a traditional way of advertising, but its difference is effective.

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Complimentary colors in my initials.

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Typography chart

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Letter Pressing

To me, the process of letter pressing or physically making a print document the way Joannes Gutenberg did is an “ancient” process that I thought I would never get to experience, let alone participate in. when I first saw the machine, I thought it look very dangerous. Much to my relieve, the instructor assured us that the machine is safe to use.

Before I got the chance to make my first print, the instructor showed the class the components of how a page is made. He also explained that letter pressing is just like print. Its the most manual way to make a print document. The difference between a print document and a printed document must be that one is instant and the other is done via printer. It was a lot of fun, but I personally would not want to print documents this way, but Iwould love to use it for purely artistic purposes.

Some interesting aspects of a letter press is that ink has to be manually applied to the machine. It than has rollers that repeated coat itself. there are a lot of safety features as well. The press will not stamp the document until you decide to pull a lever. Surprisingly, the lever is not hard to pull. Other interesting features is the makeup of the “stamp.” The border is called a chase which is comprised of the little components that make up the elements on the final page. They are called coins and furniture. Images can also be stamped or pressed as something called “halftones.” Another interesting feature is that each letter is set to make sentences. Overall, this demonstration has definitely made me appreciate the 21st century even more as technology really has made it easier to produce.

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Thoughts on Visual Communication

I believe that visual communication means to deliver a message to an audience using images and or with type. Unlike other forms of communication such as, verbal communication, morse code, sign language and writing, visual communication does not only deliver a message, it communicates so much more. Visual media grabs your attention, controls your eye movements, delivers a message and makes you feel something.

A media that converses visually to an audience is like a well written novel or poem. Just as skillfully putting the right words together on paper can deliver a message and evoke emotions to readers, so does visual media. The difference between visual media and writing is that visual communication does not make the audience imagine too much. Written media relies on the audiences imagination and also reading comprehension to send a message and a feeling across. Most of todays media relies on written communication. This is why educational institutes makes it a priority to educate people in reading comprehension.

Understanding visual media is instant and does not take years of school to understand and comprehend, but just like learning to write a good article; it takes a lot of knowledge and practice for visual communicators to  convey a message across. This is why visual messages are the most powerful form of communication. It does the best job in communicating to all people regardless of education level that are in about the same age group.

Those that want to learn how to make very comprehensible visual media are called graphic designers or communication artist. Images, type and the space on paper are the fundamental elements that all graphic designers manipulate. Anyone can manipulate images and type on a media, but the same can be said about writing abilities. Good visual communicators understand how to manipulate these elements in a way that makes the audience want to look at the media. This is because their eyes are being controlled and this control also brings the audience to understand and feel a message the graphic designer is trying to communicate.

Some visual media can be of a lone image, but this image is something that is almost universally known. For example, the smiley face is a widely known symbol that represents happiness. This example of a powerful visual media is called an icon. But, most of the time, this visual media can be paired with written words or manipulated to state something else. The way this element is presented on paper also speaks volumes. What if the smiley face was a dark color, had a frown face but the type below of it said happy? The audience would immediately direct their eyes to the image and try to interpret why was happy written under the altered smiley face. Pairing visual elements with type is the art of graphic design and visual communication and it is the responsibility of skilled designers to convey what the message is suppose to mean. Intentional visual messages is what separates visual communication from fine arts. In graphic design, form follows function, but in fine arts, form does not usually have a function.

Learning how to visually communicate is a skill that takes a lot of thought, planning and analyzing before executing. Visual communication is almost like creative writing as the same thought process is necessary to produce a message and feeling, except that visual media wants to attract the eye and control it. It is a unique process that involves a deep understanding of the message, but the delivery of the final piece is clear to many.

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