At Typecon this week, Brian Hart, a third-generation engraving pressman, demonstrated one of those charming, arcane pieces of antiquated technology, the engraving proofing press. (It’s been in storage at his engraving plant for quite some time and was dusted off for this occasion.)
To proof an engraved die, these little wonders — similar to a duck, cheese, book or linen press (it’s a screw press, really) — bangs the &%$# out of a piece of stationery paper, lovingly placed on top of a 1/2-in. steel engraving die, with a counter artfully cut in reverse impression to the die, positioned on the opposing side. Larger presses, engineered for production, operate under approximately 2 tons of pressure per square inch, truly, so watch your fingers while feeding in the paper! Nancy Sharon Collins plays Vanna White trying to help.
Nancy inked the die and Brian ran the press. There are no OSHA stops on this baby, so it’s important to not leave your fingers in the press and keep your head away from the swinging cross bar and “cannonballs.”
Proofed at TypeCon was Terrance Weinzierl’s mongram that he designed from JMC Engraver (named after John Mack Collins), one of revival fonts he created from old engraver’s styles for the launch of The Complete Engraver, Nancy’s forthcoming book. Both fonts are downloadable free from Monotype, coinciding with the launch of the book.
Check out Nancy’s book tour project on Kickstarter. It’s the Kickstarter Project of the Day!