Robin Kinross wrote:
> No wonder it's been taken up in California. People who want
> perfect looks & touch... But there's an emptiness there.
Just wanting "perfection" might be misguided, but I wouldn't say
it's the worst thing in the world. The real problem I see with
the phenomenon you've accurately pointed out is *fakeness*: some
people just want the *perception* of letterpress; they certainly
don't want to work hard for it, and the only reason they want it
in the first place is because it's fashionable. Letterpress is
organic and nostaligic, and those two things are simply very
trendy right now. With processes like polymer plate printing,
you get 90% of the result with 25% of the work, and that's
a "good deal" to certain people; never mind that the 10%
you're not getting is the most significant part...
Again, however, let me say that I don't at all see polymer
plate printing as beeing inherently bad, and many -probably
most- people who use it do so for good reasons. It's just a
tool that can be -and sometimes is- used to deceive (like
the field of statistics, for example). It's much harder
to deceive with hand-set letterpress.
One interesting note, however, is that the potential for
deception of a given tool depends very much on the tool's
time_frame/context. For example, at the point of invention
of hand-set letterpress, it was indeed used to deceive people
into thinking the results were manuscript; whereas now it has
no such role. This actually ties in to the typography versus
handwriting debate: it is deceptive to keep typography in its
handwriting roots. We must do it to*some* extent, but only
for aesthetic or practical reasons, and the less we do it
as we progress, the better.