Someone News: Design, Events, Fine Press

Impresshorium, mixing up design technology for Nuit Blanche 2009

For Nuit Blanche 2009, Someone set out to create an installation that would combine traditional and contemporary design techniques and technology - the result: "Impresshorium." Coinciding with the event, the fine print object that we're producing will mark the launch of a new series from the Someone press - Someone: Water.

A living archive, a meshing of the earliest letter-press tools and the latest digital design techniques.... Someone: Water sets out to bring into being printed objects, not just artifacts exemplary of past and present technologies, but as art of lasting depth and expressive power...

This event is promoted and support by the team putting together the Cabbagetown arm of Nuit Blanche 2009 – so if you're in the area between dusk and dawn on Saturday October 3rd, stop in. There are also more than a dozen other fantastic installations planned - so don't miss out. Drop by Winchester and Parliament to pick up a map.

Creating the original image: "Exquisite Corpse"

Working together in Toronto, 2009, Susana Wald and Someone creative director, Deborah Barnett began their artistic collaboration creating a set of 10 Reverberations. A series of works inspired by the surrealist game Cadavre Exquis, where participants write or draw in on a sheet of paper, then fold it to conceal what they've done, and pass it on to the next player for a further contribution.

Apparently, André Breton, principal founder of Surrealism, remarked on the playful origins of the game, and later attested to it being an enriching experience – both Susana and Deborah would agree.

Reproducing the image for letterpress

The original image in this instance was built from blue, sienna and black pencil strokes, with watery puddles of gradient tone between and around them. The challenge was to produce faithful 2-colour separations from the original, to be used to produce film and relief photo-polymer plates for letterpress printing.

Our approach with this image was to first select two Pantone colours that could be used to represent the tones in the original, and that would combine when overlapped to create a third colour to fill in for the darker tones and black. Then using the Eyedropper and the Colour Range selection tools in Photoshop we created the two spot colour Channels. Each channel was then split out into it's own image file, reduced to a single channel greyscale TIFF format image for placement and colouring in the page layout application.

Once combined with the other type and graphic elements, we then output the layout to an imagesetter to produce film negatives, and then photopolymer plates for imposition and printing on the press.

Mixing it up for Nuit Blanche

Towering over the pressroom entrance, visitors will be greeted by a two-storey high projection of the relief plate, live on press as inking rollers pass over...

For the installation, live digital video is transmitted from the press to a projector on-site. Viewers then have the rare and unusual opportunity to experience the point of view of the blank sheet, moving with the impression cylinder, over the main ink roller, over the photo-polymer plate and the bed of the press itself.

For this part of the project we've had a great time planning the working with our friend and colleague Karlen Chang (, and a little behind the scenes magic – employing everyday tools to realize and create an extraordinary creative vision.

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