This study investigates factors which the author believes could contribute to the determination of the aesthetic and economic viability of producing original fine art prints and artists books on a rotary offset press using direct imaged, uncoated lithographic plates. It also introduces a new medium for the creation and production of these works which was developed during this study. This investigation has been accomplished in the following ways: First, answers were sought to ten questions the author believed any artist considering the use of a rotary offset press as a means of producing these works would want to know. The answers were obtained through direct experimentation with a variety of plates which were processed by different procedures and then printed on a rotary offset press. The author concludes on the basis of this experimentation that when the artist's intentions for a specific work coincide with the capabilities of this production process as described in the answers, then this process can be considered aesthetically viable. Second, five-hundred copies of a sixteen page artists book were produced by the author to determine the aesthetic and economic viability of this production process for a specific work. The results indicated that a substantial saving in labor, time, and expense was obtained when this process was employed. There were also substantial savings to the integrity of the work. The author concludes that this process is aesthetically and economically viable for the production of this type of artists book. Third, a survey of commercial printers was undertaken to determine the aesthetic and economic viability of this process in cases where the artist does not have access to a suitable offset press. All the people interviewed indicated that their firms would be willing to accept for production plates imaged and processed by the artists. They also indicated that they would be willing to meet the artist 's specifications for the work when these were obtainable, and that the total cost would be based principally on the hourly rate for the specific press being used. On the basis of these and other results of this survey, the author concludes that the production of original fine art prints and artists books by commercial lithographers can be aesthetically and economically viable for the production of certain works. Fourth, people professionally involved in the creation, printing, publishing, selling and collecting of these works were surveyed to assess their usage, awareness, and attitudes regarding their offset press production. The response data to one question in the survey allowed calculations to be made of the acceptability of this process to the total population of the types of people surveyed. As a result of these calculations, conclusions were made that seventy-six percent believe this process is acceptable for the production of original fine art prints. Similarly, one-hundred percent believe it is acceptable for the production of artists books. And fifth, the origins, principles, processing procedures, advantages, and disadvantages of a new medium for the creation and production of original prints and artists books are presented. This medium utilizes direct imaging techniques and light sensitive coated lithographic plates. It is presented for the first time in this study. Any artist wishing to learn about this new medium and any artist considering rotary offset production of original fine art prints or artists books, will find much useful in formation in this study. A portfolio of thirty prints accompanies this study to provide the reader with a firsthand view of the results of the experimentation.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Offset printing; Rotary presses; Prints--Technique; Illustrated books
Department, Program, or Center
School of Media Sciences (CIAS)
Tucker, Daniel Richard, "A study to assess the aesthetic and economic viability of producing original fine art prints and autographic artists books on a rotary offset press, and an introduction to a new medium for creating and producing original fine art prints and autographic artists books" (1976). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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