Category Archives: Production and Tech Info

Paper Truth

It is time to learn about the foundation of a typical sheet of paper used in offset printing.  Here is a quick study of paper, its coating and how it deals with ink.  Matte through Gloss and even uncoated, this addresses the what and why of ink hold out…an important reality in the world of resolution and print clarity.

There is a ton of information on this image….click on the image to enlarge it.  THEN read it..first to yourself and then to others.  Read it aloud at dinner tonight or on the bus tomorrow.  Most people will probably think you are a little odd but that is because most won’t know ANY of this stuff. Soon their fear will turn into fascination. But before you get TOO ahead of yourself, please familiarize yourself with the posting on this blog at this link as that post goes hand in hand with this post! CLICK HERE


Here is a page from Sappi that describes a few more of these details.

Have fun!  Call if you have any questions!


Coffee + Paper = DISASTER (but not always!)

Do you need a paper that is resistant to water, peach juice, coffee, milk, rain, sweat, tea, watermelon, mud, ketchup, snow, tears, soap and many other liquids?  Click on this animated GIF presentation to learn more!

I know…I have talked about Ultra Green before and am committed to torturing it as often as possible.  Today it’s a spilled coffee test (click here to see how I fed my horse on this stuff this past summer).

Be so happy that this sort of product is available…next test: I am going to put some Ultra Green under water for a MONTH!  I will be dunking it in the Gunnison River and will report back!

What is this thing??

(see below)

Think you know?  Email me at and tell me what you think!  You are SO SMART!  You MIGHT win a cool prize!  When we award the prize I will post the correct answer in this blob post.  Careful!  The correct answer may also give away your AGE!


Donna M has won the contest and a copy of THIS book:

The correct answer is a BURNISHER (from Letraset).

You see…back in the OLD DAYS (1980’s), just after MOLTEN LEAD and before DIGITAL, letters (for lay out) were transferred from a sheet of plastic to paper.  This tool was the burnisher used for this sort of thing…it was made by Letraset (as were the sheets of letters).  To learn more about this historic technology, visit this site:

or this site:

What the heck is an Uncompahgre??

Fresh off one of our Heidelbers!  

A very nice book:

This is a book by Jeff Burch and Don Paulson and features beautiful images from the Uncompahgre (un . come . PA . gray) region and features the many peaks that are in the headwaters of the Uncompahgre River and all around Ouray, Colorado.  Many of these images are labeled and there are many great stories in the book that explain the origins of these peaks’ names.

Typical labeled page. There are ten crossover pages similar to this with accurate labels of the peaks in each vista!

The book is a 52 page, landscape, 11″ x 8.5″ perfect bound limited edition.  The cover features our soft touch aqueous finish.  The entire book is printed at Stochastic 18 Micron V-2 (375 linescreen) on our Heidleberg 8 color perfecting press.  The book is printed on our (award winning) House matte paper stock and the interior pages each have a flood aqueous coating.

Learn more about the book at Jeff’s web site, where you can also purchase your own copy!

One of many images featured in the work.

Round That Corner!

A cool, inexpensive and quick way to enhance a project is to add a round corner here or there.  Here are some examples that were used on some business cards (thank you, Erica of ELK Media! Visit the ELK Media portfolio here: )

Round cornering is available on many sorts of projects…magazines, note cards, business cards, etc.  They are available in these sizes:

Here is a sample that shows the relative size to a business card:

Remember to include your BLEEDS and also keep your important copy AWAY from that radius cut!

Call me if you need to know more about this very affordable method of getting ATTENTION with your printed work!

What does that K mean in CMYK??


oK!  Here, koncise and korrect answer as kopied from a kontestant’s entry: the truth about the K in CMYK:

The ‘K‘ stands for “key,” as in key plate. The three primary inks, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, are aligned with the press’s key plate, which produces the fine details, outlines, and contrast with black ink.

Some thought it stood for the K at the end of the word “Black” and others thought the K was thrown in so that Blue would not be confused with Black if the letters were CMYB.  Good effort but not true!

And the winner is Mr. Steve H. of Western Colorado!  Steve, you win 100 free business cards for having the 15th correct answer!!

Congratulations and thank you for playing!

The CMYK Four Color Language

Quick!!  What does this mean:

To begin with, you must understand how ink is applied on the paper.  ANY offset process that involves “full color” uses a MINIMUM of the four colors to the left.  These colors are put on the paper with tiny, tiny dots.

These dots are placed VERY close to each other (the finest offset dot available on Earth is called STOCHASTIC printing and you can read about it here.

Above you see a comparison of these dot patterns.  The top is from a newspaper where the dots are visible to the eye.  The next at 175 and still visible to the eye.  The last one is our version of the dots…which you can’t see without a lens.  They are simply too small.  My hope is that you can see how offset printing is really just the individual dots of C, M, Y and K ink.

For clarity, here is an enlargement of the top image (or, just go find a magnifying lens and start looking at printed pieces).

No mixing…just patterns that trick your eye into seeing colors that are not on the paper.  Even lousy printing succeeds at this mission!

So..if you were going to print FULL color on BOTH sides of a sheet, this is how you would represent that process:

4 / 4 …which means CMYK “over” CMYK…or full color, both sides.  This is read as follows “four over four”.

SO, let’s invent a few more formulas:

4 / 0 Means: Full color on one side and NOTHING on the other side (kind of like a poster)

4 / K means: Full color on one side and BLACK ink on the other side (traditional post cards use this)

4 + FLOOD VARNISH / SAME means: Full color then a flood varnish coating on both sides of the sheet (learn more about coatings here)

4 + PMS + SOFT TOUCH AQ + DRY TRAP SPOT GLOSS VARNISH / SAME means: Full color plus a Pantone color (silver? fluorescent green? you must specify) plus a soft touch flood the a dry trap of a spot of varnish on BOTH sides of the sheet.  Again, learn more about floods and coatings here).

We could invent many different combinations of this formula but this should give you the basics so you know how to speak the language.  Is this the Language of Love?  Not really…I would not recommend bringing this subject up while cuddling in front of the fire this weekend.   But it IS the language of printing and I love printing so, I guess, it COULD be some sort of language of love?