The Key to Success is a Vandercook Press
A compilation of student work and process from MICA's Dolphin Letterpress class Fall 2009
01 MICA | dolphin letterpress DOLPHIN LETTERPRESS 3 credits. Staff. Offered occasionally This introductory course explores the current use of traditional letterpress production and is ideal for the artist, writer, poet, or designer who seeks to produce combinations of word with images in a professional, fine art, limited-edition format. The relationship between word and image may be pursued through fine arts prints, folios, and books printed with Dolphin Press & Print's Vandercook letterpress. Hand-set lead type and polymer plates can be printed to produce 'zines, artist books, cards, and broadsides. Students are introduced to setting type, running the Vandercook letterpress, pilot presses, and proofing press. Suggested for printmaking majors and for book arts and printmaking concentrators. 02 MICA | dolphin letterpress 03 Vandercook | history + diagram A SHORT HISTORY OF VANDERCOOK Harold E. Sterne The company was started by Robert Vandercook in Chicago in September 1909. The first press was a "rocker" proof press, made with a geared cylinder. Up to the development of this press all proofs were either made on a roller press that depended on gravity for impression or on a Washington Hand Press. During the next 54 years they brought out 60 different press models of which nine models were made in two or more styles. In the 75 years that presses were manufactured, more than 38,000 with the name of Vandercook were produced. Vandercook was very prolific in producing new models. They developed 29 models before World War II and 17 of these models were still being manufactured many years after the war. The most popular of these models was #4, which was first made in 1935 and not discontinued until 1960. Many are still in use today. In 1948 they brought out the model 4T, which was used to pull transparency proofs of type on acetate. The acetate proofs could then be contacted to film for offset negatives. During World War II not many presses were made because Vandercook was heavily involved in manufacturing for the war effort, for which they received the E award. With the exception of models 0, 01, 03 and 099, which were gravity type presses, all of the Vandercooks had geared cylinders. The last models designed were the SP series (which stands for Simple Precision) and the Universal series. They are similar in design but the Universal presses were originally designed as Test presses for ink companies and paper mills. Most of them were made with automatic controls and adjustable beds (AB). The SP series were mostly hand presses. The SP15 was the most popular of them all. 04 Vandercook | history + diagram DIAGRAM 1 3 4 01 Rollers Rubber rollers and three or four metal cylanders rotate to spread the ink smoothly. 02 Bed The flat surface on which the type is placed for printing. 03 Print/Trip Lever Trip the press to ink the plate or set type, then set the lever to print mode to put the ink on paper. 07 Topic | subtopic KEY TOOLS 1 2 2 3 4 01 Key & Quoin Tool to tighten 02 Composing Stick Shallow, adjustable tray in which type is set or arranged before it is locked into the chase. and loosen type set 03 Roller Adjuster Tool for 04 Foot Lever step on the lever to secure paper under the grippers 04 Furniture Hardwood or metal blocks in specific lengths and widths [measured in picas], used to fill in the space around the type on the bed. adjusting roller height 05 Process | method + type 06 Process | method + type 07 Process | ink 08 Process | ink 09 Process | makeready 10 Process | makeready 11 Process | finishing touches 12 Process | finishing touches 13 Process | cleaning 14 Process | cleaning 15 Press | No. 4 16 Press | No. 4 01 Press No. 4 Press No. 4 is the perfect press for shorties. It may take a little bit of TLC and makeready to produce an even ink job, but all in all, No. 4 is very reliable. 17 Press | No. 4 18 Press | No. 4 19 Press | No. 4 01 Nikonon Press DESIGNER Kailie Parrish CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS No. 4 PAPER Crane lettra 220 lb. cover and museum board 02 Colin M. Ford DESIGNER Carolyn Williams CONCEPT Calling Cards PRESS No. 4 PAPER Crane lettra 220 lb. cover 20 Press | No. 4 03 Kathy Loveman DESIGNER Becky Slogeris CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS No. 4 PAPER Green valor paper and Neenah classic crest 100 lb. cover 21 Press | No. 4 04 Pimlico Race DESIGNER Allison Fisher CONCEPT Postcards PRESS No. 4 and SP20 PAPER Strathmore 80 lb. cover 22 Press | No. 4 05 Baltimore Streetcars DESIGNER Michelle Ghiotti CONCEPT Postcards PRESS No. 4 PAPER Blotter 06 Pench Press DESIGNER Sabrina Kogan CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS No. 4 PAPER Blotter and matte duralar 23 Press | Universal 1 24 Press | Universal 1 02 Universal 1 The Universal 1 is fully automatic. Just move the lever to the right and make sure it doesn't leave without you! 25 Press | Universal 1 26 Press | Universal 1 27 Press | Universal 1 01 Balloon Ascension DESIGNER Nicolette Cornelius CONCEPT Postcards PRESS Universal 1 PAPER Museum board 2 ply 02 Alicia Jacobs DESIGNER Nicolette Cornelius CONCEPT Calling cards PRESS Universal 1 PAPER Strathmore double thick 28 Press | Universal 1 03 Automatic Press DESIGNER Colin M. Ford CONCEPT Prop cards PRESS Universal / SP20 PAPER Chipboard 29 Press | Universal 1 04 Baltimore Dentistry DESIGNER Alexis Morgan CONCEPT Postcards PRESS Universal 1 PAPER Blotter 05 Baltimore Sweets DESIGNER Carolyn Williams CONCEPT Postcards PRESS Universal 1 PAPER Blotter 30 Press | Universal 1 06 Jimmy's DESIGNER Alicia Jacobs CONCEPT Postcards PRESS Universal 1 PAPER Various water color 07 Big Lb Press DESIGNER Nicolette Cornelius CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS Universal 1 PAPER Museum board 2 ply 31 Press | SP20 32 Press | SP20 03 SP20 Repro Press SP20 is the perfect height for tall people. And just when you thought the automatic Universal 1 was easy, the Sp20 has automatic cleaning! 33 Press | SP20 34 Press | SP20 35 Press | SP20 01 Ira Glass DESIGNER Claire Clayton CONCEPT Postcards PRESS SP20 PAPER Velvet somerset 02 Baltimore & Ohio Railroad DESIGNER Colin M. Ford CONCEPT Postcards PRESS SP20 PAPER Chipboard 36 Press | SP20 03 Andy Mangold DESIGNER Kailie Parrish CONCEPT Calling Cards PRESS SP20 PAPER Museum board 2 ply 04 Gay-as-in Happy Press DESIGNER Alexis Morgan CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS SP20 PAPER Museum board 4ply 37 Press | SP20 05 Baltimore Oriels DESIGNER Becky Slogeris CONCEPT Postcards PRESS SP20 PAPER Neenah classic crest double thick 07 Sparo Press DESIGNER Michelle Ghiotti CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS SP20 PAPER Blotter 38 Press | SP20 06 Beehler UmBrella Factory DESIGNER Kailie Parrish CONCEPT Calling Cards PRESS sP20 PAPER MuseuM board 2 Ply 39 Press | 325G 40 Press | 325G 04 325G For the purest out there, the 325G is all manual. That's right, you'll develop huge muscles. 41 Press | 325G 42 Press | 325G 43 Press | 325G 01 July 2010 DESIGNER Andy Mangold CONCEPT Calendar 2010 PRESS 325G PAPER Crane lettra 220 lb. cover 02 Analog Man DESIGNER Andy Mangold CONCEPT Prop Cards PRESS 325G PAPER Blue Pescia 44 Press | 325G 03 September 2010 DESIGNER Colin M. Ford CONCEPT Calendar 2010 PRESS 325G PAPER Crane lettra 220 lb. cover THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS A VANDERCOOK PRESS A COMPILATION OF PROCESS AND WORK FALL '09 This book encompasses the history, process, and beautiful work produced by Mary Mashburn's Fall 2009 Dolphin: Letterpress class. Visitors from Matt McNary and Carol Sturm and a field trip to Typecast Press and Globe made the class a great success. See for yourself!