History of Color Printing

Color printing is a process for reproduction a text or image in color. The primary color can be recognized as blue red and green for printing and each mixes would create secondary colors. When all three of colors are mixed white color will appear. Also, different proportions of primary colors give rise to the visual sensations of all other colors (Millett, 2012).

Woodblock Color Printing

Before skill of printing on paper appear, woodblock printing on textiles was commonly used in both Asia and Europe. In early years, in order to add color to items printed on paper, it had to be done by hand-coloring (Millett, 2012). Chinese woodcuts have this skill from at least the 13th century, and European ones were introduced in the 15th century (Wikipedia, 2012).


Most early ways of printing on a material required several prints, one for each color, although they were different ways to print two colors together. In the past, rubrics were needed for many kinds of books especially liturgical one (Wikipedia, 2012). They were normally printed in red and had done by a separate print run with a red forme for each page. Also, there was a method called “chiaroscuro woodcut” which developed in Europe in the early 16th century. It used a normal woodcut block with a linear image and one or more colored “tone blocks” printed in different colors would be added (Wikipedia, 2012).


The individual print did not develop until the 19h century in Chinese woodblock printing and early color woodcut printing mostly applies in luxury books about art. In Japan, there was a color printing skill called nishiki-e commonly used by Japanese from 1760s. Texts and images at that time was nearly always black and white, but the growth of a popular technique call ukiyo-e brought with it demand for ever increasing numbers of colors and complexity of techniques (Wikipedia, 2012).

19th century

Woodcut (technically Chromoxylography) was a dominant process in color printing at the end of the 19th century although it was still a technique using multiple prints with a stone for each color (Wikipedia, 2012). Zincograph, with zinc plate, replaced the technique of woodcut latter on and remained the commonest method of color printing until 1930s (Wikipedia, 2012).


Millett, D. (2012). The History of Color Printing. Ezine articles. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-History-Of-Colour-Printing&id=7078624

Wikipedia. (2012). Color Printing. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_printing


Designer profile: Khoi Vinh

Khoi Vinh biography:

By Abdulkarem Alyahya

Khoi Vinh was born on Dec, 03 1971 in Saigon, Vietnam.  After three and a half years, he moved to the United States with his family.  He grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland where he attended Gaithersburg High School and graduated in 1989.  Shortly, He moved to Orange County, California, where he attended Otis College of Art and Design and majored in communication design with a focus on illustration.

Khoi Vinh Success Career:

  • In 2006, Khoi Vinh became the Design Director for the New York Times (Vinh, Subtraction, 2000). Khoi Vinh and his team improved and changed the concept of how design is performed today.
  • In 2010, Khoi Vinh published his first book titled “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design”, which explain how grid can be powerful to build enjoyable and attractive website’s design (Vinh, Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design, 2010).
  • In 2011, the co-founder of Lascaux Co, Khoi Vinh and Scott Ostler launched the first application in the apple store titled as “Mixel” for the iPad.  The app’s goal is to give people a chance to show their talents and have fun.

How Comic Books Inspired Khoi Vinh:

(PAVLUS, 2012)

What is Mixel ?

Mixel is an iPad application that gives people a chance to edit photos in a fast and easy way, so they can share with family and friends (Mixel, 2011). Mixel is easy to use because it contains only three tasks, which are pick, crop, and share photo. Mixel has many templates to use as background for photos. Mixel gives people the option to share privately or publicly. People can share photos privately with only people the user picks. They can also share publicly with the community, where people can remix and reedit the photo. Mixel was created for people who have basic or no knowledge about design, so they cooperate and have fun

Thank you for reading my post

Useful links: 

Most of the information found in this post about Khoi Vinh  is from his own website www.subtraction.com

To buy Khoi Vinh book:  http://www.amazon.com/Ordering-Disorder-Principles-Design-Voices/dp/0321703537

YouTube clip about Khoi Vinh’s Design : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufafnyzFPhg

Khoi Vinh sample design: http://web.stagram.com/n/khoi/


Mixel. (2011). mixel. Retrieved May 29, 2012, from http://mixel.cc/

PAVLUS, J. (Director). (2012). How Comic Books Taught Khoi Vinh About Designing With Grids [Motion Picture].

Vinh, K. (2010). Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design. New Riders Press.

Vinh, K. (2000). Subtraction. Retrieved May 29, 2012, from http://www.subtraction.com


The Rotary Press


The rotary press is a printing press which can print on paper, cardboard or plastic. The way the machine operates is:

  •  the mounted type or images go onto curved  print plates on one cylinder
  • another cylinder lines up with the print cylinder as a impresser
  • the paper, cardboard or plastic is fed between the two cylinders as they rotate in opposite directions
  • the  impressing cylinder presses the material onto the inked plates

Rotary printing is most often used for web operations and high speed applications.


It was in either 1843 or 1844 that Richard Mark Hoe invented the two drum concept of the machine. The paper could be fed sheet by sheet or by roll, depending on whether extra attention had to be given to the print, like embossing or overprinting. Hoe modified his machine several times in the next couple of years and finally patented it in 1847. Several machines had to be used at the same time in a larger printer for jobs like putting out large editions of newspapers. The first rotary press could                      print 8,000 copies in an hour.                                                 Hoe’s Six Cylinder from (Markzware.com)

Today’s larger units print as many as 60,000 copies of standard paper sheets in that time.

How it work?

There are three different processes performed by the rotary printing press:

  1. Offset lithography: This process uses chemicals to put the images on the plate and uses a process called planographics to produce a wet surface where white space is needed and a dry surface for the area that contains the images or type.                 Image

2. Rotogravure: This type of printing uses a copper cylinder which is filled with ink and has small holes etched into the surface.


3. Flexography: This style of printing creates a raised stamp or image in a relief style pattern using apolymer based plate.    


There is also a simple procedure for two colour rotary presses.  In this process there are two cylinders each with its own inking style and each using different type used one after the other, so that the paper receives both ink loads as it passes between the cylinders.  The same concept can be applied for both sides of the paper or for using four or five colours just by switching cylinders to differently configured ones.  Some cylinders are large enough to take several plates so each time the cylinder rotates, it can print numerous copies of the same page.


Useful Reading:

1- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_printing_press



1- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_printing_press




5- http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/510376/rotary-press

All my pictures are from google image

By: Abdul alyami

Early 19th Century Advertising

When the industrial revolution started, many industries became capable of mass producing products in great quantities with the use of factories and assembly lines. These new abilities created a growing surplus of products and supplies. It was decided by the organisations, that they would need to increase advertising in an effort to create a greater demand for their products.

Before this shift occurred, advertisement operated on a much smaller scale, and was directed mainly toward the rich and upper class. Due to the increase of productivity, industries began to nationalise advertising which gave birth to mass marketing.

In England

Warren’s Shoe Blacking was one of the first nationally advertised household products marketed in the U.K. One of it’s adds is shown to the right. It depicts a cat hissing at it’s own reflection in a freshly polished boot.

The majority of ads were found in news papers, however, many merchants would enlist bill-posters who would go around pasting ads on to walls without consent, which became a problem. In 1839, the Metropolitan Police Act finally made it illegal to post bills without proper consent.

After the industrial revolution was well on it’s way, volume printing became cost effective and more ads began printing on the news papers. There were some limitations on diversity as newspapers banned ads that used large type or illustrations and extended over several columns which led to the creation of the of the “every-ad-the-same-size” rule. Many ads which only contained the company name were considered complete and sufficient.

In America

Because the United States was still a new nation, most advertising was done on a small scale by local merchants within single communities, and most products were sold as raw commodities without brand names. However, as the country began to grow, the demand for more products and services also grew which of course, required advertising.

By the middle of the 19th century, many of the major US news and media organisations began to create rules and regulations for advertisements. One example of these, was a rule to not run an ad copy for more than two weeks. These types of rules forced advertisers to create diversity in the ads, which created a demand for professionals who specialised in creating ads. Newspapers also began paying agents to sell ad space to businesses, as opposed to handling the negotiations themselves.


Designer: Michael Bierut

Who is Michael Bierut:

Michael Bierut was born in 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio. He is one of the most famous graphic designers known today, but you would not get that idea from him. The reason for this is because Bierut is “Midwestern-raised, impeccably mannered person” (Walker, 2012). He will take the time to talk with individuals on a large-scale events or just advice to a student taking design. This shows that this individual loves the job he is doing and wants to make others successful as well. He is one of the best in the industry but he is down to earth and a well liked individual.

What led to his Career?

Design was not an area that was pushed when Michael was younger, but this did not keep him away from it. At first he was not sure if this was what he wanted to do, but upon graduation he went to study graphic design. He attended the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.

In 1980 he landed a job. This job was a great opportunity as it was with a top design firm in New York City (Walters, 2012). Bierut was at this job for ten years and eventually moved up in the company. One of the things Bierut said he learned from this opportunity was that,

“the most interesting thing I learned is that a lot of the things about design that tend to get designers really interested aren’t that important”

This quote shows us how he understood design. The little things are the factors that are playing a large part in people enjoying design.

Success for Bierut:

Pentagram is the world’s largest independent design firm (Pentagram Design, 2012). Bierut is one of the partners in this company. He landed a job here in 1990 and has been there ever since. They work in a number of different countries and they also work in a number of different design areas. This shows that this is a great opportunity and Bierut is well-known because of this. While here he has worked with many individuals over the years, and there are a few that stand out. They would consist of Walt Disney, New York Jets and even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Walters, 2012).This shows that he works with a variety of people and each one he is successful with. Not only is his work all over there are even pieces that are on display in Museums in New York (Design Observer, 2012). This goes to show why Michael Bierut has won a number of awards over the years. He is a well know designer.

Even with all the work he does he still takes time to get involved. He is a member of a number of different committees. He has also founded an online design journal which is known as the Design Observer. He wanted to get a larger audience

than just your typical designers. That is why this looks a design in a number of ways. It will reach a larger audience because of the way Bierut set it up. This Design Observer can be found at: http://designobserver.com/

Advice from Bierut:

One thing that Bierut informs designers to remember is

 “Not everything is design,” he writes. “But design is about everything. So do yourself a favor: be ready for anything.” (Walters, 2012).



Design Observer.(2003-2012). Michael Bierut. Retrieved from  http://designobserver.com/author.html?author=1047

Walker, A. (2012). Michael Bierut. 2006 AIGA Medal. AIGA. Retrieved from http://www.aiga.org/medalist-michaelbierut/

Pentagram.(2012). Pentagram Designs. Retrieved from  http://www.pentagram.com/partners/

By: Candace Vandenbrink

Renaissance typography and calligraphy

Chin, R. (2006). History of typography: history of digital font

Typography is the process of arranging type onto paper using different typefaces, fonts, point sizes, serif etc. or, as it is more popularly called, printing (Baines & Haslam 2002).


Gutenberg invented the first printing press in 1455 although Korea is said to have a form of typography in use in the 1200s. Italics were designed by Aldus Manutius in the 1490s. Various typefaces began to emerge; Geofroy Troy designed his typeface based on physical proportions of the human body from studying Da Vinci’s paintings on anatomy (Baines & Haslam 2002, Typography in the 16th Century. n.d).

Chin, R. (2006). History of typography: history of digital font

Designing a typeface is a complicated art. The process is as follow:

1-    Cast pieces of metal to form letters

2-    Place the letters on composing sticks to form words

3-    Place the sticks together in the galley

4-    Place the galley in the chase and wedge well to add margins

Once the form is made up and edited, place it into the printingpress  (Baines & Haslam 2002).

New typography (Digital)

According to Baines & Haslam ( 2002,) with the introduction of this technological advance, computer programs have been designed to replace hand designing, casting and the use of the galley. Besides this, sound and animation options have been added as well as screen brightness and contrast. Even the materials have changed, pixels are used instead ink and links, buttons and IP addresses negate the need for paper.  These authors give these examples of new and adapted typefaces used today:

Digitally adapted typeface

–       Bookman old style- 1858 designed by   A.C Phemister  from Scotland

–       Times New Roman- 1932 designed by the Time London newspaper

–       Courier New – 1955 designed by    Howard Kettler from IBM

Designed and created digital  examples:

–       Comic Sans MS 1944- by Microsoft, Windows 95

–       Trebuchet MS 1996- by Microsoft

–       Webdings 1997- graphics incorporating typeface for web designing

Once again, Typeface  is an early print form used to revolutionize the printing culture


Calligraphy is the art of fancy, beautiful and intricate handwriting. It is penmanship with skill and flair.  Calligraphy was the only way of writing books before the invention of the printing press (Chin, 2006).

History of Calligraphy:

Calligraphy began with cave painting. Then in 3500 B.C., the Hieroglyphics of Egypt were etched within burial crypts. Next, paints were applied to papyrus (the earliest form of paper.) Later, about 1000 B.C., Phoenicians developed alphabetic systems for writing. Influences by Greeks and Romans brought new alphabet systems by 850 B.C.  Latin was used for most biblical writing as the ancient monks were among the few literates of the time and they captured the words of the scriptures painstakingly by hand. Even after Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, handwritten scripts were heavily in demand(E-ssortment, n.d., Chin, 2006).

According to Sakkal, (1993,) Arabic Calligraphy came about with the early alphabet of the North Semetic people in around 1700 BC.The alphabet was made up of 22 letters and this model was used to develop Arabic , Hebrew and Phoenician alphabets. From North Arabic script, Nabatain script was added and the language style spread through the Arabian regions of Hirah and Anbar, then to Hijaz and was popularized by use of the tribe of the prophet Mohammad, Harbl bn Ummayyah. Several Calligraphy styles refer back to the cities in which they were used. These are known as dry style, which later was adapted to become Kufic, a writing form which led to the development of the cursive family (Sakkal, M.(1993).




Baines, P., & Haslam, A. (2002). Type and Typography. London: Laurence King.

Chin, R. (2006).  History of typography: history of digital font          [PowerPoint slides],   Retrieved: 29 January, 2009,             www.cs.ucsb.edu/~almeroth/classes/tech-soc/2006-Fall/nov-07.ppt

E-ssortment,  n.d.  History of Calligraphy.  Retrieved from http://www.essortment.com/history-calligraphy-21343.html

Sakkal, M.(1993) The Art of Arabic Calligraphy Part 1 The Language and The            Script  Part 2  A Brief History   Retrieved from:             http://www.sakkal.com/ArtArabicCalligraphy.html

Typography in the 16th Century. n.d.   Retrieved from: http://www.csun.edu/~pjd77408/DrD/Art461/LecturesAll/Lectures


The Bodleian Library (Oxford)

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and it is also the main research library of the University of Oxford. The first founder of the Bodleian Library was Thomas Cobham, the bishop of Worcester. He founded in the fourteenth century. Between 1435 and 1437, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester donated great collection of manuscripts. The room for containing the great collection of manuscripts is well-known as Duke Humfrey’s Library. In the late sixteenth century, the library was in a period of decline. Sir Thomas Bodley donated among of his books, so when the library re-opened in 1602, it named “Bodleian Library”.

The Bodleian Library occupies five buildings near Broad Street: Duke Humfrey’s Library to the New Bodleian of the 1930s. Today, the Bodleian also includes several off-site storage areas:

  • Alexander Library of Ornithology
  • Chiness Studies Library
  • Education Library
  • Health Care Library
  • Japanese Library
  • Latin American Centre Library
  • Law Library
  • Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House
  • Music Faculty Library
  • Oriental Institute Library
  • Philosophy Faculty Library
  • Social Science Library
  • Theology Faculty Library
  • English Faculty Library
  • History Faculty Library
  • Radcliffe Science Library
  • Rewley House Continuing Education Library
  • Sackler Library
  • Sainsbury Library at the Said Business School
  • Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology Library
  • Taylor Institution Main Library
  • Taylor Bodleian Slavonic and Modern Greek Library
  • Vere Harmsworth Library (Rothermere American Institute)
  • Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine Library

The great intruduction video of Bodleian Library I found on YouTube


Thank you for reading.





Bodleian Library – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodleian



Colour Theory

We use lots of colours when we do designs. Since we choose colour by our preferences, it can be very subjective. Colour can be used to emphasize words or pictures in designs. Too much colour will interrupt readers’ attention, but too little colour will simplify entire designs. Therefore, it is important to understand basic colour theory in order to use colour in design successfully.

by Nina Lee

 The colour wheel



  • Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary colours

There are three main parts on the colour wheel: primary colours, secondary colours, and tertiary colours.

The primary colours are red, blue, and yellow. The secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours. Lastly, tertiary colours are created by mixing primary and secondary colours.


  • Tints, shades, and tones

The pure colour is called the hue.

Once the colour is made lighter by adding white, it is called a tint.


If black is added, the darker version is called a shade.


And if grey is added, it is called a tone.



  • Warm and cool colours

The colour wheel can be divided into two types of colour: warm and cool. Warm colours are vivid and include some red or yellow undertones. Cool colours are calm and include some blue undertones. White, black, and grey are considered neutral colours.




  • Colour harmonies

There are several colour harmonies based on the colour wheel; complementary, triads, split complement, and analogous colours.

Complementary colours are opposite to each other on the colour wheel. According to the website of Tiger Color, complementary colours work best to emphasize something but it is really bad for text.


Triadic colours are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. It is important to use one dominate colour and two other for accent.


Split complement colours are a variation of the complementary colours. According to Tiger color website, this colour combination is good choice for beginners.


Analogous colours are combination of colours that are next to each other. These colours have same undertones and harmonious so that it pleasing to the eye.



Interesting Links





Color matters. (n.d). Basic Color theory. Available: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory. Last accessed 22nd May 2012.

Tiger color. (n.d). Basic color schemes – Introduction to Color Theory. Available: http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm. Last accessed 22nd May 2012.

wikipedia. (n.d). Color theory. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_theory. Last accessed 22nd May 2012.

Frederick Koenig and the steam printing press

Fredrick Koenig was born in Germany, Saxony on April 17th, 1774. Knoenig’s father was a hardworking farmer whom provided for his family. Education was very important and Koenig’s father made sure to provide the best for his offspring. Upon completion of education Koenig was working as a beginner compositor and printer for Breitkopf & Hartel, of Leipzig. After a short period he was released from his engagement at Breitkopf & Hartel, because of his extraordinary ability and success. As this time Koenigh was only beginning his journey in life.

After enrolling in a year of University, it was at this time Koenig was sketching his designs for a printer. During the year 1803-04, Koenig designed a printer on paper that would be known as the Suhler press.  The designed was labeled as a huge loss of investment as it would cost more to make than to recover in profit.  During this time, Koenig was offered a position to organize the State printing office at St. Petersburg by the Russian Government. Just after two years he decided to move to England to further his development.


Arriving in London, it was hard to find printers supporting his ideas. He came across a man, Thomas Bensley, known as a book printer for Bolt Court. Mr. Bensley supported Koenig’s ideas and proceeded with a plan for a prototype. Andreas F. Bauer a fellow friend of Koenig, was a mechanically inclined to make and produce almost anything. This was the beginning of the printing press to be powered by steam.

The steam printing machine

The machine was certainly an improvement but it was only a modest improvement in number of copies printed. Koenig continued to make improvements to his steam printing press machine. Eventually he had to accept that the he could no longer modify it to maintain a competitive edge in the printer market. This led to Koenig’s collaborations with other press builders. It was during this time that he helped create successful printers.

His success was getting notice and impressed the proprietor of the “London Times,” Mr. J. Walter. With Koenig’s altered calculations Mr. Walter actualized the success of the group by ordering two printers. These printers took over two years to build, but when they did finally work over a thousand pages printed per hour.

Koenig’s initiative and passion to succeed in the printer industry is clearly visible in every step of his journey. His innovativeness gave him the flexibility and creativity to change and stay current.

All this hard work had worn down Koenig, and diagnosed with a nervous disorder. Eventually this would lead the sickness to an even greater fate of brain disease. He later died January 17, 1833.

The passing of Koenig was dark moment, Bauer continued on with the business for 20 more years. Then passing it off to Koenig’s sons to carry on the business and their father’s legacy.

By Faisal Alfadel _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Interesting link:



Reference link:



The Alphabet

What is alphabet? Most of people will say A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Well, good job. Unfortunately, that was it. According to research in North America, seven out of ten people do not know how the alphabet made or history of the alphabet or principle of the alphabet.

By Jonghoon Park

What are these?

 An alphabet is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes) which is used one or more languages based on the general principle that the letters represent basic significant sounds of the spoken language.




History of the Alphabet

  • Roman alphabet 55 B.C
    24 Jun 155

Used in 55 B.C the roman alphabet is very similar to the modern english one.This was the first recorded instance of the Romans being in England, but they did not conquer England until 78-85 A.D. They stayed in control of the island for 300 years.

  • 1900 B.C Luxor Egypt
    24 Jun 190

dated back to 1900 B.C in Luxor Egypt

  • Ancient English 5th century
    24 Jun 205

Old English / Anglo-Saxon, which was spoken in England from about the 5th to the 11th century in Britan

  • Ancient Latin 6 B.C
    24 Jun 206

The earliest known inscriptions in the Latin alphabet date from the 6th century BC. It was adapted from the Etruscan alphabet during the 7th century BC. The letters Y and Z were taken from the Greek alphabet to write Greek loan words. Other letters were added from time to time as the Latin alphabet was adapted for other languages.

  • Ancient Greek Alphabet
    24 Jun 209

The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BC. It was the first true alphabet with a symbol for each vowel and consonant, and is the oldest alphabetic script in use today.

  • Early Armaic Hebrew  10th century
    24 Jun 210

The Early Aramaic Hebrew alphabet was developed sometime during the late 10th or early 9th century BC.

  • Spanish Alphabet 17 B.C
    24 Jun 255

Used scince the 17th century B.C this spanish alphabet has been used to get letters for the english language

The Alphabetic Principle

Children’s reading development is dependent on their understanding of the alphabetic principle. The idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language. Learning that there are predictable relationships between sounds and letters allows children to apply these relationships to both familiar and unfamiliar words, and to begin to read with fluency.

Related Links




Allen Butler (2005). The Origins and History of the Alphabet. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.googobits.com/articles/1375-the-origins-and-history-of-the-alphabet.html

Hazel (N.D). Alphabet Timeline. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://hgage0912-good.blogspot.ca/search/label/alphabet

Texas Education Agency (N.D). The Alphabetic Principle. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/3408/

Wikipedia, Coulmas, Florian (1996). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet

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