My second week was pretty awesome. We got to work with the old style printing presses, old Guttenberg bible times. In previous art history classes, I always read about the process of the printed press and how essential it was to communicate news. How expensive the ink was and how the ink would go on a plate and press against sheets but now in the 21st-century printing is much more simplistic. We just press print on our computer screens and it sends a message to the printers which let on the ink through the jets.
When I walked in I got to meet Sydney who is the man in charge of teaching how the press works and also who is in charge of printing all final products such as holiday cards, magazines, business cards, and flyers. He taught me as well as another intern named Salvador how to make the design imprint on a plate for the holiday card. He then uses some special liquid to clean the plate off which would wipe off any part that was not imprinted by the machine. The cleaned plate would then show a clear version of the design on it. The plate would then be inserted on the roll in the press and ink would be put into the back of the press. That press only prints two colors so Sydney only put in a green and black ink. Water is also placed in the back, in a separate section because that is what separates the colors from being mixed together and gets pressed on different parts of the finished print. He told us the reason why that happens is because the inks are oil based, we all no water and oil dont mix.
Sydney allowed me to take part in the aluminum plate making process, by helping to place it in the machine and then letting me use a liquid to help clean the plate off. I also got to help keep the machine sort the paper out properly so it won’t jam. He also did a demonstration on how to print the WPS flyers. Later on, another intern named Jedd came and we all go to witness the finished print products. We printed about 500 pages of the flyers, which is the minimum pages that particular press can print. That same flyer has been used for the last 10 years! Later on, we picked up food from a deli before the weekly Saturday staff meeting.
Photo below: A little fun with Salvador, Sydney & Printing press!