Quick Pic: What a Difference a [Press] Makes

Two books side by side, one thinner and one thickerWhile these two books look very different, they are actually the exact same edition. They were both printed with the same setting of type and on the same paper. The book on the left is in a later binding than the one on the right, with some added edge gilding. But why the difference in textblock thickness?  The one on the left was pressed very hard by the binder. It’s pretty incredible how compact a textblock can become with enough pressure -and pressing is not without its downsides. These books were letterpress printed and the dimensional impression of the type, which is an artifact of the printing process, has been completely pressed out of the thinner copy.

3 thoughts on “Quick Pic: What a Difference a [Press] Makes”

    1. Hi Alvin,

      I wish I could capture the difference in the paper, but I haven’t been able to get a good photo. The paper on the overly-pressed copy just feels a lot smoother and the type impressions are not as apparent when you run your finger tips across the page. Otherwise, the printing looks the same.

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