26 Nov

How to Prank an Apprentice Printer

“Have you ever seen Type Lice?”

Well, back in the day of hot metal printing, these legendary little critters were know to hide out in the dark corners of the print composing room.

In order to make up a page for printing, long galleys (trays) of news stories which were cast into lead strips had to be placed into a chase (steel frame), combined with the headlines of handset or lead cast headlines, including the adverting materials; then the whole thing was locked into place.

These forms were then lifted up into the printing presses, ready for the press run.

Print Shops back in the day would hire apprentices to learn the trade, from the bottom up. These young people soon became know as the printers’ devil.

This was because of the extremely hot and heavy work that would be bestowed on them. Printers’ devils were required to clean ink from the finished press forms, they had to disassemble the type and shovel the used lead strips into a melting pot.

Then, the cast for new lead pigs would be in and ready (cooling off) for the next day’s (or week’s) work.
The old journeymen printers came up with an initiation ritual for the young printers’ devil.

The galleys of lead strips (also called slugs) had to be delivered from the Linotype machines (which created them) onto the composing room.

This is where the compositors put together the pages of the newspapers, as described above.

When no one was looking, one of the sly old journeymen would loosen up the space between the lead slugs of type and proceed to slosh in some soapy water, then sneak off, appearing that he was continuing to get back to work.

Soon, he would then call the apprentice over and say, “Hey, have you ever seen type lice?”
Of course the printers’ devil was cautious at first, but then he was prompted by his older work mate to look just a little bit closer.

When the young fellow would say, “I don’t see
them!” The bait was set.

“Oh, you have to look real close to see them!”

Curiosity got the best of the unsuspecting novice and he would lean in close for a look. That is when the seasoned veteran would smack the end of the galley of type with a mallet, and the soapy water would shoot into the face of the poor Lad.

Needless to say, the printers’ devil wouldn’t be suckered in a second time and so the legend of type lice continued through the decades of hot metal printing.

19 Nov

Make money with Raffle Tickets

If your club or organization is considering a Raffle to raise money for your cause, Hucul Printing can print the tickets for you.

In preparation, there are several steps before the actual printing process which are necessary.

You need to apply for a Licence from the BC Government Gaming and Licensing Branch.

Go to https://www.gaming.gov.bc.ca/licences/ Licences for raffles are Categorized as Class A, B, C or D, depending on the gross revenue which will be realized.

Once you have received your gaming licence number, it will be necessary to have the following information printed on the tickets:

  • Name of organization and description of raffle
  • A list of prizes showing fair market value and if the prize was donated
  • Price of the tickets
  • Gaming licence number
  • Date and location the draw will be made
  • Consecutive numbers to be shown on the ticket stub and body
  • Number of tickets printed

photo (2)Check with the gaming regulations applicable to your licence class to be sure pertinent information is included.

A standard raffle ticket size would be 8.5″ wide x 2.5″ deep (configured so that 4 tickets are printed on a standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper).

It would have a stub on the left hand size approximately 2.5″ with a perforation, so that the main ticket body can be detached from the stub.

Other tickets sizes are also available.
The tickets can be printed on any paper and ink colour combination.

They are usually stapled in books of 10 to 25 with a hard chipboard backing, however, any number is possible, depending on the customer’s needs.

Email, or drop in to Hucul Printing to receive your raffle ticket quotation.

17 Sep

The Down Low on Digital Print

Not all print methods are the same.

Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run print jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using high-volume laser or inkjet printers and/or large format inkjet printers.

Digital printing has a higher cost per page than more traditional offset printing methods. Called print for pay, the suppliers of these devices earn their money from click charges which cover the service and consumables (toners) necessary to keep it running.

Digital_Printing_PressHowever, this price is normally offset by avoiding the cost of all the technical steps required to make printing plates, as in the traditional offset printing methods. It also allows for on-demand printing, short turnaround time and even a modification of the image (variable data) used for each impression.

The savings in labour and the ever-increasing capability of digital presses means that digital printing is reaching the point where it can match, or supersede, offset printing technology’s ability to produce larger print runs of several thousand sheets at a low price.

So What’s the Difference?

The greatest difference between digital printing and traditional methods such as offset lithography, flexography, gravure or letterpress is that there is no need to replace printing plates in digital printing.

In those traditional methods (analog printing) the plates are repeatedly replaced.
The benefits of digital printing are quicker turnaround times and lower cost on short to medium print runs.

The most popular methods of digital printing include inkjet or laser printers that deposit pigment or toner onto a wide variety of substrates including paper, photo paper, canvas, glass, metal, marble and other substances.

In many of the processes, the ink or toner, does not permeate the substrate, as does conventional ink. Instead it forms a thin layer on the surface that may be additionally adhered to the substrate by using a fuser fluid with heat process (toner), or UV curing process (ink). The various manufacturers of this equipment have developed methods specific to their design.

Digital and Hucul Printing

Hucul Printing utilizes both digital printing and traditional offset methods because both methods still have a place in our industry.

Ultimately, as our customer, you really only need to know that these methods exist and that we, as printing professionals, will recommend and use the method that best suits your specific needs.

Photo Credit: digital Printing Press by Coylegenec via Wikipedia
Featured image from Creative Pro
20 Aug

So What are Your Binding Options?

What kinds of bindings are suitable for your project?

Here is a run-down of the various types of bindings used for multiple page documents, booklet or books, which are common to the printing industry:

1. Saddle Stitching (Stapled Binding)

photo 3

Saddle Stitching

Booklets, magazines, catalogues and calendars can be bound with stapled bindings.

A heavy duty stitching machine creates wire staples (from a large spool of wire) to hold the pages together.
The machine drives the wire through the backbone fold of the piece to the centrefold where they clench tightly.

A saddle-stitched piece lies almost flat when opened and is the most convenient for readers.

A saddle-stiched document must be at least 8 pages… and increase in quantity, in four page increments.

This is a good binding method for documents of between 64 to 80 pages and on 60 to 78 lb. (or #)  paper stock.

If the document exceeds a thickness of approximately 3/8″ another type of binding would be more suitable.

2. Comb Binding (also known as Cerlox Binding or Surelox Binding)

photo 1

Left to right: Double Loop Metal, Plastic Spiral, Cerlox

This method of binding uses round plastic spines with 19 rings (for a standard letter sheet) and a hole punch which makes rectangular holes.

They can be used for various page sizes. Quite often, this binding is used for cook books and this type of binding has a printable surface on the spine, which is convenient for titling the book.

The comb binding is more vulnerable to damage than spiral binding, especially after repeated usage.

This kind of binding can bind pieces up to 3″ thick and they come in various colours.

3. Spiral Binding, or Plastikoil Binding

Spiral binding has become popular because of its ability to be doubled over, allowing the printed document to lay flat.

This is very convenient for technical manuals, notebooks, cookbooks and calendars.

Pages cannot be added to spiral bound pieces. The pages of the piece are punched with round holes and a special coil inserter winds the coil through the punched pages.

The cut ends of the plastic coil are then crimped, so the bindings don’t back out of the page.

Spiral binding is available in plastic of various sizes (1/4″ to 2″) and colours. It is possible to bind pages up to 24″ in length by this method.

4. Wire-O or Double Loop Binding

This is similar to spiral binding, in that the pages are punched at the spine. In this method, the holes are square punched, allowing for a double loop wire to be inserted.

All of the document pages lie flat when opened, and can easily turn through 360 degrees, while staying in perfect registration with adjoining pages.

Wire-O comes in standard colours and sizing is from 1/8″ thick to 1″ thick. They are durable and are used for reference books, reports, notebooks and calendars.

5. Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding (Top two), Cloth hard Cover (bottom)

Perfect Binding (Top two), Cloth Hard Cover (bottom)

A perfect bind is actually a glued binding. This is the type of binding you see on a standard, soft cover book, or paperback book .

The book’s page signatures are gathered in page sequence and clamped together in a Perfect Bind machine.

The machine slices off 1/8″ from the left edge (spine), while at the same time milling the edge, providing a rough surface in preparation for effective gluing.

The spine edge then receives an application of glue, while at the same time applying the wrap-around cover.

Minimum thickness for books with this type of binding is 1/8″ and is appropriate for various thicknesses and book sizes.

It is recommended that the book paper stock used is not thicker than 100# paper stock.
An excellent binding for books, thick magazines, annual reports, catalogues and manuals.

6. Case Binding or Hard Cover Binding

This binding is used mostly for book production.

This binding requires a minimum of 60 printed sheets, folded into 16 or 32 pages signatures, which are collated and sewn by machine.

These sewn pages are called the book block.

The hardback case is made by wrapping paper, cloth, lamination or leather around the case board and then glued onto the book block.

The spine can be rounded, flat and/or tight backed.

The look of the hard cover book is superior with the availability of leather, papers, and multiple fabrics that can be used to encase the book.

These materials coupled with the variety of specialty finishing techniques, such as embossing or foil stamping, gives the case bound book a professional, classic or artistic appearance.

The book can have a printed dust jacket as a finishing feature.

When planning a printing project which requires special binding, meet with us at Hucul Printing to discuss the options available.

11 Jun

Messages from the Past, Hucul Printing’s Rich History

Back in the Day . . .

Before Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type back in the 1400s, the handwritten manuscript was the method of recording and communicating information of the day.

Gutenberg came up with a process for mass-producing movable type which included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.

He also was the first to use oil-based ink and he invented a wooden screw-type printing press.

Photo: Metal movable type by Willi Heidelbach

Metal movable type by Willi Heidelbach

Gutenberg’s inventions were regarded as the introduction to the era of mass communication. This altered the course of history, which markedly improved literacy in the middle class.

From manually operated presses, to steam-driven and beyond, the printing industry flew ahead in leaps and bounds.

The Salmon Arm Observer saw its first Newspaper Issue roll off the Press in 1907.

At this time, newspaper articles and job printing layouts were handset into lines, paragraphs and pages, by painstakingly handpicking individual letters of foundry type from the type cases.

In the late 1920’s or early 1930’s, type was set by means of the Linotype, the invention which revolutionized the printing industry, making it possible to increase productivity many times over.

Photo: Cp1015 by Trimalchio

Cp1015 by Trimalchio

This machine, a Rube Goldberg wonder, transferred letters of type from special brass matrices to molds (lines of type) created from molten lead.

From that time until 1973, the Observer newspaper and commercial printing department were printed by the letterpress method. The newspaper was printed on a Goss Coxotype and the commercial printing was done on Heidelberg Platen, Holmes Vertical, Chandler and Price Platen presses.

Hucul Printing Ltd.’s founders, myself, Bernie Hucul, and brother, Gary Hucul, toiled as printers devils in an era of printing where lead melting pots, inky press forms and volatile press chemicals ruled the day.

At this time, the production method was switched over to Offset Printing.

Printers Devil sign by Richard Croft

Typeset was via a phototypesetting method, where keyboard operators typed on simple computerized machines which transferred type onto photosensitive paper.

The prints, now on strips of paper, were then pasted up onto master grid sheets which duplicated the newspaper page.

Photographs were processed into halftone prints and were added to the paste-up sheets, along with the advertizing setups.

Graphic art cameras then copied the newspaper pages onto negative film to facilitate a platemaking process, where the negative image was transfered to light sensitive aluminum press plates.

And of course, newspaper and print production, then saw desktop publishing come to the forefront with the introduction of personal computers.

In 1989, Hucul Printing Ltd. was formed when the brothers, Bernie and Gary Hucul purchased the commercial printing department of the Salmon Arm Observer from Cariboo Press.

The business then carried on using a combination of letterpress and offset printing methods.

Some of the old letterpress printing presses are still in use, but they are now taking a backseat to the Heidleberg and Hamada offset presses.

More recently, the company has added digital printing equipment, using toner-based inks, along with a large format inkjet printer, which are capable of printing in glorious full colour.


30 Apr

Which size of Canvas Print should I order?

Where will the Canvas be Hung?

Deciding on the size of a canvas mounted print for your home, or office, may be a little challenging, but we are here to help you!

Knowing where your canvas print will be displayed … whether it will end up at your business, or at your home, or someone else’s home or establishment…  will help determine the sizing.

Is the print meant to advertize a business or company brand?

Is it intended for decoration and personal enjoyment for yourself, or someone else?

Or will it be sold to a third buyer?

Sizing your Canvas

The pixel size of the file would also be an important factor in figuring out the physical print size, because not all files can support all canvas print sizes.

Do you know how much wall space is available for your project? Have you measured the available space and allowed for both height and width?

There are many creative ways to showcase your favourite prints, or photographs.

456801_10150894540848604_1237923262_oYou could opt to print 2 or 3 canvases with the same theme. These could be hung side by side, or one above the other, or even laid out diagonally. Perhaps your set of canvases could be parts or divisions of a single picture.

There are so many options available, and many variables will dictate the appropriate sizing and arrangements for your project.

Hucul Printing can provide the price for each size of print.

Here is a list of the most standard wall hanging sizes:

  • 8 x 8
  • 8 x 10
  • 8 x 12
  • 10 x 12
  • 12 x 12
  • 12 x 14
  • 12 x 16
  • 12 x 18
  • 16 x 16
  • 16 x 20
  • 16 x 24
  • 20 x 20
  • 20 x 24 
  • 20 x 30
  • 20 x 36
  • 20 x 40

We can help you to gain some insights when you come in and lay out your plans, explaining what your project needs are.

Between us, we will determine the perfect solution for your canvas project.