Monday, 1 February 2010

attention to detail

image found on tumblr


Let me just preface this post by saying that I don't treat letterpress like it's a religion. Also, it's really none of my business when I come across a site or blog that mentions letterpress and uses associated terms incorrectly. I leave whichever site it was and write my thoughts on the matter in my own space.

Onto the point.

It's maddening that some people don't know the difference between "stationery" and "stationary". Sure, it's a common mistake. But merchants who offer paper goods or letterpress wares and use the term "stationary" to describe their products is kind of embarrassing.

While I'm at it, there's the frequent confusion around debossing and embossing. Those who interchange the two words, can stop now. Debossing is when an image is pushed below the level of the paper, creating a lowered area. Embossing is the opposite, the image is pushed above, creating a raised area. This may be considered nit-picking on my part by even talking about the issue, but wouldn't you want your printer to know the difference?

Okay, one more.

Letterpress is not a verb. Cardstock is printed with a letterpress or with a hand-press. When I see or hear "letterpressed" or "letterpressing" I just have to go to my happy place.

An excerpt taken from Briar Press written by a member whom I share similar thoughts with:
"...we are more than willing to share our years of experience with the newbies. After all we would like someone to carry on our trade customs and traditions dating back to the days of Gutenberg, Faust, Caslon, and others. But it would be nice for the newbie to read a few books, check out the many websites on letterpress printing, visit a letterpress shop in your area…and take an initiative to learn the terminology and practices used in the trade... “Letterpressing’” and the use of “printer” instead of “press” is an indication of the writer’s lack of study of the trade. Again, us old timers are more than glad to share our knowledge and expertise, but it would be nice if the beginners would take the first step."
NB: It seems that some have taken this post and my hang ups personally. For those of you who didn't, thank you for the comments and emails.

8 comments:

Jane Flanagan said...

Oh no, I think I'm guilty of misusing "letterpressed". Sincere apologies. Consider me schooled!

Jane Flanagan said...

Phew - I just did a word search on my blog and could find no offending instances. Hopefully I was wrong about being wrong!

snap + tumble said...

Jane, you made me smile with the immediate call to action of the word search your blog :) No apologies needed. It's really the stationers that I shake my head at who make the offense.

Daniella said...

Lol... so funny you mentioned this! I was on a greeting card site today and they called it "stationary"! How can you be in the business and not know that?

snap + tumble said...

Daniella, I ask myself the same question. Truth is, the offenders I've come across, dabble in stationery so it's not their focus. But still, right?

Michelle Ellen said...

Ah, you might enjoy my friend's post here: http://spintheidea.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/4/type-a-personalities-typography-and-typos-why-spelling-makes.html

I am guilty of using "letterpress" as a verb, but I actually do that with as many nouns as I can. I facebook photos (aka I post a photo on facebook), I BBM my friends (aka I pin my friends using Blackberry Messenger) and I wikipedia celebrities (aka I look up celebrity information using Wikipedia)... at least I can admit it! :P

snap + tumble said...

Michelle - I get what you're saying.
And yes, at least you can admit it. We're all friends, here! :)

I read the article you sent, thank you for that. Some priceless lines in there had me ROFL. I guess I'm not the only one who has too much time on their hands to be picky.

alexandria said...

I'm so grateful you wrote your thoughts on this. Thank you!

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