Skip to the good stuff!


2013 Conference: Seeing Color/Printing Color articles:

Alan M. Levitt on American Currency: Three Hundred Years of Color Printing

Charles Cuykendall Carter

APHA Gold Certificate $20 polychrome 1905 (obv)

This 1905 $20 Gold Certificate (along with similar $10 and $50 designs) was authorized by Act of Congress in 1882. Reissued with minor modifications in 1906 and 1922, they remained in circulation until 1933.

Historical consultant Alan Levitt presented dozens of remarkable images, some quite beautiful, of printed American currency—colonial, state, federal, Confederate and private banknotes, and various payment certificates—to emphasize the historical importance of the use of color in deterring counterfeiting. [Read more]

Tour of King Displays

Martha Chiplis


Kenn Lubin of King Displays with some die cutting leftovers.

On Friday, October 18, Kenn Lubin, head of operations and sales of King Displays, led an interested group of APHA members on a tour. Located a block from the Neil Simon Theater in Manhattan, the printing company has been around since 1938, when it began creating signs for burlesque shows. Over time the business grew, taking on movie work, Broadway scrims, and eventually producing 98% of the signs on Broadway. [Read more]

Tour of Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Ann Frenkel and Gwido Zlatkes


From Naughty Girl’s and Boy’s Magic Transformations (McLoughlin Brothers, ca. 1880).

On the Friday afternoon before the conference started, there was a special treat prepared by Jane Rodgers Siegel, Columbia University’s Librarian for Rare Books (and also one of the conference presenters). In the Rare Book & Manuscript Library on the sixth floor of Columbia’s Butler Library she laid out examples of books encapsulating the history of color printing from the fifteenth through the early twentieth centuries, and illustrating topics from many of the conference presentations. [Read more]

Tour of Ribuoli Digital

Paul Romaine


CMYK+W print heads for the large format WireJet printer. (Removed from printer carriage for cleaning)

On Sunday after the conference, a group of nearly twenty people visited Ribuoli Digital a fine art digital and traditional print and fabrication studio for artists and photographers located in the far west of Chelsea. Proprietors Andre Ribuoli and Jennifer Mahlman-Ribuoli showed prints and machines for reproducing artwork and creating new artwork. Ribuoli started doing their own artwork and have since begun working as jobbers for other artists (some quite well-known). [Read more]

Gabriella Miyares on Worlds, Dot by Dot: Four-Color Process in the Age of Pulp Comics

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

Extreme halftone close-up from John Hilgart's Four Color Process Blog.

Extreme halftone close-up from John Hilgart’s Four Color Process Blog.

Twenty-first century comic book aficionados have a feast of media choices at their disposal: glossy offset-printed comics on bright white paper, special wrappers, and even digital distribution through vendors like comiXology. So why would they even deign to taint their eyes by reading off-register comics with low resolution and limited tonal range halftone screens on dingy newsprint? [Read more]

Nick Sherman on William Page’s Magnum Opus of Multi-Color Typeface Design

Jane Rodgers Siegel


Everyone loves the Page chromatic type specimen (1874), but it seems that no one loves it more than Nick Sherman, a digital type guy by day, who shared some of the discoveries he’s made while obsessing about the book. Sherman’s images of specimen pages, bringing oohs and ahhs from the audience, prompted him to admit that turning each page is “like getting punched in the face over and over.” [Read more]

Laura Wasowicz on the McLoughlin Brothers: Innovators of the 19th Century Picture Book

James P. Ascher


Early McLoughlin chromolithographed Cinderella

Building on continued research into the history of children’s books and illustration, as well as her recent blog post, Laura Wasowicz presented her paper “McLoughlin Brothers: Innovators of the Nineteenth-Century Picture Book” using the illustration history of Cinderella as a case study to demonstrate the changes in the technology of color illustration and the consumption of children’s literature. [Read more]