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Re: What's "Fine Press"

At 12:07 PM 4/4/01, you wrote:
>I thought this was a very interesting thread.
>There is a strongly held opinion that the only form of printing which can be
>called "fine" in any way is letterpress. However, having seen many examples
>of poor letterpress printing, I'm more inclined to the view that a Fine
>Press is fine in its aims intentions rather than its methods. To illustrate
>the point,, the Fine Press Book Association is holding an exhibition of its
>members' books entitled Bound To Please at the Portico Library & Gallery in
>Manchester, UK. It includes works from 25 fine presses. The techniques used
>include, lithography, letterpress and laser. All the presses are "fine" in
>that they aim to produce the best possible print, no matter how it is

I do not do letterpress, or any of its cousins, because my focus is on the
production of artful, pleasing book designs for a very limited readership,
mainly poets and their friends.  I find that the only feasible avenues are
desk-top publishing, using ink-jet and laser printers, or desk-top to local
job-shop, which used to be photo-offset, but which is now more often than
not direct-to-plate digital offset.

I like the idea of impressed forms on paper, and will no doubt produce some
work this way, perhaps by lino or other classic artists media.  I also like
the idea of deeply impressed letters, but this is not a practical way to
produce a short run book on a limited budget.  I do not wish to limit
myself to a clientele of such large means.

So, in my view, with respect to my own situation, fine press does not mean
letterpress only.  Any means of producing an image on a page may be fine
press, if it is carefully carried out.


Gavin Stairs
Gavin Stairs Fine Editions
1A - 921 College Street
Toronto, Ontario  M6H 1A1

Gavin Stairs Fine Editions is a small, desktop press specializing in fine,
hand-made books and poetry.

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