Exceptional printer? Submit your best printers; environmental / green printers, letterpress, offset, digital printing, etc.

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EIleen's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007 - 1:47pm
Exceptional printer? Submit your best printers; environmental / green printers, letterpress, offset, digital printing, etc.
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In light of these two recent threads:

http://typophile.com/node/36940
http://typophile.com/node/37356

I think it would be enormously helpful to have an open thread where experienced typographers and graphic designers list their best printers. Personally, I need more environmentally friendly printing resources, but even more, I want to support small artisan printers, true craftsmen, that do great work (William Morris would be proud, huh?) I don't have a big, slick printer I *love* in my virtual roledex, either.

I, for one, would like to give a shout out to Black Pearl Press.

Anyone else have a printer they count on to do extraordinary work? Links would be great ... locations can be anywhere.

Thanks,
Eileen
Eileen Burke Graphic Design

Jason Duerr's picture
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007 - 2:07am
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A popular topic as of late...

Pinball Publishing in Portland, OR is awesome. They work with soy inks and have lots of recycled paper options. Their work is really, really good and their prices even better.

Alaskan's picture
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Gerald Lange's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
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Realistically, green advertising/promotion is just hype. And converting to green is all about money. Corporations that have been raping the plantet for years are paying services to make them appear as if they are green. Seen a car commercial on TV lately?

Printing is not green; it is one of the most wasteful industrial processes there is. Soy!!! They are cutting down the Amazon Rain Forest (the lungs of the planet) to grow soy. Soy inks are "aggressive" to ink rollers, resulting in their early replacement. Come on folks. Care about the Earth, not about what it is hip to care about. Do some research before jumping on the band wagon.

Gerald

Max Ackermann's picture
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Joined: 2 Mar 2006 - 10:54am
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Hi Gerald, interesting comment. What in your opinion actually makes a difference when it comes to green printing? Does paper choice matter? Or anything else?

Many thanks!

max

EIleen's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007 - 1:47pm
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I've done a great deal of research on the topic. While Gerald makes a valid point about many, many corporations, I know there are truly green options available for printing.

UV Curable Inks are the most environmental option, soy clearly isn't a sustainable choice. Water based UV curable inks produce no VOC's (which about 99% of all other inks produce) which have been proven to accelerate climate change AND bring harm to human health.

UV Curable inks are widely available in Europe, but harder to find in the US. (BTW, the link that Alaskan posted above is a printer that offers them.)

The best paper option is TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) but it's real hard to find in the US. Dioxin is a by-product of chlorine bleaching, and it's an evil toxin that kills flora, fauna and humans. (It's the chemical that almost killed President Viktor Yushchenko during an assassination attempt.) Chlorine bleaching also uses copious amounts of water.

As far as other substrates, stay away from PVC. When PVC is discarded, burning it produces nasty chemicals into the environment.

Eileen

Gerald Lange's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
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max

Interesting question. Paper has been fairly okay for quite some long time, ever since the paper mills discovered that acid-free papers were cheaper to produce in the long run. Acid ate the pipes. The ink manufacturers comply with federal guidelines and respond to consumer demand (not always so good, re: soy). Solvent manufacturers are really on top of it and have discontinued useful products and substituted green crap that actually destroys rollers and presses. So, basically, you get what you want and are willing to pay for, for better or worse.

What about the printer? Hey, folks who claim they are green just to get your green, come on. What ever happened to folks who would guarantee you quality printing?

Gerald

The Bieler Press
http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

Carl Crossgrove's picture
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Joined: 8 Sep 2003 - 2:07pm
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I am not prepared or willing to recommend any printer because of how "green" they are. I share Gerald's skepticism about the current bandwagon everyone seems mad to jump on; I'm sure you've heard the term "greenwashing".... I'm past the idealistic stage (my 20's) where everything had to be ideologically pure. Give me real green solutions, like riding a bicycle, or not printing anything in the first place.... ;)

However I have a local printer who has a fantastic range of processes he offers. From Intaglio etching to letterpress (large old cast-iron standing press), to offset, puff ink, screen print, vinyl plotting, he's very interested and capable. Very pleasant to work with and his dogs are adorable to boot. But Eileen, you give absolutely no clue where you are, so I'm not sure if this printer is for you.... Why do you ask? In any case, it's John Sullivan at Logos Graphics in San Francisco. To locals, I recommend him heartily; he likes working with artists and designers.

Aric Bills's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2007 - 7:29pm
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Eileen, thanks for the informative post. While I'm sure Gerald is right about the impure motives of many businesses, I still see wisdom in researching the most ecologically friendly approaches to printing and supporting them.

Gerald Lange's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
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I've not met John Sullivan but I do know somewhat of his efforts and activities and would back that recommendation.

Gerald

Max Ackermann's picture
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Joined: 2 Mar 2006 - 10:54am
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Thanks for the insights, Gerald. Will think about this before the next print job and also tell my students about it.

Max

Gerald Lange's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
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Max

As always, take it with a grain of salt.

Gerald

EIleen's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007 - 1:47pm
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I share Gerald's cynicism of many corporations who wear the cloak of environmentalism. Especially companies like Wal-Mart who are marketing "reduced packaging" like mad. Truth is this -- very soon they'll be responsible for paying the associated collecting, sorting, transportation and recycling costs for all the useless product packaging they dump into the world. It's already required of manufacturing companies in many other countries, so they're being forced to change by the EU and Japan.

BUT...

As a member of the human race (earth's worst abuser) I feel obligated not to give up the search for better options. Solvents aren't needed to make gorgeous, unforgettable prints, and bleached paper isn't "okay" at all. Light-Works offers solvent free inks, Bioflex and other green substrates, AND won 1st place digital print award from SGIA last year. Quality and environmentalism can go together. Many printers do actually care about the environment and invest accordingly.

In short, just because many green efforts are full of crap, we shouldn't stop looking for printers that do the hard work of offering genuine alternatives. I do my part by voting with dollars.