For instance there is the Gevaert company. A Flemish maker of film paper and cameras eventually acquired my the German maker Agfa. I like their old logo for instance...
I came up with an idea that I could use this to make a block-cut pattern and print it using traditional block printing methods. I started out with the the triangle portion of the logo above as a trial. The problem I have is to translate this to the vector file require by RazorLab. I took my scanned image and cleaned up the raster version in Photoshop removing little stains and artifacts. I then took the cropped portion of the triangle and imported it into Inkscape.
There I used a clever little function called trace bitmap. This detects edges and creates a path for the edges that have nodes with bezier handles on them. There are lots of different 'layers' that have to be moved, selected and removed until I had the desired outlines.
Because the raster lines have lots of bumps on them there are lots of vectors. Fortunately there is a simplify function which attempts to remove redundant nodes. This works very well and the shape is retained. However there was the need to tweak the bezier handles on some of the nodes to straighten out and smooth unwanted kinks.
Next I deleted any extraneous materiel until I had just the desired outline. I copied and pasted this in to supplied template from RazorLabs. I used P1 which is the smallest piece of material at 181 mm x 181 mm (7.1" x 7.1"). I then followed there directions to make sure the cut path was colored pure blue, and had a line thickness of .01 mm. Blue test the machine to cut through. Other colors indicate different amounts of etching strength that can be used to mark the material.
|Finished vector drawing in template|
With this done I uploaded to my 'Factory' account. It checked to see it was Ok and then I had to wait. I could check up on progress and it was done in about 5 days and shipped back to me. I ordered this made on white mount-board 1.4mm thick. It should not be surprising but the white edges show signs of the burning and smoke stains from the laser. It also smells of burnt paper.
My next step was to make the printing block. I cut a 7.1 x 7.1" piece of 1/4" thick MDF for the substrate. It is important to make sure the whole logo was still in one piece like a jigsaw puzzle.
|The laser cut logo as a jigsaw puzzle. (Note burn and smoke marks)|
With the glue dried I removed the tape and the frame to reveal the printing block. The design is reversed as it will be correct once printed. I next used some clear polyurethane carefully applied over the MDF and mount-board pieces. The goal is to make it waterproof. I had already determined through my reading on print making to use water-based ink. This would make clean-up easy so I had to protect all this wood fiber. I used one coat but experience now says 2 coats or more.
|The glued pieces freed from the frame on their substrate making the printing block.|
|The inking setup.|
|Spoon applied impression|
|Clean-up with water marks.|
Later I purchased some good archival paper from J. Hewit and Sons in Scotland. They are my go-to shop for bookbinding supplies. Affordable and good reliable service. I made a series of prints with the Fabriano Ingress machine made paper with good result and example below. I mixed the cyan and magenta ink in a different ratio to attempt to get a purple/eggplant color.
After the printing session I washed the ink off but destroyed the block as enough water penetrated the laser cut card that it de-laminated. Another round of waterproofing was clearly necessary.
Just for grins I had also tried some latex emulsion house paint and got this predictably poor result.