#93 Work & Turn

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#93 Work & Turn
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“Work & Turn” is a term used by printers to print both sides of a sheet of paper with just one plate & one press set-up.

Find a complete list of printing terms at wcbs4printing.com. For more information about this outstanding full-service printer, see the “chaz sez” column  below.

What is “work & turn”?

In the case of a two-sided flyer, the work & turn job’s plate & paper will be large enough to contain two full flyers. The plate is set up to print both the front & back images of the flyer in just one pass. The printed work & turn sheet will look like the AmperArt Work & Turn art, above, containing two full flyers where the front side is adjacent to the back side.*

Then then the paper is flipped end-for-end (after the ink is dry) so the printed side is down and the blank side is up, & then printed again with the same plate. In this way, the front of each flyer will contain the opposite image on the back. (It’s important to flip the paper the right way, or each flyer could contain two “front” sides or two “back” sides. Yes, I’ve made that mistake.)

The sheets are then cut apart in the center to make two finished items, like this—each work & turn flyer will have a front & a back side:

front & back of a work & turn job

Although one plate could be used for a 1-color work & turn job, several plates would be required for full-color printing such as shown in the AmperArt Work & Turn artwork. Still, only one press set-up is required with only one set of plates, not a separate set for front & back. The paper is passed through, flipped, & passed through again.

*Technical note: The Amperart Work & Turn image would actually be printed full-bleed (not shown in the AmperArt Work & Turn piece), then trimmed on all four sides as well as in half. But full bleed is another discussion. “Bleed,” “work & turn,” and other printing jargon is explained in a comprehensive glossary page at wcbs4printing.com. For more information about this outstanding printer, keep reading…

chaz sez ...

Here’s a real coincidence: I searched Google for “work & turn” to find a simple definition which I could modify for my readers. The page I was lead to is wcbs4printing.com printing terms, an excellent list of printing terms provided by a full-service printer in Palm Desert—just a few towns over from me! Of the thousands of printers all over the world, I find this to be quite a coincidence…like an invitation for a short drive to take in the wonderful smell of ink & hear the roar of the presses.

The full list of services & outstanding testimonials have enticed me to ask wcbs4printing.com for a quote on an upcoming print job. And when a client needs custom-printed bags, badge holders, bookmarks, luggage straps & tags, magnets, mugs, name badges, passport wallets, pens or post-it notes…
their specialty division, wcbs4LogoProducts.com, handles all those items.

Small world. Or as the TV soap goes, As the World Work & Turns.

Production notes for #93 Work & Turn:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Rockwell, Bodoni, DIN Schrift
Ampersand: DIN Schrift, modified

Related article in the Printing & Publishing series:
#63 Upper & Lowercase

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#63 Upper & Lowercase (do you know which “case” this refers to?)

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#63 Upper & Lowercase
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

UPPER & lowercase, as in cap­i­tal and “small” let­ters, are called upper & lowercase for a reason. It’s not because they are taller & shorter.

Upper & Lowercase job cases.The terms “upper” & “lowercase” orig­i­nated in the early days of hand-​​set type where each char­ac­ter was cast on a sep­a­rate piece of metal and stored in shal­low draw­ers known as job cases. Fre­quently there were two cases (draw­ers) for each font, one placed on top of the other while com­posit­ing type. The upper case con­tained the majus­cules. The lower case con­tained the minuscules (these are the proper terms, though not heard much anymore).

This illus­tra­tion has the cases reversed — low­er­case is on top — to clearly show the var­i­ous sizes of indi­vid­ual com­part­ments needed to accom­mo­date the quan­tity of each low­er­case let­ter used for the aver­age com­po­si­tion. (The upper­case com­part­ments are all the same size.) There are more e‘s used in the Eng­lish lan­guage than any other let­ter, hence e is stored in the largest section.

Our friend the amper­sand is stored in the upper case (bot­tom in this illus­tra­tion), near the lower right cor­ner: bot­tom row & sec­ond box in—see it?

Proofreaders’ marks

The red lines and dots in AmperArt #63 Upper & Lowercase are proofreaders’ marks. Although today’s manuscripts are proofread and edited with highlights, tags and “sticky tag” callouts—or just edited directly in the word processing or page layout program—there’s nothing quite like proofing a hard copy printed page—you know, paper, not pixels. That’s usually where the last elusive typo will be discovered. Proofing hard copy is done best with a red pen and a set of good old-fashioned proofreaders’ marks. Here’s a rather complete list:

Upper & Lowercase & many more proofreaders' symbols.


Upper & LowercaseCan you figure out what the red marks in #63 Upper & Lowercase mean?
Note: the design shows the final result after the revisions were carried out.
1. Close up (pull letters tighter together).
2. Make this a capital (upper case) letter.
3. “Stet”—let stand, ignore changes, revert to original.
4. Change to lowercase.

Online reference from Edit Fast, a service for writers: online proofreaders’ marks chart.

Triva: See where it says “insert lead” and ”take out lead”? Most writers and designers today know that “leading” is the term for space between lines of type. But why is it called “leading”? When type was set by hand (or even by machine, but still cast line-by-line) space was increased between the lines by inserting a flat strip of lead which varied from 1/4 point in thickness up to 12 points or more. Beyond stacking several strips of lead for a very large blank space, blocks of wood were frequently used. These strips really were made of lead, which is why many compositors ended up with cancer.

Upper & Lowercase & all sorts of other edits!

Uh-oh. The red pen.

This is how messy a page can get if an amateur writer is being redlined by a professional editor. This photo shows a galley proof, so some of the proofreader’s marks might also indicate typesetter’s errors (typos) and artistic adjustments.

This image was “borrowed” from a wonderfully entertaining story on how copy editing used to be. Read it here. Written by a London editor, the term you’ll be reading is “sub-editing” or “subbing,” not copy editing as we call it in the States. Fiona Cullinan’s memoirs of the days of when copy & paste meant razor blades and rubber cement are pure joy. Brings me back to the days of real galley proofs & the “reproduction computer.” Thanks, Fiona.

Image © Periodical Training Council training material.


Commas, dashes, upper & lowercase, syntax, spelling, &c.

The Frugal Editor

If you’re a writer on a budget—or if you’re just a compulsive DIYer—you can proof and edit, yourself, with a fantastic, thorough guide on self-editing, The Frugal Editor, by Carolyn Howard Johnson. I highly recommend this valuable & frugal investment; see a few pages on amazon.com.

The Frugal Book Promoter

Once you edit your book, you might want to sell it—right? Carolyn’s flagship book in the Frugal series is The Frugal Book Promoter. See it here. This book is the most comprehensive guide on self-promoting (or with inexpensive help of others) I’ve ever read. Just the one statement “start promoting your book now, even if it’s not published yet, even if it’s not written yet!” is worth the price.

Yes, I designed the covers (you’ll see that if you visit the amazon links) but I was passionate about the project because both books are incredibly thorough & helpful, written by a brilliant & delightful author & publisher.


 listen up!Print shop was my favorite class in junior & senior high. I printed my own business cards, greeting cards, & flyers (which I kept preciously safe in a storage facility for over 50 years, intending to share my childhood creations with you in an article like this…until they were all auctioned off Feb. 8, 2014 and are now in a trash heap somewhere along with thousands of other bits & pieces of my life, career, artwork—& my soul). My desk is a mess right now—pens, markers, papers & books are everywhere* & I guess I’ve had the same bad habit of not putting things away since my early years. You see, the type that I set my flyers & such with in print shop should have been called not upper case & lowercase, but “floor case.” Because I pied (printers’ term for spilled) more type than I set, and never went back to pick it up off the floor. I just pulled more type out of the cases. My poor print shop instructor!

*But all my Crayolas are in the box where they belong.

Production notes for #63 Upper & Lowercase:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: InDesign
Fonts: Garamond, Franklin
Ampersand: Franklin
Credits for #63 Upper & Lowercase:
Job cases: Unknown
Proofreaders’ marks: Pearson Higher Education (pearsonhighered.com)
Mark-up page: Fiona Cullinan, designersinsights.com © Periodical Training Council training material.
Cover of The Frugal Editor: I designed it—see the book here.

Related article in the Printing & Publishing series:
#93 Work & Turn

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#74 Creak & Quake

AmperArt 74 Creak & Quake

Click to view full size  without watermark & download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing & framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Greetings, mortals.

This morbid installment of my AmperArt series could have been entitled “Crypt Doors & Tombstones” but I chose the just-as-eerie verbs over the nouns “Creak & Quake.” These words are all from the first stanza of Grim Grinning Ghosts, the theme song permeating Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion. 

Truth be told, I’m still only 99% sure that the song starts with 

“When the crypt doors creak & the tombstones quake…” or
“When the crypt goes creak & the tombstones quake…”

Why? Because after visiting several websites to make sure I got the lyrics right (even though I’ve heard the song hundreds of times, it’s not embedded into the skull like “It’s a Small World”) there were discrepancies. The first site which sounded like an official lyrics site is what threw me off: It read “…goes creak” which was surprising, as I’ve always heard, so I thought, “When the crypt doors creak…” The original songwriters—Buddy Baker, melody, and lyrics by Xavier “X” Atencio, the Disney legend—were listed, along with dates and other information.  So I figured that was what they wrote, and everyone just adapted what they thought they heard. 

Until I visited a few more sites. Everywhere else the song goes “…doors creak…” which sounds so much better; is part of the Disney fans’ venacular; and what I chose to use in my piece of artwork. (It’s probably the correct choice.)

William Shakespeare & his poem, Venus & Adonis, influenced the title of the Haunted Mansion’s theme song:

Look, how the world’s poor people are amaz’d
At apparitions, signs, and prodigies,
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gaz’d,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies;

So she at these sad sighs draws up her breath,
And, sighing it again, exclaims on Death.
‘Hard-favour’d tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love,’—thus chides she Death,—
Grim-grinning ghost, earth’s worm, what dost thou mean
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath,

Who when he liv’d, his breath and beauty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?

The tombstone and graveyard in this piece really do exist: The Granary Cemetery, Boston, Mass. Well, almost. The top and borders of the tombstone are authentic (except for the iconic “D” under the skull); I elongated the entire monument and replaced the somber inscription with silly lyrics. So much for reverence. I wish to give credit to an incredible photographer, whose image I came across on the Internet and used as reference for this piece. Her name is Della Huff. Her photography is spectacular. See it at http://dellahuffphoto.zenfolio.com/ I had no idea such morbid tombstones actually existed. The graveyard, though heavily distorted by my twisted mind, is among many wonderful photographs I found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbdezines/sets/72157607857008082/

listen up!

As much as I detest innacuracy (why can’t others do a little research like I did, even though it took longer than the artwork?) it led me to several interesting haunts:

I discovered alternate, highly entertaining versions of Grim Grinning Ghosts; a great video for the kids (and the grown-up kids); and of course it was hauntingly wonderful to hear the original soundtrack again (where I could swear they enunciate “doors”). Here are those sites:

Turn off the lights and turn up the sound:

Entertaining a capella from VoicePlay:

Here’s the original soundtrack followed by a cool alternate version (which seems to have been produced by James Presley) and some of the beginning and ending narrative:

The kids will enjoy this singalong video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eavo08IXduQ (I like it very much myself.)

And something really entertaining — spooky at first with organ and choir, then wildly zany with unique voices, and all sorts of other sounds…produced by James Presley:

Production notes:
Original size: 10×15 inches
Program: Photoshop, Illustrator (for the dingbats)
Fonts: Willow, Eccentric, Harrington
Ampersand: Harrington (line shadow added)
Tombstone & graveyard  reference: Granary Cemetery, Boston, Massachussetts, USA

Della Huff is the photographer whose tombstone photo was used for reference and sampling by the artist. See her spectacular fine art photography at http://dellahuffphoto.zenfolio.com/  Della’s original photo that made this AmperArt piece possible:
Graveyard background: mbdezines Image modified so extensively it does not resemble the original photograph…but the background would  not be “authentic” without this photographer’s contribution.
Artist discovered that crypts do have doors at:
Music and lyrics sites visited for reference:

H u r r y  b a c k . . .