Friday, March 12, 2010

1960 Topps Al Kaline


So I picked this nice little card up off ebay this past week. Fantastic condition, I think I paid around $25 for it, which was a steal for me. But when it arrived I noticed something odd about it.


There are little red marks in the upper left corner that I know from my experience in printing are a flaw from the pre-press cutting a mask for the red background. Is this common with this card, or was this an error that was corrected later in the run? It's not enough to bother me in the slightest, but as someone who has cut enough background masks in my day I'm really curious if this is how all the '60 Kaline cards are. Are there other cards like this in the set?

Back in the old days you would cut a window out of a vinyl mask for each image to appear on the printed piece. On anything that formed a corner, if you extended the mask too far out your exacto blade would leave a tiny cut line like the one seen in the pic above. Now it's all done on the Mac. No cut marks. The process used to be called four-color stripping (four colors because that's how many inks are used, and stripping because in the real old days you used to strip the emulsion off the film before you burned printing plates), and yours truly was a stripper for many years.....

Knowing that I know what this is is actually pretty cool.....next time I'll give a little lesson in trapping.....

2 comments:

MattR said...

My 1960 Kaline doesn't have those marks.

deal said...

you may want to check the Bob Lemke Blog. He is particularly interested in print variations and my have some thoughts.

http://boblemke.blogspot.com/