Digital, analogue, digital

It’s called a linen tester...

They were made for the textile industry and repurposed by designers and printers for checking proofs and print. I have a newer one but I reach for this, my late Dad’s, because it’s good, and true, and it has the heft of a proper piece of engineering.

What place, this, in a digital world where much of the technical work of graphic design is on screen?

Well, it’s been used on proofing day for a book. We had seen PDF proofs. The print is digital. But a book is a tactile thing. Materials can be unpredictable. It’s important for my clients to see how print will look and feel. So when I can, I ask for a printed proof. And if I’m not sure of an edge, or the ‘fit’ of printing colours, I take a closer look – which is where my linen tester comes in.

It's part of production. But it also speaks of time: digital to analogue to digital; skills handed down. And as will be revealed when it launches, that’s particularly appropriate for this book.