Wolgang & Holger are exploring an old analog printing technique called the collotype and they aim to revive a working print press with improvements to research its printing applications. Traditional methods are always succeeded by newer technology which promises more efficient, convenient, accessible, and cheaper alternatives–which has been attributed to the death of the collotype. However, it is also prudent to preserve the roots and present the history of technology to educate our future generations.
The Collotype printing process is a 150 years old technique which was invented specifically to reproduce photographs. This technique is superior in terms of fine detail and nuance, hence it is suitable for use in fine art printing. Collotype is also known for its unique ability to reproduce halftone originals (either a photo or a drawing) without using a screen. The life-span of a collotype print can last at least 100 years. Although the collotype method is an old printing process, the output quality is superior to even modern printing. “If you compare collotype with today’s digital print, you compare a concert grand piano with a keyboard,” is an analogy in the Kickstarter description page.
The Kickstarter project shall acquire a collotype print press which was originally made in 1897 and fully restored by Manroland. The machine is weighing 6 tonnes and will be moved to the designated workshop location where the repair and revival process are to be performed to ensure the machine is in functional condition. There are also plans to further improve and reinvent the collotype technique by incorporating some modern technology. If this Kickstarter project succeeds, not only will there be an operational 120 years old printer, it is also a newly improved version of analog printing in modern times.
You may check out the collotype printing Kickstarter page here.