Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From glass eyes to colour-fast digital prints

07.06.2002


Top quality colour printing could be revolutionised thanks to the revival in Bristol of an old printing process once used to create, among other things, colour charts for selecting glass eyes. Art researchers from the University of the West of England have discovered a 21st century use for the process, known as collotype, which fell out of favour during the early 1900s. As an added bonus, new inks are being developed which unlike current computer colour printouts, won`t fade over time.



In the past, the process, which was slow and extremely labour intensive for printers, used gelatine-coated plates to create accurate reproductions of works of art, with all the subtle colour tones of the original. However staff from UWE`s Faculty of Art, Media and Design have revived the technique and found that it can be linked up with computerised printing technology to open up new vistas in accurate colour reproduction.

The findings of the UWE research have just been revealed in a paper given by Dr Paul Thirkell at an international conference in Leipzig, Germany.


"UWE is now a world authority in this technique, which was so nearly lost," said Steve Hoskins, director of UWE`s Centre for Fine Print Research. "This was the first international Collotype conference and enabled print experts from around the world to learn from our discoveries."

"Collotype was one of the first photomechanical printing methods to be developed during the mid-nineteenth century, and was a means of commercially reproducing some of the most exact facsimiles ever produced. Despite its unparalleled image and colour fidelity, the process relied heavily on the skill of highly trained printers to make it worthwhile.

"Collotype declined as printing techniques such as offset lithography and letterpress took over in the mid-twentieth century, although the last printer capable of the process did not close until the 1980s. This was Cotswold Collotype at Wotton-under-Edge, in Gloucestershire, which from the 1920s until the 1960s produced art posters for the home. Owned for a time by Brooke Bond, the works also printed cigarette cards and more quirkily, shade-charts for the NHS showing the subtle variations in the colours of glass eyes that were available."

As well as providing a faithful record of original artworks, the collotype process could also answer a growing need for permanent, archive-quality records. Already, digitally printed reproductions using synthetic inks have been found to fade and lack permanence. Further avenues for research include developing the special papers and inks required for collotype. None of the original ink manufacturers exists, but UWE researchers are working on developing suitable inks based on traditional ingredients such as pure pigment and linseed oil, in a final marrying of old and new technologies.

Julia Weston | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uwe.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>