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 One Step Ahead: Adaptive Radar Systems for Smart Driver Assistance
20.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik FHR

nachricht Enjoying virtual-reality-entertainment without headache or motion sickness
19.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Astrophysicists measure precise rotation pattern of sun-like stars for the first time

21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells

21.09.2018 | Life Sciences

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>