Printed ephemera under the magnifying glass (2009)

This course will look at printed ephemera in several different ways, though the main objective for participants is to understand and be able to identify the techniques used in the production of such documents.

In addition to the craft processes of etching and engraving on copper, woodcut and wood-engraving, ink and crayon lithography and engraving on stone, we shall study engraving on steel, stereotyping, the electrotype process, transfer lithography, typo-lithography, different methods of colour printing (from relief blocks, the Congreve process, the Baxter process, chromolithography, chromotypography), and the application of photography to printing processes (with and without screens and on one or more colours).

We shall also consider the design of printed ephemera, and particularly the relationship between technique, form, and use.

At the end of each session we shall take a look at original documents of the 19th and 20th centuries (mainly French and English), including letterpress and lithographed posters, forms, billheads, sheet music covers, invitations, publicity of various kinds, calendars and labels.

The course will be taught in French, but discussion is possible both French and English.