Los Angeles InDesign User Group

Regular Meeting


The Old and the New: InDesign for Letterpress


Thursday, September 19, 2019

7-10 p.m.

Campus Center, Fireside Room

Los Angeles Valley College, 5800 Fulton Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91401



The printing press and moveable type, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th Century, brought a revolution in the mass distribution of the printed word, and literacy among common people. Over time, modern lithographic offset printing supplanted the technology, and letterpress became a dying art.


In recent years, letterpress has experienced a resurgence in popularity as artisan printers and designers collaborate to create individual, short-run pieces that reveal more tactile and expressive printed material than possible with commercial offset or digital printing.


When studying graphic design at Otis College of Art and Design in the early 1980s, Rebecca Chamlee was introduced to letterpress printing, book binding and artists’ books. She was also an early adopter of the Mac and software applications as a young freelance graphic designer. As a full-time book artist today, she utilizes Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to design and create imagery for her letterpress printed, hand-bound book editions.


In this talk, Rebecca will show how she uses modern software for the layout and planning of her books, made with hand-set type in the tradition of Gutenberg, alongside digitally produced photopolymer plates for images; a perfect intersection of old and new technology.


Topics include:


  • Layout in InDesign with letterpress in mind
  • Soft-proofing multiple-color images
  • File preparation for photopolymer plates
  • From computer to press-bed
  • Things to remember when designing for letterpress


About the Presenter


Rebecca Chamlee is a book artist, printer, writer, and bookbinder who has published innovatively designed, letterpress printed, limited-edition fine press, and artist’s books under the imprint of Pie In The Sky Press since 1986. Her work is in prominent special and private collections throughout the U.S. and has been exhibited widely.


As a self-taught naturalist, Rebecca’s artist’s books examine the intersection of her artistic and scientific interests by collecting and cataloging the natural world. Rebecca is an associate professor at Otis College of Art and Design where she teaches bookbinding, letterpress printing, and artist’s book classes and heads the Book Arts minor program. She also holds workshops at her studio and book arts centers throughout the country.



Directions and Free Parking


Getting to Valley College

Los Angeles Valley College is located in Van Nuys. Some maps and directions say Valley Glen, but it's really Van Nuys. By car, it's east of the 405, north of the 101, west of the 170 and south of the 118. It is served by Metro bus lines 154, 156, 167, 656, as well as the Metro Rail Orange and Red lines.


Getting to the Parking Structure

There is only one parking structure on campus. The campus is bordered on the north by Oxnard Street. Turn into the campus from Oxnard onto Ethel Street. You will be going south. The parking structure is on your right. You can park free on the second, third or fourth floors of the parking structure. Do not park on the first floor.


Getting to the Campus Center Building

The two-story Campus Center is southwest of the parking structure. If you exit the parking structure to the south you will be on Hatteras Street. Hatteras dead ends into the Campus Center. There is no entrance from Hatteras directly into the Campus Center. Go to the left of the Campus Center and enter it from the south. Do not go to the right to try and enter the building as it's complicated.


Getting to the Fireside Room

If you enter the Campus Center through its south entrance, the Fireside Room is on the left as soon as you enter the building. It is on the first floor. If you enter the building through the front, be aware that the Campus Center has two front entrances. The one on the left says Campus Center. But the one on the right says Monarch Hall. Enter through the Monarch Hall entrance and follow the hallway to the south side of the building to the Fireside Room.


If you get lost

Ask someone to direct you to the Parking Structure or to the Campus Center Building. Don't ask where the Fireside Room is. Few people will know.



Farthest Attendee


The bona fide LAIDUG member who travels the farthest specifically to attend the meeting will receive her or his choice of any one deal at MightyDeals up to $50.00. Mighty Deals offers fonts, templates, apps, e-books, etc. You  need to prove to us that you traveled farthest to attend this meeting. Having recently moved to the area from somewhere else won't cut it. Be prepared to show us indication of your current residence—perhaps a driver's license or a utility bill. Decision of the administrators of the Los Angeles InDesign User Group is final.





LAIDUG is supported by raffles of donated prizes. No one is required to participate in the raffles. Raffle tickets are: 1 for $3, 2 for $5, 5 for $10, 11 for $20, 24 for $40, 32 for $50 and 65 for $100. All major credit cards are accepted.



Raffle Prizes


GoProof from Oppolis Software. 3 month subscription for 2 users. Value $300.00

Proofing add-on for Adobe Creative Cloud. Version history tracks what has been changed and by whom.


Markzware. Any single product. 12 month subscription. Value $199.00

Choose one from the list below:

Q2ID (Quark to InDesign), Convert and open QuarkXPress files in InDesign.

PDF2DTP (PDF to InDesign), Convert PDF files to InDesign.

ID2Q (InDesign to Quark), Convert and open InDesign documents in QuarkXPress.

MT (Markzware), Convert InDesign documents to IDML files readable by InDesign CS4 through CC 2017.

FC (FlightCheck), Check native and PDF files for printing quality.


Expo Creative Asset Manager for Mac from Insider Software. Value $149.00

Digital asset manager that allows you to view, tag, search and manage images, icons, fonts, audio, video, app documents.


Suitcase Fusion 8 from Extensis. 12 month subscription. Value $119.95.

Font management program that allows you to organize your fonts from one plane—including system fonts, purchased fonts, fonts synced from Adobe Typekit, Google fonts, etc.


Font Agent Pro from Insider Software. Value $99.95

Font management that allows you to organize, distribute and control your fonts.


InMotion Hosting. Web hosting and free domain. Value $90.00

Web hosting company.


DTP Tools Cloud for InDesign. 6 month subscription. Value $77.40

Suite of 14 different InDesign productivity tools.


Multi-Find/Change 3.0 from Automatication. Value $49.95

Extension for InDesign and InCopy that allows you to manage and execute Find/Change queries in batches rather than one at a time.


Adobe Stock. 15 image licenses. Value $44.00

Royalty-free, high-quality photos, videos, and illustrations.


InDesign Magazine. 6 month subscription. Value $30.00

Monthly PDF publication devoted to InDesign how-tos, in-depth features, and quick tips.


LA Web Professionals Group meeting tickets. Value $7.99 (four raffles)

Adobe user group that meets monthly with an emphasis on web design, marketing and the latest internet trends.



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