Press Checks: A Visit to the Printing Press!
As part of the making process of the Return of the Condor Heroes manga, we visited the printing press where the production of the manga volumes takes place! We conducted a series of press checks for the pages and colours of the manga, as one of the final steps to ensuring that all artwork images, margins, colours, and paginations are accurate and consistent, before the manga volumes are being printed and bound.
The Return of the Condor Heroes manga series is printed with Offset Printing, a type of print method that is commonly used for the printing of books in large quantities. In the Offset Print technique, an inked image is transferred from a printing plate to a rubber blanket, and finally to the printing surface, which in this case is paper. Offset Printing requires one to manually lay out individual printing plates and pre-mix colours beforehand, in order for all the manga’s images and pages to be transferred onto the paper.
One of the key things we had to take note of for the black and white images was that the artwork does not appear pixelated and that the lines are clear and refined. When it came to coloured artwork, we focused on colour saturation and accuracies to our digital files.
The artist Wee Tian Beng doing press checks for coloured artwork and pages
Our designer Terence checking the artwork and contents of the individual manga pages
Calibrating the ink levels and output for each colour used in the printing
Machine that creates the printing plates before running them through the offset printing machine
Offset Printing Machine
Machine used to cut and bind books into volumes
Choosing thread colours for the binding of the manga volumes