Daylight Paper (Printing Out Paper)
Daylight paper is a generic name for any type of photo paper that is printed out, that is the image appears and darkens as it is exposed to sunlight. After the image reaches its desired appearance, it is taken out from the light and fixed in a bath to prevent further darkening. Daylight papers are not highly light sensitive, so they were only used for contact printing.
Dead level is a term used in relief printing that refers to the area of a substrate that lies below the printing surface. These areas can be removed by cutting or chemical means. They can also be formed by creating a printing plate from a mold. These areas remain inert during printing as only the original surface of the substrate receives ink.
Dear Doctor Card
A Dear Doctor card is a continental sized advertising card that was published by Abbott Laboratories during the mid-1950’s to promote their brand of Barbiturate, Sodium Pentothal. The back of each card has a machine written message with a salutation that began Dear Doctor. Hundreds of thousands of these cards were mailed out to health professionals and institutions from various locations throughout the world depicting images of exotic places. Their messages can be found in Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish in addition to English.
Decalcomania is the making of decals, whose origin is often credited to the French engraver Francois Ravernet. The process was developed in England during the 1750’s so that surfaces that could not be printed upon such as ceramics could receive printed designs. The basic principal was that the ink used for transfer had to be attracted to its new home more than the original surface it was printed on. This transfer was usually aided with the help of water, heat, or pressure. Decalcomania arrived in the United States in 1865 where the designs were most often printed on transfer paper through lithography. Though originally designed for application on unusual surfaces they eventually became a part of the normal printing process and were extensively used by retouchers in the production of postcards.
Retouchers preparing printing plates spent so much time polishing out unwanted details and adding in desired elements that they began using decals to speed up their work. These tiny images of people, cars, clouds, and boats of all sorts could be purchased or manufactured in house. Many printing firms had their own artists draw commonly needed subjects and designs that were then printed onto gummed transfer paper and stored as stock images. When a new composition required a car or person absent in the original image, the retoucher could just go to a cabinet, remove the appropriate sheet, and cut out what he needed. If these decals were printed with a greasy transfer ink they could be directly applied to a polished litho- stone, but when made with regular printing ink they were pasted to a transparency before it was exposed to a photosensitive substrate.
The uneven edge found on handmade paper is called a deckle. When pulp is poured onto a paper making screen and left to dry, the area that overlaps the frameÕs inside bevel form a thin deckle. A sheet of paper with four deckle edges indicates it was made on a small mold, possibly by hand. If only two sides of a sheet of paper have deckle edges it means it was factory made in a long role (web) and then cut into smaller sheets. In commercial printing the entire deckle is cut off to facilitate its passage through a press and insure proper registration. Papers with deckle edges are usually reserved for fine art printing that is done by hand. When the edges of paper are die cut or torn off in a manner that gives the illusion of a deckle, it is called a false deckle. This method was first used on early postcards to impart an association with a fine art print. They often carry an intaglio reproduction. False deckles became popular in the 1950Õs and 60Õs but only as a decorative element.
Defender is a brand name of a photo paper made by the Defender Photo Supply Company in Rochester, New York. Although the firm was founded in 1896 by Frank Wilmot, they did not begin to specifically manufactured paper for making real photo postcards under the names Argo and Defender until 1905. Defender paper continued to be made after 1945 when they were purchased by DuPont, but it was of poorer quality. The brand was discontinued in 1973.
Delft blue is a very distinguishable hue placed on tin glazed ceramics from Holland, first used in the city of Delft in the 17th century. Its origins come out of the porcelain trade with China that was begun by the Dutch East India Company after 1602. Though a highly coveted commodity, the Europeans had little the Chinese wanted in trade so they refused to give up the secret of porcelain production and it remained a luxury import for a long time. Eventually the potters in the city of Delft developed a blue and white, low cost substitute for Porcelain. It became so popular that it still creates associations with Holland today. Both printed and real photo postcards were manufactured in delft blue. While some publishers only used it with Dutch themes, others just incorporated the name into the description of their blue monochrome cards.
Deltiology, taken from the Greek logos (science), and deltion (writing tablet) is the study of postcards. The term was coined by Randall Rhoades of Ashland, Ohio in the 1940’s during a period of renewed interest and research into postcards. The term is meant to impart dignity to the act of postcard collecting so it is looked upon as something more than just a hobby. It is not an internationally accepted term, and is not used by most postcard collectors (deltiologists).
Density (Optical Density)
The optical density of a material refers to its ability to absorb light. The less reflective an object is, the higher its density and the more dark and opaque it appears. Early postcards such as those printed in chromolithography have high density because light has to pass through many layers of ink before reflecting back to the eye.
Develop Out (DOP)
Developing out refers to the processing of any type of photosensitive emulsion, where the image only begins to appear after interaction with a chemical developer. Developing out photo papers were not popular when first introduced because there was too much guess work involved in making a correct exposure, which cost time and money with every mistake. This process was mainly used when photographs were being reproduced in large quantities within the controlled settings of a processing machine. As negatives grew smaller with more compact cameras, enlarging became a necessity forcing the switch to developing out paper as the slower printing out papers could no longer be used.
Dextone is a trade name for the early photochrome postcards printed by Dexter Press in the 1950’s. The poor optical blending on these cards tended to isolate individual colors, which created a flat dull, unnatural look.
A dialect card is an informal name for a postcard with a caption printed in a local or stereotyped dialect rather than with the proper spelling and grammar of the language. Under the guise of offering local color these cards were often used to disparage the group represented by associating their unconventional speech patterns to uncultured ignorance.
A diapositive is a transparency that holds a positive image. The term is sometimes specifically used in reference to lantern slides.
Most plates used in offset lithography for photomechanical reproduction are pre-sensitized with a coating of photosensitive diazo emulsion. After exposure to a negative, these plates are developed with a solution made from lacquer and a gum etch. Light hardens the diazo, which receives a coating of ink attracting lacquer. Unexposed areas of diazo are washed away exposing the bare metal to the etch, which will prepare the plate to hold moisture. It can then be dampened and rolled with a greasy ink for printing.
A dichromate colloid is gelatin or albumen that has been made photosensitive by the addition of a dichromate, most commonly potassium dichromate. These emulsions harden when exposed to light and become insoluble in water. This reaction is the foundation of most photographic processes. The Scott, Mungo Ponton discovered the effects of light on dichromate in 1839, while working in France. Alphonse Poitevin also noted the hardening effect of light on dichromated colloids in 1855.
Die cutting is a method of using metal blades formed into a shape (Die) to cut designs into products that straight cutting tools cannot accomplish. Most dies have a male and female part. The male part cuts the design while the female part provides support for the substrate so it will not tear under pressure. This process was traditionally performed on a flatbed press after the product was printed. It was later adapted to the more popular rotary press because of its speed, but they cannot cut as precisely. The mechanical cutting of printed material into various shapes had been in practice during the later half of the 19th century to create large amounts of scrap, novelties, and advertising cards before being adapted for use on postcards. Die cut postcards were most often made for advertising purposes and are also considered novelties.
The term digital refers to the reduction of any type of information such as text, images, sound, or video in to a binary code of zeros and ones. Information recorded digitally can easily be manipulated and transmitted because it lacks unique components.
A display card is one that carries an advertisement for a small brand product that is also attached to the card in some manner. Items were usually sewn onto the card or strung to its bottom. Most of these cards had pre-punched holes cut into their corners so that they could easily be hung up in stores. This concept began to be used in the 1850’s to sell steel pens, and it may have influenced the inception of oversized businessman’s cards.
Different digital recording systems may not record information in the same manner, so a computer will need to add or subtract pixels of an image to simulate the missing parts of a color or a decorative pattern according to an algorithmic formula that its program dictates. As a computer program fills in missing visual information, it generally reduces the sharpness of that image. Dithering occurs most often when an image is resized because there can be no optical conversion just the manipulation of data. Since digital images are stored in lines, the recording of other types of linear patterns can often result in the creation of interference patterns when dithering is employed. This translation however can be further manipulated by the introduction of meaningless data in the form of a grain (noise) that can distort any moiré pattern to the point of making it disappear. This grain however must be fine enough so not to alter the original image too much.
A divided back postcard is one whose back is segregated so that a message can be added to its left side while the right side is reserved for the address and postage. Great Britain was the first country to issue divided back postcards in 1902, quickly followed by France and then Germany. Other nations then began dividing the backs of their cards so that there would be a uniform format. The United States released new postal regulations on March 1, 1907 that divided the back of its postcards in half. This date is now often referred to as the birth of the modern postcard because it created the same card format that we use today. Prior to this date only the address and postage was allowed on the back of postcards. The divide was first accomplished by printing a line down a card’s back. On some of the earliest cards from this period the dividing line is left of center, often accompanied by printed instructions of what could be written and where. A later variation eliminates the line but adds the words Correspondence and Address on the appropriate sides. Many undivided back cards continued to be used after 1907 and one may need to look closely to see if the dividing line has been drawn in by hand when dating cards. As time went on the concept behind the divided back became so accepted that they could be properly used with nothing at all on their backs. By permitting messages to be written on the back of postcards, it allowed the entire front to be dedicated to holding an image. This innovation greatly increased the popularity of postcards.
Any marking of any shape or size produced by a screen during the halftone process is referred to as a dot. A variety of different dots including circles, ovals, squares, diamonds, and lines could be created by making even small adjustments to the way lines were cut into the crossline screen or by adjusting the angles at which the two halves were cemented together. These differing shapes were not created for any immediate aesthetic purposes since they are too small to be discerned by the eye. Each particular type of dot had their own practical advantages and disadvantages when printed. The individual components of shading mediums such as benday are also referred to as dots. This term is sometimes generally applied to any type of small marking used to optically blend into a larger entity.
Dot Matrix Printing
Dot matrix printing introduced in 1970 is produced by a type of impact printing device that runs on digital technology. It transfers an image to paper utilizing the same principals of metal striking an ink soaked ribbon as with a typewriter; only here there are no individual typebars, only pins or wires that produce uniform sized dots. While the letters formed out of a dot matrix lack the definition and beauty of more carefully cast type, they can still be used to imitate any font face or graphic design. The print heads in these machines come in various forms like pins in lines or serial patterns. In all cases they are driven forward from spring action and levers powered by an electromagnet through a guide plate that keeps them properly aligned. The print head can either run up and down or back and forth depending on the printerÕs design. Dot matrix printers are often used to print forms because their direct striking mechanisms are capable of producing carbon copies. As these printers work from information that is digitally transferred, they can easily be instructed to alter their image for each sheet of paper fed into it without slowing down production. These machines have not been used in the commercial printing of postcards, but they are still employed to print messages and mailing addresses on countless numbers of them.
The double tint method was developed during the 1830’s as a way to reproduce drawings in lithography. It employed two tinting stones, one to produce a very light field of warm color as in a flat tint, and another to print a slightly darker and more neutral color that would often represent shadows and sky. Sometimes these tints werenÕt quite solid but made up of a dense series of small dots that created a more brilliant optical field. These markings could then be made to overlap or fade at their edges creating more nuances. Both substrates would usually have non-printing areas scraped out of them to produce pure whites. A third stone would act as a key, carrying the details of the image in black. This formula was used in the printing of many postcards.
The Doubletone trade name was used on postcards produced by the Curt Teich Company that were made through double tinting.
Doubletone Delft is a trade name for a type of blue colored postcard distributed by the American News Company that were printed in black collotype over a light and medium blue lithographic tint. These cards were manufactured in Germany.
Doubletone Sepia is a trade name for a type of sepia colored postcard distributed by the American News Company that were printed in black collotype over a light and medium brown lithographic tint. These cards were manufactured in Germany.
Collotypes were sometimes made darker by double printing them. The plate would be inked then printed, then re-inked and printed again on the same sheet of paper during the same press run to insure proper registration. Some distinguish these prints from ordinary collotypes by calling them heliotypes, but this is not a universally shared definition.
Double rolling was a technique used in conjunction with heliotype printing that made these images appear darker than their collotype cousins. A stiff ink that only adhered to the most light exposed areas was first used to create the dark shadows. It was followed by a thinner ink discharged from a composition roller for medium or light tones. The second roll brightened the image by picking up some ink off the light areas that was deposited by the first roll. At the same time it darkened blacks already present creating higher contrast and richer tones. Sometimes a color ink was used for the second roll to create complex monochrome prints. Though double rolling was first used with hand presses, larger steam powered presses were latter adapted for this technique.
Double toning is the practice of toning a photo paper with both a gold and a platinum solution. This combination yields a neutral black rather than the brownish hue rendered by each toner individually.
The initials D.P.O. are used to informally designate a discontinued U.S. Post Office cancel (postmark). Many small Post Offices in rural America were operated out of small businesses such as a general store where the owner would take on the responsibilities of a postmaster for a only few minutes of the day. As the population of the United States grew and shifted to more urban areas, many of these small Post Offices were closed or combined to create new Federal facilities with full time employees. In other places whole communities have since disappeared leaving only postmarks behind. There are many who collect postcards just for their D.P.O. cancel.
D.R.G.M. is a German abbreviation for Deutsche Reichsgebrauchmuster meaning Design Registered. These letters, usually in connection with a number can be found on some cards printed in Germany. It offers similar protections as a copyright notice for non-utilitarian designs, but it expires much faster; 25 years in Germany.
Driography was invented as an alternative method of producing litho-plates for photomechanical reproduction in offset printing. After exposure to a negative the plate is coated with an emulsion of diazo and silicon, and the silicon will only deposit itself on the non-image areas. This allows the plate to be rolled up with ink without dampening for the rubbery surface of the silicon will repel ink by itself without the need to use water.
A Druckchrome is a trade name used by the American News Company for a type of German made tinted halftone printed over solid areas of lithographic RYB colors.
A drummer is a less common name for a jobber.
A dry plate is a clear glass plate pre-coated with a photosensitive silver bromide gelatin emulsion that is used after it has dried. When exposed to light through a camera’s lens, it turns into a photographic negative. Dry plates, invented by the English photographer Richard Leach Maddox in 1871, replaced the wet collodion process, where the emulsion had to be applied to the glass plate just before the picture was taken, then developed immediately afterwards. Since these new plates had a long shelf life they could be manufactured in quantity and sold as needed, and also developed at a convenient time. Dry plates were replaced when a way to coat flexible film with the same emulsion was invented and put into mass production by George Eastman in 1889.
When two different halftones are used to create a single printed image, different types of screen dots were often employed to avoid creating moiré interference patterns. Even when using different dot types, each line pattern would still be rotated to a different angle from one another before being transferred to a printing plate.
The duograph process, invented by Louis Levy in 1914, was used to create a rich looking monotone image in lithography. Two separate processing negatives are made from the same photograph with one exposed to capture medium to light tones, the other darker values. Each is then used to make a separate halftone plate with one halftone screen rotated 30-degrees from the other screen to avoid forming a moiré pattern. When one plate inked in a light neutral color was printed with the other inked in a darker color, the combined results produced a much richer looking image than could be achieved from black & white alone. The printed dots do not overlap, and seen together they produce optical shading. The further filling in of the white paper also resulted in a more solid looking image resembling those printed in more expensive techniques such as gravure. This process became very popular by the 1930’s for the fine reproduction of photographs. While the use of halftones made duographs cheaper to produce than gravure, the process was still too expensive for the production of most postcards.
The duogravure process was an adaptation of the duograph process to intaglio.Two separate processing positives are made from the same photograph with one exposed to capture medium to light tones, the other darker values. Each is then used to make separate photogravure plates. When printed together from one plate inked in a light neutral color and another in a darker color they produced a much richer looking image than could be achieved from black & white alone.
In the 19th century it was common for a tinting plate to be used in conjunction with a black & white lithograph when the look of a drawing on colored paper was desired. These duotones were not meant to create the illusion of natural color, the added color just helped reduce the unexpected starkness often found in a printed image since the stone or plate it was originally drawn on was grey or possibly tan, but never white. Usually of a single light hue, this color field was sometimes scraped into to produce pure whites like the highlights added to a drawing with gouache or chalk. Ben day dot patterns were also often employed to create tinting plates because they could produce an unblemished continuous field with ease. This tonal effect was eventually used when printing postcards, especially when it was found to work well when using halftones. This method helped solve the loss of subtlety when trying to represent mid-tones through crossline screening. Some methods were widely used in the trade while other variations became closely associated with specific postcard publishers. Duotone tints were also able to create a more striking look than one color alone at a low cost.
A dutype is a lithograph similar to a duograph in that it is designed to create a vibrant monotone look through the printing of two differently colored halftone plates. The difference between these processes was not in the look desired but in the economy of production. Instead of creating two halftones with dot patterns set at different angels from one another, the same halftone image would just be printed twice, each time with a different ink and slightly off register so the dots would not overlap.
Dyes are soluble colorants that are used in liquid form. They have a tendency to soak into the substance they are applied to because of their watery consistency. Traditionally made from vegetable matter, most dyes are now synthetically based, which provides more variety and greater permanence. Dyes however are still particularly susceptible to ultraviolet light because photons will interact with the dye’s simple molecules causing them to decompose and fade. Some dyes are capable of turning certain wavelengths of the invisible spectrum into the visible, and transmit them back out. This is the basis of florescent colors and why the dye based inks of linen postcards look so bright.