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Woodburytype: A historical process resurrected by modern methods

Klein, Susanne; Guy, Walter; Leech, Damien; Argyle, Josie

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Dr Susanne Klein
Associate Professor in EPSRC Manufacturing Fellow

Walter Guy

Damien Leech
Research Associate: CFPR - Woodbury and Lippman Research

Josie Argyle


One of the technological achievements of the 19th century was the mass reproduction of photographic images. Woodburytype was the first commercially successful photomechanical continuous tone printing method, of unsurpassed quality until today. Along with Collotype and Goupil gravure, it used the relief of dichromated gelatin exposed to light as the basis for the printing plates. In this article we will discuss the historical printing processes and present how a) modern embodiments of the printing plates can be made by either CNC milling or using photopolymer plates and b) how optimal contrast and grayscale can be achieved by ink formulations tuned to the relief depth of the printing plate.


Klein, S., Guy, W., Leech, D., & Argyle, J. (2020). Woodburytype: A historical process resurrected by modern methods. IMPACT Printmaking Journal,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2020
Publication Date Apr 3, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 5, 2020
Journal Impact
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Issue Spring 2020
Series ISSN 2732-5490
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Centre for Fine Print Research


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