A story of ink and steel

10 minutes

How collotype printing, an outmoded technology, helps preserve Japan’s heritage

Collotype was a popular commercial photographic process at the turn of the 20th century, but it is nearing extinction as more practical printing technologies become widespread and affordable worldwide. Unlike modern digital printers, collotype copies almost completely preserve the look and colour depth of originals, but, because the process requires a high level of expertise, demand for the technology is nearly zero. The German director Fritz Schumann’s film, A Story of Ink and Steel, profiles Osamu Yamamoto, a printer working at the world’s only, and perhaps last, colour collotype company.

Director: Fritz Schumann

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