The TMNT #1 Production Negatives: Part 04 – Imposition of the Negatives

Please be sure to read the previous articles in this series.

If you’ve read Part 03: Imposition In Printing, you now hopefully have at least a cursory understanding of the head-to-head imposition concept used in printing.  When the head-to-head imposition concept is applied to the goldenrod flats that make up The TMNT #1 Production Negatives, the truth behind these negatives really starts to unfold.  Taking each of the goldenrod flat “partners” (see The TMNT #1 Production Negatives: Part 02 – Inside The Orange Box) and placing them back-to-back reveals that the imposition of these negatives was no mere accident; further proof that The TMNT #1 Production Negatives are truly something special.

Imposed Sheet 01 – FRONT

Each of the negatives on the odd numbered goldenrod flats (i.e., FRONTS) match up with the opposite-positioned negatives on the even-numbered “partner” goldenrod flats (i.e., BACKS).  When the goldenrod flats are placed back-to-back, each negative that is now ‘meeting’ or touching is sequential in numbering, just as it would need to be in order to be printed properly.  Perhaps most importantly though, when

Imposed Sheet 01 – BACK

these page negatives are “paired” (two pages front, two back) they are identical to the pages printed on the fronts AND backs of every printed sheet in TMNT #1!

The matching of the negatives to form what eventually becomes the ten printed imposed sheets in TMNT #1 is perhaps one of the toughest things for me to describe or explain (although I’ve attempted a cursory visualization above).  One method is to look at individual images of the goldenrod flat “partners” (see links below).  Start with the two page numbers in the upper left corner (top row) and combine those (using head-to-head imposition) with the two page numbers in the upper right corner (top row).  Those four imposed pages will match sequentially front to back (e.g., 29/30 & 12/11).  Combine the opposite-positioned negatives in pairs from every goldenrod flat and you’ll find that every one of those four pages are sequentially numbered front to back.  Don’t see it yet?

Goldenrod Flats – ALL

Another way to see the imposed sheets is to, again, view the goldenrod flat “partners” one set at a time.  As you’re looking at each of the goldenrod flat “partners” (image links below), pretend you’re folding them in half backwards (or away from you) along the center vertical axis.  The pages that then would “meet” or touch are the page matches that will always be sequential.

No matter which method you use to view the negative / page matching (or if you just want to trust me), the ten imposed sheets of TMNT #1 that form when placing the goldenrod flats back-to-back are shown below.  Note that each of the imposed sheets are numbered from bottom sheet (Imposed Sheet 01) to top sheet (Imposed Sheet 10), which indicates the order in which they appear in TMNT #1 so that the page numbers are sequential.

Goldenrod Flats 1 & 2

Goldenrod Flats 3 & 4

Goldenrod Flats 5 & 6

So, there you have it.  Each of the ten imposed sheets that make up the entirety of TMNT #1 !!  And every one of them are created when you place the goldenrod flat “pairings” back-to-back.  It’s a truly amazing discovery.

Yet, if you’re like me, you might have noticed something odd about the list above.  Although each of the ten imposed sheets are represented, the goldenrod flat “pairings” don’t produce them in numeric order as they eventually would need to be for assembly (i.e., 01-10).  Why not impose the negatives in a way where page matching is still achieved / retained but the resulting imposed sheets from each goldenrod flat are sequentially ordered?  And there’s still that nagging question about why half of the negatives are imposed upside down.

Well, would you believe me if I told you that not a single one of those things is arbitrary; that they, too, were all carefully and meticulously planned?  And what if I told you that the reason why it was done this way is likely the coolest thing you’ve seen in a long time.  Personally, I think you’d want me to prove it.

- PrintWiki - The Free Encyclopedia of Print

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