NATIONAL PASTE-UP DAY
National Paste Up Day on May 7th each year remembers the time before desktop publishing and computerized digital imaging when many publications were completed by hand. The day also remembers those who worked so tediously in their positions.
Paste-up refers to a method of preparing and laying out pages of a publication. A paste-up artist was also known as a layout artist, mechanical artist, production artist, or compositor. Part of the daily duties of the paste-up artist would be to cut the type into sections and arrange it carefully across multiple columns. They were also responsible for placing the headlines and other typographical elements. These elements were supplied separately.
They worked for newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and other publishers. Paste-up artists used x-acto knives and focused on precision. While a journalist may have written an article with detail and gusto, if the 327-word article didn’t fit the column space, the paste-up artist would remove a line or two to make it fit. Ad space paid for salaries and photos often required cropping. Since the position required an eye for detail, paste-up artists were in high demand in the publishing arena, and they could face the high pressure of deadlines, too. Nevertheless, they kept their alleys straight and prepared their mechanicals on time for the presses.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PASTE UP DAY
From small presses evening papers to university presses, paste-up artists gained experience in a variety of ways. While word processing technology today seems to have eliminated the art of paste-up, the eye for precision and organization still persists in the printing world. Share how paste-up artists have influenced the art of printing today using #NationalPasteUp on social media.
NATIONAL PASTE-UP DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this publishing holiday.