Caslon brings Adana back into production

Jo Francis
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Caslon has started manufacturing new Adana presses again 25 years after production of the original ceased.

The St Albans firm has teamed up with a UK manufacturer to make the vertical platen presses, with the new model branded as the Adana 85C. It has the same 8x5inch (203x127mm) bed size but is of a more heavyweight design than the original, which was launched in 1953.

The move was spurred by continuing demand for the iconic desktop letterpress device.

“We’ve strengthened everything so they will produce the heavy deboss that everyone craves,” explained Caslon sales director David Ball. “It looks the same but the frame walls are thicker.”

Caslon acquired the Adana Company in 1987 and production of new presses had ceased by 1991.

The firm is still continuing with its refurbishment and resale programme for old Adanas, which it believes are the most popular letterpress platens in the world.

A new Adana 85C costs £1,095, while a refurbished model costs circa £895.

“Some people still want an original but they are getting few and far between,” Ball added.

The resurgence in interest in letterpress printing has made the compact press popular with hobby and craft printers, and Adanas are also used by some digital printing firms to produce special effects.

Caslon was using thermography powders to produce raised printing effects on Adana-printed postcards at Drupa.

Ball added that Caslon had had a “very busy” time at the show with lots of interest in its latest range of FoilTech desktop foiling devices, which use ‘foil fusing’ technology whereby foil is applied to image areas produced on toner-based printers.

“They are clever machines because you can make quite a high security job very simply, and they are also useful for short-runs, greetings cards, proofing or one-off sampling,” Ball said. “And they are much more affordable than some of the other options out there.”

The FoilTech devices all have a maximum sheet width of 310mm and handle stock up to 400gsm. Prices start at £1,965 for the entry-level FT12 model, rising to £4,360 for the FT22F with automatic feed and the ability to foil two colours in one pass.



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