OPTIONS FOR COLOR SEPARATION Edited by Philip Zimmermann (1980)
This book was originally conceived to address the problem that many artists had in the seventies and early eighties of obtaining four-color CMYK separations. Separation film sets were expensive to buy and very difficult to make yourself without expensive equipment and a lot of technical experience and training. I had been learning to make color separations and printing them by offset lithography and various non-silver processes. The need for technical help for artists was there. I decided to put together a how-to manual for artist printmakers and photographers working in many types of media. I asked about a dozen artist friends whom I knew who were working in a variety of separation methods and media to contribute to the book. I wrote the introduction and contributed a chapter of my own on two color separations using complimentary pairs.
This book is formatted like a cook-book with a lay-flat spiral binding so that it would be easy to use in the darkroom. It was widely used by many around the world to make inexpensive non-traditional color separations and sold out within a couple of years. It should be remembered that this was written before the use of personal computers or Adobe Photoshop. In the Spring of 2009, JAB, The Journal of Artists' Books, issued a special issue, No. 25, on offset printing. Two sections in that issue centered on the historical importance of Options for Color Separation to the artists' book field. The first section was called I (heart) DIY CMYK and was written by Pattie Belle Hastings. The second section was written by Clifton Meador and was called Afterword. For most this book has out-lived it's usefullness since the advent of Photoshop in the late eighties made making a separation as easy as pressing the command-p key on a keyboard. Things were not always that easy!
The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, where I was obtaining my MFA in photographic studies (part of SUNY Buffalo at that time), required that all MFA students present their thesis in two parts, one as a visual presentation, and the other part had to be a written research project. This book fulfilled the written part of my MFA requirement. It was published by the Visual Studies Workshop Press and as mentioned above is out of print. It was typeset at the Writer's Center in Glen Echo, MD by Carol Barton (before she became famous as the pop-up and moveable-book artist), printed at the Visual Studies Workshop by Tom Sullivan, and bound by The Riverside Press in Rochester NY.