Photogravure And Rotogravure

These are methods of intaglio printing widely used in commercial printing (and by various other names), as for the Sunday pictorial supplement of newspapers. It is true intaglio printing in that the printing is from recessengraved plates. However, such plates are made by means of photography through screens - like the ordinary halftone illustration in "slick paper" magazines. These gravure plates differ from the ordinary half-tone illustration in that the latter is a relief and the gravure is a recess plate. Photography and screens, or "dust boxes" which coat the plate unevenly to make it appear that a screen has not been used, are also sometimes employed for the production of postage stamps. Such is the case with some of the British Empire stamps. When skillfully used in combination with line engraving, the result is excellent and often even more pleasing than the strictly lineengraved design. It is possible by use of photography to soften some of the details and, in combination with the handwork of the line engraver, the effect is striking and not obtainable by either method alone.

All gravure work, whether line-engraved or by photographic process, is identifiable by its rough feel, caused by the varying thickness of the ink deposited upon the paper. We all unconsciously practice the trick of feeling a calling card to see if it is printed or engraved, and considerable prestige is attached to the engraved calling card. So, too, in a large way do the engraved postage stamps of the world receive prestige over other kinds.