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Combination print

Embossing braille is a specialist process. This is especially true for combination printing. In this blog we show how it works. At the time of writing, we are engaged in the production of a braille learning method for Mission Evangélique Braille (MEB).

The process starts with normal print. This learning method is aimed at people who are becoming blind but know the alphabet. On the page below, the letters are printed on the left, with the corresponding braille characters on the right.

Sheet of paper with letters and corresponding braille signs in black ink

1. Preprinted paper

The letters and braille signs must also be made tactile. For this, molds have to be created first. This is done on the braille embosser. This machine creates the braille dots, in this case on plastic. Molds must be created for each page in this teaching method.

Embossing machine with the plastic cover of a book provided with braille

2. Embossing Machine

When the molds are made, they can be placed on the printing press. The press is an original Heidelberg Platen Press, which is adapted to be able to emboss braille. The placement of the molds comes very precisely, because the dots have to line up exactly with the black print.

Platen press with de molds for braille and tactile images

3. Heidelberg Platen Press with molds

The preprinted paper can now be printed with the tactile dots. By means of vacuum a sheet is picked up. A rotor takes over and lays the sheet between the plates. After pressing, the sheet of paper is released in the paper receiver. At the same time, a new sheet is picked up, as there are two blades mounted on opposite sides of the rotor. All this goes in high speed. In this way, about 1000 pages can be printed per hour.

Platen press in the process of putting a sheet of paper between the plates

4. Press in action

The result is a combination of normal (black) print and tactile dots. This way all pages of the learning method are printed.

Paper with letters and corresponding braille signs printed with black ink combined with tactile dots

5. Combination Print

When all pages of the learning method are printed this way, the pages are gathered and the method is compiled and bound.

Pages with combination print are gathered into complete books

6. Gathering

The learning method is bound with ring wire. This because for reading braille and tactile images, it is important that the pages are completely flat while reading. The cover is provided with transparent plastic with braille, also created on the braille embosser.

Ringwire binded brialle learning method with braille on cover

7. Finished Product