Mister Retro Releases Permanent Press Image Filters for Photoshop!

Diner's picture

Back in 1940, if a company wanted to print a book of matches, a poster or playbill, or run a full-color advertisement in a major publication, they needed to use the services of a qualified printer and lithographer.

The job of the lithographer would be to take the original artwork, mechanical layouts and photographs and convert them so they could be reproduced in any number of offset printing processes. Once their work was completed, it was up to the printer to select the appropriate ink and stock to run the job.

While these skilled laborers were working with the state-of-the-art equipment in 1940, the state-of-the-art was far less sophisticated than we are used to in present day. Even in the most competent hands, printing and lithography equipment lacked precision and often times created less than desireable results.

As time went on and printing processes and equipment improved, we're now able to reproduce printed items that look exactly as we intend them to. While this we delight in as the miracle of technology, we have also lost the charm of printing's earlier years.

Gone are the days of plate offset, over-inking, mis-registration, and a host of other resulting conditions sure to cause printers hair to prematurely fall out. Many times these artifacts presented to designers happy accidents only realized after the job was run.

That is until now . . . .

After the explosive growth of the Machine Wash Image Filters, we spent some time looking for the next big thing in the design world and found the tactile aesthetic was getting more sophisticated.

Realizing that printing technology has left printed work sterile and without the texture, soul, or the spirit of vintage offset printing, we felt it was important to re-introduce them to the modern designers toolbox and joined forces with our friend and amazingly talented developer Maxim at Alpha Plug-ins to make our dream a reality and we're pleased to finally share the result of that with you!

Take any design, photograph, type treatment, or image and transport to another time and aesthetic with our powerful and easy-to-use plug-in GUI interface. We spent thousands of hours developing this one of a kind plug-in sure to bring your work to the next level.

Check it out at http://www.misterretro.com

jazzhustler's picture

Ordered mine already - f%*king great!


Diner's picture

Thanks Jazzhustler!

So many times I see requests here so often asking how to recreate an authentic letterpress look with a textured ink fill, dark outlines with a hint of starve just at the edge between the two that it made perfect sense that the type lovers among us would be thrilled with it! Personally, I like the way it mimics that Hatch Show Print aesthetic . . .

Thanks again for your kind words and post some filtered images here to show . . .


Dav's picture

Looks amazing. Whoa. Nice.


Diner's picture

Thanks Dav!

heardism's picture

in my opinion, THIS is what helps perpetuate what wrong with design today....

responsibilities, knowledge, understanding dilutes the weak every day...

we are getting so far away from the truth its starting to look obvious what is artificial

im sorry but if you are a 'designer' who wants these kind of products you should have your better hand chopped off, see how well you can use your mac then...

if the designer of this program is a coder, computer architect .. then okay you may see this weakness in poor designers so fair play to you for catching on to this type of 'creative persons' work flow and mentality.. and capitalising..

if you are a graphic designer, or count your self as one you deserve zero respect

Diner's picture

Respectfully Anthony, I'm not sure what you're commenting on . . .

If you want to stand on a soapbox and piss all over a new product because you don't care for it, fine . . .

As the guy who co-created it, I personally feel as I do with the line of Machine Wash filters that this product does serve a unique purpose in the world and those who don't wish to use it certainly can try to employ their own techniques to recreate these effects.

With anything, tools are tools be it fonts, plug-ins, you name it, and designers are free to choose the appropriate tool for the job.

This is a tool I created . . . What have you created Anthony other than an opinion to share? We spent over 2 and a half years developing this product, you spent all of 3 minutes forming an opinion to share . . . Don't assume any part of this effort was dashed off to make a quick buck . . .

If you want to shame the state of design, head to Speak Up and engage in high design talk but don't insult the product or the audience without some idea what you're talking about . . .

I may be offended if you were somebody respected in the design community such as Steven Heller or David Carson or even the head of your local AIGA chapter, but you have no status or body of work to defend your comments on and I can only assume your offhanded remark is uneducated and misinformed as best since the design community doesn't report to you . . .


Miss Tiffany's picture

I'm usually quite a snob about design and type. Hrm. Scratch that I'm always a snob about design and type. But, that said I think that Stuart has created another creative tool—correctly defined—which designers can use.

I think the problem starts when people generalize about the plethora of plug-ins available today. There is a ill-deserved knee-jerk reaction when someone finds out you've used a filter. If budget allows then by all means it is more fun to go the DIY route. But what is wrong with using a tool judiciously?

aluminum's picture

I agree with both heardism and Diner. ;o)

heardism's picture

its fine, you take from it what you will thats your prerogative as the person who i now realise I am commenting on.

I am simply commenting on the pure accessibility of this product and how one can become a 'designer' just by applying an ill considered/ tick box like process of applying a texture or patina to any given work an 'effect', simply thinking that is what people expect,.. people dont know what they want thats what graphic designers do they FIND OUT or at least try.

Theyre not suppose to pick from a drop down box with with limited choices, when i say limited i dont care if you made ten billion templates, this is NOT what is needed by anyone...only by that of selfish business and solely monetary inspired projects.

as i said above I am aware you have spent a long time on this and you obviously ARE aware of how design is applied/ how it works within certain processes hense the scale of detailing AND research you and who ever has put into this, its amazing really.

What I do not get is WHY you have applied your knowledge and know-how to such a self demising product, you are damaging the role a designer plays and its importance AND reputation....

Exactly what i am saying is, surely the role of a designer is not become part of the consumer black hole of poorly perceived perspectives and materialism...

WE are the start of the chain, now when WE dont put the time effort into our work this is when communication/knowledge/education and basic understandings warp, deteriorate AND this gets perpetuated through human weakness for conveniences and comforting products/services and eventually becomes the downfall of us all...

Now real graphic designers will not opt for this product and wont do for the reasons i shall list below, but like i said before this now makes it accessible to cheat and skip research and the effective process to fully design the communicative devises we all deserve to experience. Which are the key traits of business, and big business at that.

Essentially you are shooting us ALL in the feet, the hands, and our heads.

This perpetuates dishonesty, trust AND integrity, which as graphic designers/ visual communicators we should be shining bastions of. As we are apparently the educated and sponge like creatures who do whats best in terms of presenting and informing the status quo.

Communication is something that should be experimented with but you should consider the implications before going forth with and not for ones selfish reasons only. Graphic design is not for the selfish, it affects EVERYONE. ITS IMPORTANT Bottom line, it promotes laziness and distances the designers mind from what is QUITE A REAL WORLD and its REAL responsibilities that should be realised within this industry.

Im just fed up with people using parodic and pastiche like methods to achieve ANY form of communication its stale and nonsensical in the context of graphic design/ visual communication in 2008

Computers are amazing tools, but you are bastardizing the true meaning of what it is to be be a visual communicator / designer and you are helping others jump on the band wagon that has been created by scholars, professors, philosophers and doctors that have dedicated their whole life's to writing books and teaching us to communicate.

I would apply what I have just said to:


My comments regardless of the graphic connotations arnt meant to be offensive, it just helps me at least assert my disgust.

as for having apparent status and bodies of work, you sir are appearing quite ignorant. This IS the internet and you seemed to have lost your self in remembering one can play under any guise or pseudonym they wish. And one is no greater than the other in this industry, when industry set their own benchmarks these are non-comparable to those benchmarks that are by the human race and what is actually needed.

You are a cliche of a human being, and should not be allowed to practice within the pellucid hemisphere that is visual communication.

oh and fair play on steven heller ,.. but david carson...?

that sums it up for me both in taste and understanding...

I didnt realise this place was an arse-licking arena, for cretinous introverts. ,....

Diner's picture

Well, I'm not sure where to go from the last comments but I do feel your reply does restate your case more clearly and I understand where you're coming from . . . I will take some time to think about an appropriate and thoughtful response to your argument . . .

And, I still stand by my statement Anthony that it's OK for you to have an opinion about this and it is welcomed but I still feel it is your singular perspective rather than that of the industry. Again, I can't be insulted by somebody who wishes to remain anonymous in their vocation and skill set in a discussion such as this . . . That is cowardice at best . . .

The last line of your reply may offend some Typophile regulars . . .


BTW, I'll give you the David Carson thing, I was making a case . . . Perhaps I should've referred to Stefan Sagmeister in retrospect . . .

typerror's picture

Looks like a fine product Stuart... but it looks like I will have to throw away some of my secret tools that achieve some of the same effects in my lettering. Bummer!


heardism's picture

im happy,

now, i can refrain from using ridiculous language
and get off your back with pernickety comments about designers

In a way I saw your post as an opportunity to air a continuous discussion I have with my self but can never have with people like your self.

Look, im in awe and have tremendous respect for someone with talents you clearly have for computer languages.

Its just how one applies their talents is what I take issue with, especially when one is aware of effects.

we have had the age of taking, it was called the 80s...

now its time to give back and to share and to think with huge amounts of consideration what what they are about to do. We have to now clean up and all put our money where our mouths are.

for example

Forget things like 'saving the planet' big business buzz words and marketing tools to humanize a message that is essentially hollow.

The Planet could re-stabilize its self within a million years if tomorrow we used every natural resource known to man.

The Planet can and will take everything we thrown at it.

leading me to the obvious point that it is we humans who need to look after one another and that is progressing our mind and existence and not stalemating one another, until everything is irreversible (for humans)

all we want is comfort, pleasure, stability , security? whether its for our self's or for each other.

If we stop selling our self's out it would not be an over ambitious attitude to uphold.

look at what is about to happen in the next couple of days on the swiss boarder

'the second biggest human collaboration ever, other than that of the olympic games'

im talking about the scientific experiment to find out what this thing we call black matter is.

anyway, over 1000 scientists and contributors from every part of the scientific community came together to try and achieve something bigger and better than our ancestors did.

Just because their goal is clearer and more black and white, it doesn't mean within this industry things cannot achieve the same level of understanding and progress, and even the wanting for progress.

your talents are wasted on plug-ins mate

Diner's picture

After a good night of sleep and some further thought, I have to say I find your argument to be about 30 years too late . . .

Case in point, you're suggesting the equivalent of farmers no longer using modern farming equipment and rather going back to the horse and plow so they can be TRUE farmers . . . It's ridiculous . . .

I must admit, I do have a Filmotype machine and could certainly sit down and set myself a masterful headline that I'm sure I'd have to clean up, wax, and stat to get it perfectly but why? It's old technology, it had a real purpose many many years ago but the effort to reproduce headlines in that manner is obsolete as of 1984.

I make the point that whether you like progress personally or not, the tools to set type have move forward as demand has come to meet them and now folks who have little background in lettering or calligraphy can be as masterful as Herr Zapf just by sitting down to craft a letter in Word using the Zaphino font . . .

Further, take a look at the latest release from House Industries, Ken Barber's masterful Studio Lettering types which could potentially have the tagline, no human required. . . That is to say, the fonts have been so mastered in OT at such a macro and micro level that they 'set themselves' requiring almost no input from the person setting the type other than the typing of the words . . .

This clearly refutes your point. . .

The creators of these fonts and products want to make BETTER products, nay the BEST products they can . . . Products in which the end result can be controlled as masterfully by the developer as they allow the audience of these products to create with . . .

You must understand, I never sat down and said to myself, let's think of a new plug-in idea to make a buck with . . . I said, How is this look possible? What makes it look like that? How could it be done? And what about that small gap of ink between the center and the outline? What is that?

My seeds of inspiration were focused on re-creating the aesthetic to solve MY needs and it seemed to make sense to bring it to a larger likeminded audience . . . Several comments posted above are proof of this . . .

In fact, had you actually READ the announcement at the very top, you'll see clearly my rational for the product . . . We have become masters at printing . . . No longer are we limited by shoddy equipment, crappy ink, fiberous paper, and bad pressmen . . . Printing has so far surpassed so many of these problems that it has become sterile, lifeless . . .

The only way to re-create these effects is to buy and old press on eBay strip up some plates, over/under ink them and misalign the plates . . . For all designers, this scenario is almost never likely to happen again which is why I created the plug-in . . .

And stand corrected mate, I don't know a line of C++ and in fact did rather poorly in Math in school, it was developed in Russia by a very talented programmer and we collaborated on the effects . . .

If you wish to espouse the virtues of being the luddite you wish all graphic designers to be, you should have handwritten your grievance and postal mailed it to the Punchcut gang to scan and post . . .

Your commentary is wasted on this thread, write a book or go away . . .


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