This item is especially for young ministers and those who have a limited budget with which to work. If you are holding a series of meetings in a very small town whose solitary printer offers scant choice of type or illustrative material, do not dismay. Make your own cuts and use bold appropriate titles or an effective illustration for subjects such as "Heaven," "Hell," or "The Millennium." These cuts can be inexpensively made out of linoleum blocks.
A good linoleum block is nothing more than a piece of five-ply laminated wood with battleship linoleum glued to its surface. White surfaced blocks are easiest to work with because the design drawn on them shows up clearer than on dark linoleum. Do not try making a cut out of just any piece of scrap linoleum. Linoleum blocks manufactured to be used in printing are best, for they are type height for printers' convenience and are durable—withstanding at least 50,000 impressions. A 4 x 6 inch block is large enough to fit a two-column newspaper advertisement, or an 81/2 x 51/2 inch handbill, and costs only thirty cents.
These blocks may be secured from almost any commercial printing establishment or from a large school supply house. Hoover Brothers, 922 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri, is a suggested school supply house. The C. Howard Hunt Pen Company, Camden, New Jersey, also has excellent linoleum blocks. This company will send you additional information on block printing at your request; they also have the Speedball linoleum cutters which you must have in order to carve the cut on the block.
There are various sizes of cutters available, but a box of Speedball linoleum cutters, assortment no. t, from the Hunt Pen Company has five different cutters, and is all that is necessary for almost any work. The handle that comes with this assortment of cutters has a screw chuck, which makes it easy to change the cutters.
Having purchased your cutters and the linoleum block, you are now ready to select or draw your illustration or title. Ideas for your cuts may be found in magazines, books, or posters. (The similarity between two of the accompanying cuts and parts of Arne E. Peterson's new silk screen posters will be recognized.) Some of the suggestions found will need to be reduced or enlarged in order to fit your handbill layout, and a pantograph will help considerably.
A way to draw your design to the desired size without a pantograph is to mark off -into squares the design to be copied. Then draw an equal number of squares to scale, according to the size of cut desired, and copy the corresponding squares. This method is easier and more accurate than drawing free hand.
The simpler your cut, the better. Make cuts for your sermons that have one word titles, using a cut for the title. If the subject has several words for a title, use a cut for a suggestive illustration rather than for the title.
Your selected design may be sketched directly on the linoleum with pencil, or it may be transferred to the linoleum with carbon paper. Remember, the lettering must be backwards after it has been transferred to the block, so that it will print correctly when the block is inverted for printing. Now cut out all the parts that are to be white in print. Cut carefully, watching your fingers, for it is easy to slip, and the sharp cutters make a nasty gash. Experience will bring out suitable techniques.
Success to you!