Indent’s History

Plans for 2021

We plan to retire from formal work in June 2021. The company will be dissolved but we will continue to work informally as sole traders and sometimes voluntarily for charities and individuals who we consider to be deserving causes.


Due to the advent of computer-to-plate equipment, which must reside on the printers' premises, our filmsetting service was no longer viable, so we sold our imagesetting equipment in December 2005 and are now concentrating on general pre-press services, as well as small-scale digital colour printing, using our tried and tested award-winning Konica Minolta bizhub C450 (replaced with a newer model, the C258, in January 2016) supplemented by new finishing equipment.


The Monotype Prism imagesetter served us well for a further six years, until in 1997 we bought our last imagesetter, an ECRM VR45, which produced full colour separations up to SRA2 size. This served us well for eight years.
Indent has always kept up to date with developments in both PCs and Macs, and we pride ourselves in our ability to deal with virtually any job from either platform. Some work is difficult and takes extra time, but we get there most of the time.


By 1991 we realised that space and business forces were putting pressure on us to find our own premises and equipment, so we moved to shop premises in Beacon Buildings and bought our own imagesetter - a Monotype Prism. After a couple of years this was upgraded, and the power of PostScript, a page description language used for text and graphics imaging, developed to a point where we could output complete pages containing complex graphics and scans to a high quality onto film, ready for the printers.


In 1989 we changed. The present owners bought the company (Indent Limited), and moved out of the designers' premises to rent space with the local Apple Macintosh dealers. This proved very useful in that they were able to provide and support the new technology in the form of desktop publishing hardware and software, along with the use of a Linotronic 200P imagesetter, a laser-powered unit capable of exposing bromide paper and film.
As the ability to scan in colour improved and developed, so did the ability of computers to provide the extra processing power required to deal with colour pictures.


Indent Typesetters was created by a Kendal graphic design agency in 1986 with the purpose of providing typeset text on photographic bromide paper for paste-up into their artwork.

This was before the days of Apple Macs and PCs. The industry was driven by custom-made electronic phototypesetting machines. These were computerised devices using a screen, a keyboard and a photographic exposure system which projected letters in quick succession through lenses and mirrors onto white bromide paper. Exposure systems were sometimes pulsed xenon tubes, sometimes miniature cathode ray tubes, sometimes LED arrays, and eventually lasers.

The operator had to learn a coding language (similar to today's HTML) which governed typestyle, type size, line spacing (leading), justification, paragraph spacing, column width and tabulation. All these had to be entered in numerical values to create the desired image, and without the aid of any kind of preview on screen. The only way to see whether the job had been created properly was by processing the length of exposed bromide paper. If it was wrong, it had to be done again. Very soon storage systems came into use, such as punched paper tape and floppy discs (8in diameter). The equipment contained very small amounts of hardware memory, so only one line at a time was stored in the computer.

Indent began with an Itek 3000 system, which had two screens - one for entry of data, and the other for previewing the job. This was one of the first to have a preview screen as part of the basic system. It used an LED array to expose the image onto bromide paper.