Here are some things to keep in mind when writing an article for Letterpress Commons. Many of these guidelines are inspired by Wikipedia. You do not have to be an expert on a subject to contribute or add to an article on Letterpress Commons; you just need to find good sources of information, be they books, printing historians, or your local experienced commercial printer. Together we can create a comprehensive, authoritative collection of useful information on letterpress printing.
Use Associated Press (AP) style for capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.
Don’t Use First Person
Every article has the potential of having several contributors. Instead, state the sourced facts.
Write in an Unbiased Way
Name the source of any criticism of a technique or product within the body of the text so that the criticism is not presented in the voice of Letterpress Commons. Avoid linking to vendors except in the case of an article that impartially compares and contrasts specific tools or products.
Balance Content Carefully
Present an opposing viewpoint to any contestable assertion.
All sources, whether other printers or published texts, should be tagged with a footnote. This allows us to give due credit when the source of information is not the writer of the article, and will create a tidy “References” section at the bottom of each article. Attribution is unnecessary when citing quotations that are clearly from the person discussed in the article or section.
Anything in print may be quoted as long as the source is properly cited. It is best to ask permission before citing a specific person in lieu of a published text, in the case of information acquired via a conversation or second-hand.
Make Omissions Explicit
If for some reason you cannot cover a point that should be explained, make that omission explicit. This has two purposes: it entices others to contribute, and it alerts non-experts that the article they are reading does not yet give the full story.
Create a Logical Hierarchy of Information
Use headings and subheadings to organize the information. Heading and subheading links will be automatically listed in a Table of Contents at the top of every article and will give readers a sense of the scope of a given page and allow them to quickly access the information they are looking for.
Add a Picture or Video
Visual depictions enable many people to learn more effectively, and allow technical concepts to be communicated in a more concise and clear manner. All articles will require a thumbnail photo or will be assigned a default placeholder thumbnail. Photos or videos should have descriptive titles and accompanying written descriptions so that the content can be searched.
External links can be included within the body text. They will automatically formatted to open in a new browser window and have an “external link” icon. All external links must lead to the most authoritative page available on the topic. For example, you may link to Van Son’s website when talking about Van Son ink, and not Boxcar Press’ page that mentions Van Son ink.