Paul W. Romaine wrote:I'm not entirely clear if ink traps were commonly
> used in metal type (foundry or hot metal) or photofont.
> So my question: in taking digital types without ink traps, have you
> experienced problems? The traps are more visible at larger sizes--has
> anyone had to compensate to hide them? Has anyone tried to add traps of
> their own to faces lacking them (in non-display sizes)? Has anyone had
> problems of another sort--a trap for the unwary, so to speak??
Something further on this...
Ink traps were used in metal, but probably not commonly(?) I doubt, but
am not certain, that they were rarely used in faces designed for machine
composition. Their somewhat opposite, thorns (tiny line protuberances at
the outside angles), were used in photofilm. These would disappear with
exposure but allow the angle point to be captured correctly. I believe a
combination of the two would work well in printing with photopolymer.
When I've redone finely detailed images in the past I would normally try
to include ink traps of some sort.
I think it is a problem with photopolymer; there is a different thing
going on with the ink coverage than there is when printing with metal,
especially with high exposed line images. One thing that is more obvious
to me than it might be to a digital type designer is that the cuttings
of a metal type face are more physical and do not show in the face
itself. Ink drains, so to speak. These are obviously not a feature of
photopolymer. At least not in the similar fashion. In fact, one problem
is the ability of photopolymer to hold the ink at near below the
surface. Useful for printmakers, not so good for fine letterpress.
As I mentioned, I am currently engaged in the conversion of a relatively unknown metal foundry face into digital and I am particularly concerned with these old-technology type design techniques and how they might be well applied to photopolymer reproduction. Since this is a display face and meant for use at larger sizes, any trapping has to be quite subtle, but perhaps in a different way than was done with metal type. Or at least, in a different way than in the stylistic appropriation of Christian's font. But, at least, he brought it to fro.