738Re: Rialto Pressa ink traps
- Jul 15, 2002
> I am very interested in the ink traps and can see the ways in which theHi Mark
> traps differ from regular digital type, and I don't like to knock the hard
> work of dfTYPE, but does it really make a difference? Surely choosing a
> light font when you want a medium to print letterpress will give the same
> sort of legibility?
> Mark Attwood
I think there are two different things going on with this. Digital
type does tend to thicken noticeably when printed letterpress but the
answer is simply not to switch to a lighter version, though that is
I will often make four or five instances of a typeface, using a font
editing program to give me a range of selections. This has more to do
with optimization than it does the thickening process though that is
an obvious consideration.
While this will give a better optical range it doesn't actually
provide true optimization. This is more a technical consideration in
the design of a typeface, metal or digital. And it should be said
that we did not often get this with metal either. But there are a
growing number of digital fonts that in way or another do approach
some form of optimization.
This is a good thing, no? Far too often the consumer fails to support
the better quality offering, generally because it costs more. A
fellow from Monotype once pointed out to me that during the photofilm
composition years Monotype actually tried to offer the scaled down
version of optical ranging that they had practiced in the metal
composition years but no one was willing to buy four size fonts of
the same face when they could just photoscale the one face that they
did buy. That's how we got into this mess. Time we started thinking
of a way out of it?
I know there are a lot of folks who don't really care what their type
looks like. And wonder what the big deal is. But this has always been
the case, for some 550 years now. There have also been those who are
concerned. Aren't their contributions the ones we tend to remember
and honor in our recreation of the letterpress myth?.
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