- On another list there has been some discussion of "ink traps" and
"nicks" that are designed in, as functions, into typefaces. My
question concerns "ink drains," which I'd assume are unique to metal
My only encounter with this: The largest size of Sistina (60 or 72)
has many, many tiny nicks cast into the outline of the face. These are
noticeable when printed and are visible on the specimens sheets I've
seen. The first time I ever printed with this I thought I must have
some damaged type, but it was new and, as fonted, still covered with
protective grease from the foundry (Stempel). The smaller sizes of the
face do not exhibit these. These nicks drain down a bit into the beard
(about halfway before they dissipate). I can't image Zapf designing
these into this particular letterform. Given the late date of
production, I'd always assumned these were a technical consideration
and evidence of ink drains. Anyone have any further information on this?
What exactly is an 'ink drain' in type? Taken literally,
I can infer a meaning, but I'm not sure why or how
ink should 'drain' from the face of type.
Kat Ran Press
221 Pine Street #1G5
Florence, Massachusetts 01062
413.584.1152 phone & fax
My suspicion, at least in regard to the Sistina, is that with the slight
nicks this would allow ink spread to be contained within the outline
(the nicks would eventually fill during a normal commercial run on high
production presses), while allowing access ink a place to run off (thus
preventing ink spread). I'm guessing though, as I can see no other
reason for this. I've read about this previously, a long while ago, but
have since lost the reference. Thus this query.
Michael Russem wrote:
>What exactly is an 'ink drain' in type? Taken literally,
>I can infer a meaning, but I'm not sure why or how
>ink should 'drain' from the face of type.
- From: "Gerald Lange
> The largest size of Sistina (60 or 72)Could we see exactly what these look like?
> has many, many tiny nicks cast into
> the outline of the face.
Smoke proofs preferred. :-)
I'll bring a copy of the printed piece for you to look at, or maybe
I'll scan the piece and put it up here as a PDF. But the mystery has
been solved. Jerry Kelly has informed me that Zapf indeed wanted the
Sistina to have a roughened edge. And while not all that apparent to
the eye the smaller sizes carry the characteristic as well.
> > The largest size of Sistina (60 or 72)
> > has many, many tiny nicks cast into
> > the outline of the face.
> Could we see exactly what these look like?
> Smoke proofs preferred. :-)