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Re: Compositors

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  • E Roustom
    ... Graphic Design schools should teach their students production, and make them get their hands dirty - the basics of layout as done with pencils and rulers
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 21, 2003
      > From: Dan Franklin <dan@...>
      > In fact -- and this is important, perhaps
      > most important -- this is the first generation of compositors who
      > were not 'brought up in the trade' -- and therefore, much more than
      > their immediate predecessors, need the education that teaching books
      > can give.

      Graphic Design schools should teach their students production, and make them
      get their hands dirty - the basics of layout as done with pencils and rulers
      should be taught before a computer is even turned on - I can go on. So I
      share the sense of frustration that leads to what is written above.
      However, well trained and careful people as well poorly trained hacks
      (idiots, morons, or jerks) existed then and now. If you're looking to the
      best of yesteryear and comparing to the average of today you're not being
      honest. Of all that was ever printed, how much of it deserves preservation
      and study? I would wager that the percentage from age to age doesn't change
      that much.
      I've worked with my share of "talent" and I can complain some, but for
      the most part designers do know what they're doing, or catch on pretty
      quickly, never mind that they've never had to wash ink out from under their
      fingernails. It's a little unfair to pick on this generation categorically -
      as much as I'd like to sometimes - but our tools today are superb
      (mindblowing amazing), and one could argue that the available type has never
      been better. Further, letterpress has never looked so good as it does today
      - especially sincce it was released from its workhorse duties. The failings
      of the lazy and the uneducated are no reason to smear with a wide brush.
      There is always something to piss and moan about - and that's fun, really
      fun sometimes - but we have more to celebrate in this typographical age than
      anybody ever did.

      E.
    • Tony Kranz
      Speaking parenthetically doesn t excuse inconsideration when extending invitations. Therefore, should I be traveling through Belleville, Illinois anytime,
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 21, 2003
        Speaking parenthetically doesn't excuse inconsideration when extending
        invitations. Therefore, should I be traveling through Belleville, Illinois
        anytime, expect a knock on the door. I won't be able to go morning, noon
        and night, but I might like to try. Either that or invite off list.

        Best,

        Tony
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Dan Franklin [mailto:dan@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 2:16 PM
        To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: fine printing



        (Gerald and Mats, you are invited to Belleville, Illinois anytime.
        We'll hash this out morning, noon, and night over a weekend, then
        take an excursion to Washington University (40 minutes away), whose
        Rare Book collection includes the entire output of the Kelmscott,
        Doves, and Ashendene presses, along with a rich reserve of
        printing-related books and other materials.)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • drymartini@gmx.de
        ... I still do this, but I ve noticed a lot of people I ve worked with didn t bother. Either they didn t know the rules, or didn t care, or thought it was the
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 22, 2003
          Dan Franklin wrote:

          >At the beginning of the 20th century, compositors were obviously
          >expected to 'correct copy', that is, fix misspellings, supply
          >appropriate punctuation, etc. The manuals of that era tell us that.
          >Nowadays, with all the wonderful tools we have at hand, the skill and
          >expertise of the average 'operator' or 'page builder,' as they call
          >us now, are fairly low.

          I still do this, but I've noticed a lot of people I've worked with
          didn't bother. Either they didn't know the rules, or didn't care, or
          thought it was the copywriter's jobs to check spelling and punctuation.

          >Well, I've used six ersatz em dashes, and I never allow myself to
          >exceed half a dozen.

          Those were ersatz en dashes ;-) Ersatz em dashes are written---like
          this, as you would imagine---that's the way TeX does it anyway ;-)
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