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Re: fonts, letterpress configuration

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  • typetom@aol.com
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 8, 2002
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      << most digital fonts need a slight weight reduction ..., to counteract ink
      spread, provide an even color to the letterform as well as the page, etc....
      to hold to the original design of the digital face >>

      Pretty much what I thought you were refering to with the term "letterpress
      configuration." In practice, mostly, I tend to work with what is given. If
      the digital typeface prints slightly heavier with letterpress, that's what I
      plan for in the page design. A type design can be quirky or out of balance in
      many ways. Maybe fontographer and editing capabilities of the computer now
      allow us to meddle with such things (in ways that the old compositor could
      not, short of the kinds of tricks Bruce Rogers became known for). But mostly
      I live with it, and try to fit the quirks and design weaknesses into the
      typographic decisions -- or I just don't use that font for that situation.

      Sure, multiple masters, optical sizing, the wonderful recent work with
      Caslon, are the right way to go. A discussion of what makes some digital
      fonts work better than others also makes good sense. But I'd hate to dismiss
      the fonts and choices we have in front of us -- as if good work can only be
      done with perfectly designed fonts. Seems to me the job of the printer always
      involves working with necessary compromises. In metal type, the printer
      devised letter-spacing to make caps aesthetically pleasing. While he might
      have demanded more kerned letters (or more ligatures and logo-types) from the
      type designer instead, I think perhaps the letter-spaced setting was a worthy
      solution. Conservatively, I am troubled by over-lapped letters (or such
      things as letter-spaced italics) now occurring just because the computer
      makes them easily possible.

      A bunch of complex issues, I guess. In practice, I'd back off the polymer
      exposure time if possible and watch the inking very carefully, be aware of
      the distortions that can occur, but never decide I can't make good printing
      and creative design just because I am given a limitation to start. On the
      other hand, maybe you're of a mind to do the William Morris trick, and just
      change the whole danged pallette! Press on, press on!
      Tom

      Tom Parson
      Now It's Up To You Publications
      157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
      (303) 777-8951
      http://members.aol.com/typetom
    • David Glover
      If it is not too much trouble...what kind of tricks did Bruce Rogers use? I m not looking for a complete list...just a few examples. ... From:
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 9, 2002
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        If it is not too much trouble...what kind of tricks did Bruce Rogers use?
        I'm not looking for a complete list...just a few examples.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <typetom@...>
        To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 10:48 PM
        Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: fonts, letterpress configuration



        > Pretty much what I thought you were refering to with the term "letterpress
        > configuration." In practice, mostly, I tend to work with what is given. If
        > the digital typeface prints slightly heavier with letterpress, that's what
        I
        > plan for in the page design. A type design can be quirky or out of balance
        in
        > many ways. Maybe fontographer and editing capabilities of the computer now
        > allow us to meddle with such things (in ways that the old compositor could
        > not, short of the kinds of tricks Bruce Rogers became known for). But
        mostly
        > I live with it, and try to fit the quirks and design weaknesses into the
        > typographic decisions -- or I just don't use that font for that situation.
        >
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