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RE: [PPLetterpress] Re: Favourite fonts for Photopolymer printing

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  • Ludwig M. Solzen
    Quoted from page 14 of the specimen: »The ten cuts of Rialto: – Rialtodf Piccolo for sizes up to 14 point in Roman, Italic and Small Caps. – Rialtodf for
    Message 1 of 44 , Jul 14, 2005
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      Quoted from page 14 of the specimen:

      »The ten cuts of Rialto:
      – Rialtodf Piccolo for sizes up to 14 point in Roman,
      Italic and Small Caps.
      – Rialtodf for sizes from 16 point and above in Roman,
      Italic and Small Caps.
      – Rialtodf Bold in Roman, Italic and Small Caps.
      – Rialtodf Titling consists of caps only, for larger sizes.
      These are obtainable direct from us, under the name
      dftype. The price for the type family is ATS 8.000,–,
      € 581,38 excluding vat.«

      There is a read-worthy article on Rialto by the late Max Caflish,
      republished in his "Schriftanalysen. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte
      typographischer Schriften" (2 vol.), St.Gallen: Typotron, 2003, pp.73–80.

      Recalling the issue at stake here (which are favourite founts for pp
      printing), I'd like to make a small digression.

      Note that until the production of their own typeface, the developers of
      Rialto at the Fischbachpresse used such exquisite founts as Van Krimpen's
      Lutetia, Romanée, Romulus and Cancellaresca Bastarda, two of which (Lutetia
      and Romulus) are the favourites of Harold Berliner as well, as he testified
      earlier on. Besides Monotype Spectrum non of these superb faces by Van
      Krimpen are easily accessible in a digital version. Frank Blokland's Dutch
      Type Library, however, is working on the 'JvK Project', striving for a
      high-end digitisation of the typo-calligrapher's Gesamtoeuvre. DTL
      Haarlemmer is available for some years now (the complete family costs about
      1.200 euros, VAT excl.), Romulus has been digitised, but does not seem to
      have been made publicly available already. I am eagerly expecting the
      digital rebirth of the Cancellaresca, Greek and Open Capital companions to
      Romulus, and some of those beautifully rendered glyphs (such as the italic
      lower g), that are in Van Krimpen's first typeface only, Lutetia.

      Now, I wonder why Karner and De Faccio turned back to an Aldine (or at least
      Venetian) example when creating their own face, where Karner in the forgoing
      publications of his private press seemed to have had a preference for the
      more austere, yet graceful aristocracy of such 'modern' faces as those by
      Jan van Krimpen. I say 'aristocratic' and 'modern' since Van Krimpen's
      designs, in a way, recall the upright, rational faces by Bodoni and Didot,
      with a strong contrast, albeit not as heavy as in the classicist faces. At
      the same time Van Krimpen succeeded in keeping the humanist elegance of the
      garaldes. This is why, I believe, his alphabets are so splendid to me: they
      have all the best of typographic history, united in one typeface. This is
      also why the Van Krimpen typefaces have a timeless and therefore up-to-date
      look, unlike the vast amount of modern day revivals and interpretations.
      Such as Rialto. Despite some of their excellent particularities I am
      personally not very fond of those postmodernist designs as e.g. Gentium,
      Warnock &c. Rialto suffers the some postmodernist fancies, precisely because
      of its calligraphic structure.

      There is also a technical issue. The calligraphic inclination of the
      traditionalist party in postmodernist type design, causes their typefaces to
      have a strong contrast (very fine serifs, precious calligraphic strokes),
      which I think will hardly endure them being transferred on film, plate &c.
      The final result–even with the expected ink gain on press–is a harsh and
      uneven, spiked text colour, very much the opposite of e.g. Griffo's–also
      calligraphically inspired!–Aldine face. Although the pp optimised 'Pressa'
      version of Rialto (with ink traps) seems promising, I think Rialto is not
      the best typeface possible as for printing pp letterpress, precisely because
      of it's calligraphic features. A modern-day typeface that might have better
      results, imho, would be a Van Krimpen inspired, pp letterpress optimised
      one, that is to say: one that keeps the humanist sway of the classics, but
      in bearing on a rationalist construction avoids calligraphic extravagance
      and will thus avoid coarse reproduction conditions

      Perhaps it would be useful to discuss a bit more in detail which typefaces
      are actually used most in pp letterpress and what be their respective
      defects and qualities. I am very much interested to hear about the
      favourites of the members here, so as to have a reliable guide in building
      my fount library. Technical aspects, in regard to photopolymer letterpress
      printing, will have priority in such a discussion, I think.

      Kind regards,

    • Gerald Lange
      Ludwig I think I have found something... I had previously not read the final chapter, The Colorado Project, on Mandel s work in the Southall book. Mandel
      Message 44 of 44 , Jul 26, 2005
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        I think I have found something...

        I had previously not read the final chapter, "The Colorado Project,"
        on Mandel's work in the Southall book. Mandel used the term "cutout"
        for ink trap and "finial" for thorn. The note regarding the problem of
        scale and size with PostScript is of interest as is his suggestion
        that these additions need to be sacrified during printing "leaving
        behind the real intended shape of the character." Southall does spend
        a bit more time with this.


        > >
        > > In this regard I have another question. Discussing ink traps, it is
        > often
        > > claimed that in the old days such skilled punch cutters / font
        > designers as
        > > e.g. J.M. Fleischmann deliberately changed the form of their glyphs
        > on the
        > > punches, precisely because of ink gain matters. Is that so? Did you
        > found
        > > metal punches that prove this? And if that be the case, what exactly
        > those
        > > punch cutters took into account? Did they write down their
        > experiences so as
        > > to hand over their knowledge to progeny?
        > >
        > > As soon as I have cleaned up my messy documentation folders and
        > found the df
        > > paper, I'll inform you.
        > >
        > > Kind regards
        > >
        > > Ludwig
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