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

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  • Dr P.B. Watry
    Gerald Just a little comment here: Enschede (www.teff.nl) accepts commissions for producing bespoke versions of their digital type. I assume this would include
    Message 1 of 44 , Jul 15, 2005
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      Just a little comment here: Enschede (www.teff.nl) accepts commissions
      for producing bespoke versions of their digital type. I assume this would
      include variations more suitable for letterpress. I only bring this up
      because you mentioned them below. We have always been pleased with their
      work, which is often done without any (or little) compromise and for
      high regard to quality design.


      On Fri, 15 Jul 2005, Gerald Lange wrote:

      >Just a couple of points here.
      >In terms of digital letterpress it really doesn't matter what great
      >historical typefaces are out there waiting to be digitized. The main
      >concern is that they would need to be digitized for letterpress and
      >that just isn't going to happen. The dfTYPE work is an anomaly. Rialto
      >was field tested on a letterpress flatbed cylinder press during
      >production. Compensations were made to the face based on these tests.
      >This isn't going to happen with DTL or Enschedé. The example of Bembo
      >Book is indicative. No matter how improved over the previous digital
      >Bembo, it isn't exactly what is needed for letterpress, nor is that
      >its purpose. So we are left to our own devices [modification of
      >fonts], which, for the most part, based on many current foundry
      >leasing contracts, is illegal.
      >[My recollection of Rialto, by the way, is that its lowercase was
      >based on Dutch examples not Venetian or Aldine. The uppercase was
      >based on the Roman epigraphics. Fischbachpresse not only has the metal
      >faces you mention but a much wider venue so it isn't quite accurate to
      >just use these specific examples.]
      >The problem with discussing technical issues of letterform design as
      >they apply to letterpress is that very few of "us" really care. I
      >think the postings (or lack of) here have made that quite clear.
      >Printers take what they are given. Period. They pretty much always
      >have. And if "we" don't care about quality, why should the type
      >designers? There are, by the way, a goodly number of foundry
      >representatives on the list, including dfTYPE. I don't think they are
      >getting the kind of message you hope will inspire them. Farida's last
      >post has much more import. Speak with your pocketbook.
      >Gerald Lange
      >> 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
      >> Lutetia, Romanée, Romulus and Cancellaresca Bastarda, two of which
      >> and Romulus) are the favourites of Harold Berliner as well, as he
      >> earlier on. Besides Monotype Spectrum non of these superb faces by Van
      >> Krimpen are easily accessible in a digital version. Frank Blokland's
      >> 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
      >> 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
      >> 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
      >> 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
      >> 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
      >> 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
      >> 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
      >> version of Rialto (with ink traps) seems promising, I think Rialto
      >is not
      >> the best typeface possible as for printing pp letterpress, precisely
      >> of it's calligraphic features. A modern-day typeface that might have
      >> 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
      >> and will thus avoid coarse reproduction conditions
      >> Perhaps it would be useful to discuss a bit more in detail which
      >> 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
      >> my fount library. Technical aspects, in regard to photopolymer
      >> printing, will have priority in such a discussion, I think.
      >> Kind regards,
      >> Ludwig
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
    • 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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