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Digital Ligatures

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  • Austin
    For Christmas I received the book Stealing God s Thunder by Philip Dray. This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments. The book is a
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 1, 2006
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      For Christmas I received the book Stealing God's Thunder by Philip Dray.
      This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments.
      The book is a Random House publication.

      I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
      publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
      to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
      commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
      publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
      letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
      reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
      the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
      objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
      to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
      spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
      perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
      part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
      accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
      of the times?

      Just wondering.

      --


      Austin Jones
      prints by AJ
      Point Pleasant, WV USA
      austin@...
      http://printsbyaj.com
    • David Michael McNamara
      Older versions of Quark, I believe, didn t have automatic ligatures, and I think the same goes for PageMaker. (I know the newest versions of Quark do, as is
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 1, 2006
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        Older versions of Quark, I believe, didn't have automatic ligatures, and I think the same goes for PageMaker. (I know the newest versions of Quark do, as is the case of InDesign.) And, of course, certain typefaces aren't cooperative with this option, either.

        Of course, someone could go through and manually place the ligatures in there, but the larger publishing houses aren't going to be bother with that for a mass market book. After all, in most cases the title of the person doing the pouring is just that--a Pourer, or Operator, or something similar--and not Graphic Designer, Typographer, et cetera.

        At the end, this is mostly a hunch, and I'm sure there are some other reasons that contribute.
        __

        Davod
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Austin
        To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 12:53 PM
        Subject: [PPLetterpress] Digital Ligatures


        For Christmas I received the book Stealing God's Thunder by Philip Dray.
        This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments.
        The book is a Random House publication.

        I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
        publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
        to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
        commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
        publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
        letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
        reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
        the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
        objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
        to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
        spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
        perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
        part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
        accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
        of the times?

        Just wondering.

        --


        Austin Jones
        prints by AJ
        Point Pleasant, WV USA
        austin@...
        http://printsbyaj.com



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      • Gerald Lange
        Austin Could be laziness or lack of knowledge. The typesetter could also have turned ligatures off for tracking purposes. While ligatures were a necessity in
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 1, 2006
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          Austin

          Could be laziness or lack of knowledge. The typesetter could also have
          turned ligatures off for tracking purposes.

          While ligatures were a necessity in the setting of most metal text type,
          they aren't necessarily considered a requirement in digital practice. In
          fact, the typographer Günter Gerhard Lange (no relation as far as I
          know), who is the Artistic Director at H. Berthold AG, is well known for
          his opposition to the use of f-ligatures.

          Gerald Lange
          http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

          Austin wrote:

          >For Christmas I received the book Stealing God's Thunder by Philip Dray.
          >This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments.
          >The book is a Random House publication.
          >
          >I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
          >publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
          >to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
          >commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
          >publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
          >letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
          >reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
          >the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
          >objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
          >to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
          >spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
          >perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
          >part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
          >accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
          >of the times?
          >
          >Just wondering.
          >
          >
          >
        • Michael T. Metz
          Hello Gerald: Would you offer a snapshot of his argument? Mike ... From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 1, 2006
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            Hello Gerald:

            Would you offer a snapshot of his argument?

            Mike







            -----Original Message-----
            From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Gerald Lange
            Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 2:00 PM
            To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Digital Ligatures


            Austin

            Could be laziness or lack of knowledge. The typesetter could also have
            turned ligatures off for tracking purposes.

            While ligatures were a necessity in the setting of most metal text type,
            they aren't necessarily considered a requirement in digital practice. In
            fact, the typographer Günter Gerhard Lange (no relation as far as I
            know), who is the Artistic Director at H. Berthold AG, is well known for
            his opposition to the use of f-ligatures.

            Gerald Lange
            http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

            Austin wrote:

            >For Christmas I received the book Stealing God's Thunder by Philip Dray.
            >This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments.
            >The book is a Random House publication.
            >
            >I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
            >publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
            >to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
            >commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
            >publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
            >letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
            >reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
            >the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
            >objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
            >to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
            >spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
            >perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
            >part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
            >accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
            >of the times?
            >
            >Just wondering.
            >
            >
            >





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          • Gerald Lange
            Mike I assume this is in reference to Günter Gerhard Lange? if so. . . Can t recall off hand. I think there was some discussion in this regard on the
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 1, 2006
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              Mike

              I assume this is in reference to Günter Gerhard Lange? if so. . .

              Can't recall off hand. I think there was some discussion in this regard
              on the Typophile forums a while back. May have had something to do with
              streamlining composition systems or modernizing character sets.

              I have a number of faces designed by Lange that include ligature sets
              and I believe most of the Berthold fonts that I have include ligatures. (?)

              Gerald Lange
              http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

              Michael T. Metz wrote:

              >Hello Gerald:
              >
              >Would you offer a snapshot of his argument?
              >
              >Mike
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >Austin
              >
              >Could be laziness or lack of knowledge. The typesetter could also have
              >turned ligatures off for tracking purposes.
              >
              >While ligatures were a necessity in the setting of most metal text type,
              >they aren't necessarily considered a requirement in digital practice. In
              >fact, the typographer Günter Gerhard Lange (no relation as far as I
              >know), who is the Artistic Director at H. Berthold AG, is well known for
              >his opposition to the use of f-ligatures.
              >
              >Gerald Lange
              >http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
              >
              >Austin wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >>For Christmas I received the book Stealing God's Thunder by Philip Dray.
              >>This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments.
              >>The book is a Random House publication.
              >>
              >>I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
              >>publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
              >>to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
              >>commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
              >>publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
              >>letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
              >>reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
              >>the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
              >>objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
              >>to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
              >>spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
              >>perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
              >>part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
              >>accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
              >>of the times?
              >>
              >>Just wondering.
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
            • Michael T. Metz
              Yes, good job reading my mind. It doesn t sound like much of an argument for dropping ligatures. Thanks, Mike ... From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 1, 2006
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                Yes, good job reading my mind.

                It doesn't sound like much of an argument for
                dropping ligatures.

                Thanks,
                Mike

                -----Original Message-----
                From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Gerald Lange
                Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 5:12 PM
                To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Digital Ligatures


                Mike

                I assume this is in reference to Günter Gerhard Lange? if so. . .

                Can't recall off hand. I think there was some discussion in this regard
                on the Typophile forums a while back. May have had something to do with
                streamlining composition systems or modernizing character sets.

                I have a number of faces designed by Lange that include ligature sets
                and I believe most of the Berthold fonts that I have include ligatures. (?)

                Gerald Lange
                http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

                Michael T. Metz wrote:

                >Hello Gerald:
                >
                >Would you offer a snapshot of his argument?
                >
                >Mike
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Austin
                >
                >Could be laziness or lack of knowledge. The typesetter could also have
                >turned ligatures off for tracking purposes.
                >
                >While ligatures were a necessity in the setting of most metal text type,
                >they aren't necessarily considered a requirement in digital practice. In
                >fact, the typographer Günter Gerhard Lange (no relation as far as I
                >know), who is the Artistic Director at H. Berthold AG, is well known for
                >his opposition to the use of f-ligatures.
                >
                >Gerald Lange
                >http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
                >
                >Austin wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >>For Christmas I received the book Stealing God's Thunder by Philip Dray.
                >>This is a book dealing with Ben Franklin and his scientific experiments.
                >>The book is a Random House publication.
                >>
                >>I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
                >>publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
                >>to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
                >>commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
                >>publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
                >>letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
                >>reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
                >>the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
                >>objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
                >>to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
                >>spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
                >>perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
                >>part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
                >>accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
                >>of the times?
                >>
                >>Just wondering.
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>





                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • Graham and Kathy
                Ignorance, cup-fulls of ignorance, and maybe a dash of laziness and a pinch of faux hip . Graham Moss Incline Press 36 Bow Street Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                  Ignorance, cup-fulls of ignorance, and maybe a dash of laziness and a pinch
                  of 'faux hip'.


                  Graham Moss
                  Incline Press
                  36 Bow Street
                  Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                  http://www.inclinepress.com




                  On 1/1/06 17:53, "Austin" <austin@...> wrote:

                  > I have a question for all you digital types. Why are these mainstream
                  > publishers failing to use "f" ligatures in book typesetting? Being used
                  > to setting type in metal, the use of fl, fi etc. as ligatures seems
                  > commonplace to me. I have noticed this more and more in modern
                  > publications. The f and l, or f and i overlap and are obviously separate
                  > letters. To me a well designed page will appear an even gray to the
                  > reader. Spots of black or white are distracting and show poor design on
                  > the part of the typesetter or book designer unless that is the
                  > objective. These spots can be used quite effectively to draw attention
                  > to a particular point on the page. I am very aware of that. The black
                  > spots where the f and l overlap is excessively black. BAD from my
                  > perspective. It is difficult for me to see it other than laziness on the
                  > part of the typesetters. Even the most basic of word processors will
                  > accommodate the search and replace function. Is this just another sign
                  > of the times?
                  >
                  > Just wondering.
                • Austin
                  ... I gather - everyone on this list agrees with me in being frustrated at the failure to use the f ligature. The question then seems to me - How do we
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                    Graham and Kathy wrote:

                    > Ignorance, cup-fulls of ignorance, and maybe a dash of laziness and a
                    > pinch
                    > of 'faux hip'.
                    >
                    >
                    > Graham Moss
                    > Incline Press
                    > 36 Bow Street
                    > Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                    > http://www.inclinepress.com
                    >
                    >
                    I gather - everyone on this list agrees with me in being frustrated at
                    the failure to use the f ligature. The question then seems to me - How
                    do we communicate this point to the publishers? I personally intend to
                    contact Random House to voice my displeasure with their lack of
                    diligence in monitoring the typesetting of their books. I feel that the
                    only way to preserve these standards is to scream loud and often. Apathy
                    is the cause for change in society more often than activism

                    --


                    Austin Jones
                    prints by AJ
                    Point Pleasant, WV USA
                    austin@...
                    http://printsbyaj.com



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Carole Aldrich
                    It is very simple to turn on the use of ligatures in page layout software like Quark or InDesign. It does not make extra work, only the awareness that this
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                      It is very simple to "turn on" the use of ligatures in page layout
                      software like Quark or InDesign. It does not make extra work, only
                      the awareness that this should be done, just as turning on the
                      function to convert "typewriter quotes" to "curly quotes".



                      Carole Aldrich
                      carolealdrich@...
                      909-625-7722
                      909-625-9822 fax
                      909-374-2981 cell
                    • Graham and Kathy
                      All the logical reasons for complaint were concisely expressed in Austins email. Those of us who think it s important ought to be complaining every time we see
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                        All the logical reasons for complaint were concisely expressed in Austins
                        email. Those of us who think it's important ought to be complaining every
                        time we see a publisher with lax standards in this as well as the other
                        respects that concern not just us but a wider constituency. For instance, in
                        the UK there is an awareness reported in the literary sections of the daily
                        press of a loss of editorial work and of proof-reading. I would assume that
                        it's all to do with making books cheaper by cutting overheads, and thus ties
                        in with using under-educated typists when it comes to setting the books
                        instead of typists who know what correct typesetting should entail.

                        Despite such an economic imperative running the show, I wouldn't consider
                        complaining about falling standards to be a waste of time. There are
                        publishers who maintain standards, and they manage in the same market. They
                        should get letters too.


                        Graham Moss
                        Incline Press
                        36 Bow Street
                        Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                        http://www.inclinepress.com
                      • Scott Rubel
                        The only way to get this across to publishers is the old-fashioned way: boycott and demonstrate. Pace out front of your favorite bookstore carrying a sign with
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                          The only way to get this across to publishers is the old-fashioned
                          way: boycott and demonstrate. Pace out front of your favorite
                          bookstore carrying a sign with an "f" and "l" with a red circle and
                          cross through them. Hand out broadsides. Check shoppers' bags for
                          ligatureless reading matter and implore them to return it and get
                          their money back.

                          I am doing my part. I am circling every missed opportunity for a
                          ligature in every book I received for Christmas and I'm sending them
                          back to the publishers as "unreadable" and telling them to get their
                          (and here's my favorite ligature) fhit together.

                          ♜Scott Rubel♖

                          On Jan 2, 2006, at 8:11 AM, Austin wrote:

                          > Graham and Kathy wrote:
                          >
                          >> Ignorance, cup-fulls of ignorance, and maybe a dash of laziness
                          >> and a pinch of 'faux hip'.
                          >>
                          >> Graham Moss
                          >> Incline Press
                          >> 36 Bow Street
                          >> Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                          >> http://www.inclinepress.com
                          >>
                          > I gather - everyone on this list agrees with me in being frustrated at
                          > the failure to use the f ligature. The question then seems to me - How
                          > do we communicate this point to the publishers? I personally intend to
                          > contact Random House to voice my displeasure with their lack of
                          > diligence in monitoring the typesetting of their books. I feel that
                          > the
                          > only way to preserve these standards is to scream loud and often.
                          > Apathy
                          > is the cause for change in society more often than activism
                          >
                          > --
                          > Austin Jones
                          > prints by AJ
                          > Point Pleasant, WV USA
                          > austin@...
                          > http://printsbyaj.com
                        • Scott Rubel
                          I was not aware of this in InDesign. Bummer…all the time I spent inserting ligatures. Ignorance. Thank you for the lesson. --Scott
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                            I was not aware of this in InDesign.

                            Bummer…all the time I spent inserting ligatures.

                            Ignorance. Thank you for the lesson.

                            --Scott

                            On Jan 2, 2006, at 8:47 AM, Carole Aldrich wrote:

                            > It is very simple to "turn on" the use of ligatures in page layout
                            > software like Quark or InDesign. It does not make extra work, only
                            > the awareness that this should be done, just as turning on the
                            > function to convert "typewriter quotes" to "curly quotes".
                            >
                            > Carole Aldrich
                            > carolealdrich@...
                            > 909-625-7722
                            > 909-625-9822 fax
                            > 909-374-2981 cell
                          • Farida Bee
                            Scott, This would make a great T-shirt design. Farida ... sign with an f and l with a red circle and cross through them.
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                              Scott,

                              This would make a great T-shirt design.

                              Farida



                              --- Scott Rubel <scott@...> wrote:

                              > Pace out front of your favorite bookstore carrying a
                              sign with an "f" and "l" with a red circle and cross
                              through them.



                              __________________________________________
                              Yahoo! DSL – Something to write home about.
                              Just $16.99/mo. or less.
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                            • Michael T. Metz
                              That s hilarious, and it would probably make the news. Civil disobedience at its best. ... From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 2, 2006
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                                That's hilarious, and it would probably make the
                                news. Civil disobedience at its best.

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                [mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Scott Rubel
                                Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 3:38 PM
                                To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Digital Ligatures


                                The only way to get this across to publishers is the old-fashioned
                                way: boycott and demonstrate. Pace out front of your favorite
                                bookstore carrying a sign with an "f" and "l" with a red circle and
                                cross through them. Hand out broadsides. Check shoppers' bags for
                                ligatureless reading matter and implore them to return it and get
                                their money back.

                                I am doing my part. I am circling every missed opportunity for a
                                ligature in every book I received for Christmas and I'm sending them
                                back to the publishers as "unreadable" and telling them to get their
                                (and here's my favorite ligature) fhit together.

                                ♜Scott Rubel♖

                                On Jan 2, 2006, at 8:11 AM, Austin wrote:

                                > Graham and Kathy wrote:
                                >
                                >> Ignorance, cup-fulls of ignorance, and maybe a dash of laziness
                                >> and a pinch of 'faux hip'.
                                >>
                                >> Graham Moss
                                >> Incline Press
                                >> 36 Bow Street
                                >> Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                                >> http://www.inclinepress.com
                                >>
                                > I gather - everyone on this list agrees with me in being frustrated at
                                > the failure to use the f ligature. The question then seems to me - How
                                > do we communicate this point to the publishers? I personally intend to
                                > contact Random House to voice my displeasure with their lack of
                                > diligence in monitoring the typesetting of their books. I feel that
                                > the
                                > only way to preserve these standards is to scream loud and often.
                                > Apathy
                                > is the cause for change in society more often than activism
                                >
                                > --
                                > Austin Jones
                                > prints by AJ
                                > Point Pleasant, WV USA
                                > austin@...
                                > http://printsbyaj.com



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