- Dear Justin
....Thanks for the response in TYPO-L. "Polymer-optimised" is an
interesting word. I would think that P-optimizing a font like Founders
Caslon, would be quite nuts given the market. I do not know of anyone
else, other than Bradley Hutchinson and myself, who has actually
configured a digital font for letterpress. I have provided the info on
how to do it in PDT but I have never had to field a question in this
regard. Nor have I ever seen any evidence that other printers bother
with it, which to a great extent is why most photopolymer letterpress
artifacts don't seem much to write home about. One of the most useful
approaches to all of this was the optical scaling feature in Multiple
Master fonts where letterpress configuration was a snap, but if you
want to use anything other than an MM font you have a problem.
The basic need is a reduction in character stroke width without
effecting the integrity of the font. The method I use is probably a
bit too elemental but it works as long as you barely alter the
letterform. A reduction of -5 em in Fontographer is getting close to
letterform breakup so there isn't an awful lot of room to play with
this in the first place. This is dependent largely on the
characteristics of the particular typeface of course.
I recently had to go through a balancing act with Linotype Optima
making several sets to get the italic version to harmonize (in weight)
with the roman version without undue destruction. The FOG quick and
dirty technique preserves the original outline of the letterform,
forcing reduction inward. This is a good thing but when you have to
deal with severely vertically stressed characters, such as an I, or an
l, or a 1, there is not much FOG can do to reduce these (using this
technique). So you actually have to create a secondary font which is
more severely reduced just for these characters, and then switch them
in during composition. Since PS1 fonts don't share kerning pairs, you
have a manual kerning nightmare on your hands.
Having said all this, what would you recommend regarding a similar
procedure in FontLab. Is it just a matter of using the Transform menu
and you are done? Is there a secondary procedure that would allow you
to reduce stress of the verticals with some integrity?
Really all that is needed is a lighter version of a font to compensate
for impression and ink gain. Is there any quick way of doing this
across the board? Would a reduction of Founders Caslon at -2.5 em
cause points to move and distort the outline? I can't image the type
industry jumping on the P-o bandwagon but I know there are a couple of
folks, such as yourself, who seem quite intent on exploring the
letterpress possibilities of digital type at the "pre-user" stage in
the technology. I'm keeping my eyes open and my ear close to the
ground on this one.
Your offer to create a Polymer-optimized Founders Caslon knocked me
over. Nothing short of heroic. But wouldn't a slight weight reduced
version of Founders Caslon be a nightmare for you to construct? I was
just hoping for a simple tech sheet!!!!....
- From: Gerald Lange
> Hrant's dogged pursuit is raging over at the type-design listNotably sans Hrant... "'I like to watch', he said."
> 18 micron = 0.0007086614 inchThat's so embarassing. And to think that I have a minor
in Math... A micron is 10^-6 *meters*, not centimeters. :-/
This is great news. Dwiggins, Justin, and
now that guy are all in the same ballpark.