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Photopolymer-optimization thread

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  • Gerald Lange
    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,
    Message 1 of 46 , Aug 17, 2001
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      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!!!!....

      All Best

    • Hrant H Papazian
      From: Gerald Lange ... Notably sans Hrant... I like to watch , he said. From: author50401 ... That s so embarassing. And to think that I have a minor in
      Message 46 of 46 , Jun 21, 2002
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        From: Gerald Lange
        > Hrant's dogged pursuit is raging over at the type-design list

        Notably sans Hrant... "'I like to watch', he said."

        From: "author50401"
        > 18 micron = 0.0007086614 inch

        That'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.

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