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Re: Rialto Pressa ink traps

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  • bielerpr
    ... Hi Mark I think there are two different things going on with this. Digital type does tend to thicken noticeably when printed letterpress but the answer is
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 15, 2002
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      > I am very interested in the ink traps and can see the ways in which the
      > traps differ from regular digital type, and I don't like to knock the hard
      > work of dfTYPE, but does it really make a difference? Surely choosing a
      > light font when you want a medium to print letterpress will give the same
      > sort of legibility?
      >
      > Mark Attwood


      Hi Mark

      I think there are two different things going on with this. Digital
      type does tend to thicken noticeably when printed letterpress but the
      answer is simply not to switch to a lighter version, though that is
      an answer.

      I will often make four or five instances of a typeface, using a font
      editing program to give me a range of selections. This has more to do
      with optimization than it does the thickening process though that is
      an obvious consideration.

      While this will give a better optical range it doesn't actually
      provide true optimization. This is more a technical consideration in
      the design of a typeface, metal or digital. And it should be said
      that we did not often get this with metal either. But there are a
      growing number of digital fonts that in way or another do approach
      some form of optimization.

      This is a good thing, no? Far too often the consumer fails to support
      the better quality offering, generally because it costs more. A
      fellow from Monotype once pointed out to me that during the photofilm
      composition years Monotype actually tried to offer the scaled down
      version of optical ranging that they had practiced in the metal
      composition years but no one was willing to buy four size fonts of
      the same face when they could just photoscale the one face that they
      did buy. That's how we got into this mess. Time we started thinking
      of a way out of it?

      I know there are a lot of folks who don't really care what their type
      looks like. And wonder what the big deal is. But this has always been
      the case, for some 550 years now. There have also been those who are
      concerned. Aren't their contributions the ones we tend to remember
      and honor in our recreation of the letterpress myth?.

      All best

      Gerald
    • Mark Attwood
      ... Well said Gerald. I think we do need to support the efforts of those designing better products, I wanted to get an idea of how much better the optimised
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 16, 2002
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        > Gerald wrote:

        > Far too often the consumer fails to support
        > the better quality offering, generally because it costs more. A
        > fellow from Monotype once pointed out to me that during the photofilm
        > composition years Monotype actually tried to offer the scaled down
        > version of optical ranging that they had practiced in the metal
        > composition years but no one was willing to buy four size fonts of
        > the same face when they could just photoscale the one face that they
        > did buy. That's how we got into this mess. Time we started thinking
        > of a way out of it?
        >
        > I know there are a lot of folks who don't really care what their type
        > looks like. And wonder what the big deal is. But this has always been
        > the case, for some 550 years now. There have also been those who are
        > concerned. Aren't their contributions the ones we tend to remember
        > and honor in our recreation of the letterpress myth?.
        >

        Well said Gerald. I think we do need to support the efforts of those
        designing better products, I wanted to get an idea of how much better the
        optimised font would be, than simply choosing a lighter font before making
        an investment.

        Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer said one should always acquire the
        best tools possible, as poor tools corrode the spirit, and I think the same
        applies to printing.

        Regards,
        Mark.

        Mark Attwood

        The Artists' Press
        Box 623
        Newtown
        2113
        South Africa

        Tel. +27 11 836 5474
        fax. +27 11 836 6858
        mark@...
      • bielerpr
        ... Interesting! On the selection of typefaces, Lewis Allen commented, inferior tools corrode the spirit (in Printing on the Hand Press). Do you suppose he
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 16, 2002
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          >
          > Well said Gerald. I think we do need to support the efforts of those
          > designing better products, I wanted to get an idea of how much better the
          > optimised font would be, than simply choosing a lighter font before making
          > an investment.
          >
          > Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer said one should always acquire the
          > best tools possible, as poor tools corrode the spirit, and I think the same
          > applies to printing.
          >
          > Regards,
          > Mark.
          >

          Interesting! On the selection of typefaces, Lewis Allen commented,
          "inferior tools corrode the spirit" (in Printing on the Hand Press).
          Do you suppose he appropriated that from Shackleton?

          Gerald
        • Gerald Lange
          ... Ken I ve always used Fontographer. There is a simple sequence on how to do this in my monograph Printing Digital Type. I did buy a copy of FontLab when it
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 17, 2002
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            ken botnick wrote:
            >
            > Gerald,
            > Which font editing program do you use to create the range of selections?
            >
            > Ken
            > --

            Ken

            I've always used Fontographer. There is a simple sequence on how to do this in
            my monograph Printing Digital Type.

            I did buy a copy of FontLab when it first came out but it didn't work on my
            system. There is a new version out. I think Justin Howes mentioned how to use
            it for this purpose in a very early post here.

            I have a listing of various URLs on font-editing software in the Bookmarks
            section here. Most interesting is Luc Devroye's entire page of links to free
            software and the like from his site Snots & Fonts

            http://jeff.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/editors.html

            Luc is always most interesting. Well worth a night's entertainment.

            Gerald
          • Katie Harper
            Perhaps that is one of those truisms that is so true, many people have said it independently. I for one would like to take a moment to thank Gerald for setting
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 17, 2002
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              Perhaps that is one of those truisms that is so true, many people have said
              it independently.

              I for one would like to take a moment to thank Gerald for setting up this
              network, and for all those who contribute to it. For those of us who are
              hawking our services to a public that is far too corroded by inferior stuff
              to really appreciate letterpress or fine craft in general, it's good to have
              colleagues who can help us believe in our own sanity for wanting to produce
              the best work possible.

              Thanks to you all!


              Katie Harper
              Ars Brevis Press
              Cincinnati, OH
              513-233-9588




              > From: "bielerpr" <bieler@...>
              > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 06:43:59 -0000
              > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Rialto Pressa ink traps
              >
              >
              >>
              >> Well said Gerald. I think we do need to support the efforts of those
              >> designing better products, I wanted to get an idea of how much better the
              >> optimised font would be, than simply choosing a lighter font before making
              >> an investment.
              >>
              >> Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer said one should always acquire the
              >> best tools possible, as poor tools corrode the spirit, and I think the same
              >> applies to printing.
              >>
              >> Regards,
              >> Mark.
              >>
              >
              > Interesting! On the selection of typefaces, Lewis Allen commented,
              > "inferior tools corrode the spirit" (in Printing on the Hand Press).
              > Do you suppose he appropriated that from Shackleton?
              >
              > Gerald
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > • To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
              > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              > • Encountering problems? contact:
              > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
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              > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
            • ken botnick
              Gerald, Which font editing program do you use to create the range of selections? Ken -- Ken Botnick Associate Professor, Visual Communications Washington
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 17, 2002
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                Gerald,
                Which font editing program do you use to create the range of selections?


                Ken
                --
                Ken Botnick
                Associate Professor, Visual Communications
                Washington University, Saint Louis
                314.935.8402 x 1 office
                314.968.5060 home
                http://www.em-dash.org
              • Mark Attwood
                Mark Attwood The Artists Press Box 623 Newtown 2113 South Africa Tel. +27 11 836 5474 fax. +27 11 836 6858 mark@artistspress.co.za ... Or shackleton
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 17, 2002
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                  Mark Attwood

                  The Artists' Press
                  Box 623
                  Newtown
                  2113
                  South Africa

                  Tel. +27 11 836 5474
                  fax. +27 11 836 6858
                  mark@...



                  > Interesting! On the selection of typefaces, Lewis Allen commented,
                  > "inferior tools corrode the spirit" (in Printing on the Hand Press).
                  > Do you suppose he appropriated that from Shackleton?

                  > Gerald
                  >


                  Or shackleton appropriated it from? I know that Shackleton took a stone
                  litho press and stones (i'm not sure about letterpress) along on his first
                  expedition, and his men wrote and printed a book during the winter when they
                  couldn't do much research.

                  Mark.

                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > • To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                  > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                  > • Encountering problems? contact:
                  > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                  > • To unsubscribe:
                  > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                • Gerald Lange
                  ... Allen published _Printing with the Handpress_ [corrected title] in 1969, in an edition that I suspect most folks then would have found a bit rarified in
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 17, 2002
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                    >
                    > > Interesting! On the selection of typefaces, Lewis Allen commented,
                    > > "inferior tools corrode the spirit" (in Printing on the Hand Press).
                    > > Do you suppose he appropriated that from Shackleton?
                    >
                    > > Gerald
                    > >
                    >
                    > Or shackleton appropriated it from? I know that Shackleton took a stone
                    > litho press and stones (i'm not sure about letterpress) along on his first
                    > expedition, and his men wrote and printed a book during the winter when they
                    > couldn't do much research.
                    >
                    > Mark.
                    >

                    Allen published _Printing with the Handpress_ [corrected title] in 1969, in an
                    edition that I suspect most folks then would have found a bit rarified in
                    price. When did Shackleton write this? Can't imagine printing on stone in the
                    artic winter!

                    Gerald
                  • bielerpr
                    ... Hi Peter Isn t 4-pt the lower size limit with page-layout programs? First piece I ever printed with photopolymer was 4-pt. Kinda sold me on it. But, what
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 17, 2002
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                      --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Peter Fraterdeus <peterf@d...> wrote:
                      > Indeed, the first digital type I designed, Prospera(tm) (see http://www.alphabets.com) has traps, not for letterpress, but for visual clarity.
                      >
                      > It turns out that it works BEAUTIFULLY for letterpress as well ;-)
                      >
                      > In particular, with a light inking, a firm impression and dampened rag stock...
                      > Down to 4 points ;-)
                      >
                      > PF

                      Hi Peter

                      Isn't 4-pt the lower size limit with page-layout programs? First
                      piece I ever printed with photopolymer was 4-pt. Kinda sold me on it.

                      But, what is the trapping on Prospera? Did you ever write about this?
                      Somewhere I have some of the early issues of Mice Type (?) where you
                      discuss Prospera. Anything on trapping in these?

                      Gerald
                    • Tim Honnor
                      Gerald: I seem to be up and running again now but am not sure how I read previous mail about mounting bases etc. Sorry to sound so prehistoric. Tim In message
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 18, 2002
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                        Gerald:
                        I seem to be up and running again now but am not sure how I read
                        previous mail about mounting bases etc.
                        Sorry to sound so prehistoric.
                        Tim

                        In message <ah5ksv+37n9@...>, bielerpr <bieler@...>
                        writes
                        >--- In PPLetterpress@y..., Peter Fraterdeus <peterf@d...> wrote:
                        >> Indeed, the first digital type I designed, Prospera(tm) (see
                        >http://www.alphabets.com) has traps, not for letterpress, but for visual
                        >clarity.
                        >>
                        >> It turns out that it works BEAUTIFULLY for letterpress as well ;-)
                        >>
                        >> In particular, with a light inking, a firm impression and dampened rag
                        >stock...
                        >> Down to 4 points ;-)
                        >>
                        >> PF
                        >
                        >Hi Peter
                        >
                        >Isn't 4-pt the lower size limit with page-layout programs? First
                        >piece I ever printed with photopolymer was 4-pt. Kinda sold me on it.
                        >
                        >But, what is the trapping on Prospera? Did you ever write about this?
                        >Somewhere I have some of the early issues of Mice Type (?) where you
                        >discuss Prospera. Anything on trapping in these?
                        >
                        >Gerald
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >• To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                        >PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                        >• Encountering problems? contact:
                        >PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                        >• To unsubscribe:
                        >PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        >
                        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >



                        Tim Honnor - Piccolo Press - 90 Harbour Street - Nairn - IV12 4PG
                        tel: 01667 454508 fax 01667 454509
                        www.piccolopress.co.uk
                      • Mark Attwood
                        Yes, thank you Gerald, I really do appreciate the list, and all the like-minded associations. Regards, Mark. Mark Attwood The Artists Press
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 18, 2002
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                          Yes, thank you Gerald, I really do appreciate the list, and all the
                          like-minded associations.

                          Regards,
                          Mark.


                          Mark Attwood
                          The Artists' Press


                          > Perhaps that is one of those truisms that is so true, many people have said
                          > it independently.
                          >
                          > I for one would like to take a moment to thank Gerald for setting up this
                          > network, and for all those who contribute to it. For those of us who are
                          > hawking our services to a public that is far too corroded by inferior stuff
                          > to really appreciate letterpress or fine craft in general, it's good to have
                          > colleagues who can help us believe in our own sanity for wanting to produce
                          > the best work possible.
                          >
                          > Thanks to you all!
                          >
                          >
                          > Katie Harper
                          > Ars Brevis Press
                          > Cincinnati, OH
                          > 513-233-9588
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >> From: "bielerpr" <bieler@...>
                          >> Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                          >> Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 06:43:59 -0000
                          >> To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                          >> Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Rialto Pressa ink traps
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>>
                          >>> Well said Gerald. I think we do need to support the efforts of those
                          >>> designing better products, I wanted to get an idea of how much better the
                          >>> optimised font would be, than simply choosing a lighter font before making
                          >>> an investment.
                          >>>
                          >>> Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer said one should always acquire the
                          >>> best tools possible, as poor tools corrode the spirit, and I think the same
                          >>> applies to printing.
                          >>>
                          >>> Regards,
                          >>> Mark.
                          >>>
                          >>
                          >> Interesting! On the selection of typefaces, Lewis Allen commented,
                          >> "inferior tools corrode the spirit" (in Printing on the Hand Press).
                          >> Do you suppose he appropriated that from Shackleton?
                          >>
                          >> Gerald
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> • To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                          >> PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                          >> • Encountering problems? contact:
                          >> PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                          >> • To unsubscribe:
                          >> PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          >>
                          >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >>
                          >>
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > • To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                          > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                          > • Encountering problems? contact:
                          > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                          > • To unsubscribe:
                          > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                        • Dr P.B. Watry
                          Gerry Thanks for the list of font editors. We have been doing some work with the old URW++ programs that Peter Karow and his programmers devised. (The kerning
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 18, 2002
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                            Gerry

                            Thanks for the list of font editors. We have been doing some work with
                            the old URW++
                            programs that Peter Karow and his programmers devised. (The kerning
                            program, KERNUS, which is really nice, was used for Justin's Caslon.)
                            These are now redesigned and marketed as DTL FontMaster (URL on the
                            resource page you sent). It is being enhanced and will be released in a
                            couple of weeks. I have never used FontMaster or Fontographer, but I can
                            say that for manipulating fonts the URW++/DTL tools -- particularly
                            KernMaster -- might well prove to be useful for people on the list. The
                            URL is: http://www.fontmaster.nl I believe there are free demo versions
                            of the software for people to try out. We've been very pleased with the
                            results of the software. What I like about KERNUS is its facility for
                            generating different kerning pairs for different point sizes of type. (I
                            have no connection with the company or with URW++, so this isn't an
                            advertisement!)

                            The URL for URW++ is now: http://www.urwpp.de/deutsch/home.htm.
                            A couple of years ago we bought a
                            Linux version, also, which works well with batch processes.

                            By coincidence, I wrote to Frank Blokland of DTL two days ago to see
                            whether they would supply any tools for ink-traps, ala Rialto Pressa, but
                            unfortunately they haven't yet. According to him, there was software for
                            automatically generating inktraps at Scanographic around 1991. Has
                            anyone heard about this? I would think, if there is demand, that DTL
                            might be persuaded to do some development work.

                            MetaFont is also worth investigation. It can also be used to fine-tune
                            the bitmaps of outline fonts, ala Rialto Pressa.

                            Paul



                            On Wed, 17 Jul 2002, Gerald Lange wrote:

                            >ken botnick wrote:
                            >>
                            >> Gerald,
                            >> Which font editing program do you use to create the range of selections?
                            >>
                            >> Ken
                            >> --
                            >
                            >Ken
                            >
                            >I've always used Fontographer. There is a simple sequence on how to do this in
                            >my monograph Printing Digital Type.
                            >
                            >I did buy a copy of FontLab when it first came out but it didn't work on my
                            >system. There is a new version out. I think Justin Howes mentioned how to use
                            >it for this purpose in a very early post here.
                            >
                            >I have a listing of various URLs on font-editing software in the Bookmarks
                            >section here. Most interesting is Luc Devroye's entire page of links to free
                            >software and the like from his site Snots & Fonts
                            >
                            >http://jeff.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/editors.html
                            >
                            >Luc is always most interesting. Well worth a night's entertainment.
                            >
                            >Gerald
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >• To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                            >PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                            >• Encountering problems? contact:
                            >PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                            >• To unsubscribe:
                            >PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Mark Attwood
                            Shackletons second expedition started in 1914, and the first one where he had the stone litho press was a few years before that, but I think Katie is correct
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 19, 2002
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                              Shackletons' second expedition started in 1914, and the first one where he
                              had the stone litho press was a few years before that, but I think Katie is
                              correct in saying it is a truism that applies to many things we do.

                              Mark.

                              >
                              > Allen published _Printing with the Handpress_ [corrected title] in 1969, in an
                              > edition that I suspect most folks then would have found a bit rarified in
                              > price. When did Shackleton write this? Can't imagine printing on stone in the
                              > artic winter!
                              >
                              > Gerald
                              >


                              >>
                              >> Or shackleton appropriated it from? I know that Shackleton took a stone
                              >> litho press and stones (i'm not sure about letterpress) along on his first
                              >> expedition, and his men wrote and printed a book during the winter when they
                              >> couldn't do much research.
                              >>
                              >> Mark.
                              >>
                              >
                              >
                            • Hrant H Papazian
                              {Finally back from vacation...} From: dfType ... First, thanks for providing that - very insightful. Second, I m happy to hear your opinion that the Trapping
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 25, 2002
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                                {Finally back from vacation...}

                                From: dfType
                                > Inktraps RialtoDF.pdf

                                First, thanks for providing that - very insightful.

                                Second, I'm happy to hear your opinion that the Trapping
                                Flower has potential. It's very encouraging, coming from
                                designers of your accomplishment. I will provide as much
                                detail as you'd like - please just let me know in private,
                                since this list is probably not a good place to elaborate
                                too deeply about type design.

                                Third, let's get down to business!

                                1. The red gain that you're showing, it seems that you got
                                it by applying stroke thickness in an illustration program.
                                For most outline segments that's fine, but it seems that it
                                fails to reproduce the "filling in" of acute angles: inside
                                angles remain sharp, which is not the case in real life.
                                I myself have come to use a certain sequence of Photoshop
                                effects to try to simulate gain accurately - see below.

                                2. When I first took a close look at Rialto Pressa, I applied
                                my Photoshop "Gain Simulator" and got the following result:
                                http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/gain.gif
                                It shows two (arbitrary) gain amounts, and you can see how
                                some traps fill in much sooner than others. I started to
                                think the trapping was inconsistent; but after reading your
                                messages (as well as those of Peter) I realized that there
                                might actually be *two* things going on there: one is what
                                might be called "conventional" ink trapping, while the other
                                is more along the lines of optical compensation (in order
                                to simulate greater definition through exageration), which
                                reminds me of some of Dwiggins's wonderful ideas concerning
                                the enhancement of low-fidelity output.

                                3. From what I understand, you got #7 through manual mani-
                                pulation? That's impressive! Not just because of the nice
                                result, but because of the dedication needed to apply this
                                to an entire font. :-) But one thing that confuses me is:
                                why is there a difference between #6 and #9 (and by extension
                                between #4 and #7) if they're both intended for small sizes
                                and the only difference is supposed to be the amount of gain?

                                4. You say that you did tests at your letterpress studio.
                                Did you measure just gain in one dimension, or other things
                                as well? Could we possibly be priviledged to "the numbers"?

                                From: "Mark Attwood"
                                > does it really make a difference?

                                A very good question, and I think the bothersome answer
                                is "usually no"... On the other hand, I believe it's in
                                effect a matter of levels of quality, and who needs how
                                much at what time. Take smallcaps: they're considered a
                                sign of quality in a font family, even though virtually
                                nobody at all uses them...

                                In any case, I think it's useful to note the fact
                                that we often do things because we feel the need
                                to in our souls, with the least possible concern
                                whether or not the unwashed masses will end up
                                appreciating it, as un-utilitarian as that is.

                                hhp
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