archive for the ‘The Composing Room’ Category

Easy to Select Type When You Understand Grouping

Confusion of type faces today makes it difficult to select good ones Simple classification method will clear the air for puzzled printers Here are good suggestions for learning type categories with examples During the last few months, discussion in these columns has centered on aspects of type selection for the average commer­cial composing room. Actual […]

Outside Factors May Limit Choice of Type Selection

Must a middle ground be held between contemporary and pure type styles? Influences include customers’ demands, current faces, supply availability Supplementing machine set sizes with display faces must be considered Last month I discussed some of the factors involved in the selection of types for the composing room of an ordinary commercial printing plant. Probably […]

Selection of Type Faces Offers Wide Possibilities

An embarrassment of riches makes choice of type a difficult matter Trends and folks of specialized type usage fluctuate rather quickly One type user claimed even the gods do not know which type to use Few subjects are as controversial among printers as the selection of type faces. Perhaps it is rash even to bring […]

What’s the Best Road to a Graphic Arts Education?

How can young people best further their life-work training and education? Would formal education at college best prepare individuals for printing? Or is organized craft or apprentice training of the most practical value? In a recent issue of The Inland Printer, a letter to the editor raised a question which is in the minds of […]

Printer’s Furniture Now Is Made Of Newer Materials

Many of the lighter metals and the newer plastics offer superior substitutes Changes after centuries of dependence upon plain wooden furniture Improved materials may lead to lower operating costs, greater accuracy Late 1955, a Canadian compositor announced that he had invented a new kind of printer’s furniture. This announcement brings to mind a variety of […]

Information Dissemination Goal of Printers’ Groups

Small plants substitute reading for having their own research departments Organizational bulletins provide source of information for busy printers Attending conventions and having personal exchange of ideas are helpful With costs of composing room operation mounting higher and higher, printers are constantly looking for a means to “hold the line” in competition with other printers. […]

Decorative Letters of Past Century Inspire Revival

Hey-day of decorative letter is not yet over; still used as “modern” style Trends of the nineteenth century brought out in twentieth century printing European typefoundries lead U.S. in the production of display faces The nineteenth century has had the questionable reputation of being a period of low standards and printing. But the logical advances […]

Bruce Rogers Among Greatest of American Printers

BR at 86 continues to design beautiful books and other printed matter Planned and executed famous Oxford Lectern Bible, completed in 1935 Designer BR produced two typefaces; Montagne (1904), Centaur (1914) Last May, in Fairfield, Connecticut, a great American printer was honored upon the occasion of his 86th birthday. Bruce Rogers, one of the best-known […]

Electronics and Camera Combine in Cold Typesetting

Growing field of photographic composition require specialized techniques Machine output and products made high-speed by computer “brains” Determining technicality for individual users requires careful survey Last month we discussed typesetting by photography, paying primary attention to its broad aspects rather than to specific features of the machine available. The printer is interested in photographic composition […]

Trends in Phototypesetting Provide New Problems

Many printers who adopted “wait-and-see” policy are changing attitudes Typesetting by photography is undeniably growing on ever-increasing scale Progressive printers need to investigate adaptations of hot metal setting The printer who attempts to keep up with current trends in composing machines will find that he is in danger of pulling away from procedures which he […]

“Case for Cheltenham” Revived in Type Face Vogue

Bauer Foundry’s Fortune is current revival of 19th century faces English type founders first to experiment with commercial type designs Bertram Goodhue designed most famous of all U.S. type faces in 1896 A German type named Fortune, introduced during the summer of 1955, has brought up once again the much-discussed “Case for Cheltenham.” Fortune is […]

Poor Organization Cause of Low-Level Production?

Most composing rooms, except trade typesetters, probably operate at loss Composing room should be efficient assembly line from office to pressroom Here are a few suggestions for replanning your own composing room Everyone who has ever worked in and around composing rooms has experienced a working conditions which would be considered intolerable by anyone acquainted […]

What Type Faces Would You Buy for Printing Plant?

What type faces can’t you do without? Sans serifs thought indispensable Some typographic designers believe printers responsible for setting styles Printers with strong ideas about types should consult their type founders What type faces would you buy for printing plant? The perennial war-horse of a question can always be relied upon to start a first-class […]

Europeans Have Precision Composing Room Devices


Books on Type and Typography for Compositors

Here’s a basic collection printers interested in typography should own History, type design, typography and biography in recommended listing Individual opinions vary; printers may want to add other important works Some time ago this department listed the manuals which, since Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises, circa 1683, had influenced the compositor’s craft. There have been several inquiries […]

Scripts and Cursives Widen Typographical Horizons

Wide range of sizes and styles gives typographer more leeway in design New designs offer small printer chance to achieve “hand-lettered look” Key to classifying scripts and cursives lies in historical development During the last few years, the foundries of the world have been remarkably busy producing new script types. Undoubtedly, this popularity has resulted […]

Typographers Have Field Day With New Designs

Even expert with retentive memory for the elusive serif finds going tough Bulk of advertising today appears in conventional attire of standard types Here are some suggestions for classifying new faces in familiar groups Type design enthusiasts have been enjoying a field day recently, particularly in the realm of display typography. The proper identification of […]

Specimen Book Must Be Organized for Customer

The 8½ × 11 or 9 × 12 page size is most commonly used for specimen books Page layout depends on number of sizes available on types to be shown Book should also include type illustrations, character counts and style data After his been decided how the types are to be arranged in the specimen […]

Type Specimen Book Should Meet Customers’ Needs

Organization of specimen book depends upon printer’s knowledge of type Alphabetical arrangement has one advantage but mixes up similar types Grouping by type styles seems to offer readily organized method for book The primary purpose of the printer’s type specimen book is to sell printing. All other considerations are secondary. Although it is true that […]

Type Specimen Book Will Help Printer’s Customers

Pressure to keep specimen book current varies with kind of work produced Printers sell books, then refund when customers send in business Single-line specimen books or lists of faces will satisfy some customers A recurring headache to printers is the production of type specimen books. The printer has always been reluctant to take time out […]

Phototypesetting: Printing’s Postwar Phenomenon

Typesetting on film creates outlets for increased business for printers Results now being obtained were never visualized by manufacturers Printers who have invested in film typesetters enthusiastic about them The wedding of typography or photography is a postwar phenomenon in the printing industry. During the ’30s, such a union had been discussed, but very little […]

Many Methods Available to Achieve Good Spacing

You may be surprised how “quality composition” methods and cut costs Standardizing style can mean better work, less composing room confusion Check these methods expert typographers used to produce quality work Besides following standardized procedures of good spacing, careful typographers have traditionally used numerous devices for getting out of trouble in a tight situation. Going […]

Making the Printed Page More Legible and Readable

Legibility and readability frequently confused and used interchangeably Spacing, type design, weight, set-width and x-height important factors Line and letting our elements that must not be treated lightly Last month on this page, factors governing spacing were discussed, with particular emphasis on spacing between words. However, there are many other considerations which make the printed […]

Fine Spacing Is Prerequisite to Good Typography

Simple attention to details of good spacing may result in lower costs Mechanical spacing of typesetting machines likely to cause carelessness Methods of hand compositor and machine operator very considerably Any typographer who has studied the best works of the recognized masters of the craft, from Gutenberg to Rogers, realizes that, regardless of typographic period […]

Quality Control Badly Needed in Composing Rooms

Composing room quality actually begins with improved customer relations Even a small printing plant and have the service desk to aid production Composing room procedures are adaptable to production scheduling The American Society for Quality Control has not yet glanced in the direction of the nations composing rooms. It will probably be a long time […]

What Photosetting Has Done to Composing Room

Postwar developments in the printing industry happened so many so varied that most printers find it difficult to keep up with the announcements of new equipment. The period from the introduction of typesetting machines up to 1941 was one of quiet but steady progress in the production of the printed word. There were no “revolutionary […]

Here’s a Check List for Composing Room Efficiency

Precision in a composing room can be interpreted in many and varying ways. It is not necessarily limited to an air-tight production system or a micrometer on every working surface, but in reality it may be simply an awareness of the importance of every detail in composing room procedure. In the printing industry today, general […]

How You Can Help Build Craftsmanship Standards

Confronted as he is with the danger of losing more and more of his creative functions in the production of the printed word, it seems that the compositor of today should be more concerned than he is with maintaining the craft traditions that have been handed down to him by generations of great printers. During […]

Are Compositors Losing Their Craft Standing?

At the Eastern spring conference of the International Typographic Composition Association, Frank Sherman, executive secretary, announced to the members that out of 119 applications in the ITCA Apprentice Design Contest, only 21 apprentices completed the project. It must be borne in mind that all of these apprentices were from plants which specialize in composition and […]

Lack of Uniform Names Brings Confused Typographic Terminology

To the uninitiated, a specimen book issued by almost any printer can be as confusing a bit of literature as it is possible to produce. This is not to imply that the format of the specimen book is poorly organized, although that, to, is likely in spite of the efforts of progressive printers during the […]

Letterspacing Capital and Lower Case Letters in Hand Composition Involves Problems

Although it is not difficult to explain some of the standard procedures of letterspacing, when we try to outline the reasons for introducing spaces between letters—either lower case or capitals—it is not difficult to make a statement that will not be challenged by typographers. In the matter of lower case composition, letterspacing is a doubtful […]

High Quality Reproduction Proofs Now Offered by Successful Printers to Their Customers

The advent of the reproduction proof press has brought about a minor revolution in composing rooms of many printers, particularly those specializing in setting composition for the trade and the plants which have added lithographic equipment to augment a purely letterpress operation. The day is long past when a satisfactory proof could be made on […]

Little Material Available for Typographic Library

The accumulation of a typographic library is not as easy an accomplishment as might be imagined at first thought. Each year sees a number of additions to the list of books concerned with printers’ types and their use, but unfortunately few managed to survive beyond the small first edition. One of the reasons is undoubtedly […]

Renewed Flow of Type Faces Meets Mixed Emotions

Happy days are apparently back again for type of files, typographic designers, and advertising layout men. New type faces, once more issuing from type founders in an ever-increasing stream, are being alluringly depicted by beautifully printed specimen sheets. It would be nice to report that printers also are delighted at the prospect of a return […]

Return to Old Type Faces in Vogue in National Ads

For several years now there has been talk of Cheltenham, that old workhorse and most famous of American types, being in “revival.” In the strictest sense of the word, however, “Cheltenham” has never been completely out of vogue as a dependable type for advertising and general utilitarian purposes. To be sure,Cheltenham went into some disfavor […]

Introducing a New Editor

With this issue, The Inland Printer introduces a new editor for the “Composing Room” department, Alexander S. Lawson, who since 1947 has been instructor in hand composition and typography at the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology. Introduced to composing rooms practices in 1928, Mr. Lawson worked for several firms in New York City prior to […]