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Category Archivetype & Lettering



type & Lettering Saturday April 10 2010 07:39 am

Half justification of type

I have a design book somewhere I believed mentioned a technique for justifying type that was called something like half justification. This is from at least 20 years ago and I’ve never been able to find the reference again. As I remember the piece was from England. The idea was that if the length of the text was within some predetermined distance of the maximum possible width the line would be justified. If it fell short of that it would remain ragged right.

The first example below is 12 point Rialto on a 20 pica measure set flush left / ragged right.

justification flush left ragged right

Below is the same text, but if the text length was 19 picas or more the line was force justified.

justification half justified

I like the way that looks and was thinking about trying it on an upcoming project.

Especially from British readers of this post, does anyone know what this is called or if it is even something compositors actually did? Have an example?

type & Lettering Tuesday February 09 2010 11:31 pm

Fallen type

fallen type

We’re intrigued by the lack of knowledge about the processes of the earliest printers using movable type. Little is known of how Gutenberg accomplished the printing of his Bible except for the Bible itself, but the quality and permanence of the printing is quite amazing. A bit of evidence that can be seen in some early printing is something known as “fallen type.” When these printers were using inking balls, the sticky ink would pull out individual pieces of type if not locked up well. Above is an example owned by Lenore Rouse, Curator of Rare Books at the Catholic University of American in Washington, DC. from a Bible printed in 1480. The character sort was accidentally left on the form as it was printed and gives us a visual impression of the physical form of the type.

That hole in the type, which is almost always evident in the earliest fallen type samples, is quite interesting and has conjured much speculation.

If you would like to know more about why that hole might be there (or are interested in the history of typography) we would suggest a great blog, Typefoundry: documents for the history of type and letterforms by James Mosley. James wrote a nice article about just such type. Here is the link to his article on Fallen & Threaded Types.

type & Lettering Monday March 24 2008 10:45 pm

A pretty serious typo

We are working with Paul Bauernschmidt and Paper Mill Partners to devise a plan to utilize the land formerly occupied by Curtis Paper here in Newark, Delaware. Jill, Paul and Ray took a drive to Lancaster, PA to see a park to help us generate ideas. While there we saw this typo.

Upon closer inspection (indicated at the top of the arrow) you can see where the stone carver must have reversed the “sh” and then corrected it by simply reworking the stone which isn’t exactly like using Command-Z. Hmmm.

type & Lettering Sunday January 28 2007 11:05 pm

‘the’ book / New York City / January 25-27, 2007

A friend, Jeanille Tumey, and I are working on a book of photos of the word ‘the’. The plan is to letterpress the text and to inkjet print the photos. We’ve been collecting images for about two years. I probably have 20 that would work for the book.

Here are my three favorites (from the nine decent ones I took) from the weekend of January 25-27.

Jill down in the subway standing in front of the mosaic signage which says “59th Street.”

I really love the architectural quality of this one.

And this one was especially important. This is the front of The Guggenheim Museum which is currently being renovated. I believe I read that when they were first building the museum they started putting the type higher than Frank Lloyd Wright wanted it. I guess the extra T is from that false start.

type & Lettering Sunday January 28 2007 11:01 pm

Type over time / New York City / January 25-27, 2007

We couldn’t quite figure out the lettering. It looked a bit like the ones that seemed aged (CO) looked like they might have been the newest ones. They were made out of plywood, but then not sealed well enough against the elements. Actually a pretty decent statement about the state of education today.

type & Lettering Sunday November 19 2006 10:35 am

Eastern Shore of Virginia / potatoes

This is a handpainted sign we photographed on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. There is just something wonderfully human about it you just cannot get at FastSigns.

type & Lettering Sunday November 19 2006 10:28 am

Type over time / Eastern Shore of Virginia

Two new photos of the effect of time on type taken on a visit to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to visit our friends Becky & Bernie Herman.

APA & Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio & Studio projects & Visual Communications / UD & events & film & honors, awards, media & news & important equipment & inventory / collection & inventory / important type & inventory / miscellaneous & inventory / presses & personal & photo projects / hand-drawn type & printing tricks / advice / help & trips & type & Lettering & uncategorized & workshops Tuesday November 30 1999 12:00 am

Craig Cutler at Lead Graffiti

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Craig Cutler, noted New York photographer, is near completion of a year-long series of weekly personal projects entitled CC52. The 49th in the series are photographs taken at Lead Graffiti.

Click on Craig’s image of some of our 96 point foundry metal Caslon below and take a look.