For a century, from the 1870s to 1970s, typesetters were routinely paid to set type that was discarded. This “bogus copy” has to due with unions and managers, keeping a decent wage, preserving jobs, and ultimately the end of the era of metal type. Learn about the last man at the New York Times who had a job for life as an outcome of “bogus.”
The 1800s were a time of massive transformation in printing. The 1700s saw printing move from cottage to larger scale, but many factories held back industrial operations. Those changed dramatically right around 1800 and proceeded through the end of the century. In this article Glenn Fleishman focuses on an overlooked aspect: paper molds used to duplicate entire pages of type and images, often for newspapers, that were cast as metal plates. These remained in use until the 1980s in American newspapers!
The baseline is one of the foundations of legibility, allowing letters to be read in a flowing fashion along a horizontal line our minds construct. So how did type foundries keep a consistent baseline? They did not. At least for most of the first four and a half centuries of printing before industrial scale had fully set in and before standardization became keenly important as an element of efficiency and productivity. Read this fascinating article from Glenn Fleishman for more.
Last month I features Glenn Fleishman's new book London's Kerning. Glenn just (very bravely & generously) outlined the income and expenses of producing the book, laying bare the economics of developing content and self publishing.
Glenn Fleishman started out as typesetter, trained as a graphic designer, and has spent most of his career mostly writing. Hi new book London Kerning is a jaunt around London, visiting letterpress printers, designers, archivists, historians, and contemporaries to discuss the work of type designer Berthold Wolpe (1905–1989), who helped shape the face of lettering in London.