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Re: Letterpress



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Dear Betty

I'd like to think I am a "good printer," and would "know the difference,"
and I'd like to think I do, but I suggest you are wrong regarding your
statement" In digitizing some of the beautiful old fonts, certain subtle
qualities of the letters were lost." And what, may I ask, do you presume
that these "certain subtle qualities" are?

In any given time period there is a large percentage of bad and a small
percentage of good. A very small percentage of good. A very small percentage
of metal type was good. A very small percentage of digital type is good.
But those that are good, in either case, are very very good.

Though I have been a letterpress printer for some twenty-six years, and a long
proponent of it, I do believe it is time to demystify the technique. There is
nothing magically wonderful about metal type that makes it better than digital
type. If you are basing your comments on a certain physicality in form and
technique, a certain effect created by the process, a certain je nes sais
quoi,
maybe. If you are talking typeface design (and that implies technique). No way.

Gerald Lange


> Letterpress printing, the old way, is labor intensive and involves much
> more than running the press. The printer must have a thorough knowledge of
> typography as well as skill in the graphic arts. Desktop publishing, in
> which the computer is used  to set up copy from which to make a plate,
> certainly made the process faster and, therefore, cheaper, but at a
> sacrifice. In digitizing some of the beautiful old fonts, certain subtle
> qualities of the letters were lost. Most of us wouldn't know the
> difference, but a good printer would.
>
> Betty Storz
> PO Box 542
> Mendocino, CA  95460
>

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