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History of digital typography



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Now this one is very definitely a bookarts topic. Here's my recollection,
which is only a starting point:

[1] Transitional period

Although the output was lead, Monotype machines were driven by punched paper
tape. The type itself resembled handtype -- individual pieces, but notched
so that they hung together. Much more precise than Linotype and very adept
at difficult tasks such as setting tables.

[2] Early Phototype

Here I remember a system whose name I've forgotten that was used for
creating headlines. It produced strips of photographic output that were
pasted up.

Then came phototypesetters that used a kind of microfiche with 12 pt. images
of the character set that were blown up or down to achieve the desired size.
Much of this was ghastly, but maybe I just saw the low-end systems.

[3] Advanced Phototype

Reverse leading (that is, going back up a galley, stepping over and going
back down again), page layout capabilities, optical compensation.

[4] Desktop Publishing

Canon introduces the laser printer.

Adobe PostScript vector fonts.

Hewlett-Packard Printer Control Language.

Bit-mapped soft fonts.

Linotron and other high-resolution laser-based imagesetters appear.

Corel introduces proprietary vector fonts for Windows.

PacificPage cartridge enables Windows to print vector fonts.

Windows (and DOS) PostScript emulators enable PC to use PostScript fonts

LaserMaster card tweaks HP laserjet resolution, enables PostScript-like
effects and large collection of proprietary vector typefaces.


Microsoft introduces TrueType, and inexpensive Windows fonts proliferate
wildly. The screen font disappears (or does it?) for Windows but remains as
a legacy on Macintosh.

Adobe Type Manager enables Windows (and other operating systems) to print
PostScript fonts by handling all rasterizing, screen fonts and anything else
necessary on the fly.

Adobe Multiple Masters enable typographers to create individually tuned
instances of fonts with various refinements that actually amount to rather
strong optical compensation.

[5] Today

Open Type [What is this exactly?]

InDesign enables automatic optical compensation certain Multiple Master
faces.

So how do we fill in and correct this initial outline?


--

JULES SIEGEL Apdo 1764 Cancun Q. Roo 77501
http://www.cafecancun.com

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