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Re: History of Digital Typography



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Dear Jules

Think I'd dump 1 through 3. I'd begin with the research being done in the
early seventies to mid eighties. Especially at MIT and Stanford, and the PARC
work. Including the getting-the-word-out efforts of Bigelow and Karow et al.
Then begin with the fledging efforts of early PDT.

Doesn't look so bookartsie anymore does it?

All best

Ger


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

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