Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Type Set "Job" order, continued. . .

Here is the final result: printed on a wove 67 lb stock, cut 3.25 x 5 inches, for inclusion with a letter, which will be folded into an envelope.  Count is 200.  Colour: Navy.  A few letters, or in the lingua franca of the print shop, "sorts"  in this cursive font had to be pulled and "pigged", or set aside for re-melting.  In my case, a box of dead type substitutes.  This is a very old and somewhat fragile font which I purchased from the original owner's widow back in 1991.  Mrs. Calvin said that the cases I purchased from the estate were already fifty years old when her husband obtained them, in turn, from a printery up in New England, if I recall correctly. That would make them over one hundred years old! 

The case is double laid, 12 and 18 points.  I have been weeding out "dead" type,  type that is damaged in one way or another, from this particular font for the past five years.  Many of the faces are simply worn down.  But there are enough sorts in good condition to maintain the font.  I cannot find a foundry that casts this exact font, unfortunately.  There are, however, boutique foundries that are making a point of locating and resurrecting original matrices as they find them, in order to re-cast many of those great ATF type faces of the past.  Skyline Foundry is one.  I purchase my new metal fonts from either M&H, San Fransisco, or from Bill Reiss at Quaker City Type Foundry, Honeybrook PA.  Both foundries also supply Colonial Williamsburg.

In fact, my "house font" is the same Caslon 337 Old Style (1732) as Colonial Williamsburg's, and as was the Smithsonian's Hall of Printing, back when they had a Hall of Printing.

This is how a "job" order arrives, with a lay-out.  Sometimes, the choice of letter styles are left up to me, as in this case.  I get the ok from a proof, whether a photographic image or actual impression, from the client, and off we go!

Here's a close-up.  The nice thing about printing from a "forme" of set type, is that very little ink is used, and more often or not, to get a nice and even layer of ink only takes one pass of the rollers.  But then, the "Platen Job Press" was designed for this very thing: publication.  They are the best book and publication presses around!

Ok, so I'm going back out to the shop to finish the run.  I might add that the Navy Blue was mixed by eye: process blue with about 10% "regular" black.  Oil based, of course.

-gary, Printer
Paper Wren Press.