Trapping

Primary tabs

105 posts / 0 new
Last post
Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Good morning from Finland,

Kent,

I thought my special efforts to have Mike Parker speak of the matter was appropriate, and as such did not muddy waters. Perhaps Jim Rimmer just missed the posting. I have included extra text of Parker’s words which I feel may give “weight”. Therefore more memorable.

E-mail excerpt sent to Gerald Giampa about Linotype units by Mike Parker, these are his words.

…..
The typefaces redrawn for teletypesetter use were a TINY group of popular newstext and classified designs, and NOTHING ELSE.

However, since Fairchild monkeyed with the standard ratio of set size to column width every few years, this small group of typefaces had to be redrawn over and over again just to maintain simple legibility on the current standard.

TTS was a black curse to all designers of linecaster newstext and classified typefaces from 1940s to 1980s.

While this group of types made up a tiny section of the library of fonts, it made up a majority of matrices sold to constantly feed batteries of roaring teletypesetter high speed text machines smashing matrices together at speeds undreamt of by Ottmar Mergenthaler. They ate matrices for breakfast, lunch, dinner, with snacks in between.

This dreadful exercise provided Mergenthaler with a large slice of annual profit, hence its importance to the company.

Mike Parker
……….

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

{I tried to post this in the Optical Scaling thread, but it wouldn’t let me.}

Would Monotype Centaur* be a really good example of the optical scaling expertise of Monotype? If not,
what’s the latest & greatest Monotype specimen book where I could find such expertise most manifest?

* BTW, I only own the 1996 facsimile of the Centaur specimen book — I know that letterform outline fidelity and typographic color might be thrown off, but would it be safe to assume that the relative color between sizes, as well as the set-widths and vertical proportions are faithful to the real thing?

hhp

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Probably you are not asking me. Also I can not speak for another company. However this face was jointly developed. My instincts are that if there is a failure it would be because too many cooks could spoil the broth. The face was jointly developed by Monotype and Lanston.

But my suspicions are they did a “good” job. I suspect it will be very hard to find a sample of Lanston’s Metropolitan because it was a private cutting for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

You would have to look for theirs. I think the real question is, how is the optical scaling in Metropolitan and Centaur in the digital version? Not very good in either case, as there isn’t any. I wonder why?

Where are all those sharp blades in the software industry?

Gerald Giampa

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

{It’s really frustrating being prevented from posting to the correct thread…}

So I did some preliminary analysis of Monotype Centaur, by eyeballing the vertical proportions of enlargements of all the sizes, and it seems that there were different masters for the following size ranges:

6
8, 9
10-12
14, 16
18-72

Five masters seems like a good amount (I’ve heard it was usually three), so they did take optical scaling pretty seriously, at least in the case of Centaur.

On the other hand, I don’t know yet if the compensation is linear or better. If it’s linear, it would put Monotype slightly below Linotype in terms of optical compensation (since it seems the latter used progressive scaling for each size, but linear math — Kent might correct me). If it’s better than linear, it would put Monotype at least as good as Linotype, and probably better depending on how you look at it and/or what actual point size you’re looking at. But neither would be as good as ATF, where they used progressive parabolic-looking compensation.

hhp

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Hrant,

If Centaur did not have 11 pt patterns, I am surprised. Anything is possible but without question a goodly collection of patterns were made for Centaur/Metropolitan/Arrighi.

Right hand column:
http://www.lanstontype.com/Burgess5.html

Cutting cards are in existence, it is a matter of access. They would complete the story.

If Bruce Rogers and Frederick Warde were happy, I would be happy. I have never heard they were not.

I am not convinced that merely using every trick in the book makes for a good type face. A body of evidence supports the contrary. Some might say that is a matter of taste. I say, yes it is.

Legibility and readability were not the predominant determining factors in this cutting. Bruce Rogers did not subscribe, either do I, to all of Stanley Morison’s dictums of readability. Looking at Morison’s own work, either did he. The point is, the adjustments were not made so that it could be read when “overinked”, or readable for the “nearly blind”. This cutting was designed for “Book Arts” production.

The intent was to make this type face “look right” in different point sizes. I know it will seem crass to some of you readers, but I must dare use the word “art”.

http://www.lanstontype.com/Metropolitan.html

This cutting stands as exemplary type craftsmanship. Patterns for optical adjustments were made for many different point sizes. Cutting cards would certainly complete the story of this fine production.


Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

OK, I did some more calculations of Monotype Centaur. I measured the width of the word “the” (from leftmost black to rightmost black) in each size, normalized the measures by size, and then normalized to the 14 point (since that was the single original foundry size). Here are the [rounded] precentages:

6: 121%
8: 114%
9: 107%
10: 100%
11: 100%
12: 103%
14: 100%
16: 106%
18: 84%
22: 90%
24: 95%
30: 95%
36: 94%
42: 96%
48: 96%
60: 97%
72: 97%

What I can tentatively conclude is that:
1) The groups are: 6; 8; 9-16; 18-72
2) The spacing was done [totally] by eye (hence the sloppy fluctuations).

hhp

Thomas Phinney's picture
Offline
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
0

Rodolfo,

Speaking of optical compensation…. I’m curious, what point size of Stempel’s foundry Sabon did you pull that from? It is so much more delicate that I’m suspecting it’s something noticeably bigger than the 12 point size that the digital version was optimized for.

Regards,

T

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

>But neither would be as good as ATF, where they used progressive parabolic-looking compensation.

Hrant, I need to back up a minute and re-examine this with you.

You have said that Linotype’s optical grading was linear. I presume you are saying this based on a sample graph that I posted to some other thread a while back, in which a few parameters appeared to be essentially linear. Correct me if I’m mistaken.

What parameters are you examining in ATF faces that lead you to the “parabolic” comment?

The Linotype parameters that I presented were the few that I had data for immediately at hand (from the Advance Proofs for Dwiggins’s Falcon) — size of face (i.e., measurement from top of ascender to bottom of descender), height of the capital H, and length of lowercase alphabet.

I am looking at the waterfall of ATF Garamond that you sent me. We can, of course, discount the first parameter, since the face on the body in any given design is practically guaranteed to be linear by point size. Since this sample you sent shows only lowercase, I cannot measure the cap H height. But I can — and did — measure the lowercase alphabet length. Here is my graph. (Apologies for the large image.)

ATF Garamond alphabet graph

My data —
Point size (l.c. alphabet length in points):
6 pt (86.5)
7 pt (94.25)
8 pt (103)
10 pt (117.25)
12 pt (133)
14 pt (148)
18 pt (192)
24 pt (250.5)
30 pt (305.5)
36 pt (362)
48 pt (476)

The y-axis is 1:1, but the x-axis is in a ratio of 10 points for every 1 point size increase; I did this so that it would be readable. Thus you can’t infer anything necessarily from the angle of the line, but this doesn’t affect its essential linearity. There does seem to be a shift in slope at the 14-point mark. We’ve noted that there is a shift in the underlying master design at this point, so I’m not surprised.

Aside from that, however, this data is essentially linear. Certainly no less so than the Falcon data (which only ranged from 6 to 12 point, BTW). I do not see any parabolic compensation. At least not in set-width: character widths combined with fitting. In this respect, in these cases, ATF and Linotype do not seem very different.

For comparison:

Falcon Alphabet Graph

6 pt (90)
7 pt (98)
8 pt (107)
9 pt (115)
10 pt (124)
11 pt (132)
12 pt (141)

I am open to the possibility that other parameters — stem weight, cap-height, x-height, extender proportions — may not be linear. I will be interested to see data on these.

But I will ask you to extend the same openness to considerations of Linotype (or even Monotype) until we have data to examine. I have no personal stake in defending the Linotype drawing office. Linotype just happens to be an object of my study. I remain open to whatever results might turn up.

But let’s gather more evidence before drawing conclusions.

— Kent.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Hmmm…
I’m not sure exactly what’s going on. Let me show you what I have, and maybe we can figure things out.

First of all, though: You’re right, some of what I said is pretty tentative — I’m sorry if I jumped the gun. And some of my [provisional] conclusions are guided by what may be called “quasi-scientific hunches”. I’ll try to explain that bit as I go along.



My intentions in this process are to arrive at guidelines for digital type designers wishing to make different cuts of a given design optimized for different sizes. So what I’m looking for is the set of deviations from some “deliberative ideal” that needs to be applied to a given size. The deviations are in width, color, letterspacing, vertical proportions and a bunch of other things. In my (still-ongoing) ATF Garamond analysis I’m measuring 10 parameters, but all in relation to the largest size I have at hand, the 48. This means that my values are scalar. Below is some of the data, for lc alphabet width:

6: 241
7: 225
8: 215
10: 196
12: 185
14: 177
18: 179
24: 173
30: 170
36: 168
48: 166

And here’s what it looks like:

ATF-G_length.gif

Some observations:
- There are two parts: 6-14, and 18-48.
- However, the 14 is suspicious (see below), so the cutoff might in fact be between 12/14 instead.
- The smaller-size section is not linear, it’s curved. I’m not sure it’s quadratic* as opposed to cubic or something else (and the data is probably too sparse and jumpy to ever know), but I gravitate to that because of three things: the next heuristically logical step after linear is quadratic; type is two-dimensional; and Luc[as] de Groot has found that weight gradation proceeds quadratically with respect to the horizontal scale.
- The larger-size section looks mostly linear.

* I’m now using this instead of “parabolic”.

One big caveat: unlike the Centaur and Falcon specimens, my ATF Garamond stuff is “unofficial”: Mr Benton wasn’t there to assure me that each size of what I used is the real stuff. Of the 11 sizes I used, two of them look suspicious: the 14, which is somewhat too narrow; and the 7, which is obviously too light. I’m tempted to pull those out of my study, but there are some good reasons not to, and instead just give this caveat as needed.

The other nine parameters I’ve studied even less, but the ones dealing with width seem to behave in exactly the same way as above, while:
- Vertical proportions also largely seem to follow the quadratic+linear combination.
- Weight seems to be one single quadratic curve.
- Stroke contrast looks… hard to describe right now.

To be fair, I guess if you applied this technique to Falcon you’d get the same non-linear behavior! And as you say, your Falcon data (which was indeed my source) only spans the text sizes.

So yes, it’s too early to say with all confidence that ATF was better than Linotype at optical scaling. On the other hand, I’ve seen a body of anecdotal evidence (as well as just plain tangential observations) that seem to indicate that the Bentons were in fact on another level. I’ve revealed these to you in private recently, but if people here are interested I’ll try to collect my thoughts enough for public delivery.



BTW:
> the face on the body in any given design is practically guaranteed to be linear by point size.

I’ve found that this is not always the case.

hhp

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Hrant,

My comment was intended to be above your last.

Those are the issues I am addressing. Actually I think my comments still applies. So it can follow both of your last two posts.

Gerald Giampa


Gerald Giampa

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Hmm. I’d like to be able to follow you here, but you lost me with your data. Can you describe how you arrived at those numbers — give them units or relate them to something known or measureable? I can’t figure what those numbers represent, so I can’t assess the curve.

I think the Bentons were possibly on another level with regard to optical compensation. But it’s hard to separate that aspect from the other aspects that differentiate foundry from linecasting.

» the face on the body in any given design is practically guaranteed to be linear by point size.

>I’ve found that this is not always the case.


Well, then we can measure this parameter too, if you think it’s important.

I derived some formulae from my graphs. The interesting thing is that the ATF Garamond is pretty linear from 6 to 14, but from 14 to 48 is not — *unless* you take out the 14. From 18 to 48 is strictly linear.

In the following, y is lowercase alphabet length in points, x is nominal point size.

ATF Garamond, text sizes [6-14]: y = 7.6875 (x + 5.252)
ATF Garamond, display sizes [18-48]: y = 9.5 (x + 2.2105)
Falcon, text sizes: y = 8.5 (x + 4.588)

These are descriptive rather than prescriptive, so I’m sure they won’t help you. But they do describe linear relationships. It is interesting to see just how accurately the results for y conform to the data measured. ATF Garamond 8 point is the only real outlier.

When I have a better idea what you’re doing, I’ll have a better idea how what I’m doing compares.

— Kent.


Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

The way I got those numbers (which have no value on their own, just in relation to one-another) is that I measured in pixels from the 600 dpi scan, and then divided by point size. So what you get is a non-dimensional view, like in digital type design.

> differentiate foundry from linecasting

Are you saying that the Linotype had optical scaling limitations? I can see the Monotype with a problem like that (because of its unitization issue), but not the Lino.

> we can measure this parameter too

What I’m doing for the ATF Garamond is measuring the three lc zones separately, and I’ll graph those stacked, to clearly show the changes in proportion. So you should be able to see if/how_much the size-on-body changes, as well as things like how the baseline moves.

> These … do describe linear relationships.

In fact the slopes (7.6875 and 9.5 versus 8.5) can be very useful.

hhp

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Okay, I think I get it now. I was able to replicate your curve by scaling the l.c. alphabet measurements by the ratio of the type size to your base 48 point. That is, I took the 6-point alphabet and multiplied by 8, so that if the 6-point design was 48 points then the equivalent alphabet length would be 692 points, etc.

ATF Garamond Alphabet Scaled

I won’t bother listing the values, since they can easily be derived from my previous data. The gray line shows the curve without the unusual 14 point.

I’m not sure what to make of this curve. And I don’t have the math skills to derive a formula for it.

>Are you saying that the Linotype had optical scaling limitations?

What I meant is that when I look at ATF designs and try to compare the quality of optical scaling with that of a Linotype design, there are too many other factors and I’m not sure I can sort out my evaluations to focus just on the one aspect.

>as well as things like how the baseline moves.

You realize, of course, that the position of the baseline on the body for any given size was probably dictated by Standard Alignments. I think that’s true. I’ll have to look into it. These may have been established without the Bentons’ input and may or may not skew your study.

— Kent.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

That’s a nice-looking graph. What SW do you use for that, anyway?

I think one can conclude that:
1) There are indeed two segments.
2) The data points are “well-behaved” (unlike the Monotype Centaur numbers for example). This means the ATF boys were using math, not eyeballing. However, this doesn’t preclude the possibility (I’d even say probability) that the boundaries of the equations were determined by eye. I feel that’s how a good “engineer” (like Benton) would have done it in fact.

And when you couple these two observations, even the 14 point might fit it. BTW, I wonder where your 14 point (the one you told me looks more like a display cut) falls on the graph.

BTW, what do you get when you apply my “point size normalization” to the Falcon numbers?

> I’m not sure what to make of this curve.

If I were a betting man, I’d put the highest odds on a quadratic shape.

> Standard Alignments … may or may not skew your study.

That’s a very good point — one that I hadn’t considered.
There is in fact such a chart in one of the ATF specimen books — I’ll scan it up for you guys.

hhp

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

I am aware you are trying to reverse engineer ATF Garamond. If instead, or later are dissecting Monotype there were often two versions of 14, 18, and other sizes normally thought of as display. Often two cuttings. One for display, the other for large composition. Alignment was also an issue in both.

Even Hadriano was cut for 24 pt large comp.

I think I still have in Vancouver a optical devise that measures types in one tenth of one ten thousands of an inch. This devise would prove most useful for these purposes.

The optical devise needs to be kept out of the sun, at least when measuring, and the material must be kept in the same room for a period of time to become adjusted to the same room temperature. There are few devises as accurate as this, and almost none, if any devises like it, specifically made for measuring type. Do you think I should see if it is there?

Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Hrant —

A couple of things. Tracy shows a diagram of Standard Line alignment (also called Point Line) on page 49 of Letters of Credit. ATF Garamond was cast on Art Line, though, which allows for longer descenders; but I believe the same principle is in play.

If you still have your hands on that 1923 ATF book, I discovered that a chart of alphabet lengths is given on pp. 584-585. Wish I’d seen this before manually measuring your sample. Turns out my measurements were only off by a point here or there. The 14 point, BTW, is listed as 149, versus my measurement of yours at 148.

Software? Are you kidding? You’ll laugh: I make up these graphs in Quark. Good ol’ fashioned brute force, man.

— K.

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Okay, here’s a comparison of the alphabet lengths for the same range of Falcon and ATF Garamond. These are scaled to 12-point equivalence.

ATF Garamond and Falcon alphabet length compared

Here’s the actual data —

Falcon:
6 pt : 180 pts
7 pt : 168
8 pt : 160.5
9 pt : 153.33
10 pt : 148.8
11 pt : 144
12 pt : 141

ATF Garamond:
6 pt : 174 pts
7 pt : 162.8
8 pt : 154.5
10 pt : 141.6
12 pt : 134

Note that there are no data points for ATF Garamond 9 pt and 11 pt. The ATF alphabet lengths are revised from the chart in the specimen book, except 7 point, which isn’t listed. I revised that measure up from 94.25 to 95, since my other measures were usually on the order of 1 point short.


Okay, I’ve had enough math for a while. I got to get back to earning a living — using type, instead of analyzing it to death, thank goodness.

— K.

Rodolfo Capeto's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 Aug 2002 - 1:27pm
0

Speaking of optical compensation…. I

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> Tracy shows a diagram of Standard Line alignment

And here’s the one from that ATF book:
(39Kb) http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/ATF_line.gif
I think it’s from 1904, but I’m not sure.

> ATF Garamond was cast on Art Line, though

Yes, it seems the descenders of the 6, 7 and 8 points don’t follow the above graph — but I’ll have to check that.

> a chart of alphabet lengths is given on pp. 584-585.

You know, I saw that, but didn’t realize it would have saved you the effort…  :-/
But it’s still good to have a check. Maybe I can see if the fonts I used were the real thing or not.

> The 14 point, BTW, is listed as 149, versus my measurement of yours at 148.

But that’s strange, isn’t it? I mean because the letterforms are different.
I wonder about the dates the two 14s were each made. Maybe they changed their mind about it being text or display.

> Good ol’ fashioned brute force, man.

I like.



Your ATF/Linotype comparison is amazing! So it seems Linotype optical scaling was not bad at all! The thing is, now I’m thinking it’s too similar. Maybe Linotype did what I’m doing now, if you get my drift…

> 7 point, which isn’t listed.

That’s interesting. Maybe it helps explain the off color on my 7.

Anyway, I hope you come back to the analysis soon!

hhp

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> It would seem strange that there would be optical adjustment of stroke weight and contrast but not of extenders

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

>Do you mind if I insert (AND UNITIZING) and see if it meets with your approval.

Gerald —

Actually, I do not agree, in this instance. I think you are misinterpreting Mike’s reference to TTS. The development of TTS machines led to the introduction of unitizing systems within the Linotype line, but these units were not subsequently applied to all projects. TTS was used only (or at least predominantly) in the transmission and setting of newspaper copy. TTS units would only have been used on faces intended for newspaper composition.

This is my understanding, but you might double-check with Mike. I don’t have his new number since he moved.

Now, news faces were the large bulk of Linotype’s bread and butter in the late 1950s and 1960s, as newspaper comp was the last bastion of Lino’s market. (Mike has said that Jackson Burke lamented that most of his tenure at the head of the MLCo. type department was spent forever revising faces for ever-narrowing newspaper columns.)

But it was not the entirety of Lino’s type output. Sabon would have been targeted toward the book composition market, and those houses would not have had TTS machines nor any need to conform to TTS standards. So I do not think it is reasonable to assume that Sabon needed to be designed to any unitized system on account of Linotype composition.

Sabon would have been developed while Mike was at the helm of the American MLCo. type dept., I believe. The face was cut by Stempel (who were essentially German Linotype), but Mike might have some direct recollections. You could ask him.

Hrant —

I do not know which size this digital Sabon (Adobe’s BTW) would have been based upon. I would presume the 12 point, based on what I know of the general transition of designs from metal to photo to digital. But I can only assume.

You may be right and the decision about which unit width to assign the ‘a’ to could have varied by size — wider for the smaller sizes, narrower for display. On the other hand, I doubt that Tschichold would have made a different decision. Just a practical matter. Text would have been set primarily by machine comp; display would usually have been set by hand, I imagine. So all of the Lino and Mono sizes would probably all have the same wide ‘a’. I suppose that the foundry display sizes could have been cut without these restrictions, but I don’t know. I don’t have information about what sizes were released in each medium.

Clearly, you would have made a different decision under the same circumstances — sacrificing the italic ‘a’. Tschichold made the other decision.

Obviously, Sabon was ripe for revision in digital without all the constraints, as aptly demonstrated by Jean-Fran

Rodolfo Capeto's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 Aug 2002 - 1:27pm
0

But note that the pantograph was capable of a lot of compensation
(even “automatically”, through cutting slips)


Do you have (or know of) any diagram showing how this worked?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Oh, believe me, I’m working on that!  :-)

hhp

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Where can I see what ATF’s “Art line” alignment was like?

hhp

Anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
0

Hrant

ATF’s reference to their “art line” referred to the proportions (parameters) of the letter, according to them. One such example is their Cloister Oldstyle and Cloister Light families, which are drawn to have a smallish x-height, with more dimension left to the ascenders and descenders, with the largest share of the space dedicated to the ascenders.

If you can get your hands on a 1912 or a 1923 big book, you can scout out what other faces are drawn to their “art line”.

As you will see if you can read that part in their big books, it doesn’t refer to the actual mechanics of alignment specifically, but rather to the faces’ artistic consideration of height dimensions.

Jim Rimmer

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

I have the ‘23 book, as well as two others that don’t have dates, but none of them seem to show a chart of exactly what the vertical cutoffs were for each size of the Art Line, the way the chart below does for their Standard Line.

(39Kb) http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/ATF_line.gif

hhp

Anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
0

Hrant

I seem to remember that there is no grid shown for their Art Line. They merely make mention of it here and there in reference to their more classically-based types. Sorry I don’t know much more than that.

Jim Rimmer

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Yes, Art Line refers to an alternative proportion of vertical space. It is used for designs that ATF wanted to allot more descender space for — usually, of course, this is at the expense of some x-height, and thus the results look more bookish and “elegant”, like Garamond, Bodoni, Cloister.

I presume that the point of declaring in the catalog that a face was cast on Art Line was to indicate to the customer that these fonts would not align (baseline) with their other fonts cast on standard Point Line.

Nevertheless, I would guess that there was a standard established for each size of Art Line that determined the placement of the baseline on the body. That is, I would expect all fonts of the same size, cast on Art Line, to align with each other. Is this not so, Jim?

It is this standard aspect of the alignment that I believe Hrant is interested in.

I presume, Hrant, that it could be derived from samples. I would guess that it follows similar principles to Point Line, but with different figures. As you will see if you examine the Point Line arrangement carefully, the purpose of the standard was to make it possible to place different sizes on the same line and align them by cutting appropriate point-size leads to make up the vertical differences. That’s why the division of ascent/descent was established in whole points (thus “Point” Line).

But perhaps I am wrong, and Art Line did not accommodate mixed sizes on a line easily, in which case it may not be so simple to derive from examples.

— Kent.

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Okay, here’s the reference I was trying to remember. McGrew states on page xix:



quote:

“The successful revival of Caslon Oldstyle [which I believe was cast on the original alignment — i.e., from original matrices with no standard baseline position — K.] encouraged ATF to design Bodoni with longer descenders than standard alignment permitted. To accommodate them, Art Line was developed, with an allotment for descenders of about 30 to 33 percent of body size. Some foundry faces are made to special alignments. But in all cases, foundry types maintain a point-multiple scale of alignments, which are precisely adhered to.”




— K.

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Kent,

Quote McGrew,

“The successful revival of Caslon Oldstyle [which I believe was cast on the original alignment — i.e., from original matrices with no standard baseline position — K.] encouraged ATF to design Bodoni with longer descenders than standard alignment permitted. To accommodate them, Art Line was developed, with an allotment for descenders of about 30 to 33 percent of body size. Some foundry
faces are made to special alignments. But in all cases, foundry types maintain a point-multiple scale of alignments, which are precisely adhered to.”
……

I may be a little picky about your note. But I do not think this holds truth.

Quote, note insert, Kent

[which I believe was cast on the original alignment — i.e., from original matrices with no standard baseline position — K.]

Caslon always had a standard baseline position, based on its own accommodations. Line up standards were a primary foundry issue. Line up for Caslon had to change for the point and pica system. Its position had to be “first found”, then imposed. ATF inherited Caslon matrices with yet a different body system than the original Caslon foundry. I can not remember whether the Caslon Foundry based their transfer point and pica standard to mimic American Type Founders. I believe that is the case. I wish I had the source here or I would check. What I do know is that Lanston had their cutting in 1915 which predates the Caslon Foundry refitting released in their 1924 Catalogue. Theirs, ATF and ours seemed to line up pretty dam good. Made me wonder.

Unfortunately I am rusty on all this now.

In any event it would be impossible to preserve the original line up standard from Caslon’s original matrices. There would be no point. (Pardon the pun.)



Gerald Giampa

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> usually, of course, this is at the expense of some x-height

I’m not sure this is a correct view. I do think that designs with long descenders tend to have smaller x-heights, but that’s irrespective of the ATF alignments.

> I would expect all fonts of the same size, cast on Art Line, to align with each other.

I’m not Jim, but yes.

> the purpose of the standard was to make it possible to place different sizes on the same line and align them

But also to put different fonts on the same like and align them (with no effort).

I was going to quote McGrew, but…
As a side note, he also says that the standard point line descenders were about 20-25% of the body height, but my own calculations from that chart give a range of 16.67 to 28.57 percent, with an average of 21.61 .

BTW, I see about half a dozen versions of Caslon in the ‘23 book, cast on different Lines.

hhp

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Jim,

I think it would be great if you introduced Hrant to Guy Botterill. Guy is a fabulous resource. Could answer many questions. In fact Guy should participate in this very forum.

Gerald Giampa

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Everyone: Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 — 11:16 pm:

A Linotype face, on the other hand, have both the roman and italic “A, B C & so on” punched into the same matrix.

Should have read something like this.

A Linotype face, on the other hand, had both the roman “A” and italic “A” and Bold “A’ punched into the same matrix etc.

We already know that. But just for the record.

Gerald Giampa

Anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
0

Kent, Hrant

I think I understand that the question is as much about standard alignment of Art Line types as it is their anatomy, and it sort of makes sense that if two faces are both drawn to those paramters, they would match in base-alignment. However, I don’t have castings of any two such types that I could proof together or put on an alignment gauge to test. So I wouldn’t want to assume that they would mechanically align on the base.

If I were going to pursue this line of research, I would first try to get actual cast letters of two differing faces done on the Art line. For my purposes of checking metal type alignment, I select a letter with the most emphatic baseline. Something flat like the cap or lowercase z works well. If the termination on the baseline of the z descends a little, I pay attention to the horizontal stroke which gives a good indication of the baseline.

There is a man in Baltimore who own a metal type treasure-house called the House of Type. He is not listed in any phone book under that name. His name is Guy Botterill. A most UNUSUAL man, with one of the world’s largest collections. I can’t say that he will give you a specimen letter, but you could ask.

If you can’t find him, let me know, and I will dig through my haystack of papers and see if i can find him.

Jim Rimmer

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

I think the two baselines in the Standrard verus Art Lines would have to NOT align.

BTW, I have access to ArcheType’s collection, and it’s very good. But they’re moving now, and won’t be back up until January. In the meantime, I can always scan the stuff in the ‘23 book. But thanks for the offer — maybe one day I will indeed need to get in touch with the Unusual Mr Botterill!

hhp

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Jim,

I think it would be great if you introduced Hrant to Guy Botterill. Guy is a fabulous resource. Could answer many questions. In fact Guy should partipate in this very forum.

Gerald Giampa

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

>In any event it would be impossible to preserve the original line up standard from Caslon’s original matrices.

Gerald, this makes sense and I suppose you’re right. I was trying to interpret two things: the ATF claim that Caslon Oldstyle was cast from original matrices (a little bit dubious) and the indication in the 1923 catalog that it was cast on “Original Line” (whatever that means). But you’re right, of course, the original Caslon types would not have been cast on point/pica bodies.

>I’m not sure this is a correct view. I do think that designs with long descenders tend to have smaller x-heights, but that’s irrespective of the ATF alignments.

Well, Hrant, the addition descender length has to come from somewhere. In general, it looks to me like most of the additional space has come from the x-height, not the ascender; although, I’m sure it varies.

It would be interesting to confirm whether or not different faces cast on Art Line baseline-align with one another. I don’t think you can do that definitively from a scan.

My main point in bringing up this alignment stuff in the first place, however, is just to point out that the proportion of the ascent/descent in different sizes of ATF fonts may have as much to do with the established alignment standards as it does with any notions (Benton’s or otherewise) of proper optical compensations. So take any curves with a grain of salt.

— Kent.

Gerald Giampa's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Aug 2003 - 2:09pm
0

Kent,

Actually, I am not sure what the ATF advertising literatures said but their matrices were made from “strikes” off the “original punches”. The original matrices were still at the Caslon Foundry. If not they would have to ship them back and forth as the orders came in. (I hate that, I sound like Nicolas Barker?) Right hand column.

http://www.lanstontype.com/Burgess5.html

I can’t imagine why they would have attempted to match existing line. Each body would have had significant differences. They would not be attempting to replenish existing stocks for early customers of the original Caslon. God forbid!

But Kent, I have learned one thing in the foundry business. Never presume anything. Never think for some other company. They will do the most peculiar things.

So I reserve the right to be wrong.


Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company


Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> “Original Line”

That seems to be the original alignment of the source design, as opposed to the one ATF would impose (“Standard” or “Art”). That explains why the descenders of that one aren’t “cramped”, but it’s not Art Line either. So their various Caslons were cast to three different alignments.

> In general, it looks to me like most of the additional space has come from the x-height

Yes, but I was saying that it doesn’t have to, that it’s a decision outside the scope of the Line it’s in.

> It would be interesting to confirm whether or not different faces cast on Art Line baseline-align with one another.

You mean McGrew might be wrong there? Because he does state that they do.

> may have as much to do with the established alignment standards

Ah, but why doubt that the establishment of those standards was devoid of consideration of optical compensation in the first place?

hhp

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

>Yes, but I was saying that it doesn’t have to, that it’s a decision outside the scope of the Line it’s in.

Oh. Okay. I didn’t understand you. Sure, it doesn’t have to; but then it comes from the ascenders.

>You mean McGrew might be wrong there? Because he does state that they do

Well, he strongly implies it, but I don’t think he says so explicitly. He mentions point-multiples, but I suppose one face could have a slightly different arrangement than another, such that they wouldn’t align in all sizes. But, I doubt this; so yeah, probably Art Line fonts all baseline-align with one another.

>Ah, but why doubt that the establishment of those standards was devoid of consideration of optical compensation in the first place?

Well, I was thinking it was developed by committee, but I see now that I was remembering something else. So I suppose that there could be some consideration. I’m just saying that a part of what you’re going to find has been restricted by what is essentially vertical unitizing. (Back to that.)

— K.

Bill Lomax's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Aug 2003 - 11:00am
0

Okay, this is not really to the point in this thread, but it does have some interesting similarities. Lucas de Groot posted this in 1987, the plot looks similar to at least some of what Kent has posted. PDF attached.

I

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Bill, in fact I previously alluded to de Groot’s “quantization” work in justifying my view that what we’re seeing is probably quadratic.

But I have to suspect that Bringhurst is too much of an artiste to favor this type of thing. His perspetive of geometry in type design is probably of the metaphysical flavor… The Elam book I have, and I think it’s pretty cool.

hhp

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> I would presume the 12 point

> all of the Lino and Mono sizes would probably all have the same wide ‘a’.

I don’t get it: Did Sabon have optical scaling or not?

hhp

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

>justifying my view that what we’re seeing is probably quadratic.

You’ve said that, but now I’ve been looking at this again and I don’t see that it is.

I think I’ve shown convincingly that the alphabet length is essentially linear. Scaling the data to equivalencies to some master size doesn’t really change the essential relationships of the lengths. There should be a set relationship between the linear graph and the scaled curve, and I don’t think that relationship is a quadratic one.

I went back to the alphabet lengths given by the ATF book and revised my formula. The text portion of the scale (6, 8, 10, 12, and even 14) can be expressed by y=7.83333x + 40, where x is the point size and y is the alphabet length. (The accuracy of this is within 0.33333 pts of the stated length for 8 and 10, and 0.66667 pts for 14.)

If you assume a 12-point master drawing and scale everything to that, then the new curve (which is shown in one of my graphs above) can simply be expressed as y = 480/x + 94, where x again equals the point size and y equals the alphabet length, scaled to 12-point equivalency. Again, the accuracy is within about a half a point.

It’s not quadratic at all.

— K.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> the alphabet length is essentially linear.

I guess it depends how you look at it.
From the perspective of digital type design, the necessary thing is to know/decide what kind of modifications need to be done to a “deliberative ideal”. As the curve in the graphs you made show, this is higher order than linear.

hhp

Bill Lomax's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Aug 2003 - 11:00am
0

>Bill, in fact I previously alluded to de Groot’s “quantization” work<

Missed that Hrant, long thread :-)

I too like Prof. Elam’s book, but have found at least one small error. It is incorrect to state that you can draw the spiral for a golden rectangle by drawing arcs from the corner points. Rather, you get a good approximation. The true form is expressed by a mathematical equation where there is only one origin.

Also, I think Bringhurst is aware of a number of different ways of applying math theory to typography and design. However, the only thing I

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

>As the curve in the graphs you made show, this is higher order than linear.

Either you’re missing my point, or I’m missing yours.

I just showed that the curves I graphed were just linear relationships looked at a different way — but it still all boils down to a linear expression. The line that was first graphed is expressed as some factor *times* the point size plus a constant; the curve produced by scaling the data is expressed as some factor *divided* by the point size plus a constant. The factors and the constants are closely related and can be derived one from the other. I don’t see a “higher order”, certainly not a quadratic one.

I’m not following you.

Show me the Math!

— Kent.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Kent, let me try to explain this — as much to myself as to you!

You’re physically designing a digital font, and you have the “optimal” design let’s say for the 12 point cut. Now you want to alter it to work better for smaller sizes. Assuming you’re going to use numbers to do so (or at least get the first iteration), then the relationship of the numbers is not linear. Here’s why:

Let’s say you’re working on the width increase. If you follow the ATF Garamond, the ratio you’d adjust for the 8 point is ~115.3%, and for the 6 it’s ~129.9%. The percentages 100, 115.3 and 129.9 do not sit on a line when graphed against point size. The point is for example that you can’t interpolate (linearly) the 8 point number from the 12 and the 6.

hhp

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Okay, yeah, I got that. They don’t sit on a line. I can see that.

But are you seeing my point? It’s the “higher order” and “quadratic” that I’m having trouble with. When you say “higher order” I imagine that there will be a variable squared or something like deGroot’s formula.

What I’ve been attempting to show is that the formula for these curves is actually very simply derived from the linear equation.

Let me review. The general expression for a linear equation is y = sx + c, where s is the slope and c is a constant, right? The equation for your “scaled” curve is simply y = mc/x + ms, where s and c are still the slope and constant from your linear equation, and m is the point size of your master design. It’s an inverse relationship — not what I would call a higher order.

The curve for your multipliers would simply be the same expression divided by the length of your master alphabet.

Practical example:

The equation for the ATF Garamond alphabet length for the sizes 6-14 point is

y = 7.8333x + 40

Here are the results of the equation:

6 : 87
8 : 102.667
10 : 118.333
12 : 134
14 : 149.667

(The catalog gives 8 : 103, 10 : 118, and 14 : 149. I hope you will accept that the equation indeed fits the data if you allow for some rounding.)

If you want these scaled to be equivalent to the 12-point, then the equation is

y = 480/x + 94 There’s your curve.

If you want your multiplying ratio for ATF Garamond (12-point master), then just divide by 134.

y = 3.582/x + 0.7015

The results:

6 : 129.85%
8 : 114.93%
10 : 105.97%
12 : 100%
14 : 95.74%

The differences between these numbers and yours go back to the rounding differences.

All right, enough Math! We’re scaring away all the art students!

I’ve made my point. I don’t think it’s a higher order. Take it or leave it.

>The point is for example that you can’t interpolate (linearly) the 8 point number from the 12 and the 6.

The last thing I’ll say on this is No, you can’t interpolate the percentage linearly, but you can easily derive it from a linear interpolation. That’s my basic point.

Give me the length of a 6-point alphabet and a 12-point alphabet and I can easily derive the intermediates according to this ATF Garamond model, without any quadratic or cubic or any higher order math. Don’t let those curves fool you.

I’m not saying all the parameters are that way. But this one surely is.

— K.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

To be honest, I really don’t know now… But one thing I’d point out is that the first derivative of a quadratic equation is of course a line — although at this point I’ve become about 50/50 on this.

hhp