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> the particular pattern of ink spread, e.g. at junctions, is not necessarily something to be revived
Not to be revived, but often something to simply be incorporated, even these days. Certain areas of type design, like newspapers, phone books, photopolymer letterpress, small sizes* and third-world presses benefit as noticeably from trapping as they do from good kerning for example. Especially if the design in question calls for a "crispness" of character.
* In fact trapping isn't just about fighting gain, it's about fighting optical aberation too (which happens at small sizes, irrespective of gain).
The best designers do incorprate trapping (sometimes very subtly - like look at the lc "g" in Georgia), and sometimes its absense is completely unforgivable (like in Majoor's Telefont).