Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4
We welcome the weekly Journal für Buchdruckerkunst from Brunswick— one of the best of the world's trade journals. The matter of greatest interest to us in the three numbers to hand is the article on « Systematische Ty-pendicken, » or what is known (somewhat incorrectly) in the States as the « self-spacing » system. The article is in reference to the types recently produced and exhibited by Hr. Haller-Goldschach, of Berne, whose specimens are set out both in Roman and German, and occupy a whole page. There are seven widths to the Roman and six to the German, all in fixed proportion to the body. The specimen has only to be compared with the irregular example of ordinary type on the next page to show its immeasurable superiority. The objection of « distortion » is quite unfounded, as after careful examination of the whole series, we fail to find a single distorted character in either alphabet. It is stated that Herr H.-Goldschach, has after examining the types of sixty English, French, and German foundries, and measuring 92 German and 100 Roman founts, discovered that the number of thicknesses in a fount varied from 86 to 71. In one German fount of 80 characters he found 50 widths. Quite time for a reform.
The Ink Fiend for November is full of interesting matter. « Helping the Author out, » a printer's story, is a capital sketch.
The Art Printer for Sept.-Oct. fully justifies its title. The editor has a word on strikes « overheard on the elevated train. » A comp. quietly remarked that « the men who drive the Craft into a strike are never the men best fitted to conduct it. »
The Inland Printer for November prints a curiosity in rule-work—a study of an elk's head, by Mr Fred. B. Crewe, New York. With the exception of the nose and eyes, which are engraved, the whole work is composed of 12-to pica brass-rule, over seventy feet being used. The same artist has a vigorous brass-rule sketch of a dog's head, artistically wrought out in color, in the Art Printer. As in the case of the elk, the eyes and mouth are engraved. The dog is the better piece of work of the two, and one of the best specimens of the kind that we have seen.
The Boston Paper World for November gives interesting sketches of the large new premises in which its business is now carried on.
From Messrs Cowan & Co. we have received several copies of the Printers' Bulletin, in which they advertise their various agencies in type and material. The Bulletin is well printed, and contains interesting matter.
The position taken by the trade journals proper is well illustrated by the last issue of MacKellar's Typographic Advertiser, now in its 35th year. Its interest has been quite forstalled by the monthlies. It contains eleven pages of new styles, every one which has either appeared already in one or more trade journals, or reaches us by the same mail. There are two pages of literary matter, which we are sorry to see is largely devoted to the depreciation (or still more objectionable patronising) of rival houses. The Johnson Foundry can ill afford to do this—if it would take the lead it must originate more, and imitate less.
L'Intermédiare for November contains a reduced copy of the finest piece of rulework composition that we have yet seen. The original, we are told, measures 3ft. × 2ft., and is beautifully printed in colors. It is the composition of M. Lanier, and represents a group of the architecture of all ages, a sphinx, fallen and broken building-stones, and foliage in the foreground. The picture is not in outline, but shaded very much in the style of Sambourne; and as cross-hatching is freely introduced, there must have been two rule-forms set to register, and two workings. The outlining and shading are both admirable, and only in two or three places is to be detected the peculiar curve characteristic of bent rule. It would be interesting to know how many yards of rule (and hours of time) were used in this work. Not less remarkable than the rule-work are the inscriptions, of which there are fifteen, each in a different character, and each appropriate to the building on which it is placed. They include Egyptian hieroglyphics, Assyrian, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Greek, and others. The work is one that no one but a compositor could appreciate.
No 10 of the British Printer is one of the finest yet issued. It is full of fine examples of typographic design, in black and in colors, all printed in the best style. It is both practical and artistic.
A striking and clever piece of rule-and-color work appears in the Superior Printer. It is by J. M. Miller, Nashville, and represents a cornucopia, from which are falling cards bearing inscription, setting forth the different styles of work undertaken by the printer.
A copy of the American Printer (No 6, vol. i) bearing the stamp of the Liberty Machine Works, has reached us. It is the organ of the Southern Printers' Supply Company, Atlanta, Georgia, is finely printed, and is full of useful « wrinkles. » There seems no end to the list of printers' trade papers in the United States.
In the American Bookmaker for November, Mr H. G. Bishop writes about the new « Linotype » composing machine (in use on the New York Tribune), and gives some interesting samples of its work. He reckons that where the machine can be kept continually at work, it reduces the cost of composition by one-half. Of the newspaper work, all the specimens are execrable, the face bad and alignment imperfect—the one merit being the spacing, which in any given line is absolutely uniform, a result unattainable by hand-spacing. One sample in large type and wide measure, is, however, so good that one would suppose it to have been composed in the ordinary manner.