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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Our Exchanges

page 57

Our Exchanges.

We have had more than one reference to the opposite tendencies in the use of the hyphen as evinced by English and American printers. While in the best English "work its grammatical value is becoming better recognized, and it is more freely used than ever before, in American books it is almost abandoned. It is interesting, therefore, to note in La Typologie-Tucker for January, that the French advocates of orthographic reform condemn the use of the hyphen as a grammatical sign, and advocate its entire suppression, confining its use to broken words at the end of a line. A long list of compound words is given, in which it is recommended that the component parts be entirely separated, and in some rare cases agglutinated. Thus haut-le-pied becomes haut le pied, and chiendent takes the place of chien-dent.

The Artist Printer for March contains two clever pieces of rule-work by Jule. W. Shaffer, New York. They represent the heads of little girls, full-face and profile. The former is the better of the two. « A Reporter and Compositor » advocates some wild views on punctuation. « The spacing should be an en quad in ordinary reading matter, and should be uniform throughout. Divisions should be made wherever the line breaks, with, of course, a hyphen to mark the division. This of course would not do for school-books,.. but in ordinary books would look much better than badly-spaced lines. » Ther-e is nothing new in the suggestion. Nearly a-ll illiterate boys adopt it in their first stick-full. A hyphen at the end of four lines out of every five looks well. In an amateur job held up to ridicule in the following number, the principle is partly adopted. We find « oceu-red, » « supe-rseded, » « pr-oven, » « without, » and others. American practice really seems to be tending in this direction. For the sake of even spacing, high-class magazines tolerate divisions that would speedily earn « the sack » for the perpetrator in any book-office in England.

In the National Publisher and Printer, « an old Printer » objects to the accepted division of the word England, and recommends « England. » If he be consistent, he will try « Lapland » and « Newfoundlands » as well.

A bright and lively exchange is the Chicago Ink Fiend, now in its third volume. Its only fault is its title. « Fiend » literally means enemy—in common usage an infernal one—and the grim figure in the engraved heading is a conventional representation of a specimen of the latter class. Now there is nothing in the contents of the paper to warrant the implied character. It comes to the typographer as a welcome friend, not as a foe. Why, therefore, should it assume the wolf's clothing? There is a « fiend » of some sort in the office, who invents strange words, such as « suse, » « knolik, » and « disgruntled. » A galley has been slipped into a late issue uncorrected—as may happen at times in the best regulated establishment.

The American Lithographer and Printer is facetious at the expense of a correspondent who asks for information regarding « the process of etching on wood. » Such a process was invented some four years ago by a Russian, and an account went the rounds of the trade papers. We had a brief note of the process, which is ingenious and quite practicable, in our issue for February, 1887; and we think it may be found in the Lithographer's own files.—The burden of editorial and technical writing having become too heavy for Mr F. Buehring, he will confine himself for the future to the technical portion of the paper, the editorial duties being undertaken by Mr George H. Davis.

Paper and Press for February and March has reached us by last mail. As usual, the latest mechanical improvements relating to the art are minutely described and intelligently discussed. No other trade journal enters so fully into these matters, or is so complete a record of the progress of invention. We have availed ourselves of part of a valuable article on type-composing machines. The editor is of opinion that « the color-printer is the coming mann » —not « any petty-job-printer who has tact enough to throw a little red ink into his work, » but one who must « possess sufficient skill to produce perfect register, must have correct ideas of the harmony of colors, the distribution of masses, the style of ornament called for, the character of type-faces, the tint of paper necessary to harmonize with the inks made use of, &c. » In short, he must be an artist. « The too common theory that color-work should only be used to obtain striking » effects must be abandoned, and the sooner the better. » This will show the practical style of the article, which proceeds to enter into many details. In the States, the color-printer has already appeared. In these colonies there are colored inks, but few printers who have any idea of their use, or having the idea, can find any field for its exercise. We have already remarked, that as a specimen of fine printing, Paper and Press is unsurpassed.

The Inland Printer for February is an excellent number. It contains the portrait of the Rev. W. Colenso which appeared in our last issue, with a biographical sketch by the editor of Typo. New Zealand this month is « to the fore, ii for in addition to the usual New Zealand letter, Mr Tom L. Mills contributes an article on the boy question, taking as his text a recent article of our own.

The B. C. Printer and Stationer has vastly improved its appearance by discarding its old brevier, and putting in a new fount. The new letter has a broad clean-cut face, and is both legible and beautiful. The old asterisks between the paragraphs should have been sent to the pot at the same time, as they look extra shabby beside the new fount.

« C'est, en vérité, une profession malheur-euse que celle d'imprimeur, » says our excellent contemporary the Gutenberg Journal. This may be freely rendered, « A printer's lot is not a happy one; » and such really appears to be the case in France. Not even in New Zealand is the unhappy man so harrassed with state regulations and restrictions. In this country, proofs are allowed to pasS by book-post, with all necessary marginal notes and comments. If the law relating to private correspondence is held to be transgressed, a penalty of double letter-postage is exacted. But in France, the instruction « priere de nous retoumer » is held to be a private communication, and a proof, the regular postage on which amounts to five centimes, is forthwith taxed fifteen francs! They evidently do not « manage these things better in France. » By the way, Typo is regularly fined a penny a week for alleged deficient postage on the Gutenberg Journal.

The London Printing Times keeps well ahead with original technical articles. In the March issue Mr W. H. Gass contributes details of some useful processes under the title of « Becent Developments in the Printing Trade, » and Mr T. B. Widdowson some valuable « Examination Papers in Lithography, » The same number contains an interesting account of the house of Messrs Hare & Co. Limited, wood-engravers and photo-zincographers, with a beautiful illustration from a half-tone process-block.

The American Art Printer for Jan-Feb. contains excellent portraits of Howard Lock-wood, of the American Bookmaker, American Stationer, Paper Trade Journal, and American Mail and Export Journal; also of « Nellie Bly, » (Miss Elizabeth Cochrane), who lately journeyed round the world in 72d 6h llm 14s —thus beating the record of the fictitious Phineas Fogg by more than a week. The A. P. has some beautiful « process » supplements, and is full of original practical articles. Its eccentric comps. again bring out that same old initial J to do duty for T.

The Paper World for March opens with a very interesting account of « the Bellamys and the Daily News, » illustrated with excellent portraits of the brothers Charles James and Edward Bellamy—the latter of whom has come into prominence through his fanciful book « Looking Backward. » The Paper World has lately introduced a novelty in the form of a three-fold colored wrapper— six pages instead of the usual four.

The Printers' Review for March contains an interesting history of mechanical typecasting, by the veteran Mr David Bruce, inventor of the type-casting machine.—We notice that Messrs Golding will henceforth merge their Bulletin of Novelties into the Review.

The Typografiske og lithografiske Meddel-elser continues its interesting series of articles on the Copenhagen press of the olden time, and contains, as usual, some very delicate specimens of process-engraving.