Will our grand children ever believe books were made this way?

Thursday, 27 October, 2011

A highly detailed illustrated depiction of the book production process (525 kB approx)… from the point it is submitted for publication to the time it reaches a shop or library.

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Solo magazine or book publishers may have to wear many hats

Friday, 6 August, 2010

Elliot Jay Stocks, publisher of niche typography magazine 8faces, outlines the process of putting together a magazine – pretty much – alone, or while working only with a very small team:

I had a helping hand from some great people while putting the magazine together but by and large I found myself wearing several different hats. Way more than I ever anticipated, and way more than I ever have with any previous project. By and large, most of these roles were completely new to me and I had to make it up as I went along.

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Boosting reflectivity to produce print outs that really shine

Thursday, 12 November, 2009

Some new printing technology being developed in conjunction with Adobe could soon allow print designers to add far enhanced sheen effects to their printed works.

Some modern printers can use matt, glossy or metallic inks to change the reflectivity of an image, but the inks are always used on their own, as so-called spot colours. But by carefully mixing a range of such metallic inks, Fabio Pellacini at Adobe Systems and Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, says it’s possible to reproduce subtle differences in reflectivity in the same way that mixing cyan, magenta and yellow can reproduce a range of colours.

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Before blogs we used logs to publish the written word

Thursday, 7 May, 2009

The Wood Type Museum: an impressive online collection of wood types and engraved blocks.

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The many marbled patterns of paper

Wednesday, 6 May, 2009

For some more design inspiration, a database of marbled paper patterns.

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Imagine compiling a publication when you couldn’t cut & paste

Friday, 24 April, 2009

It occurred to me while reading this article about printing a newspaper – a campus newspaper in this instance – before the computer era, was the total absence of the “copy and paste” facility… surely the most under appreciated function computing has given us.

As a first step in producing the Daily Titan, an editor (Gail Rhea) makes up an assignment sheet, using a device known as a manual typewriter. A marvel of mechanical engineering, this gadget was a true EPA Energy Star: it used no electricity whatever. A skilled journalist could write a story at a rate of perhaps 60 words per minute. But none of the original keystrokes could be preserved: someone would have to retype the story again to set it in type, inevitably introducing new typographic errors in the process. By the early 1970s publishers everywhere were beginning to buy video display terminals linked to typesetting computers so writers’ keystrokes could be preserved and copy editing could be done electronically, saving an enormous amount of labor.

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Typesetting the world’s largest prime number

Monday, 13 April, 2009

Your assignment today, should you choose to accept it, is to typeset the largest known prime number, at nearly 13 million digits in length. So, what would be the best font to use for such a job?

The number’s length would depend chiefly on the width of the font selected, and even listener-friendly choices like Times Roman and Helvetica would produce dramatically different outcomes. Small eccentricities in the design of a particular number, such as Times Roman’s inexplicably scrawny figure one, would have huge consequences when multiplied out to this length. But even this isn’t the hairy part. Where things get difficult, as always, is in the kerning.

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New fangled technology this 150 year old hand press

Wednesday, 4 March, 2009

A course that teaches students how to type set and print a book using a hand press that is 150 years old is apparently proving very popular at the University of California, Berkeley.

And say what you will about the demise of print, as a data storage medium paper still has its advantages:

“They still haven’t invented anything better than paper for storing words,” added her classmate, Chris Kyauk. “CDs degrade and hard disks crack.”

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