Typography for Photocomposition

"Typography for Photocomposition" by A.S. Lawson and Archie Provan

Author(s): Alexander S. Lawson; Archie Provan
Publication: Arlington, Virginia : National Composition Association
Year: 1976
Description: 26 p : p., ill. ; 28 cm.

One of the first, and still a great, primers on basic computer typography by two award winning experts at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Printing. Includes brief commentary and examples of: typographic standards, spacing, choice of typeface, typographic revivals, variables in caps/italic/boldface, use and misuse of initial caps, copyfitting, and more.

The writers have attempted in this treatment of fundamental typographic practices to apply their long familiarity with the procedures employed traditionally by those printers working with metal types.

Some eighty years ago automated typesetting became practical. Its subsequent success was due mainly to the fact that printers sought to utilize—with such machines as the Linotype and the Monotype—the accepted standards of those typographers who had worked so long with hand-set types.

Coupling esthetic taste and mechanical aptitude, this process ushered in a whole new era of typography, solidly based upon excellent standards, but geared to modern 20th century concepts of production.

In the post-World War II period the application of photography to typesetting has brought similar changes in accepted procedures. While there is an ever-increasing demand to produce typography more economically, the authors see no accompanying need to discard the time-honored approaches to the production of the printed word.

If the phototypographer is to make a solid contribution to the adaptation of photo mechanics to the established art and craft of typography (which has had a history of some five centuries of accomplishment), he can only at some risk disregard the work of the best practitioners of the past.

The merging of such a solid foundation with the technical requirements of the present age is the challenge to the typographer facing the vast array of machines currently available and even those not yet introduced.

The new generation of typographers has the opportunity to use the new technology to its fullest advantage. It is to this concept that the present introductory text has been written.

Table of Contents

Is good typography alien to phototypesetting?3
Minimum typographic standards and excellence5
Some considerations for good typographic spacing6
The choice of a typeface8
Typographic revivals continue popularity9
Caps, italic, and boldface—a few variables10
Justified or unjustified composition?13
Factors in the use of white space14
Initial letters, their use & misuse16
Copyfitting procedures18
Recognition of printing types20
NCA Publications25