Dan Wybrant has a collection of photos with descriptions of the typesetting and paste-up techniques used by a campus daily in 1970. We bitch about InDesign crashing, but we don’t have to type blind with a machine that punches holes onto paper tape. There’s also a lot of fun to be had with a wax machine if you happen to come across one.
This recent image of typesetters, from Shorpy, reminded me of a photo that I took at the National Print Museum in Dublin awhile back. It was of a boy’s indenture agreement to serve as an apprentice compositor in a Letterpress shop. Highlights of seven years service include: no fornicating, gambling or frequenting of ale-houses. I’ve transcribed the document and made the text available.
The Practice of Typography
The Practice of Typography: Modern Methods of Book Composition by Theodore Low de Vinne is available in its entirety online. Originally published in 1904, the book is a treatise on typesetting and the arrangement of pages in books.
The lost art of type spec’ing
The lost art of type spec’ing. It can get even crazier when you look at the older designers like Tschichold, who could hand-draw type that looked like it was set by machine.