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Re: [BKARTS] Need help with fonts

In a message dated 8/18/03 2:22:17 PM, stairs@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

<< At 08:51 AM 18/08/2003 -0600, Karen Pardue wrote:
>I do not usually deal with this problem as I am a limited edition binder,
>but I am wondering if there are fonts that I can buy which emulate the
>visual spacing between letters one sees on antiquarian books.  Many
>antiquarian books were titled with handle letters with the space between
>them set by the finisher, and I want that "look" of a title that has been
>applied by handle letters, but is really stamped with my Kwikprint using
>fonts and a typeholder. I hope everyone knows what I mean--conversely, the
>spacing between contemporary fonts such as the ones bought through Kwikprint
>is too contemporary.  Can anyone give me some ideas or feedback? >>

On August 18, Gavin replied with various techniques that could be used,
especially with computers. While that is certainly possible, it could be
prohibitively expensive for a single book.
I understand the desire to obtain the look of a title tooled with handle
letters. However, I don't think it is possible to achieve the same with a stamping
press, such as a Kwikprint. Obviously, whatever style of type (see note
below) that you use can be spaced (adding space) with copper or brass, or even
paper -- I do that all the time.
As I see it, the true beauty of a title tooled with handle letters comes from
three things:
1) the spacing of the letters -- with handle letters one can, not only space
out the letters, but more importantly, the letters can be scrunched together
where needed. On a stamping press letter spacing can be done, and scrunching is
possible, but to a limited extent.
2) handle letters may not be perfectly in-line -- in other words, some may be
rotated slightly, or may be higher or lower. Getting the letters higher or
lower on a stamping press can be done with some fiddling; rotation would be a
3) the impression: I think the true beauty of the handle letters is from the
ever-so-slight irregularity of the impression. In other words, one letter may
be at 90 degrees to the surface while the next one is at 88 degrees. So, when
we view the title, there is a play of light on the letters. If a title is
stamped in a press, all of the letters are at the same 90 degree impression and
thus no play of light. ---------  In fact, some of you may know of Sandy
Cockerell -- English binder who died within the past number of years. He is famous
for many things, such as his Cockerell Marbled Paper. Additionally, he bound
many beautiful vellum-over-boards books with cover designs tooled (actually gold
stamped). However, he knew that the stamped designs would look "dead" if
stamped at 90 degrees. Therefore, he used a modified ram from an airplane that
allowed him to vary the angle of each individual impression to give a play of
light on the gold. He was featured in THE NEW BOOKBINDER years ago.

----  Note:  Styles of Type -- You may know that there are a number of
suppliers of type for hot stamping. In the US, there is the much used, "Service Type
" with its limited styles. In England and other European countries, there are
larger selections of type faces designed for hot stamping, for example
Centaur, etc.

Good Luck,
Bill Minter
William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
Woodbury, PA
fax 814-793-4045

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