The Printed Book

by Harry G. Aldis, M.A. Cambridge at the University Press 1916

Construction of a Book Part 4

OLD FACE TYPE, shewn in this paragraph, is a revival of the type designed by William Caslon in the 18th century. It is sometimes referred to as Caslon letter. The capitals are rather heavy, and some of the lower-case letters, such as a and s, are somewhat cramped. The general effect is slightly spotty, but it has a pleasantly antique air. OLD STYLE Type is a modification of Old Face type in a freer and more rounded form. The general appearance is harmonious without any marked contrasts. Both this and the preceding style may be distinguished from Modern Face by the serifs (the small projections at the top and bottom of the letters) not being at right angles to the main strokes.

MODERN FACE TYPE is shewn in this paragraph. In the first half of the 19th century it was employed almost exclusively, and it is still used in the majority of books. Its distinctive features are emphasis of the thick and thin strokes of the letters, and the precision and square ness of the angles. The general effect is mechanical and lifeless. Modern face type differs also in the figures from the two other styles. Modern face figures 1234567890 it will be observed, all stand on the line and are of the same height. When these figures are numerous and close together, as in a railway time-table, there is sufficient similarity between 1 and 4, 3 and 8, 6 and 9 to cause danger of misreading. But with figures of the other styles 1234567 8 9 0 there is not such risk, since each digit possesses an individuality of its own.

Each of the different styles of type is made in a number of standard sizes. Some of these sizes, with their names, are shewn in the following specimen lines. This book is printed in modern face small pica. PEARL is the name of the size of old style type shewn in this line. NONPAREIL is the name of the size of old style type shewn in this line. BREVIER is the name of the size of old style type shewn in this BOURGEOIS is the name of the size of old style type LONG PRIMER is the name of the size of old style SMALL PICA is the name of the size of old PICA is the name of the size of old style practical advantages; nevertheless it is a pity that the picturesque nomenclature of the old series must disappear. ENGLISH is the name of the size of GREAT Primer is the name of The old arbitrary sizes, with their traditional names, are fast giving way to the American point system, in which the various sizes, proceeding by a regular scale, bear definite relation to one another. A line of Pica, the standard unit of the old notation, measures in height one-sixth of an inch, and is equal to twelve points of the new scale. The point system has substantial




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