Best value in historical reproductions

Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,273
edited June 2014 in History of Typography
I recently acquired a copy of “Art of the Printed Book”, which was published in 1973 for $15, for $15 at The Owl Pen used book store in Bracebridge, Ontario. Score! The 125 plates are printed in superfine duotone (I can barely make out the screen through a loupe). Most of the classic typographers are represented, from Gutenburg to Rogers. I thoroughly recommend this!
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/offer-listing/0879232595/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

Comments

  • Nick, this is a book I recommended to you in an earlier post: http://typedrawers.com/discussion/comment/8782/#Comment_8782
    I think you now understand my preference for halftone reproduction of type specimens--that is, halftones made by people who know what they're doing and printed accordingly.

    The technique is actually 300-line screen tritone, by the late, great Meriden Gravure Co. The books were photographed directly from the originals using a graphic arts camera, whose frame was bolted into the bedrock below the building to avoid vibrations from passing trains. For those of you interested in the book, you should try to get one of the early printings, in which the text was printed letterpress, in English Monotype Baskerville.

    The cost of the original edition was so low because of a subsidy from Morgan Library.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,273
    ScottMartin, I have always understood your preference for high quality halftones, which I share. You were the one who did not understand the bitmap method I was describing which produces, as Kent Lew pointed out, a virtual halftone, being akin to a super high-res stochastic screen.

    In fact, all digitized files produce bitmapped images when rasterized! But there is a preconception that “bitmapped” is the low-res alternative to vector files. That is what probably prejudiced you against my method.

    The book I have (third printing, 1978) is “actually” printed in duotone, not tritone—at least, that’s what it says on the back cover.

    The text is indeed letterpress Baskerville, but it doesn’t appear to be printed letterpress.
  • I think I bought my copy in 1980.
  • image

    Talking about historical reproductions, one can imagine that the existence of very early, quite large 3D-scanners and -printers in combination with solar energy would probably have reduced the practical impact of certain scenical acts dramatically.
  • Frank, that thunderbolt looks all electric to me.

    Nick, you should try to get a first or second printing; you'll see a big difference. As wonderful as it is, the photography looks a little soft to me, but that's a personal preference. The difference between stochastic and the bitmap method you described, is that the stochastic is non-linear and a lot more supple.


  • Talking about historical reproductions, one can imagine that the existence of very early, quite large 3D-scanners and -printers in combination with solar energy would probably have reduced the practical impact of certain scenical acts dramatically.

    image
  • The first edition was bitmapped (i.e., not stochastic) and hence so unsubtle that no one could read it anyway.

    image
  • There are those of us in the Bible scholarship community who, upon examination of the evidence, have come to the conclusion that Moses, himself, was bitmapped. That's why Aaron had to do the talking for him.
  • Looking back, there seems to be unsubtle evidence for bitmapping as punishment for improper optical practices.

    image
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,273
    These reproductions of Doré’s engravings are crude bitmapped halftones made from greyscale originals. The high-res bitmapped method I promote for type would work here also. It might even be possible to one day copy such engravings, which are of course linear, using the “stroked skeleton” parametric technique presently being developed for fonts.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,536
    If only the Easton Press would reprint old type books. I have their facsimile of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner with Dore’s engravings and it’s fabulous.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 360
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,273
    edited June 2014
    Ultimately, e-paper will be flexible, full colour, and dimensional, just like the original stuff. Paper was, after all, modelled on vellum, and type on pen-work.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 360
    The real leap forward, though, will be when telepathy regain it's popularity.
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