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Dan Reynolds


Dan Reynolds
Last Active
Member, Type Person
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Admin James Puckett
  • Re: Does that “y” exist?

    Basically, since the bobtail-g seems to have become popular in the era after baseline standardization had already been institutionalised.

    I do not have “proof” of this; meaning that I have never read an article or letter where a designer said, “I make my g look like this because of the availabile baseline space,” but I have developed a hunch.
  • Re: Does that “y” exist?

    Maxim Zhukov said:
    I suspect, the reason of German designers’ experimenting with the form of the l.c. g was their desire to hybridize two conventional varieties of the g—monocular (in Fraktur) and binocular (in Antiqua).
    German typefoundries agreed to introduce a standard baseline (die Deutsche Normal-Schriftline) in 1905. This was based on the standard baseline instituted by the Genzsch & Heyse typefoundry in Hamburg in 1903. Genzsch & Heyse, in turn, had borrowed the idea from the Inland Type Foundry in the US, where Emil Julius Genzsch’s son had briefly worked in the 1890s during something like a Wanderjahre.

    When the German typefoundries collectively agreed to a standard baseline, they instituted changes to Genzsch & Heyse’s proposal. From a design point-of-view, these changes look bad today. German printers wanted blackletter and roman type to share a common baseline, even though blackletter types had traditionally had much lower baselines on the body of a piece of type, due to its usually-short descenders.

    The German standard baseline does not fall at the same uniform, fixed proportional position for all sizes of type, they way it would in a scalable digital font. Certain sizes of type got very, very short descenders, which really only work for blackletter typefaces. Other point sizes have quite generous descender space allotted to them. This was not done for optical considerations, such as “small-sized text should have short descenders” (as in Monotype hot-metal Plantin, or many newspaper typefaces). Instead, the baseline was repositioned at each side in a way that would allow multiple type sizes to be combined on a single line, with the help of standardized spacing material being placed above and below the smaller type (allowing for e.g., the easy combination of 8 pt and 12 pt type on the same line).

    This is important because the message eventually filtered down to the type designers (who did NOT prepare size-specific variants of letters in their drawings). The result of the short-descenders-in-certain-random-type-sizes was that German type designers (in my opinion) opted for simpler forms of the g in roman and sans serif type designs. 

    I have a bunch of images to back this up; most of them are toward the end of the presentation I gave at Kerning in Faenza last June: 
  • Re: Stephen Fry re-invents printing with movable type

    In many of the histories of printing and typography written by western authors during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was common to include a chapter about prior inventions and concepts that bore similarities to printing as we know it (three such examples that come to mind are Hansard’s Typographia, De Vinne’s Invention of Printing, and Reed’s 
    A History of the Old English Letter Foundries). These chapters usually discussed the printing of seals into clay in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, but also mentioned a letter of Cicero’s, in which his ruminations came very close to describing the system of type-making and printing ascribed to Gutenberg, which of course were only realized a millennium and a half later. Quintilian is also cited, etc.

    These authors’ point, I think, was that the idea of printing with moveable metal type was not inherently novel in-and-of-itself, but that Gutenberg (presumably) was the person in the west to successfully put the theory into practice.
  • Re: Punchcutting: Literature

    Hello David!

    Thank you for all of the research you have compiled on your website. I learned about your site a few years ago, from Stephen Coles.

    There are a few German-language articles published in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century printing-trade periodicals that are not listed on While these articles do not have as much detail as I would like, I find that they have almost as much information as the articles by Rudolf Koch and Paul Koch. At least for my purposes; I am looking for statements about how letters are etched onto the face of the punch before cutting, and/or about transferring an image onto the face of a punch before cutting. I have not compiled a complete list of these articles yet myself; I’m still working on this, and will probably only really be complete in about 10 more months (I’m compiling more than just information on this topic …). Three articles that stand out for me are:

    [Franz Max?] Schnögula and Albert Hoffmann: »Die Herstellung der Schrift von der Zeichnung bis zur Ablieferung an die Druckerei. Vortrag, gehalten von den Herrn Stempelschneider Schnögula vor der Berliner Typogr. Gesellschaft. Für das Journal bearbeitet von Albert Hoffmann.« In: Schlotke, Ferdinand (ed.): Journal für Buchdruckerkunst, Schriftgießerei und die verwandten Fächer. Vol. 50, no. 23, columns 491–495. Continued in vol. 50, no. 24, columns 509–512. Hamburg: Ferdinand Schlotke, Hamburg (1883). [Schnögula was a punchcutter and engraver in Berlin, but my information on him is almost non-existant; he died c. 1893, I believe.]

    H. Röder: »Die Herstellung von Stempeln für Buchdrucktypen.« In: Archiv für Buchgewerbe. Vol. 38, p. 300–302. Leipzig: Verlag des Deutschen Buchgewerbevereins (1901). [As is the case with Herr Schnögula above, I do not yet have any biographic details for H. Röter.]

    Heinrich Weber: »Wie entstehen unsere Lettern?« In: Klimsch’s Jahrbuch – Eine Übersicht über die Fortschritte auf graphischem Gebiete. Vol. 2, p. 37–46. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag von Klimsch & Co. (1901).
  • Re: Naming font modifications

    +1 for Nameoffont_Nameofclient (with a space or underscore, etc.).

    I’ve been told by a lawyer for a company I used to work woth that, if Nameoffont is a registered trademark, then putting anything new before Nameoffont weakens the trademark holder’s claim to that trademark, however slightly. So, a client might want Nameofclient_Nameoffont, but that was not something this lawyer could sign off on.

    (Of course, I should add here that I am not a lawyer, and this post should not be misconstrued as actual advice, since I do not have an understanding of how laws surrounding trademarks in any jurisdiction are specifically applied.)