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Molly/CA
08-10-2005, 06:57 AM
I just got a copy of Muriel Draper's Music at Midnight and it's not only a delightful book (reminiscences, stylish little vignettes of people and events literary and artistic, great bedtime reading) but delightfully produced by Harper NY, in 1929.

The text font is rather unusual --there's a connector between the (lc) c's and s's and the t's, rather a high loopy arc. I think I just saw a similar font in one of the sites Kathleen gave links to, but can't find it now. I'm sure someone can name it right off the top of his or her head.

It's unusual for a book of this age not to somewhere tell at least the font name. Often you get a whole little history too.

Michael Rowley
08-10-2005, 08:31 AM
Molly:

there's a connector between the (lc) c's and s's and the t'sthere's a connector between the (lc) c's and s's and the t's

That's more or less standard, and is to be found in many OT fonts, and presumably many (metal) Linotype fonts. However, only the st ligature has a Unicode code point among the eight ligatures that Unicode allows as 'prefabricated' ligatures.

ktinkel
08-10-2005, 09:09 AM
The text font is rather unusual -- there's a connector between the (lc) c's and s's and the t's, rather a high loopy arc.That is a “tied ligature,” for want of a better name. Once fairly standard — you will see them in early specimen sheets — such as the famous Egenolff-Berner one (now missing, alas, but known in reproductions) showing Garamond’s 1592 specimen sheet.

Like the long s and other archaic forms, these had more or less disappeared from modern fonts (I am a little surprised that you found them in a book from 1929 — I suspect it took an extra effort). You can find them in expert sets (or extended OpenType fonts) nowadays, though.

It's unusual for a book of this age not to somewhere tell at least the font name. Often you get a whole little history too.That is a colophon. They seem to come and go as a matter of fashion. I have been seeing them fairly often recently (but today’s colophons often contain errors. Not sure why — widespread confusion among graphic designers about the history of type, possibly).

Nice word, colophon.

Molly/CA
08-10-2005, 10:11 AM
<I am a little surprised that you found [tied ligatures]in a book from 1929 — I suspect it took an extra effort.

So was I! I described it to a friend as "notional" but perfectly fitting the book. It certainly takes an extra effort on this reader's part: the words don't flow past quite comfortably for the first paragraph or so.

I hadn't even thought about --is this correct? the tied ct and st being one piece of metal, actually their own letters of the alphabet, as ae should properly, to my mind, be.

<[colophons] seem to come and go as a matter of fashion. I have been seeing them fairly often recently (but today’s colophons often contain errors).

Well, what do you expect in a publishing world where "roll" is just as good as "rôle" and characters call the rôle or play a roll in some action, and never mind phase faze and the more ambiguous homonyms. (What happened to Latin-1? I inserted the o/circumflex from Character Map's DOS/US set, and it works --in this forum at least.)

<Nice word, colophon.

Certainly is, and I've surely seen it many times used figuratively, without having looked it up to find its much more interesting technical roots.

Somewhere, on some font site, I've seen a sort of map of all the parts of type, so to speak --ascenders, descenders, ligatures, and that. Now that you've got me hooked and pending my reducing the two stacks of books to be read to less than will kill me if they fall off the bedside table, so I can get one of the delectable-sounding typography titles you've been throwing around here, do you have any idea where I could find such a map or chart?

ktinkel
08-10-2005, 11:25 AM
… is this correct? the tied ct and st being one piece of metal, actually their own letters of the alphabetYes. Today we call them ligatures, the most common being fi and fl (and ff, ffi, and ffl, and even fj in some fonts).

Somewhere, on some font site, I've seen a sort of map of all the parts of type, so to speak --ascenders, descenders, ligatures, and that. Now that you've got me hooked and pending my reducing the two stacks of books to be read to less than will kill me if they fall off the bedside table, so I can get one of the delectable-sounding typography titles you've been throwing around here, do you have any idea where I could find such a map or chart?When he was working in the type group at Microsoft, the late Robert Norton wrote a booklet entitled “A Disagreeably Facetious Type Glossary for the Amusement & Edification of People Beginning a Love Affair with Fonts (http://www.microsoft.com/typography/glossary/content.htm).” The link is to an online copy on the MS web site. Or, if you send me a PM with your real address, I can stick a copy of the print booklet to you (I have a bunch of them).

Michael Rowley
08-10-2005, 11:43 AM
KT:

Like the long s and other archaic forms

I was rather surprised to find the long s as a standard Unicode character, and even more surprised to find the corresponding ligature with t. Does any modern character set require it, say, for Icelandic or something? As Unicode has only seven or eight standard ligatures in roman, it seems rather a waste.

Molly/CA
08-21-2005, 11:59 AM
Have I really not gotten here since 8/10? Well, it's all DTP's fault for introducing all those lovely typography books. The Felici is lovely: no shop talk junkie could resist even if the preferred publishing tool was a pencil.

What a cool booklet --I didn't know typographers and type junkies were ALL so great with words! And I'll consider the shipment, and thanks!

ktinkel
08-21-2005, 01:23 PM
What a cool booklet --I didn't know typographers and type junkies were ALL so great with words!Perhaps not all, but Robert Norton was a special case. (He died in 2001, unfortunately.)

I met him at one of the annual meetings of ATypI (l’Association Typographique Internationale) where he was representing his employer (Microsoft). Robert had been a typographer and type designer, and was hired to help with the font part of the business. As part of that, he wrote this booklet.

Robert was well educated, broadly read, wittily sardonic, a bon vivant, and otherwise wonderful company. He knew the best old book stores in every city where I encountered him (Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Antwerp, and probably many more), and he always knew the best (not always the most fashionable but the best) places to eat and drink. I was lucky enough to spend a little time with him — at Microsoft, at conferences, at table, and in a couple of bookstores — and I still miss him, almost five years after his death.

We still have the booklet and another book he edited and published: Types Best Remembered, Types Best Forgotten with contributions from a diverse bunch of type people, most of them contributing one mini-essay to each side of the book. A few of those essays represent the best critical writing on some recent typefaces (well, then recent — it is 10 years old!) Definitely a great character.