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donmcc
08-01-2005, 12:29 PM
I thought that with the optical weights available in the new Adobe Opern type pro fonts, I would have everything I needed in type. Now I see this:


http://www.typography.com/catalog/mercurytext/grades_duplexing.html
It is the typeface Mercury, designed for newspapers, and they have set up different grades for different press types. An interesting concept that I have never seen before. Have others seen this on different fonts?

Don McCahill

ktinkel
08-01-2005, 01:19 PM
… the typeface Mercury, designed for newspapers, and they have set up different grades for different press types. An interesting concept that I have never seen before. Have others seen this on different fonts?I haven’t seen that before either, but it does seem the handwriting is on the wall.

The new face Paperback from John Downer (discussed recently in this thread (http://www.desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php?t=945)) takes size-optimization to a new level. Optimizing for paper type (and/or printing process) seems to me to be a horse of similar color.

If it works as advertised (and I think Hoefler & Freres-Jones are capable of making it work), it is a very clever idea, too. We have all seen the limits of digital fonts — designed, perhaps, for book work — be disappointing looking on slick magazine stock (or newsprint, or when output to a Docutech).

The prices of these new superfonts are staggering — less than a custom font system, no doubt, but stiffish for the solo designer. They are a bit coy at the Hoefler site (have to order, calculate, and then cancel, and I didn’t bother — just noted that buying the complete text collection saves $617 over buying the components singly). Downer’s Paperback is $350.

Michael Rowley
08-01-2005, 04:09 PM
Don:

Now I see this

A good idea, but expensive for the designers and publishers of books, of course (but books aren't printed on newsprint).

It would be more practical use if they operated a 'sale or return' system that allowed you to test the fonts on the paper you were likely to specify in the climate that the printer is likely to be in ('damp' in East England, especially damp in West England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland).

donmcc
08-01-2005, 07:04 PM
but books aren't printed on newsprint

Actually, they are ... paperbacks are often printed on newsprint, and sometime pretty shoddy newsprint, in my opinion.

Don McCahill

Stephen Coles
08-01-2005, 09:14 PM
It is the typeface Mercury, designed for newspapers, and they have set up different grades for different press types. An interesting concept that I have never seen before. Have others seen this on different fonts?
I believe the first instance of this in digital font form was the Poynter (http://fontbureau.com/fonts/PoynterOSText) types from Font Bureau (1997). We used them at my college paper and they worked a charm.

Michael Rowley
08-02-2005, 08:33 AM
Don:

paperbacks are often printed on newsprint, and sometime pretty shoddy newsprint

I haven't seen a paperback that's printed on newsprint in the UK, but that may be because I usually get paperbacks from the public library, and the library would draw the line at books whose pages are easily torn (though perhaps they'll lower the standard again—they didn't use to have library books other than hardbacks, often rebound in 'libary binding').

Michael Rowley
08-02-2005, 08:42 AM
Stephen:

This comes from the Poynter PDF:

'Seventy years ago, C.H. Griffith prepared graded weights of Linotype Excelsior, encouraging publishers to choose the weight best matching image to inking.'

donmcc
08-02-2005, 10:22 AM
I think you are referring to what is called Trade Paperbacks over here. Paper cover, but quality paper, and usually in a slightly larger size (the same as a hard cover book). But science fiction books, and romance stories are printed on a cheap paper here.

Don McCahill

Michael Rowley
08-02-2005, 03:11 PM
Don:

I think you are referring to what is called Trade Paperbacks over here

No; I mean 'ordinary' paperbacks. I think the terminology is the same in the UK: there are 'trade books' (hardbacks and trade paperbacks—which some prefer to call softbacks) and the rest. I don't know why the terms persist, because paperbacks are stocked by everyone these days, and the grocers sometimes sell hardbacks.

But science fiction books, and romance stories are printed on a cheap paper here

I read crime stories these days (as if I ever read much else); they are printed on good paper, even the paperbacks. But I don't think there's much call for really cheap books in the UK, but perhaps there is for romances.

djb
08-03-2005, 01:15 PM
Actually, they are ... paperbacks are often printed on newsprint, and sometime pretty shoddy newsprint, in my opinion.

As are universiity textbooks in many instances.

Michael Rowley
08-03-2005, 01:51 PM
DJB:

As are universiity textbooks in many instances

What, printed on shoddy paper? Not, I should hope, at McGill. And not in the UK, though the old textbooks that lasted many generations of students have probably disappeared by now.

djb
08-03-2005, 02:10 PM
My understanding is that many are, particularly in fields where the information taught is out of date ina couple of years.

I recall my organic chem text, though, from many, many years ago. Would have probably survived Hiroshima.

Michael Rowley
08-03-2005, 04:15 PM
DJB:

particularly in fields where the information taught is out of date in a couple of years

I'm surprised that that should happen in undergraduate teaching; in my day, any new stuff was either kept for lectures or distributed as lecture notes. Of course, nowadays you just go to the lecturer's Web page. Chemistry was my subject too, and the professor's sessions often took the form of discussions of interesting new syntheses.

ElyseC
08-03-2005, 08:42 PM
I'm surprised that that should happen in undergraduate teaching; in my day, any new stuff was either kept for lectures or distributed as lecture notes. Of course, nowadays you just go to the lecturer's Web page. Chemistry was my subject too, and the professor's sessions often took the form of discussions of interesting new syntheses.And I've heard that, in some schools now, lectures are being made available for download as MP3 files for students to put onto their iPods.