Thursday, September 1, 2016

movable type technique (again)

In the standard process of making type,

1- a hard metal punch (made by punchcutting, with the letter carved back to front) is hammered into a softer copper bar, creating a matrix. 
2- the matrix is then placed into a hand-held mold and a piece of type, or "sort", is cast by filling the mold with molten type-metal; this cools almost at once, and the resulting piece of type can be removed from the mold. 
3- the matrix can be reused to create hundreds, or thousands, of identical sorts so that the same character appearing anywhere within the book will appear very uniform, giving rise, over time, to the development of distinct styles of typefaces or fonts. 
4- after casting, the sorts are arranged into type-cases, and used to make up pages which are inked and printed, a procedure which can be repeated hundreds, or thousands, of times.