[Gllug] Font annoyances of the day

Don Williams don at rose963.demon.co.uk
Mon May 21 08:39:02 UTC 2007

Hi there - the recent mentions of typefaces and their associated metrics
stirred memories for me. A trained-at-the-case compositor from the days
of the old and mighty London Society of Compositors, I learned (within
weeks) to enable type justification using the sub-divisions of the "M" -
or "mutton" (the "N" was called a "nut"). These are (still):
		mutton / 2 = nut (space),
		mutton / 3 = thick (space),
		mutton / 4 = mid (space),
		mutton / 5 = thin (space).
	Such subdivisions (across a wide range of "mutton" sizes - 5 to 72
point) enabled the justification of words and numbers from heavy text to
very complex tabular matter. I'm often tempted to visit Ironbridge just
to pick up a "stick" again in the re-creation of an old composing
room ...
	My thoroughly enjoyed bit of nostalgia baulks at relating many of the
wonderful hot metal typeface names (and designs): Fry's Ornamented,
Caslon old Face, Bodoni Elephant, Nicholas Cochin - oh, those were the
wonderful, beautiful days ...
	It's just that GLLUGers should know that these things once were ...
Don Williams

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