Trucos de diseño para diseñar como locos

The art of text printing (Part One)

Due to the length of the subject and the impossibility of compressing it more, I am obliged to publish a detailed description of the letterpress in different places. First will discuss the elements of typography and the history of these elements.

Typography is the art of printing a text by selecting styles, families and sources of how to compose a text readable, balanced and attractive. To do this properly you should know what parts made up a character and how it behaves in the digital environment.

When metal characters have been chosen the operator set them together in sentences using a composing stick

The types of industrial print originals, which derives the digital printing system, were pieces of lead alloy, antimony and tin to 75% -20% -5%, respectively. In metal type can be observed, mainly, the following elements:

Shoulder: space around the face area that creates kerning and line spacing for the type.

Face: the surface of the type which produces printing.

Point size: space occupied by the type from the top side to bottom. The body is always in Didot points.

Nick: recess or recesses which serve to determine the position of the type in the composing.

The face, or letter that is printed on paper is often called mark.As can be seen in the image body, or point size, and mark are different. The body is the sum of the mark over upper and lower shoulders. The body is measured in Didot points which is the twelfth of a cicero, 0.3759 mm.

1 cicero = 12 points
1 point = 0.3759 mm

The printing industry still uses these types in special editions in which the physical characteristics of the metal type printing, wood, vinyl, rubber or other materials are valued above the cost of production of the printing process.

The characteristics of the types of metal, have been transmitted to the digital type, but with several changes in nomenclature. These are the basic elements that form them and its description:

  • Tie: is also known as bar. It’s the stroke of the letter between two vertical lines, diagonals and curves.
  • Ascender: part of the letter that stands above the x-height.
  • Shoulder: is open curved stroke of a letter. Also called arc should not be confused with the shoulder of the industrial type of metal.
  • Vertical bar: or stew, is the vertical stroke of the letter that determines its overall shape.
  • Crossbar: a horizontal line through the shaft of the letter. Also known as bar. In some cases, letters E F L T are referred to as arms.
  • Leg: descending diagonal rod which supports some letters, for example  R. Often called tail.
  • Arm: horizontal or diagonal line that extends upward from the pole.
  • Serif: grace or auction. It is a decorative element to ending a pole, leg, arm or up and down features.
  • Bowl: ring stroke closed curve that bounds the empty space. This empty space, or white space, its usually refered as counter.
  • Descender line: features that protrudes below the lower case letters.

These are just some of the fundamental characteristics of the typefaces.To learn even more about the characteristics of the fonts I invite you to visit any of the links can be found at the end of this publication.

El espacio que se añade entre las letras de forma que se visualicen de forma correcta e uniforme se denominainterletrainterletraje. Este término se aplica a dos tipos distintos de espaciado conocidos como kerning ytracking.

The space is added between the letters so that they are displayed correctly and uniform named kerning. This term is applied to two different types of space known as kerning and tracking.

The space between pairs of characters is called kerning. Is set by default so that each pair of characters has a specific appearance. Tracking is the space beetween any characters. Both parameters can be edited to adjust the kerning to design needs. In metal type it’s often used aligature, two characters composed into a single metal piece.

The letter M plays an important role in the design of typefaces. It is aconvention to use this character to determine the space between two words of the form shown in the image above. Usually this space is called space M.

In the part two of this publication I will review the different font styles and traits that distinguish each other.




About mimoriarty

Diseñador gráfico multidisciplinar; me gustaría trabajar y compartir experiencias con diseñadores de todo el mundo

3 comments on “The art of text printing (Part One)

  1. Pingback: The art of text printing (Part Three) « MiMoriarty's Blog

  2. Pingback: Watch out for imported texts « MiMoriarty

  3. Pingback: Apply a text to a path « MiMoriarty

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2011 by in Conocimientos, multilanguaje and tagged , .

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