Friday, March 28, 2014

French & Italian Type Separate, Like Their Wines & Cheese

French type height 0.928” and widely, but not strictly, used in Italy. Best to keep French & Italian type separate-like their wines & cheese. In Europe there are quite a few type heights and it can get baffling as one starts to learn and buy letterpress tools. 

At the start I bought a case of wooden Italian letters, a German tabletop press and metal type and a French proof press. Now most of my type is French type height, but if need be, my presses can be regulated. This can be a long process and it should be as precise possible. Honestly plates are easier to use, but there is a satisfaction that comes with the building of lines of type just the way you intended it, but manually. 

It’s probably similar to the cook in the kitchen who has prepared a cake from scratch. It’s in the joy of visualizing the final product, choosing the ingredients, putting on the apron, making and experiencing the final product--simple and tasteful.