Author Topic: Small victories  (Read 4457 times)

robgul

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Re: Small victories
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2020, 11:50:06 am »
Type 1 (and 3) were Postscript fonts, so could be sent directly to Postscript RIPs (and Macs could process them for screen display natively – as vector outlines, they have to be rasterized and anti-aliased, Windows initially couldn't without appropriate software). But they were proprietary tech for Adobe, so you (and Apple/Microsoft) had to pay them for the tools. Apple created the initial TTF spec to get around this, and that gain cross-platform support, but licensing deals meant that for a long time, some key fonts were only available as type 1/3.

There you go, publishing nerddom.

. . . . I'm getting lost with all this technoclogy stuff - I grew up in the printing industry with hot-metal typesetting, repro pulls and then paste-up* for artwork - followed by camera, negatives, planning and printing down plates for REAL printing machines.

Nobody has mentioned Univers which was the great new typeface that influenced graphic design way back in the 60s 

* oh for the aroma of Cow gum

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citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Small victories
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2020, 11:55:21 am »
I only know about hot metal because of the 80s sitcom.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Small victories
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2020, 11:57:15 am »
Basically what Ian said.

I couldn't directly override the designer. This was a large public body and getting this decision changed involved multiple painful meetings. Suggestions of 'Using Arial will save many many thousands' were countered with 'professional designers have decided that every letter, document and missive will be in Helvetica therefore we have to do it.'

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ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Small victories
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2020, 12:06:14 pm »
I'm too young to have seen hot metal in the wild, I'm a child of DTP. I have seen them do it and it's pretty amazing the level of effort that used to go into typesetting a page and printing an entire publication. If you look at publications in the 1980s, you can see that analogue to digital change.

I have fond memories of making camera-ready copy though. Sticking things to sheets of card, applying headings and captions with Letraset etc. It was like craft club for grown-ups. But with less glitter.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: Small victories
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2020, 12:18:46 pm »
Once the hippies discovered web offset printing everyone* could be a graphic designer, which is why some people still think cerise text on a chartreuse background is somehow “cool”.

* FSVO etc
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
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Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Small victories
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2020, 12:39:43 pm »
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.


There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Small victories
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2020, 01:08:59 pm »
When I worked for a Certain University Publisher in their online journals team, most of my colleagues had started as apprentice typesetters in the early 80s. Though hot metal was on the way out when they'd started, they'd all trained as Monotype comps, before moving through photosetting and on to the various digital typesetting systems; they were now mostly XML-wranglers. The head of the design team had driven offset litho presses for many years, and was a still a photosetting guru. We still had a library of page negatives for OOP books, that occasionally got dug into for scanning to produce reprints; if they'd gone awol, it was usually a case of guillotining spines and feeding the block through a sheet-fed scanner before cleaning the scans up in an editing programme (oh what a fun job that was...).

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Small victories
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2020, 01:17:04 pm »
Certain University Press still has a nice collection of ye olde printing machinery.

Sadly, my first job in publishing involved Framemaker+SGML, QuarkXpress, and 3B2. Years of therapy mean I can now write the names of all three products in the same sentence without having an episode.
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Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Small victories
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2020, 02:20:32 pm »
Certain University Press still has a nice collection of ye olde printing machinery.

Sadly, my first job in publishing involved Framemaker+SGML, QuarkXpress, and 3B2. Years of therapy mean I can now write the names of all three products in the same sentence without having an episode.

I remember how expensive 3B2's were when they first came out, children they only had 100mb disk drives. 100mb - you wouldn't put a phone in your pocket with such a small amount of storage.

Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

robgul

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  • cyclist, Cytech accredited mechanic & woodworker
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Re: Small victories
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2020, 03:31:14 pm »
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.

The metal pot and lines of type thing would have either been a Linotype or Intertype machine - where I worked we had 4 of them and the operators used to warm meat pies for their lunch on the edge of the molten lead pot!

Your description sums it all up for me - working in the printing industry from 1963 until about 1982 - even in that time there were massive changes in technologies - and working practices, but that's whole different scenario.
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TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Small victories
« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2020, 03:46:47 pm »
I remember a (secondary) school  trip in the middle 1970s, possibly '77,  and we were shown this marvellous new computer based typesetting (for books rather than magazines) thing using a PDP series mini.  IIRC it was still in the prototype stage but I know* that the customer was Clays of Bungay and I'm fairly sure it was a PDP-8.


*I was** the sort of obnoxious swot who reads frontispieces and publisher details so when the mannie showing us around said, "...it's for Clays" I piped up with, "Do you mean the Chaucer Press?"  Got a very strange look from both my teacher and the mannie.


**Still am.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Re: Small victories
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2020, 03:55:12 pm »
Interesting; these days printers tend to take a (more or less...) print-ready file, and don't bother themselves with the typesetting bit (often outsourced overseas, though I note that some publishers have brought typesetting if not in-house at least back to UK shops - I suppose it means you can shout at someone in the same time zone...)

As I'm apparently amongst fellow nerds, I will leave this link here - a fundraising Poster for the London Centre for Book Arts, which I have been sorely tempted by: https://londonbookarts.org/product/fundraising-edition-output-001-imperial-wallchart/

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Small victories
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2020, 03:58:01 pm »
the customer was Clays of Bungay

Clays were the printers for the company I worked for in the late 90s. Had a very enjoyable visit and tour of the works. They put us up at their own b&b and gave us dinner, at which I made a tit of myself by knocking over a bottle of red wine.

One of the things I remember from the tour is seeing a person sitting on his own at a computer, painstakingly tidying up scanned pages as per Jakob W's description. It looked an incredibly tedious job - he was doing it literally letter by letter.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Small victories
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2020, 04:11:10 pm »
There's a print shop in the Amberley Chalk Pits museum (open again with the usual Covid restrictions). The guide-behind-the-counter when I visited last year came from a hot metal background and could talk and talk and talk about it.

https://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/explore/explore-industry/printers-workshop/
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Small victories
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2020, 04:23:36 pm »
Certain University Press still has a nice collection of ye olde printing machinery.

Sadly, my first job in publishing involved Framemaker+SGML, QuarkXpress, and 3B2. Years of therapy mean I can now write the names of all three products in the same sentence without having an episode.

I remember how expensive 3B2's were when they first came out, children they only had 100mb disk drives. 100mb - you wouldn't put a phone in your pocket with such a small amount of storage.

This 3B2 was (is) typesetting software (now Arbortext Advanced Print Publisher). Basically a publishing environment that lets you create XML, PDF, HTML, and multiple languages and other versions of documents and publications and juggle them simultaneously (I know, is there any form of juggling). I don't know if the UI has improved, but the first version was written by Finestre herself, who being the Demon of Such things, probably did it for the giggles.

Back in the late 90s/early 00s we made all the UK typesetters update their workflows for this kind of thing. Once they'd done, we outsourced all our work all to India and the Phillipines.
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Re: Small victories
« Reply #65 on: October 09, 2020, 04:23:57 pm »
Clearly Clay's has a long tradition of hospitality - sadly I moved jobs before I got invited along for one of the works tours, though my book production colleagues went every so often (they probably placed £hundreds of thousands in print orders a year, so fair enough...)

Apparently they were there when Clay's were printing the final Harry Potter book - the security precautions were apparently incredibly severe, though there were then tabloid journos offering to buy my colleagues drinks, having somehow figured out they'd been on site that day, so perhaps they were the right side of paranoid...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Small victories
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2020, 07:23:00 pm »
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.

The metal pot and lines of type thing would have either been a Linotype or Intertype machine - where I worked we had 4 of them and the operators used to warm meat pies for their lunch on the edge of the molten lead pot!

Your description sums it all up for me - working in the printing industry from 1963 until about 1982 - even in that time there were massive changes in technologies - and working practices, but that's whole different scenario.

Having recently watched - with a general sense of awe - a video about how those things actually worked, I reckon they were perhaps the pinnacle of fiendish and complex mechanical engineering to bodge around the fact that nobody had invented proper computers yet.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Small victories
« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2020, 08:27:12 pm »
It was quite sad back when digital was taking over, these people had amazing skills. But I knew they were on the cusp of being ctrl-alt-deleted by people like me.
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Re: Small victories
« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2020, 10:44:54 pm »
At my first graduate job, with a well know Swedish telecoms equipment maker, we used FrameMaker for all our word processing. I came to rather like it, and it took a while in academia before LaTeX became a worthwhile skill to acquire.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Small victories
« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2020, 10:49:29 pm »

Now I'm wondering if I'm the only one round these parts still using LaTeX for writing stuff. Much nicer quality output than anything made with Word et al.

Anyone else a fan of LaTeX  ?

J
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Gattopardo

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Re: Small victories
« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2020, 11:10:37 pm »
No idea what that even is.

Pingu

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Re: Small victories
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2020, 11:11:45 pm »
The mutant star goat is approaching, so it's time for you all to board the B-Ark.

Re: Small victories
« Reply #72 on: October 10, 2020, 12:06:46 am »
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.

The metal pot and lines of type thing would have either been a Linotype or Intertype machine - where I worked we had 4 of them and the operators used to warm meat pies for their lunch on the edge of the molten lead pot!

Your description sums it all up for me - working in the printing industry from 1963 until about 1982 - even in that time there were massive changes in technologies - and working practices, but that's whole different scenario.

Having recently watched - with a general sense of awe - a video about how those things actually worked, I reckon they were perhaps the pinnacle of fiendish and complex mechanical engineering to bodge around the fact that nobody had invented proper computers yet.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there...
I find it of general interest that automatic gearboxes for cars contained, and to some extent modern ones still do contain, what is in effect a double sided printed circuit board for hydraulic valves and the pipes that join them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rk7BNFo-54 shows one.

Early auto boxes could be 3 speed, with throttle input and manual override, without electricity. There are 10 - 20 separate valves needed for that to function, and they have to be assembled into a compact unit at low cost, with little room for error. Loads of separate pipes and connectors just wouldn't be small enough or cheap enough.
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Re: Small victories
« Reply #73 on: October 10, 2020, 07:52:16 am »
I managed to get our winter load of logs from the road, where they’re tipped, round to the back of the house, and stacked,  without getting soaked by rain.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • cyclist, Cytech accredited mechanic & woodworker
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Re: Small victories
« Reply #74 on: October 10, 2020, 08:08:18 am »
Clearly Clay's has a long tradition of hospitality - sadly I moved jobs before I got invited along for one of the works tours, though my book production colleagues went every so often (they probably placed £hundreds of thousands in print orders a year, so fair enough...)

Apparently they were there when Clay's were printing the final Harry Potter book - the security precautions were apparently incredibly severe, though there were then tabloid journos offering to buy my colleagues drinks, having somehow figured out they'd been on site that day, so perhaps they were the right side of paranoid...

One of my daughters is Senior Editor at a large publisher and deals with Richard Clay, The Chaucer Press for a lot of her books* - as well as nearby to Bungay printer, William Clowes at Beccles for whom I worked (in London) back in the day.   I understand she is looked after on the visits to Bungay.

* think J K Rowling in her alter-ego and a some other high-profile authors.
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