Stop Making Type

mike gastin's picture

Anyone read the article in this month's Print about the efforts of the American Typographers Association to control type production? Was interesting and comical.

thestaticbot's picture

Any way to read it on the internet or to get any scans of the page?

.00's picture

Stop making music! Stop writing books!

Si_Daniels's picture

So this was a history piece? Or have these guys been raised from the grave?

Cheers, Si

Don McCahill's picture

Who is the American Typographers Association? Google and Wikipedia don't seem to have heard about it.

Si_Daniels's picture

According to Live Search

http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=%22American+Typographers+Associati...

they published the "Type Talks" publication in 1945. I assume you may need to consult with real books, and not the web for more info :-(

Seem to be later issues of "Type Talks" available through Amazon, these list "Advertising Typographers" as the publisher. Perhaps the ATA became the AT?

david h's picture

> the efforts of the American Typographers Association to control type production

with birth control pill... or type control pill?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Are you sure that wasn't a reprint? They've been reprinting older articles. ;^}

mike gastin's picture

This was a historical piece. These guys got together and tried to set some guidelines for good type. I get the sense they were trying to protect both American foundries from European competition and to help job shops that were constantly having to buy faces that would only be used for a job or two and then sit mouldering and thus not making money. I guess part of the problem was the ad agencies would spec some awful face for a project, the job shop would have to buy it -- all metal at the time - not a $60 download from myfonts.com.

Anyway, the funny thing to me was how did they expect to enforce their rulings? Free economy, supply and demand and all that. If an agency wanted some really bad egyptian how did this group think they could stop that?

Not earthshaking, but an interesting read.

--
Mike

Si_Daniels's picture

Tiffany, aren't you thinking of rePrint? ;-)

Si_Daniels's picture

Sounds like an interesting article.

>Anyway, the funny thing to me was how did they expect to enforce their rulings?

The traditional way to do this would be to form a cartel of manufacturers.

mike gastin's picture

You know, Rolling Stone has been doing the reprint thing, too. Seems everyone is getting all nostalgic ... or they have run out of good content!

I just checked and the article is not identified as a reprint.

I should point out the article is not advocating anything, it is just a piece on this group that met back in the late 1920's to try to control some aspects of type production.

--
Mike

Nick Shinn's picture

Like all professional bodies, self-interest mixed with idealism.

Another typesetters' organization, the Typographers International Association, issued a press release in 1986 challenging Apple to set their print ads on a LaserWriter. They were trying to protect the threat to their industry (imagine you had just invested tens of thousands in equipment soon to be obsolete: tragic), but they were also representing a quality cultural product from a trade with centuries of experience, against the then crappy quality of "Desktop Publishing".

dezcom's picture

Thanks Mike. That was sort of like hearing "War of The Worlds" on the radio without knowing it was a dramatization.

ChrisL

cuttlefish's picture

I recall an issue of "Creative Computing" from the early 1980s that had pages side-by-side, one set by phototypesetting as was the style in the day, the other done on a 300 DPI laser printer. And while one could still see the jaggies of the text, and the reduced inset page images became solid lines, the laser page did look quite a bit cleaner. I wish I had that issue on hand right now, but surely it has rotted into dust.

david h's picture

> the efforts of the American Typographers Association.... in the late 1920’s to try to control some aspects of type production.

ah context. why you didn't say that :^)

John Hudson's picture

imagine you had just invested tens of thousands in equipment soon to be obsolete: tragic

Hundreds of thousands.

John Hudson's picture

That was sort of like hearing “War of The Worlds” on the radio without knowing it was a dramatization.

I for one welcome our new typographic overlords.

terryw's picture

ATA= Advertising Typographers Association of America

dezcom's picture

"I for one welcome our new typographic overlords."

Yes, John, didn't it all start in 1984 anyway? :-)

ChrisL

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Google and Wikipedia don’t seem to have heard about it.

In that case it doesn't exist. ;-)

russellm's picture

"Stop making music! Stop writing books!

What?
You need more than five???

Don McCahill's picture

> What? You need more than five [books]???

There are some people who feel that more than one is too many (if the one is the Bible).

That dratted Harry Potter stuff is the Devil's work.

dezcom's picture

See the film "Fahrenheit 451"

ChrisL

russellm's picture

typefaces, (ala Masimo Vignelli)
of course that could as easily apply to, books, songs, kinds of beer and so on :-)

-A Hound for Baskerville's picture

dezcom: See the film "Fahrenheit 451"

Or, read the book.

dezcom's picture

But it was burned in the film! :-)

ChrisL

dux's picture

we need to be wary of any organisation that desires control

YvesPeeters's picture

I think its already to late.
Oded Ezer has managed to create a typosperma
http://odedezer.com/typosperma.html
Birth control is our only chance!

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

This was a historical piece.

Are you sure that wasn’t a reprint?

I just got this issue of Print, and the article is by Paul Shaw.

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