Punchcutting

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Looking at the images of Chinese typefaces brought me back to ATypI conference in Leipzig, where Dan Carr made some glyphs to demonstrate the craft of punchcutting. It was just beautiful, and gave me a better perspective, when I went to visit Enschedé Type Museum a week after.

I had a chance to hold in my hands the original punches of Didot Non Plus Ultra, and also the matrices made with them, and the final product: a catechismus printed in that font. The book was the size of a matchbox. I think that the type was between 2 and 3 points. Matrices were not individual, but instead they were made in single lines of text. Most impressive was the fact that I could easily recognize Didot even in that size and the rough paper.

It was made by Henry Didot somewhere after 1860, and was one his last works. It's too bad, that I could not bring my camera in the museum, because Enschedé is still printing money, so they are pretty pernickety about the rules…

hrant's picture

I myself was lucky to visit the Imprimerie Nationale some years ago, and get a tour by Christian Paput of its various marvels, such as 120 pt as well as 4 pt punches! Even more memorable was my 5-hour visit to Jim Rimmer's place in 2008*, where the highlight for me was cutting a punch and striking it into brass. Jim was so gracious.

* http://www.flickr.com/photos/48413419@N00/sets/72157622668087871/

hhp

Tomi from Suomi's picture

It does give you a perspective on digital type.

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