1992 era typesetting

lfstewart's picture

I am a forensic scientist who specializes in cases involving printing, Is there a source where I can look for precursors to digital type fonts, i.e. designed for Microsoft or Apple? Specifically, I am looking for typeset that was similar to the digital versions of Sylfaen, Old Bookman and Constantia, but that was available to offset lithography typesetters in the early 1990's. Can you help?

Thank you.

typeset.pdf636.88 KB
bojev's picture

This is the information contained in the font files of Sylfaen and Constantia - As hrant has pointed out Bookman goes back way before into photo setting and before.

Sylfaen was designed for Microsoft in 1998 by John Hudson and W. Ross Mills of Tiro Typeworks, and Geraldine Wade of Monotype Typography. Sylfaen is a Welsh word meaning "foundation"; an apt name since the font stemmed from research into the typographic requirements of many different scripts and languages.
This version of Sylfaen supports the WGL4.0 character set, for Pan-European language coverage. In addition to Latin, Greek and Cyrillic letterforms, the font contains the characters necessary for support of the Armenian and Georgian languages.

Constantia is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Typeface and data © 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Bookman was issued digitally by Adobe with a copyright date of 1990

BlueStreak's picture

In the mid to late 1980s there was a lot of typesetting done by graphic designers who would print type using a laserprinter and then paste it up using wax or Spraymount. I still have fond memories of my nose hairs being glued together with Spraymount residue. There was also a growing amount of digital type available for desktop typesetting.

By 1992 Quark was the boss and there were plenty more digital fonts being put to use just like those in your sample. From the way the descender of the type awkwardly intersects the ruled line, to the wide letter spacing, to the horizontal compression, to the fonts used, to the boxy composition, everything in that sample looks more like laserprinting from Quark than typesetting from a type house. I can't see a professional photo-typesetter setting U/C and L/C Copperplate the way it's done in that top line. That kind of typography was flourishing in Quark though. In 1992 that work would have been done in Quark, then laserprinted and sent to an offset printer to have them shoot film and run on press.

riccard0's picture

Not related to type, but the second line (Antique Servizi Company) doesn't make sense in Italian nor in English.

hrant's picture

You should see the spelling of Häagen-Dazs!


oldnick's picture

By 1992, desktop publishing had net yet completely replaced typesetting from dedicated phototypesetting machines. I was still setting type on a Compugraphic 8400 system, although less and less so. You might want to see if you can track down copies of Compugraphic, Varityper and Itek/Quadritek type catalogs of the time.

Nick Shinn's picture

The question doesn't make sense.
There is no such thing as "offset lithography typesetters".


In 1992 that work would have been done in Quark, then laserprinted and sent to an offset printer to have them shoot film and run on press.

I was fully digital by then, with film output (Linotronic) from Quark or Illustrator files.
Direct to plate happened a little later.

hrant's picture

Nick, it's not that hard to figure out. He's a forensics guy - he probably wants
to prove that a given document could not have been produced before a certain
time, based on the fonts.


John Hudson's picture

I can confirm that neither Sylfaen nor Constantia were available in any form prior to 1998 and 2003, respectively, and were not publicly released until February 2000 (Windows 2000) and November 2006 (Windows Vista and Office 2007). Neither design is based on pre-existing types, so any document featuring these designs that purports to be from before these dates is either fraudulent or erroneously dated.

Syndicate content Syndicate content