Typographer History (c. 1732)

robsayshowdy's picture

Hello. I am a student, studying the work of Johann Michael Fleischman(n) in the time period of 1730-1739. I am trying to find some resources on other typographers at the time

John Hudson's picture

Rob, you should try to find a copy of Charles Ensched

robsayshowdy's picture

Thanks for the information John. I will check out the library tomorrow. I chose Dutch type making for this project specifically for the intricate and unique typefaces produced. I will update with more info as I continue searching. I would also appreciate more input/advice from others.

EDIT: I am looking into the possibility of a typophile in my area with this book seeing as it is more than $500 US to get a used copy. Library has the worst selection of typography books I've ever seen. You'd think being a major research university, they'd have more. Any other ideas?

Rob</font>

John Hudson's picture

Rob, did you look into inter-library loans? Or is the deadline too tight?

hrant's picture

I'm no expert, but John's recommendation is certainly very good. Compared to the 1908 edition, the 1978 edition has the advantage of being in English (unless you [also] read French), being updated (although I don't know if much was added concerning F'man), and being much more easily obtainable*. The 1908 edition however has the advantage of being [even] better printed - this is especially apparent in some smaller sizes and on pages containing both large and small fonts. If you hit a wall trying to find a copy of one or the other, let me know.

* In fact I was under the impression that it was available new for around $250!

Also of interest might be "Fleischman on Punchcutting", although: it's more of a "trophy" book; the type used seems damaged (look at the "e").

Influences: I've had trouble noticing any. F'man was a genius (and I never use that word lightly). To me Rosart is subordinate, and Bodoni was an artist, not in the same craftsman league. As for F'man's influence on later designs (like Caslon), my feeling is that only the superficial merits were taken, leaving the core untapped.

BTW, there is a font among the ones that F'man cut that stands out as his pinnacle: the #65. The fabulous ideas in it have yet to be really understood. And as nice and useful as Dutch type is now, something has been lost from F'man.

hhp

robsayshowdy's picture

Thanks guys. I put in a request via my Professor. Hopefully they will return something. I got the "$500" base from abebooks.com Hrant. It am really interested in seeing and reading more about F'man. If I am unable to get copies of these books, is it ethical/legal to pay someone who does have them (someone on this forum for example) for digital scans

John Hudson's picture

Speaking of 'Fleischmann on Punchcutting', you should definitely get hold of a copy of Fred Smeijer's Counterpunch. I can't remember how much of it is specific to Fleischmann, but it will give you a good insight into how the type was made.

The Fleischmann Gotische PT from Preuss Type is worth taking a look at and has a decent biographical note.

Regarding the ethical question, I consider scholarship fair use, but the legal question depends on where you reside. The 1908 edition is out of copyright, but you would need to be able to read French. The 1978 edition is still in copyright, so would be subject to whatever the law is regarding copyright in your jurisdiction (note, not the law in the country of origin).

There is a practical issue, also, which is that the book is huge. I only have one or two books in my library that are larger. So it would be difficult to scan. But pages could be photographed by someone with a table-mount or a steady hand. I have taken macro-shots of all the Granjon Greeks in the book, and a few other pages. Here is a fascinating type, Van den Velde's English No.28:
Van den Velde English 28

hrant's picture

In the past I have borrowed the 1978, making photocopies of some parts and 600dpi scans to compare against the 1908, which I have on what seems to be an indefinite loan from UCLA. And yes, these are bulky books - a lot of ginger propping required to get good scans and avoid damage.

BTW, here's a collage I did about a year ago:
(175 Kb) http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/Fman65.gif
The "Jan" is Jan Middendorp.

Speaking of cameras, I recently I bought a used Ricoh RDC-7, and it's quite amazing: it's "only" 3.3 megapixels, but it has a double-exposure "Pro" mode that offsets two shots by half a pixel and effectively gets double the resolution, although only in the horizontal dimension; that wouldn't be such a big deal of itself, except when you factor in the camera's ability to take macro shots at one centimeter distance! The net result is an effective resolution of over 2000 dpi. Now, the Pro mode does require a stable shot, but I've used a tripod with good results. The biggest drawback of a camera versus a scanner though is that only the very center of a macro photo is in total focus... unless I make some kind of precision concave backing plate that I could nestle pages on. :-)

Another cool feature the camera has is a 1-bit "text" mode that results in much smaller image sizes; although the result has no anti-aliasing, it makes it possible to photograph many pages and then run them through OCR with great results - sort of like a spy camera!

hhp

robsayshowdy's picture

John

Thanks for being a great resource. I'm actually waiting for my copy of Counterpunch to arrive. Too bad it's on a month back order from amazon. I am lucky to have a professor who has done a lot of the stuff I am learning about; so not only am I trying to realize how these amazing dutch(german) typographers were influenced/inspired, but also how they went about from start to finish.

That image is fantastic. Are there any online repositories of specimens of this type? (dutch type) The file you linked me was the same one my professor was showing me last week. It's really nice, but alas, the specimen books are my goal.

Rob

robsayshowdy's picture

Thanks Hrant. That collage is really neat, I'll make sure to bring it in tomorrow. The good thing is, I have unlimited resources as far as technology is concerned. (or darned near) The problem again is getting access to extensive specimens. I do have access to a table-mounted slr camera with macro. God knows, I wouldn't need it, but if I did, I have access.

Thanks again for any recommendations.

hrant's picture

Rob, sorry, I just saw your post #33 - for some reason I never got an email copy of it - and I rely on that mechanism heavily.

1) I know somebody who might sell his 1978. What's a fair price to you?

2) I wouldn't sell copies of my copies of the 1978. And even giving them away might be beyond the ethical threshold (even if it's Fair Use).

3) I guess I can sell you copies or scans from the 1908. Like I said though it's UCLA's, so maybe I'd need to keep like 50% of the proceeds as a shipping & handling fee or something and make the rest a donation to the UCLA library! :-) Or maybe 1/3rd each for me, UCLA and TEFF... Are you looking for specimen scans, or the text, or both? Because the 1908 text is in French. But hey, if you don't read French you could then pay me to translate as well. ;-) So how much dough are we talking about? FYI, the last time I checked, the street price for the 1908 was about $1200...

BTW, if you need a dpi greater than 600 then I'd have to take the glorious old monster to a service bureau.

hhp

hrant's picture

BTW, here's a really good examination of the RDC-7:
http://imaging-resource.com/PRODS/RDC7/RD7P.HTM
It's almost like it was made for type designers!
And eBay is showing a couple for less than $150 (which is what I paid).

hhp

robsayshowdy's picture

Hrant

Thanks for your quick responses. Well:
1. I most likely cannot afford a copy right now, but I will definitely bring it up to my Prof. tomorrow and get back to you.
2. My Prof. had asked me if anyone would be willing to sell scans of specimens or text. I can read french, but I'm slow. ;) I don't need anything über high res. Did you say you had scans of both the 1908 and 1978? What would be a fair price for you?

Rob

robsayshowdy's picture

I saw that about the RDC-7, very interesting. The equip. that I have access to, but do not own is mainly for medical purposes (biopsies and frozens ... fun stuff like that) but occasionally I've borrowed it for an afternoon to "scan" some fragile articles. (I believe it is a custom built digital back with a canon macro lens, but am unsure)

rob

hrant's picture

I wouldn't sell (or give away) scans of the 1978. I've made some scans for myself (as well as copies of some of the text) but since it's still in copyright we'd have to figure out what Fair Use would be, and maybe get permissions - not worth the trouble. The guy I borrowed the 1978 from hangs around here BTW, so maybe he could suggest something? But he might have even more ethical impediments than me (which isn't saying much though :-).

I don't know what a fair price for scans/copies from the 1908 would be. It wouldn't cost me anything material (except if I put the stuff on a CD, snailmail it, etc.), and I don't know your budget and need, so please suggest something yourself, either in public or private: hrant_at_inverselogic_dot_com

hhp

robsayshowdy's picture

Hrant

That's my fault, I misread in this rampant typefest about the 1978. I'll email you.

Rob

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