Page 8 - December 2017
P. 8

|  Desert Island Diss |

             ou are the ship’s printer on
             board the SS William Brace,
       Yon a luxurious cruise in the
       South Seas. One night the ship        2: Plantin: I have used
       runs into a tropical storm and        Plantin occasionally, and really
       founders on one of those coral        like the italic, which is decorative
       reefs so beloved of Daniel Defoe      without being flashy. The lack of
       and R M Ballantyne.                   fine lines or delicate serifs makes
         When the tumult has settled you     it robust and hard-wearing, the
       discover that the ship is severely    basic letter-shapes are classical
       holed and is slowly filling with      and unobtrusive. All in all, a real
       water. Although your printshop is     workhorse that can suit almost
       likely to remain above water; the     everything. One case only – I’d go
       composing room, where all the         for italic in 18pt.
       typecases are stored, is rapidly
       becoming submerged.
         The water level is rising quickly
       and there is only sufficient time to   3: Cooper Black: I usually
       save seven cases of type. Which       think of faces in terms of what
       would you choose?                     do they suit when pairing them
         Some prominent members              in layouts. Given Plantin, Cooper
       of the Society were asked this        matches well in feel of basic
       question.                             letter-shapes and rounded serifs,
                                             and is bold enough to contrast
       John Easson’s Desert                  with Plantin which is bolder than
                                             many text faces. The italic always
       Island Diss                           strikes me as cheerful, so I’d have
                                             that in 18pt.

                                             4: Antique Olive: More subtle
       1: Cheltenham: Because I              than most sans faces, this one
       can’t stand it, yet it was one of     has much of the feel of current
       the most popular faces of its day,    digital faces, but has a distinctive
       and even in the 1960s still had       character. I’m not sure that I
       enthusiastic supporters. I’d like     wouldn’t find the italic too much
       to try to understand why it was       just a sloped version rather than a
       liked – am I missing something?       distinct face, but the bold is good.
       I like lots of ugly faces, why not    I can’t see it working well with
       this one? What size: 12pt, maybe I    Plantin very often, except in very
       could cope with that.
                                             contrasting sizes, so I’d have the
                                             medium Roman in 12pt.

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