Page 12 - March2017
P. 12

|  Choosing Second Hand Type (2)  |                        |  Continued  |

       left in the case. Chemical corrosion   the variations in ‘home-made specials’.
       occurs on the letters which are used   English and American case-lays are
       most frequently. Type can be protected   different. ‘Doubles’ are for caps and
       from corrosion by the small fi lm of   lowercase together, ‘Uppers’ are for
       ink left by washing-up. Type which    caps alone (caps and small caps), and
       has become oxidised is also rather    lowercase alone goes in a “Lower”.
       diffi cult to lock up and the face may be   Card fount cases are usually much
       permanently deformed.                 smaller than English or Californian
         Beware battered and spiked type     cases. Not everyone, of course,
       with distorted shanks, also broken    necessarily uses the cases in the way
       characters and dented letters. This is   they were intended, nor puts only
       most noticeable on fancy letters but   one fount in a case. There are also
       may be acceptable if the typeface is   other special cases for several small
       old and rare. Have some letters been   founts at once, for borders, for rules,
       scratched by the misuse of metal      etc. Check the case itself for size,
       tweezers? Consider throwing away      both width and depth, and the depth
       all the bad letters to leave a small   of the front. All can vary. Beware of
       fair fount of all good sorts, or if the   cases with bottoms that sag (letters
       type is valuable, putting the battered   can jam under the divisions) or are
       characters aside to be used only if   cracked (letters get lost). Odd sized
       absolutely necessary.                 cases are best avoided if possible,
         Be careful about spacing material   especially home-made ones, as they
       too. Founders’ spaces may even be     pose problems of storage racking.
       pre-rationalisation type sizes, or even   One particular kind of note is the
       Didot sizes, and thus may not mix with   ‘Stanhope’ size, about two-thirds of
       modern Anglo-American point sizes.    normal. Racks for these are obtainable,
       Monotype spacing is much more tricky.   but rare, and it is best not to buy any
       Monotype spaces sold for hand-setting   cases unless you get a rack at the
       are made in standard thicknesses of   same time or are prepared to make up
       en, mid, thick and thin or half, third,   one to fi t.
       quarter and fi fth of a square em of     As far as we know there is no
       the body size. Monotype spaces in     standard work on buying second-hand
       a machine-set text are different for   type. While it was not possible in this
       every line, and therefore should not   article to go into the identifi cation of
       be mixed with normal spaces. If you   types, there are, apart from catalogues,
       decide to diss some trade-set type into   a few books that can help with this
       a case for re-use, throw the spacing   aspect of buying. (Remember when
       away. It cannot be re-used except with   buying, that it is only worth buying
       extreme diffi culty, and remember that   a type with a good design, suitable
       the type is probably a lot softer than   for the work you have in mind, and
       the other kinds you use.              compatible with others in your stock.)
         Finally, note the cases that the    Two good books are Encyclopaedia of
       type is stored in. These may vary     Typefaces by Turner Berry, Jaspert and
       considerably, having different layouts   Johnson and A Handbook of Type and
       and different sizes, quite apart from   Illustration by John Lewis.
   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17