Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Poor p

As a follow up to my printing peace I wanted to share a lesson I learnt.

So often for me, I learn from mistakes. I am not always able to anticipate what might happen if...but once it has happened I am not too bad at working out why it happened and the principle I need to apply in order to not repeat it.

Such was the case on Saturday as I printed.

One of the things I was hoping to do, was to demonstrate how with letterpress, a 72pt sized piece of metal type is the same height; however the letters in that typeface may be much bigger or smaller compared to a different 72pt typeface.  Bear with me.

So I printed the lovely Empire which looked tall and elegant.

And then I tried to print a thus-far-unnamed typeface, also sized at 72pt.

I knew that the type would barely fit on the business card sized piece of paper, but I thought it would if I was really careful with the registration. The weird perspective in the photo doesn't necessarily convince you, but it really did line up pretty perfectly!

So I locked up the chase and set to printing. My first attempt missed the imagine completely!

So I did some realigning and positioning and pretty much got it positioned perfectly. So far so good.

But the pressure was a bit weird on the second line, so I padded it out a bit and tried again. Almost there.

And then I moved something so that I could really get the pressure right.

And this happened.  The bottom of the p got lost and there was hardly any pressure on the rest of the piece at all.

I pondered what? how? what? and then worked out I must have really misaligned everything and that the arms that hold the paper to be printed in position must have been hitting the p.

And they had. I had smashed the serif off the piece of type and there was no longer a serif on the bottom of the downstroke of the p. Who knew you could do that? Who knew you had to really really look hard at the consequences of every little adjustment you made? I do now!

So here is the damaged p.

So sad. This is one of those random sets of type that I have retrieved and scavenged and I worried that I might not have another p - but luckily I have a spare. So now I only have one p but at least I have that!

So I learnt my lesson about positioning blocks of type that take up the whole piece of paper.

And I also confirmed that 72pt typefaces might take up the same height-space, but the letters can be of incredibly different heights.


  1. 'though you can no longer print happiness with only one p, peace is still possible

    1. So true Liz...I shall strive to keep printing peace I think, and find other words with just the one p - open, play, hope...I think I'll be all right! Go well.

  2. well, you did learn it AND you have another p. a lesson with a bonus, so to speak.

    1. Very grateful for that lesson V and for not stuffing up completely!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.