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Encyclopedia > Punchcutting

In traditional typography, punchcutting is the process by which matrices were made in hard metal for type founding in the early days. Cutting punches and casting type was the first step of traditional typesetting. The process of cutting type was a highly skilled craft which required much practice. Often the designer of the type would not be personally involved in the cutting. Typographic work Typography (from the Greek words typos = form and graphein = to write) is the art and technique of setting written subject matter in type using a combination of typeface styles, point sizes, line lengths, line leading, character spacing, and word spacing to produce typeset artwork in physical or digital... A type foundry is a company that produces and/or distributes typefaces. ... One half of a bronze mold for casting a socketed spear head dated to the period 1400-1000 BC. This article is about the manufacturing process. ...


The inital design for type would be two dimensional, but a punch has depth, and the three dimensional shape of the punch, as well as the angle and how far it was driven into the matrix would affect the appearance of the type on the page. The angle of the side of the punch was specially significant. Look up matrix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The punchcutter begins by transfering the outline of a letter design to one end of a metal bar. The outer shape of the punch could be cut directly, but the internal curves of a small punch were particularly difficult as it was nessecarry to cut deep enough and straight into the metal. This was almost neve done with cutting tools; a counterpunch, a type of punch used in the cutting of other punches, is used to create the negative space in or around a grapheme. A counterpunch could be used to create this negative space, not just where the space was completely enclosed by the letter, but in any concavity (e.g. above and below the midbar in uppercase "H"). In art, negative space is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. ... A grapheme designates the atomic unit in written language. ... It has been suggested that Convex function be merged into this article or section. ...


Of course, the counterpunch had to be harder than the punch itself. This was accomplished by heat tempering the counterpunch and softening the punch. Such a tool solved two issues, one technical and one aesthetic, that arose in punchcutting. Heat Treatment is a group of manufacturing techniques used to alter the hardness and toughness of a material. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Often the same counterpunch could be used for several letters in a typeface. For example, the negative space inside an uppercase "P" and "R" is usually very similar, and with the use of a counterpunch, they could be nearly identical. Counterpunches were regularly used in this way to give typefaces a more consistent look. The counterpunch would be struck into the face of the punch. The outer form of the letter is then shaped using files. P is the sixteenth letter of the Latin alphabet. ... R is the eighteenth letter of the Latin alphabet. ...


To test the punch, the punchcutter makes an imprint on a piece of paper after the punch is heated on open flame. The soot left by the flame is used to create a sample on the paper (a smoke proof).


Once the punches are read a mold could then be created from the punch by using the punch on a softer metal (such as copper) to create a matrix. Then, type metal, an alloy of lead, antimony, and tin, flows into the matrix to produce a single piece of type, ready for typesetting. One half of a bronze mould for casting a socketed spear head dated to the period 1400-1000 BC. There are no known parallels for this mould. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic brown Atomic mass 63. ... Type metal is an alloy (usually lead, antimony, and tin) that is used in typesetting. ...


One characteristic of type metal that makes it valuable for this use is that it expands as it cools, filling in any gaps present in the serifs and thinner portions of letters. This characteristic is shared by the bronze used to cast sculptures, but copper-based alloys generally have melting points that are too high to be convenient for typesetting. (Water and bismuth are other substances with this property on freezing.) In typography, serifs are the small features at the end of strokes within letters. ... Assorted ancient bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... A sculpture is a three-dimensional, man-made object selected for special recognition as art. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic brown Atomic mass 63. ... A girl in a swimming pool full of water Water (from the Old English word waeter; c. ... General Name, Symbol, Number bismuth, Bi, 83 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 15, 6, p Appearance lustrous reddish white Atomic mass 208. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Punchcutting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (552 words)
In traditional typography, punchcutting is the process by which matrices were made in hard metal for type founding in the early days.
This was accomplished by heat tempering the counterpunch and softening the punch.
Such a tool solved two issues, one technical and one aesthetic, that arose in punchcutting.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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