Typesetting is the composition of text by means of arranging physical ''type'' (or ''sort'') in mechanical systems or ''glyphs'' in digital systems representing ''characters'' (letters and other symbols).Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random Ho ...
, a sort or type is a block with a
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing ( leading), a ... character
etched on it,
which is lined up with others to print
Text may refer to:
* Text (literary theory), any object that can be read, including:
** Religious text, a writing that a religious tradition considers to be sacred
**Text, a verse or passage from scripture used in expository preac ...
. In movable-type printing
, the sort or type is cast
from a matrix mold
and assembled by hand with other sorts bearing additional characters into lines of type to make up a ''form'', from which a page is printed.
From the invention of
Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual alphanumeric characters or punctuation ...
up to the invention of
hot metal typesetting
In printing and typography, hot metal typesetting (also called mechanical typesetting, hot lead typesetting, hot metal, and hot type) is a technology for typesetting text in letterpress printing. This method injects molten type metal into a mol ...
essentially all printed text was created by selecting sorts from a
A type case is a compartmentalized wooden box used to store movable type used in letterpress printing
Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing. Using a printing press, the process allows many copies to be produced by repeat ...
and assembling them line by line into a form used to print a page. When the form was no longer needed all of the type had to be sorted back into the correct slots in the type case in a very time-consuming process called "distributing". This sorting process led to the individual pieces being called sorts. It is often claimed to be the root of expressions such as "out of sorts" and "wrong sort", although this connection is disputed.
During the hot metal typesetting era, printing equipment used matrices to cast type as needed during the typesetting process. The popular Linotype
cast entire lines of text at once rather than individual sorts, while the less popular competitor
Monotyping is a type of printmaking made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The surface, or matrix, was historically a copper etching plate, but in contemporary work it can vary from zinc or glass to acrylic glass. The ...
still cast the sorts individually. Later, when
Phototypesetting is a method of setting type. It uses photography to make columns of type on a scroll of photographic paper.
It has been made obsolete by the popularity of the personal computer and desktop publishing ( digital typesetting).
replaced hot metal typesetting, sorts disappeared entirely from the mainstream printing process.
History of western typography
Modern typographers view typography as a craft with a very long history tracing its origins back to the first punches and dies used to make seals and coinage currency in ancient times. The basic elements of typography are at least as old as ...
In the manufacture of metal type used in letterpress printing, a matrix (from the Latin meaning ''womb'' or ''a female breeding animal'') is the mould used to cast a letter, known as a sort. Matrices for printing types were made of copper.
A typeface (or font family) is the design of lettering that can include variations in size, weight (e.g. bold), slope (e.g. italic), width (e.g. condensed), and so on. Each of these variations of the typeface is a font.
There are thousands ...
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and ...
Typeface anatomy describes the graphic elements that make up letters in a typeface.
The ''strokes'' are the components of a letterform. Strokes may be ''straight'', as in , or ''curved'', as in . If straight, they may be ''horizontal, ...
* The Dover edition is an abridged and corrected republication of the work originally published in 1950 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. under the title ''Lettering: The History and Technique of Lettering as Design''.
, a type wiki atypophile.comMetal Type - For Those who Remember Hot Metal Typesetting