Lead Type

I’m a sucker for movable type. (The lead blocks, not the software, I have no opinion on the software.) The idea of assembling little blocks to make words and sentences makes my heart flutter. I don’t know why. I guess it’s sort of like legos. I love the large trays holding the letters, and I particularly like how the bins are different sizes depending on the character distribution of the language. As I read about how movable type was used and evolved over the years, I gained a greater appreciation of typography. Ligatures, kerning, why periods go inside quotation marks, and why it’s as irrelevant today as the creation MLA’s parenthetical citations 30 years ago.

I don’t think I would have the patience to use movable type. Laser printing is just too easy, and hot metal typesetting seems like cheating. Although in the world where movable type was common, U certainly would have used it instead of carving individual presses for every page.

via Dark Roasted Blend: Intricate Japanese Movable Type Sets