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Before Desktop Publishing: The Democratization of Type in the Cold Type Era

  • Date
  • Time
  • Led By Briar Levit
  • Where SFPL Main Library, Koret Auditorium

In the pre-digital days of the ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s, getting type set was quite the expense. You were paying for the skills of a typesetter, as well as the materials used to print out galleys, not to mention the overhead for running a type shop! What was a small business with regular advertising needs, and little budget to do? Or what about underground publications of social movements like The Black Panther newspaper, or the Whole Earth Catalog which were running on a shoestring? Before the so-called digital revolution of desktop publishing, a smaller, albeit important democratization of design production had already occurred with a selection of affordable, commercial quality in-house typesetting methods. This talk will explore a selection of cold typesetting methods that were used by small businesses and organizations to get their messages out, despite having little-to-no budget.

This event is part of the Letterform Lecture series, co-presented by Type@Cooper West and the San Francisco Public Library, and sponsored by Adobe Typekit.

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