Rollins' Wisdom

Passed the half-way point for printing the new book this weekend. Above is the first side of the Wookey Hole sheet: a quote from Carl Rollins set in ATF's Verona. Three runs in one day (150 impressions); that's about the max we can do here. Tried something new: setting text in an oval.

Started by setting the rotating text straight on pieces of 25 pica lead, 14-pt Verona word spaced 4/M. Measured the length of the combined lines, in inches: 13.675 inches. That would be the oval's circumference. Using that measure, the 14-pt metal Verona is equivalent to 11.6-pt in the digital version. Used InDesign to establish the height and width of the oval required to fit the interior text (set in 24-pt Verona) was calculated.

One of the many kool things about a handpress is you can play with layouts and setting on the bed, since it's flat. Used two pieces of 1-pica wood furniture, held in place with magnets, to fix the circumference. Took two strips of 1-pt leads, and measured them to one-half the inside circumference (meeting at the horizontal mid-point).

Took two more pieces of 1-pt leads and measured them to the outer circumference. Started wedging things into place with furniture and spacing material. With the oval roughed out, the set type was dropped into place & adjusted. Printed it in gold on the dampened Wookey Hole. Easy enough once everything was in place.

Couldn't really pull proofs with the interior text in place, so instead we cut out a paper maquette with the width of each line and overall height, and placed it in the oval to check for positioning. Had to reduce the planned leading from six points to two. Printed the black lines.

That done, swapped lines out for the third run, in silver. Finis for the day. Eh; been wanting to try setting "in the round" for some time. Not sure it's really worth the effort. Took half a day to get the oval figured out. Done it, don't need to do it again. Just like what this sheet was backed-up with: the Three Uglies. Perfect counterpoint to the Five Beauties. We really are pulling out all the metal types hidden in drawers around here, and some will never be printed at - or even seen around - HM again; this book will be their debut & farewell.