Chapter 4. Type

Ole’s tale: “Late night. The pale glow from the monochrome monitor of my Compugraphic phototypesetter. The smell of the office standard ‘French Vanilla’ coffee—warming, now, for several hours and resembling nothing so much as battery acid. The gentle snoring of one of the staff writers, who is curled up in the warmth of the unit that holds the filmstrips containing the fonts I’m using to set his story.

“These are the things I think of when I hear the word ‘typesetting’—they’re memories from my job at Seattle’s free rock and roll newspaper The Rocket, circa 1982. Desktop publishing didn’t exist yet, and digital (as opposed to photo) typesetting systems—with their WYSIWYG displays—were rare. I could set just about any kind of type ...

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