Didot Issues for American Typefounders

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1. Casting Didot Faces on American Bodies

I am indebted to Phillip Driscoll, proprietor of the The Square Text Press and Irish Hills Typefoundry for the information here (any misinterpretations are of course my own).

The Didot point, in use on the European continent, is slightly larger than the American point. This means that when casting matrices designed for types with body sizes in the Didot point system to produce types with body sizes in the American point system it is sometimes necessary to cast on a larger body size than intended.

As an example, the Baur Type Foundry typeface Solemnis was cut by that foundry for use on Didot point system bodies in 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, 28, 36, 48 and 60 Didot points. When this type was cast for American use and imported via Amsterdam Continental Types, Inc., it was cast on bodies of 10, 12, 14, 18, "24-S", "24-L", 30, 36, 48 and 60 American points. That is, the 16 Didot point size was cast on an 18 American point body. The 20 Didot point size was cast on 24 point American (and called "24-S," I presume for "Small"). The 24 Didot point size was cast on 24 point American (and called "24-L," I presume for "Large"). The 28 Didot point size was cast on 30 point American.


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