Measurement for Typefounders

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In addition to the Point Conversion Tables (below), the following tables, presented elsewhere on CircuitousRoot, may be of use to the typefounder.

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Point and Pica Conversion Tables

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Type Body Name Chart

"Traditional American and English Type Body Size Names and Approximate American Point System Equivalents."

This is little chart I compiled of the pre-point-system names used in the US and England for type body sizes, together with their (very) approximate American point system equivalents. Its sources date from 1879 to 1918. Continental European names will differ, of course, and, further, the continental European Didot point also differs from the American point. Some of these names remain relatively common ("Pica" and "Agate" are still in use), while others are curiousities. Not everyone used this same set of names. The Cincinnati Type Foundry, in particular, used a number of different names (e.g., Two-Line Bourgeois for what was probably Great Primer (which was also Three-Line Nonpareil)).

The icon at left links to a PDF version. Here is the LibreOffice source spreadsheet: type-body-name-chart-v2.ods

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Didot Issues for the American Typefounder

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The Type Founders' Point In Too Many Decimals

A pointless exercise in the arithmetic of points. It does demonstrate that the change in the length of the inch in 1959 did not matter at all for the conversion of the American printers' point into inches.

The icon at left links to a PDF version of this study.

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A Typefounders' History of the Inch

[NOT ONLINE YET] Depressingly convoluted.

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