Making Books In The Days Of The Linotype

It’s funny how sometimes events coincide. Less than a week after guest editor Doug Wilson posted his Kickstarter project Linotype: The Film – Final Push, a tweet by Erik Spiekermann led me to Making Books which prominently features the Linotype. This vintage short documentary produced by Encyclopædia Britannica Films Inc. in 1947 explains the process from copy setting to binding. Before DTP and computer-operated machines, setting, printing and binding books was a time-consuming and laborious process. The video shows teams of people toiling away to produce a book, providing a fascinating look at the entire production chain. Like Erik Spiekermann says:

Worth [watching] for the voice-over alone.

I would also like to use this post to remind you that you can still help get Linotype: The Film finalised. With still 11 days to go they have reached their Kickstarter goal. However people can still pledge above the goal. Douglas Wilson reassured me any extra funding will also be used directly to help make the film even better, amongst others by adding multi-language sub-titling, improving the DVD packaging, and much more. If you haven’t done so already, head over to the Kickstarter page and pledge what you can spare.

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4 Comments:

  1. I do not agree: setting, printing and binding books is still a time-consuming and laborious process.

    Posted by Julian_Roa_Colombia on Aug. 29, 2011
  2. Thats why we have invented computers dude.. :D
    For a better typography

    Posted by UICart on Aug. 29, 2011
  3. It’s not as if those days are past.

    There are still those of us out here operating Linotypes, printing letterpress from hand-set foundry and machine set hot metal types (not just the neo plastic plate artifice) and having books bound by hand.

    A computer is only a tool and tools will always require a skilled hand and a trained eye, just like older tools like Linotype. And frankly, aside from hand-setting, the Monotype was a better method of composition for book work. But that would be a whole different film…

    Posted by mjb on Aug. 30, 2011
  4. Very enjoyable. Brought back memories of when I first got into the graphics industry.

    Posted by Bill H on Sep. 14, 2011

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