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Title: International cross-currents in typeface design : France, Britain and the USA in the phototypesetting era
Author: Savoie, Alice
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 3238
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis considers the significance of phototypesetting, in particular as a transitional technology that re-thought the processes of metal type production and set many standards adopted by subsequent digital technologies, through the change that it brought about in the design and production of typefaces. The historical scope of the research focuses on the key decades of the 1950S, 1960s and 1970S, when phototypesetting established itself commercially, challenged the hegemony of hot-metal typesetting and became widespread, before the industry progressively migrated to digital technologies. Drawing on company and personal archives in France, the UK and the USA, the study explores the working practices developed by manufacturers in these countries, focusing specifically on the work undertaken by Linotype, Monotype and Lumitype-Photon, and the influential type designers who worked for them. The thesis documents the challenges faced by these three businesses in relation to type design, and identifies the new opportunities brought about by the new technologies. It highlights the various diverging strategies and working methods adopted by these manufacturers when devising a library of type designs for photocomposition, strategies which ranged from the adaptation of existing metal faces to the conception of new designs tailored for photocomposition. The processes for converting designs from metal to film, and the use of photographic techniques to develop innovative designs, are analysed through specific case studies that draw on primary sources. In addition, the attitude of type manufacturers towards intellectual property rights is illustrated, identifying the conflicting interests of established companies and newcomers to the typesetting market. The evolution of the status of type designers during the phototypesetting period is explored, casting new light on accepted narratives of the designer's role. In particular, the significance of collaboration between designers, engineers and manufacturers in driving forward typographical innovation at a time of technological turmoil is highlighted throughout the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available