The software a graphic designer uses today to layout type is very advanced compared to what was available just 10 years ago. What’s even more amazing is that 20 years ago a typesetter, and not a designer, used elaborate phototype-setting systems and created galleys for designers to layout type on an artboard using X-Acto blades and a waxer. During the letterpress era, typesetters used cast lead or metal type assembled backwards in wooden frames. Typesetting text was considered an honourable profession that lasted for almost 500 years.
It’s important that today’s designers be aware that they are now the typesetter. That it’s not the machine’s responsibility to do their typeset- ting for them.
So for this new generation of designers, it would be easy to think in this Internet Age, where text is now downloaded or uploaded and not typeset, that these are the new typography norms, or worse, that it’s always been this way. But it’s not. In fact, it’s far from that, especially for the print designer.
That’s why, at Designers Insights, we think it’s primordial and urgent to teach this endangered art to as many designers as possible. We need to reach the widest possible audience to preserve the craft that made typography great in the first place, 500 years ago.