Hand-press printing type demands rigid linearity; its rectangular body discourages all but the straightest of lines. Type-setting, imposition and printing all rely on this principle: type-set lines make rectangular blocks which are then locked into a rectangular forme for printing. However, just occasionally, hand-press printers sought to stretch the possibilities of type arrangement to its limits
Gadd looks at examples of unusual typesetting from the hand-press period, focusing in particular on two extraordinary works printed in late 17th-century London. He will seek to answer how the printers did it; why; how should they be read; and how we should classify them.
Audience members are encouraged to bring similar examples. Dr. Gadd is a Senior Lecturer in English at Bath Spa University, UK, and Vice-President of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP).
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