Moments in the making of The Daniel Press in Frome

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Getting the type in order

If you have read some of our other working stories you will know all about the buckets of type that arrive from Harry McIntosh's workshop in Scotland. My first task is to divide up what are effectively galleys of type into the pages of the book. And to do that I take the galley proofs that Harry sends down with the type and cut them up to make a paste-up of the entire book. That way I know exactly which lines of type will make up which pages.

It sounds straightforward but there is inevitably a bit of jiggery-pokery necessary. The first time I laid out the pages on this book I ended up with four successive widows (where a page starts with the last line of a paragraph) - I don't mind the occasional one but four on the trot is careless. So I went back and found a place where, with a little resetting, I could lose a line and thus pull up all the widows. Similarly a little more resetting saved a couple of unpleasantly short lines and improved the look of the page.

The type then goes onto my galleys ready to be brought out into formes as machining proceeds. At each stage I can check a forme against my paste-up of course, but as an extra check I also mark the slips on the galleys when the type has been printed so that - I hope - if I go to put it in a forme again I will notice something is wrong!

Copyright Martyn Ould 2011.