Monday, May 11, 2009

What is a Typsetter

A person I know from Facebook and before that Expats in Italy says she is a typsetter. My uncle Karl was a typsetter. He took me to the newspaper one night where he worked. This was when I was a kid, too many years ago. He sat in front of a big machine with a typwriter keyboard attached to it. As I remember he would retype the reporters pieces and the machine would take melted lead and produce type that was then set into big sheets of type. They would then be put into the press to print the paper. Another part of his job was setting photos, ads etc. that had been produced also in lead onto the sheets. In other words he also composed the sheets.

Since everything today is done with the computer I wonder what does a typsetter actually do. Typsetter can you tell me. I imagine it's mostly about composing sheets.

1 comment:

  1. I guess my typesetter friend isn't going to reply, so here is a brief definition from Wikipedia:
    "Typesetting involves the presentation of textual material in graphic form on paper or some other medium. Before the advent of desktop publishing, typesetting of printed material was produced in print shops by compositors or typesetters working by hand, and later with machines.

    The general principle of typesetting remains the same: the composition of glyphs into lines to form body matter, headings, captions and other pieces of text to make up a page image, and the printing or transfer of the page image onto paper and other media. The two disciplines are closely related. For example, in letterpress printing, ink spreads under the pressure of the press, and typesetters take this dynamic factor into account to achieve clean and legible results."

    More can be found here: