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A close-knit group of hand bookbinders, with shared interests in creating and collecting fine bindings, joined together to promote hand bookbinding and related book arts and to exchange information and ideas. 

Before Desktop Publishing: The Democratization of Type in the Cold Type Era

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Before Desktop Publishing: The Democratization of Type in the Cold Type Era

Briar Levit Lecture at the Koret Auditorium SFPL, Main Library

100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, 94102
(415) 557-4400

Co-presented by Type@Cooper West
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
6:00pm–7:30pm

In the pre-digital days of the 60s, 70s, and early 80s, getting type set was quite the expense. You were paying for the skills of a typesetter, as well as the materials used to print out galleys, not to mention the overhead for running a type shop! What was a small business with regular advertising needs, and little budget to do? Or what about underground publications of social movements like The Black Panther newspaper, or the Whole Earth Catalog which were running on a shoestring? Before the so-called digital revolution of desktop publishing, a smaller, albeit important democratization of design production had already occurred with a selection of affordable, commercial quality in-house typesetting methods. This talk will explore a selection of cold typesetting methods that were used by small businesses and organizations to get their messages out, despite having little-to-no budget.

This event is part of the Letterform Archive Lecture series, co-presented by Type@Cooper West and the San Francisco Public Library, and sponsored by Adobe Typekit.

Briar Levit is an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University, and holds a master’s in communication design from Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in the UK. She came up as a designer in San Francisco in the late 1990s, and missed the cold type era by just a few years.

Earlier Event: October 14
Los Angeles Printers Fair
Later Event: October 20
Typewriter Jam (B.Y.O.T.)