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The Elements of Typographic Style

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Letter are Things, Not Pictures of Things, But...

Insights from Robert Bringhurst (see The Elements of Typographic Style) noted while reading The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind, and Ecology on the train to work this morning:

"I beg to remind you, however, that what you find on the font of a photosetting machine is the photographic image of a letter, and what you set with photosetting equipment is not in truth a letter but a picture of a letter. More precisely: a picture of a drawing of a letter. What you find on a digital font is likewise not a letter but a Bézier or cubic-spline description of a letter. What you set with your computer and print with a laser printer is a digital simulation of a letter. What you find in a California job case (see above) is also not a letter but a sort, which is a sculpture of a letter. What you print with a Vandercook or an Albion is the imprint of a sculpture of a letter. Where is the letter itself? This is the mind-body problem of the philosophers writ small."

And then I got to my stop. [NOTE: This book is a delight]. 

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