Type Was Made To Be Read

Subject: Type Was Made To Be Read
From: Ronald Lee Stone <ston0030 -at- GOLD -dot- TC -dot- UMN -dot- EDU>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 19:30:25 -0600

Hope I haven't missed this thread.

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From _The Legibility of Type_ 1935.

Type Was Made To Be Read
by Berton Braley

"Type," said the Foreman, "was made to read,
And that is a maxim it's well to heed,
For the printer frequently gets a start
With a Craze for 'beauty,' a bug for 'art,'
Which holds him fast in a fearful gripe
And keeps him trying mad stunts with type,
With seventeen fonts and seventy styles
And borders by thousands and rules by miles.

"Type," said the Foreman, "was made to read,
But the printer, oftentimes, in his greed
For novel features and 'class' and 'tone,'
Forgets this fact he has always known
And sends out work that is fine to see
And 'smart' and 'natty' as it can be,
A job with a swagger and high-bred look,
But hard to read as a Chinese book!

"Type," said the Foreman, "was made to read,
And that should serve as the printer's creed,
For work on the Linotype machine
Or hand-set jobs should be clear and clean,
Not ornamental, obscure, bizarre,
Composed of all of the fonts there are,
But simple, legible, quiet, plain,
A joy alike to the eye and brain!

ÒFor art in printing is not the way
Of wild extravagance, weird display,
But rather the unobtrusive thrall
Of type that gives you no shock at all,
But draws your eyes to the page with zest
And holds your mind to the thought expressed;
We must keep ourselves to this simple creed,
Type was madeÑand is meantÑto READ!"


This verse was written for and published in the _Linotype Bulletin_
for March, 1915. It has since been reprinted (usually without proper
credit) by almost every printing publication in the world.

--- end include ---

Until later,

Ron

Ronald L. Stone : ston0030 -at- gold -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu : (612) 644-9706
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