To a calligrapher, the spacing, direction, inclination, pressure, and orientation of a stroke defines the “spirit” or energy of a line. The distinction between illuminating letterforms vs. printing text is a fascinating and sometimes polarizing topic.
Angular and stiff, loose and free, detailed and delicate, can all be used to describe lettering independent of the content being written. The combination and variation of these variables creates the calligrapher’s style and voice beyond the letter’s meaning.
The Labs team maintains a rich discussion about the place of automation in our processes, looking for the best of both moments between handmade and machine-made. When script fonts are printed on a conventional roller printer, letters are divided into rows of pixels placed on the page. While efficient and flexible, this process can eliminate conversation about the quality of the line and in some ways the voice of the calligrapher/typographer. However, applying patina chemistry onto panels with a robotic arm gives the designer full control over the application.
For Precision Patina, the Labs team explored this overlap of automation and authorship, generating “handmade” images in selectively patinated panels. The conversation surrounding printed vs. hand-drawn vs. machine-drawn media is alive and well on #plottertwitter.