Digital typesetting

Typesetting continued to dematerialise in the 1970s, when "classic" photographic techniques for exposing letters were replaced by cathode screens and, later, lasers. Photomatrices gave way to bitmaps, algorithms and pixels, which allowed typographers to precisely describe every aspect of a letter and to use computer technology to modify them. Letters became completely dematerialised with digital typography.

Typography was one of the first areas to be computerised.

In the first machines, each font was programmed separately, designed point by point. This painstaking work (for a result that was relatively mediocre) was hardly suitable for "non-standardised" typefaces like Garamond. The gentle curves and complex nuances of the humanist strokes could not be reproduced without sacrificing quality.

But these initial difficulties were quickly resolved, and today's digital technology can fathfully reproduce the design of each letter.

But using which model? Which shape? How are we to choose among the dozens of Garamonds that have been produced and printed? Thanks to digital wizardry and the resulting democratisation of type creation, we are witnessing an extraordinary explosion in variants of the great historical typefaces (including Garamond), each with its own particularities of weight, width, tracking, proportions, dynamics, etc.

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