Some Type Trivia for your Thursday

During a recent visit to Lumino Press, a local letterpress studio, I learned a few things about the origins of a few sayings you might recognize. Here is a little trivia you might enjoy...

Mind your P's and Q's
With moveable type, printers placed individual letters on a typeset to print a page of text. The letters were reversed, making it easy to mistake lowercase p's and q's in setting the type. This was a reminder to stay watchful of which letter form you chose from the drawer, and to put it back in the correct place.

Out of Sorts
Since at least the 17th century 'sorts' has been the name of the individual metal characters used by typographers. (A is a Sort, B is a Sort...) For sets of type blocks to be 'out of sorts' would clearly be unwelcome to a typesetter.

Kara  – (July 9, 2010 at 9:09 AM)  

interesting! I never knew that.

stina  – (July 9, 2010 at 11:00 AM)  

love it! also digging the header update. are you gonna keep it on rotation?

Leslie  – (July 9, 2010 at 6:05 PM)  

Christina--we'll see about the header, it's a fun thing to rotate when I think of something new! Thanks for reading!

Unknown  – (July 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM)  

I was once told that terms "uppercase" and "lowercase" were supposed to have originated from the two separate cases holding the respective form of every letter. Typography class was fun. I need to break out that book I bought for it

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