1954-chaundy-theprintingofmathematics.pdf: “The Printing of Mathematics: Aids for Authors and Editors and Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford”, T. W. Chaundy, P. R. Barrett, Charles Batey (1954):
Although mechanical composition had become firmly established in printing-houses long before 1930, no substantial attempt had been made before that time to develop the resources of the machine, or adapt the technique of the machine compositor, to the exacting demands of mathematical printing. In that year the first serious approach to the problem was made at the University Press in Oxford. The early experiments were made in collaboration with Professor G. H. Hardy and Professor R. H. Fowler, and the editors of the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics (for which these first essays were designed) and with the Monotype Corporation. Much adaptation and recutting of type faces was necessary before the new system could be brought into use. These joint preparations included the drafting of an entirely new code of ‘Rules for the Composition of Mathematics’ which has been reserved hitherto for the use of compositors at the Press and those authors and editors whose work was produced under the Press imprints. It is now felt that these rules should have a wider circulation since, in the twenty years which have intervened, they have acquired a greater importance.
…The original ‘Rules’, themselves amended by continuous trial and rich experience, are here preceded by two new chapters. The first chapter is a simple explanation of the technique of printing and is addressed to those authors who are curious to know how their writings are transformed to the orderliness of the printed page; the second chapter, begun as the offering of a mathematical author and editor to his fellow-workers in this field, culled from notes gathered over many years, has ended in closest collaboration with the reader who for as many years has reconciled the demands of author, editor, and printer; the third chapter is the aforesaid collection of ‘Rules’ and is intended for compositors, readers, authors, and editors. Appendixes follow on Handwriting, Types available, and Abbreviations. It is not expected that anyone will read this book from cover to cover, but it is hoped that both author and printer will find it an acceptable and ready work of reference.
List Of Illustrations · I. The Mechanics Of Mathematical Printing · II. Recommendations To Mathematical Authors · 1. Introduction · 2. Fractions · 3. Surds · 4. Superiors And Inferiors · 5. Brackets · 6. Embellished Characters · 7. Displayed Formulae · 8. Notation (Miscellaneous) · 9. Headings And Numbering · 10. Footnotes And References · 11. Varieties Of Type · 12. Punctuation · 13. Wording · 14. Preparing Copy · 15. Corrections Of Proofs · 16. Final Queries And Offprints · III. Rules For The Composition Of Mathematics At The University Press, Oxford · Appendixes: · A. Legible Handwriting · B. Type Specimens And List Of Special Sorts · C. Abbreviations · Index
1980-knuth.pdf: “The Letter S”, Donald E. Knuth (1980-09-01):
This expository paper explains how the problem of drawing the letter ‘S’ leads to interesting problems in elementary calculus and analytic geometry. It also gives a brief introduction to the author’s METAFONT language for alphabet design.
1981-knuth.pdf: “Breaking paragraphs into lines”, Donald E. Knuth, Michael F. Plass (1981-11):
This paper discusses a new approach to the problem of dividing the text of a paragraph into lines of approximately equal length. Instead of simply making decisions one line at a time, the method considers the paragraph as a whole, so that the final appearance of a given line might be influenced by the text on succeeding lines.
A system based on three simple primitive concepts called ‘boxes’, ‘glue’, and ‘penalties’ provides the ability to deal satisfactorily with a wide variety of typesetting problems in a unified framework, using a single algorithm that determines optimum breakpoints. The algorithm avoids backtracking by a judicious use of the techniques of dynamic programming.
Extensive computational experience confirms that the approach is both efficient and effective in producing high-quality output. The paper concludes with a brief history of line-breaking methods, and an appendix presents a simplified algorithm that requires comparatively few resources.
1982-knuth.pdf: “The Concept of a Meta-Font”, Donald E. Knuth (1982-01):
A single drawing of a single letter reveals only a small part of what was in the designer’s mind when that letter was drawn. But when precise instructions are given about how to make such a drawing, the intelligence of that letter can be captured in a way that permits us to obtain an infinite variety of related letters from the same specification. Instead of merely describing a single letter, such instructions explain how that letter would change its shape if other parameters of the design were changed. Thus an entire font of letters and other symbols can be specified so that each character adapts itself to varying conditions in an appropriate way. Initial experiments with a precise language for pen motions suggest strongly that the font designer of the future should not simply design isolated alphabets; the challenge will be to explain exactly how each design should adapt itself gracefully to a wide range of changes in the specification. This paper gives examples of a meta-font and explains the changeable parameters in its design.
1988-alpha-atlasofobliquemaps.pdf: “Atlas Of Oblique Maps: A Collection Of Landform Portrayals Of Selected Areas Of The World”, Tau Rho Alpha, Janis S. Detterman, Jim Morley (1988-01-01):
Pp. 137, 200+ maps and geological sections (some in color and some color-tinted). Publisher’s two-color printed wrappers, lg folio (20.5×16 inches). This folio comprises scale-accurate, obliquely viewed maps compiled from 1961 to 1986 that portray the physiography of selected areas of the ocean floor and continents. The life’s work of Tau Rho Alpha…the maps are all oblique aerials, and range from 1961 to 1986, so are pre-digital. The ability to represent complex geographic and topography features enlightens many maps of this sort, and the techniques to create this makes for a fascinating read…Some of the benefits of this type of map are discussed, including more realism and easier comprehension, and ability maintain scale. Disadvantages included displacement of features, and hiding of key elements, and a relative inexactness of elevation and location.
2000-thanh.pdf: “Micro-typographic extensions to the TeX typesetting system”, Hàn Thế Thành (2000-10-01):
This thesis investigates the possibility to improve the quality of text composition. Two typographic extensions were examined: margin kerning and composing with font expansion.
Margin kerning is the adjustments of the characters at the margins of a typeset text. A simplified employment of margin kerning is hanging punctuation. Margin kerning is needed for optical alignment of the margins of a typeset text, because mechanical justification of the margins makes them look rather ragged. Some characters can make a line appear shorter to the human eye than others. Shifting such characters by an appropriate amount into the margins would greatly improve the appearance of a typeset text.
Composing with font expansion is the method to use a wider or narrower variant of a font to make interword spacing more even. A font in a loose line can be substituted by a wider variant so the interword spaces are stretched by a smaller amount. Similarly, a font in a tight line can be replaced by a narrower variant to reduce the amount that the interword spaces are shrunk by. There is certainly potential danger of font distortion when using such manipulations, thus they must be used with extreme care. The potentiality to adjust a line width by font expansion can be taken into consideration while a paragraph is being broken into lines, in order to choose better breakpoints.
These typographic extensions were implemented in pdfTeX, a derivation of TeX. Heavy experiments have been done to examine the influence of the extensions on the quality of typesetting. The extensions turned out to noticeably improve the appearance of a typeset text. A number of ‘real-world’ documents have been typeset using these typographic extensions, including this thesis.
2007-rhatigan.pdf: “The Monotype 4-Line System for Setting Mathematics”, Daniel Rhatigan (2007-08-13):
[Description of the most advanced mechanical typesetting system for the challenging task of typesetting mathematics. To provide the typographic quality of hand-set math but at an affordable cost, the Monotype corporation made a huge investment post-WWII into a mechanical typesetting system which would encode every mathematical equation into 4 horizontal ‘lines’ into which could be slotted entries from a vast new family of fonts & symbols, all tweaked to fit in various positions, which would then be spat out by the machine into a single solid lead piece which could be combined with the rest to form a single page, allowing a skilled operator to rapidly ‘type’ his way through a page of math to yield a beautiful custom output without endlessly tedious hand-arranging lots of little metal bits.]
2014-bigelow.pdf: “Reflections on How Designers Design with Data”, Alex Bigelow, Steven Mark Drucker, Danyel Fisher, Miriah D. Meyer (2014-05-27):
In recent years many popular data visualizations have emerged that are created largely by designers whose main area of expertise is not computer science. Designers generate these visualizations using a handful of design tools and environments. To better inform the development of tools intended for designers working with data, we set out to understand designers’ challenges and perspectives. We interviewed professional designers, conducted observations of designers working with data in the lab, and observed designers working with data in team settings in the wild. A set of patterns emerged from these observations from which we extract a number of themes that provide a new perspective on design considerations for visualization tool creators, as well as on known engineering problems.
…Patterns: In our observational studies we observed all of the designers initially sketching visual representations of data on paper, on a whiteboard, or in Illustrator. In these sketches, the designers would first draw high-level elements of their design such as the layout and axes, followed by a sketching in of data points based on their perceived ideas of data behavior (P1). An example is shown in Figure 3. The designers often relied on their understanding of the semantics of data to infer how the data might look, such as F1 anticipating that Fitbit data about walking would occur in short spurts over time while sleep data would span longer stretches. However, the designers’ inferences about data behavior were often inaccurate (P2). This tendency was acknowledged by most of the designers: after her inference from data semantics, F1 indicated that to work effectively, she would need “a better idea of the behavior of each attribute.” Similarly, B1 did not anticipate patterns in how software bugs are closed, prompting a reinterpretation and redesign of her team’s visualization much later in the design process once data behavior was explicitly explored. In the time travel studies, T3 misinterpreted one trip that later caused a complete redesign.
Furthermore, the designers’ inferences about data structure were often separated from the actual data (P3). In brainstorming sessions at the hackathon, the designers described data that would be extremely difficult or impossible to gather or derive. In working with the HBO dataset, H1 experienced frustration after he spent time writing a formula in Excel only to realize that he was recreating data he had already seen in the aggregate table…Not surprisingly, the amount of data exploration and manipulation was related to the level of a designer’s experience working with data (P4).
2018-10-09-heck-structuraltypography.html: “Structural Typography: Type as both language and composition”, Bethany Heck (2018-10-09):
Words matter (or so I’m told). Some of my favorite typographic pieces are the ones that use typography not only to deliver a message but to serve as the compositional foundation that a design centers around. Letterforms are just as valuable as graphic elements as they are representations of language, and asking type to serve multiples roles in a composition is a reliable way to elevate the quality of your work…I’ve pulled out a few of my favorite designs that use type in this way and grouped them into shared themes so we can analyze the range of techniques different designers have used to let typography guide their work. Let’s dive in!…
- Type Informing Grid: Using one typographic element to influence other pieces of the design
- Type as Representation: Rendering type as a manifestation of an object or ideal
- Reinforcing Imagery: Type can extend the impact of imagery in a design
- Large Type Does Not Mean Structural Type: Big type can be lazy type (Lastly, I wanted to show a few examples that aren’t good examples of type as structure…)
…There’s something freeing about starting a design with a commitment to only using type and words to communicate effectively. I hope this essay demystifies some of the thought processes that can go into improving how you handle type in a variety of situations and leaves you with a different perspective on the pieces discussed, as well as a new toolkit of process-starters for your design work going forward.