Comments on the Type and Matrix Catalogue

An overview of available typesizes you can find by clicking on a typename in the left navigation list at the page → ‘Schriftgrade’ (type sizes).

Monotype matrices are available according to the different tasks and projects:

Small composition matrices
for typesetting and typecasting copy text: sizes 5 to 14 points
Large composition matrices
for typesetting and typecasting copy text: sizes 14 to 24 points
Large display matrices
for casting single letters (on a Monotype Supra Caster) for hand-setting headlines: sizes 14 to 72 points

Small composition matrices generally measure 1/5 x 1/5 inches. During the casting process with the machine, the matrices are stored in a matrix frame, the so-called die case, – one matrix for each letter. The size of the die case depends on the model of the machine. There are die cases with 15 rows à 15 or 17 matrices, or 16 rows à 17 matrices. Alone four matrices are needed for word spacing. That means, 221, 251 or 268 type matrices can be placed in a die case. The larger the case, the more alphabets of a family can be incorporated. When setting German text a small die case contains only the roman along with the italic or a semi-bold weight. Larger die cases hold generally roman and italic, alternately semi-bold or small caps. The Offizin Haag-Drugulin uses almost always die cases of 16 x 17 rows!

Large composition matrices for setting and casting copy text are rarely used, because this special way of machine typesetting needs of lot of experience and sensitiveness. The matrices are twice till up to four times as big as small composition matrices. Therefore cases hold only one weight of a type­face, either roman or italic.

Large display matrices for casting single letters cannot be used for machine setting of copy text. Each matrix will be clamped separately into the Monotype Supra casting machine. The wanted quantity of types can then be cast and used for hand-composition.

Type sizes are given in points. Mostly they are based on the Anglo-American typographical Pica-system. One point measures 0.351 mm. This point size is about 0.025 mm smaller compared to the European Didot-point system with its 0.376 mm.

In addition to the Pica-system the corresponding Didot-sizes are also noted and marked with ‘D’ in brackets. To avoid confusion, the type sizes of alphabets which Monotype had overtaken from continental foundries, Monotype had decided to produce all these faces in their original Didot-size. In these cases a ‘D’ without brackets is added to the size figures.

In concluding, a speciality of the house should not be for­gotten. There are different ways to emphasize a particular word or text. One can set it in italic, in small caps or in semi-bold. But another possibility is: keep the regular type weight but change the colour. In digital setting this would be a simple mouse click, yet for hand-setting it is an elaborate task. It needs much time to adjust spacing and type lines, resulting in higher costs. So mostly this visually attractive differentiation was excluded. Therefore Monotype had de­veloped a special device which allows for a two-colour print run to set the text in one working process. Haag-Drugulin is one of the very few printing offices that offers this feature, as you can see in this example.

In this current edition figures underlined in orange colour refer to presently non-available type sizes, but which might be added in the future. Please contact us, if you are interested.

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