Andy Crewdson wrote:
>photocomposition had been around for a long time pefore PostScript, and it
>enabled the typo-manipulations you're talking about (four decades or so ago).
>A lot of course has been written about the implications of photosetting
>with respect to the things you mention ...
But negative film font/xenon flash tube technology was used by most
of us into the 1980s (try keyboarding when your display is an LED
crawl of 32 characters). There was no individual character
manipulation, and the tracking/kerning was primitive. Matters didn't
improve much with the first bunch of CRT typesetters either, although
I recollect that you could condense and expand characters, leading to
some fairly bizarre typography.
With PostScript you can bend, stretch, blend, and morph type, and
turn it on its head. For me, one of its greatest features is the
immediacy of results--you don't have to wait 10 minutes for expensive
film to exit the processor before you try something else.
Of course the transfer from movable to mutable type is bane as well
as boon, but then it is true in every facet of human production that
A fool with a tool is a fool.