In the matter of Justin Howe's release of Caslon Old Style, Hrant
>how much sense does it make to
>try to reproduce something so faithfully?
(1) To more authentically reproduce the flavor of a historic period.
(2) To match existing type. For example, in setting a new foreword
for a book that was being reprinted (in Kennerley), I used no
kerning. The /Ve/ looked like /V e/, but it matched the typography
of the rest of the book.
(2a) If you have a copy of the Big Red Linotype Book, look at pages
122-123. Linotype set the text in 18pt Caslon Old Face and
interspersed several lines "hand composed in type cast from matrices
still in the possession of H. W. Caslon & Co., Ltd. of England."
Linotype dares you to find the handset lines: "If you can pick out
the hand-set lines you can well feel proud of an eye that is more
than usually keen, for few have made a perfect score in attempting to
determine which was the original and which the copy." Linotype's
authenticity, of course, was based on a quasi-parody of the original
(3) Because the design can stand on its own and is lovely in its own right.
(4) Because no one else has. Because you can. For the kick of it.
(5) To get rich. Use the 14pt font to make very authentic-looking
copies of the Declaration of Independence, recently discover them in
Great-Grandpa's barn," then sell them on e-Bay.