Re-publication of a text by Fiona Ross

In a first for this website, today I have re-published a text written by someone else; and I am very pleased that it is no lesser contributor than Dr Fiona Ross, whose ‘Non-Latin Type at Linotype’ is made accessible again. Originally written and presented at the First annual Friends of St Bride conference, 24 & 25 September 2002, the text had been hosted on St Bride’s website, but was somehow lost during the re-organisation of this institution and its online presence. Fiona’s concise summary of the activities of the British Linotype-Paul Ltd. company is a rare account of type-making in the historical vicinity of the last decades of the twentieth century. Whilst by now a historical text, first written in 2002, it has not lost any of its relevance for our field. As the more recent past tends to get less attention than the history of long-gone centuries, it is surprisingly difficult to find reliable sources that document the immediate precursors of our current trade. Not least because of the constantly accelerating speed of technological developments, and the transience of products and lack of artefacts in the digital era, we sometimes seem to know less about design practice from 20 years ago than from that of 200 years ago. Fiona’s text therefore is an important document for a better understanding of this field and it’s evolution from the late 1970s to the present. Her role as a key figure of Linotype-Paul’s non-Latin type developments makes this article particularly interesting in a time which sees increased interest and activities in these areas. The text’s brevity is owed to the format of its original forum, and it makes for an excellent introduction that will undoubtedly trigger the reader’s appetite for further and in-depth discussions of the various aspects it raises. Further reading by Fiona, as well as all kinds of other publications can be found in my (not recently updated) literature list. Enjoy your read, and do not stop there.