[texhax] letter-spacing TUGboat alarum

Barbara Beeton bnb at ams.org
Wed Oct 14 16:49:25 CEST 2009

hi, uwe,

i'm in a better position to respond to this
than karl, since i know the history of the
tugboat logo.

    I have studied a Jan Tschichold booklet, and I have met two who studied
    spacing as graphic designers, and I have just looked again at my copy of
    TUGboat vol. 24 no. 2 [or just www.tug.org/tugboat/], and what did I see?

       TUG BOA T

    -- a boat, a snake, and a single letter "T" ...

i agree with you.

    ... is this an /ironical/ hint on TeX's typographical (kerning) excellence?

i'm sure it's not intentional, but the person
who created the first tugboat cover, the first
tugboat editor, had even less formal graphics
training than i did at that point.  he used
some press-type (remember that?) that he had
on hand to put together all the type on the
cover, along with a sketch he had made of a
reproduction of what was allegedly gutenberg's
press.  there really wasn't anyone around to
give a competent critique of the typography.
and there wasn't any of the press-type left
over to try again.  (and, as a footnote, the
name of the typeface has been lost, so now
that so many electronic options are available,
no one has identified it so that the matter
could be reconsidered.)

everything on the cover and title page was
pasted up by hand for several years; with
volume 4, the type other than the logo was
set by tex, but the logo was kept.  we tried
some experiments using cminch, but the
results weren't satisfactory.  (all of this
predates type 1 fonts.)

    Please tell me more about spacing/letter-spacing ...

(you've since reworded that as "kerning".)

    Happy TeXing -- Uwe.

thanks.  we continue to do so.

    P.S.: explicitly: if "OA" can be that tight, "AT" can be much more ... even

my preference would be for the "AT" to be
closed up and a little more daylight between
"OA".  now that the question is on the table,
i'll see that we take it under advisement.
						-- bb

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