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Techniques used in online printing services

Mechanical composition and typesetting is a modern printing technique still widely used since the first decades of the 20th century. In this technique all type was set and composed into columns and pages by hand or by mechanical means

Letterpress composition by hand type Mechanical composition and typesetting technique needs the typographer to work standing in front of the case. He locks the knee of the composing stick at the length of the line to be composed. Against the inside edge of the stick he places a lead, a strip of nonprinting lead alloy that later enables him, using a second lead, to grip the finished line in order to remove it from the composing stick. Holding the composing stick in one hand, he uses the other to select the individual type characters from the case.

Semi-mechanized composition type Mechanical composition and typesetting printing technique uses Ludlow as a combination machine. Though the Ludlow automatically casts slugs, it is related to hand composition by the way the matrices are assembled. The matrices are bronze blocks bearing the letter or sign engraved in intaglio on their lower side and with two shoulders on their upper side.

Slugcasting typesetting type Mechanical composition and typesetting printing technique is particularly suited to printing newspapers. In this technique, the Linotype and Intertype slugcasting typesetters produce lines of letterpress composition in a single operation, starting with the assembling of the movable matrices. The set of matrices is stored in a magazine, a flat, trapezoidal metal box consisting of 90 channels. The operator sits in front of a keyboard with 90 keys, corresponding to the channels in the magazine.

Modern Slugcasting typesetting machines have several magazines of varying type sizes that can be used alternately. Double-distribution machine is a modern typesetting machine which permits two magazines to be used at once by pressing a supplementary key. The performance of recent models has been improved by accelerating the revolution of the matrices, intensifying the cooling system of the mold, and increasing the number of molds on the mold wheel to six.

Typesetter casting aligned characters typesetting type Mechanical composition and typesetting printing technique uses a Monotype keyboard. The operation of the Monotype typesetter, which casts individual aligned characters, is based on a system of measuring the width of characters, called the set. This special model of the keyboard permits simultaneous perforation of two tapes for composing the same text in identical or different kinds of type and lengths of line. The advantages of the Monotype system are the quality of its composition and the ease with which corrections can be made without having to reset the whole line. This technique is not well suited to newspaper printing because of the difficulty of handling lines of movable type and because, since typecasting begins with the end of the tape, composition must wait until all the type has been cast.

Automatic composition (perforated tape) type Mechanical composition and typesetting technique uses Teletypesetter (TTS) system. The most recent typesetters specially designed for use with the Teletypesetter simplifies the path taken by the matrices and speeds the starting up of the casting cycle.

Computer Programmed composition type Mechanical composition and typesetting technique uses computer, the use of which eliminates manual intervention in preparing the perforated tape, in assessing the length of the lines, and even in deciding how to end them. The computer can also carry out the correction of mistakes before composition. The computer is usually programmed to sort out and correct even mistakes or anomalies in typing.

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