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Is Caslon LTC too thin for print-on-demand publishing?


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Does anybody have any experience in using this typeface for print? In the PDF viewer on my screen, at 12pt, it looks quite light and delicate and not as sharp as Adobe's Caslon, so I am worried.

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Ralf Herrmann

Well, there is no simple answer. Many things come together: The printing technology. The paper (Is it glossy? Coated/uncoated?). The type size. The color (i.e. rasterization). Who is the target audience of the book (i.e. what is their age)? The best option is always to make proof prints and check the results. Print on demand is usually a kind of laser printer system, so you can simulate the results with a laser printer if the print on demand service doesn’t offer proofs. 

Personally, I am not a big fan of thin fonts for copy text and as I am getting older (—got my first reading glasses last year—) this preference gets only stronger. 

It’s also worth noting that thin digital fonts of traditional letterpress fonts are often not a good representation of the original fonts for copy text. Often the digitization is done from larger type sizes which for a letterpress font were much thinner than the actual copy text size letters. Because of this, I am a big fan of fonts that come with optical sizes, so you can have a thinner design for headlines, but a sturdy low-contrast design for the copy text. Example:


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Thank you very much for your answer. Hopefully the ink spread on a thinner paper of cheap production will result in a slightly thicker font.

I cannot find good info about this particular typeface. It was originally done by Lanston Type Co and now it's owned by P22. Here is what P22 website says about it: "In remastering this font for release in 2005, the characters have been completely redrawn based upon the 14pt font for hand composition. This design is closer in spirit to the original Caslon. The original Monotype version from 1915 was offered with long and short descenders...".

There was another similar Lanston's Caslon, by Gerald Giampa, which is as far as I can tell even thinner (very slightly) than this LTC Caslon and was definitely not appropriate for use in small sizes. I am quite confused and have not succeeded in finding any reports of it being used in print for body text.



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