This month we bring you (drum roll please)— Relievo! No, it’s not an antiflatulent or indigestion tablet, but one of the most spectacular of 19th century type faces. It’s also one of the most difficult to produce. Reverse faces (white characters on black background) have an image that’s contiguous, and in order to get this effect each individual type must be cast with the beard kerned or overhanging on both sides and then dressed off. (If this is not quite clear to you, look at the illustration on Skyline’s Best Practices page.) The only way to accomplish this is for the casterman to manually drop in a quad ahead of each type as it’s delivered from the mold and pushed into the receiving shoe, which has trimming knives for the top, bottom and foot. A very tedious process. Then, after all the type is cast, each piece must be hand-dressed flush left and right by drawing it repeatedly along a flat file. Even more tedious—and only then can the fonts be assembled and packed up. This is actually our second casting of Relievo. We did 60 fonts back in 2013 and that’s been long sold out. The magnitude of the challenge involved has left this restock project languishing as a low priority. But now the first 12 fonts are hot out of the shrink-wrap oven and available for purchase (with 48 more to come as we slog through the hand-dressing and recast some defective characters).
Also back in stock are Collections No. 48 and No. 49. These are the sets of linecast decorative dashes that we introduced just 18 months ago, and they proved very popular. Got plenty of these on the shelf now and we’ll try to restock before they sell out next time. New listings in The Junk Bin totaled 33 for May.
We continue to send orders out promptly, excepting overseas shipments which remain suspended due to unreliable delivery. Foundry operations are still standing down (except for the boss running the Linotype) and the employees staying safe at home. We do fully expect to start rockin’ & rollin’ again this month though, and there will be plenty of work for everyone.