From TrueType to Metal Type

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Top Typographer
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Location: Worcestershire, England

From TrueType to Metal Type

Post by William »

Something which I would like is to have some of the characters in some of my TrueType fonts made as metal type. This is not necessarily to print letterpress from them, more to collect them and display them in a display cabinet, though if I had at least two pieces of type of one sort then getting one into use would be a possibility.

So, knowing that letterpress is still in use in hobbyist circles, I wondered whether it would be possible to have, say, a lowercase e from Quest text, a lowercase g from Galileo Lettering (the design is a small capital) and a ct ligature from the 10000 font.

I decided to search on the web. Yet which keywords to use?

A search for typefoundry at produced various links, including the following. ... nding.html

Within that document is mention of the following establishement.

The Type Museum, London

A search at produced the following link.

The following have also been found.

In the course of preparing this article the following thread was produced.


A search for Monotype supercaster, which is the name of a Monotype casting machine used for producing large sizes of metal type, produced the following links. ... nosupr.htm ... mscmat.htm

The prospect of being able to send some money and a web link of where the font is located and receive several copies of the character made in metal type is one that interests me.

Yet what is needed technically to go from TrueType to metal type? A TrueType font produces a two-dimensional image yet a piece of metal type is three-dimensional and it is not simply a matter of an extrusion of the same shape as the letter being on top of a cuboid as the edge of the letter needs to slope from the image at the top down to the cuboidal support.

So, what processes would be needed to start with an order form stating which letter sort is wanted as metal type and the TrueType font and to finish with the matrix for a Monotype supercaster, ready to cast many copies of the metal type sort?

William Overington
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