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3 February 2016


‘The compositor, or typesetter, plucked the lead letters and spaces from the type case in the right order and assembled them in his composing stick to make up a complete line. One by one the lines were transferred to stout wooden trays known as galleys, until a column or page was formed. Then a number of galleys were joined together to make what’s called a forme, on which a sheet would be printed. After the whole process of printing and proof-reading the former was returned to the typesetter who redistributed all the letters to the type cases. In a working day a typesetter had to be able to prepare one forme’ (Plantin-Moretus Visitors’ Guide).

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