Matrix (printing)

Individual matrices, or mats, part of a font of characters loaded into a matrix-case.
A font of matrices loaded into a matrix-case ready for insertion into a Monotype composition casting machine.

In hot metal typesetting, a matrix (often abbreviated to "mat") is a mold for casting a letter, known as a sort, used in letterpress printing.[1]

In letterpress typography the matrix of one letter is inserted into the bottom of a hand mould, the mould is locked and molten type metal is poured into a straight-sided vertical cavity above the matrix. When the metal has cooled and solidified the mould is unlocked and the newly-cast metal sort is removed, ready for composition with other sorts. The matrix can then be reused to produce more copies of the sort.[2]

In continuous casting and composition casting typography, the mats for a complete font are loaded into a matrix-case and inserted into a casting machine, which casts the required sorts for a page composition automatically.

See also

References

  1. ^ Man, John The Gutenberg Revolution:The story of a genius that changed the world © 2002 Headline Book Publishing, a division of Hodder Headline, London. ISBN 0-7472-4504-5. A detailed examination of Gutenberg's life and invention interwoven with the underlying social and religious upheaval of Medieval Europe on the eve of the Renaissance.
  2. ^ Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1998. (pp 58–69) ISBN 0-471-291-98-6

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