An online dictionary?

It can some times be a little difficult to read foreign literature about letterpress relating stuff, because of the often different ways to describe a situation or an item etc. - from language to language.

For example: When the American write Futura Bold the German write Futura Halbfett (semi bold). And when a German write Egyptienne, does he then mean Ionic, Antique, Clarendon, Egyptian, Slab Serif or French Clarendon?

So, maybe it was an idea to create an online (on briarpress?) dictionary relating to the terms of letterpress printing – I think all words translated from American to Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish etc. etc.

I will be able to list all the Danish terms and translate them to English. I could also be able to helping translating to/from German.

Gott grüß die Kunst

Jens Jørgen Hansen, bogtrykker

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I would love to see a “letterpress printer and typographers” wiki project. Anyone interested?

Jens, Keoxa,

Inspired by your comments, I’ve opened up a glossary that you might want to try out. Right now, it’s very simple and (nearly) empty of content. Everybody: please feel free to add or edit terms.

The glossary is not a wiki exactly, but members can add and edit each other’s terms. This approach could lead either to chaos or to something beautiful. My bet is on the latter.

Help grow the glossary!


As I run off to the google books copy of the American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking (1894) for some inspiration…

This could be a very useful project…

Eric…. since many printing terms had regional meanings which varied from time to time, I’m guessing that we’ll have more than one debate over terms.

My favorite terms that vary greatly are those that involve paper and press sizes….. an octavo is not an octavo across the board….. nor is a demi-royal…. or an elephant. It all varies according to what type of paper you use (book, printing, or so forth), what reference source you are reading, and where you are from.