Lead is Dead

copyright 2023 Earl Kallemeyn

Latest stories

End-of-line decisions

The choices of how and when to begin each new line of type in a book makes the lines and pages of that book rather better or worse. The fact that these choices cannot be made today using Adobe InDesign gives us books that are poorer than they used to be. In order to avoid the worst results of the bad end-of-line decisions caused by software algorithms, line lengths have been made too long, or the...


Sometimes you need a divorce and sometimes you just need to tap out till another day. Doing custom work is risky, for those who like a challenge. Sometimes the risk is too much and you need to get out. It’s nice to know how to get it across in a few words that those in the trade understand. When the work in the print shop is given out, the boss says, “this is for you.” When...


descend from the lofty heights of cleverness to the verdant valleys of foolishness.


quality of impression

One interesting question is whether or not Gutenberg’s final printing surface was the original moveable type or a secondary casting from an intermediate mold the size of a page or column. What happens to the actual image of type when it goes from design to print is the topic for another day. First we wrestle with the vague word “quality” and how it applies to the pressure...


Earl Kallemeyn has been fooling around with letterpress printing since his father Al gave up on the subject and little Earl got his wooden spacing material, aka “furniture,” for building blocks. He writes about letterpress printing and tangents of the subject here at KallemeynPress.com.

forged in hell

The Netherlands was a haven for printers and publishers who largely escaped the religious restrictions of the rulers and clergy in effect in other countries. This until Baruch Spinoza published his Tractatus calling into question the viability of miracles. For this philosophical gambit he earned himself a most complete excommunication from his original religious community as well as an equally...

set on edge

When Jakob Kallemeyn deserted Napoleon’s army for An-dijk in Friesland we assume it was as much if not more for Napoleon’s modernizing tendencies than his military fail-ures. He chooses the warlike Friesland, notable for uniquely staving off the Vikings and the Romans; as well as bitter family blood feuds. Jakob marries into the family of a prominent seed-grower in Andijk, notable for...

Lead is Dead copyright 2023 Earl Kallemeyn