As the several letters of the alphabet are, in common printing, required in very different proportions, the number cast of each letter in a fount needs to be carefully regulated. The proportions vary in different languages, and in different kinds of work ; but for ordinary English book-work they are about as follows:— The names of the various founts, beginning with the smallest and ending with one of the largest used in ordinary book-printing, are— Diamond, Pearl, Ruby, Nonpareil, Minion, Brevier, Bourgeois, Long Primer, Small Pica, Pica, English, Great Primer. Larger founts than any of these are occasionally used.
At the Great Exhibition, Messrs. Miller and Richards have displayed type still smaller than Diamond, and said by them to be the smallest ever made in this country. The name of Brilliant is given to it. Gray's Elegy (32 verses), printed in this type, occupies a space rather less than 4 inches by 3.
The following details have recently been given concerning the types for printing the Great Exhibition Catalogues :—"The first step towards the accomplishment of this vast un dertaking was the creation of the type neces sary to print four editions—and Messrs. Clowes
and Son, being type-founders as well as printers, came to the resolution of having the whole of the type cast specially for the pur pose. Their first effort was directed to pro duce the type for the small English, French, and German catalogues ; the quantity cast for the purpose was 16,000 lbs. For the large and illustrated edition they have, in addition to their own foundries, employed those of Messrs. Figgins, Messrs. Bezley and Co., and Mr. Caslon, of London, and Messrs. Miller and Richards, of Edinburgh. The joint ex ertions of these firms have added 25,000 lbs. more to the general stock set apart for this vast undertaking ; making a total of 41,000 lbs. The casting of this large quantity of type gave employment to 250 persons for ten weeks. The number of separate pieces in 20 tons of type amounts to upwards of 26 millions, and each type or piece of metal passes through the hands of five persons in the process of manufacture."