Wax pattern for 'M' in Times New Roman 12pt
A huge team of people was involved in translating a designer’s ideas for a new typeface into matrices that could cast metal type for printing. Large technical drawings were made for each character using a sharp pencil, set square and French curves. The drawing was placed onto the table of a pantograph while a wax-coated glass plate was placed at the reducing end. The outline of the precise drawing was traced using rules and curves and at the same time a reduced design was cut into the wax. On completion, the wax was gouged out from between the lines, leaving everything but the letter or symbol. This item is a unique example of a wax pattern for a capital M in Times New Roman Series 327. It has broken into pieces over time but would have been in one piece when it was made. A copper pattern was made from the wax using electrolysis and then backed up with lead alloy. The pattern was placed onto the punch-cutting pantograph machine to act as a guide to create a punch. There were many more stages to create a matrix. Checks were made for accuracy at every stage of the process.