movable type,

historically, a reusable typeface or font back when metallic letter castings were movable across foundries and printing houses; much later the word was revived for content-sensitive evolutionary microtypography: in a movable book, all levels of a typoscript — strokes, glyphs, ligatures, words; phrases, paragraphs, chapters — undergo rounds of evolving: graphic randomization and selection, first by layers of trained feeleries and eventually by a mind. With every mark uniquely shaped for its place on the page, its neighbors close and far, and most importantly the meanings it is part of, movable type seeks the perfect visual rhythm, flow, expression — even at a (marginal) cost in reading speed.  ■    Each evolving run is stochastically complex, not reproducible exactly; a new movable type session for the same text often builds upon an earlier one, growing a tree of renditions. Rooting new trees from old-style fixed typesettings has become rare — movable type has “killed the art of the universal typeface” which the printing press gave birth to; “bending, blending, breathing,” movable type is “a return to handwriting at a new level”: evolving sessions may be seeded and/or steered by a masters manual calligraphy of the text, by related graphic art, or (commonly) by a voice reading.

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