1977 – EditWriter 7500 & Berthold phototypesetting

The Compugraphic EditWriter 7500 is introduced and becomes an instant success. This phototypesetter combines a keyboard and photo unit in one piece of equipment, enabling one job to be typeset while the operator simultaneously keyboards another. Separate units such as the Mini-Disk Terminal (MDT) and Mini-Disk Reader (MDR) allow off-line text entry and phototypesetting using 8″ floppy disks. The output is imaged onto photo paper that is up to 8 inches wide. Type can be set in sizes from 6 to 72 points, using a system of swappable font disks and various fixed lenses mounted on an internal turret.

Compugraphic EditWriter 7500

The picture below shows the machine in action. A year later the WordCom option allows the EditWriter to process files from word processing systems.

CG EditWriter in use

The Berthold ADS (Akzidenz Dialog System) is another popular choice for high-quality ad setting. Operators use a series of short commands (mnemonics) to control the system. Feedback is provided by a CRT screen while the sophisticated optical system assures high-quality output and refined typography.

Berthold ADS

UV inks and drying systems get a lot of attention at the drupa 1977 show. For the first time over 1000 exhibitors participate in the show.

On April Fools’ Day the British newspaper The Guardian published a story about a fictional island nation called San Serriffe. Bodoni, its capital, was located on one of the northern islands (Upper Caisse). Among its famous inhabitants are General Pica, Pierre Myriad and San Serriffe’s current leader, Mr. Bourgeois.

San Seriffe

In Israel, Benny Landa founds Indigo Digital Printing with the goal of perfecting digital printing using liquid toner. Another newcomer is Xitron who develop ‘blue box’ interfaces between newspaper editorial systems and laser imagesetters.

Ed Benguiat started out as a percussionist with a degree from Brooklyn College of Music. Under the pseudonym “Eddie Benart”, he played with famous musicians such as Stan Kenton and Woody Herman. His father was a display director at Bloomingdale’s, and introduced him to the world of design.

After studying at Columbia University and the Workshop School of Advertising Art in New York, Benguiat became associate art director of Esquire magazine in 1953, and opened his own design studio that same year. In 1962, he joined Photo-Lettering Inc. as director of typographic design, and in 1970 he became vice-president of the International Typeface Corporation founded by Herb Lubalin and Aaron Burns (see Avant Garde Gothic, #23 in this list).

Benguiat, created by ITC vice-president Ed Benguiat, will become one of the most popular typefaces of the early 80’s for advertising and packaging.

Benguiat typeface example


These are some important or remarkable events from 1977:

  • In Paris the Centre Georges Pompidou is officially opened.
  • Spain has its first democratic elections after 41 years under the Franco regime.
  • Jean-Bédel Bokassa crowns himself Emperor of the Central African Republic.
  • Star Wars makes sci-fi films popular.
  • Elvis Presley dies in his home in Graceland at age 42.

<1976 1978>

13 May 2017

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