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  • Download FAQ

    Downloads are limited to active supporters of the Letter Library platform. 

    You can only download a certain amount of files per week and month. With this limitation we want to encourage a reasonable use of our platform. Members should download the files they need, not as many files as possible. 

    The Letter Library does not only pay for file storage, but also for file delivery (“egress charges”). If every supporting member would download the entire file archive, the hosting costs would be much higher and therefore the membership costs would have to be much higher too. By enforcing download limits, we can keep the prices reasonable. 

    The Letter Library only acts as an online service to let its members upload and download files. We do not grant any usage rights with the downloads and we also do not charge for the usage of files downloaded from our platform. It is assumed that content on our platform is free of copyrights, but the responsibility to check these rights lies with the user, in case you want to republish any content downloaded from the Letter Library. 

    A typical use would be to use individual pages of type specimens for printed publications, online articles and so on. But please do not republish content from our platform in its entirety. 

  • Uploading

    We collect complete type specimens issued by type foundries. 


    Also acceptable are:

    • important third-party type specimen collections that are in the public domain
    • lettering/calligraphy works that show full alphabets and are in the public domain


    What we usually do not collect:

    • type specimens issues by print shops
    • type specimens collections by publishing houses that are copyrighted
    • type specimens by third-parties (e.g. students)

    1. Uploads must be complete. We do not collect individual sections, let alone individual pages from type specimens. Bu that does not mean that all type specimens have to be in perfect condition. Occasional cut-outs or torn out pages are acceptable. 
    2. The files should be created using a flat-bed scanner or a copy stand setup. Hand-held shots are not acceptable. 

    General information:

    Images shown on the Letter Library are meant for online viewing. 

    Both spreads and single pages can be uploaded. 
    Images should be straightened and cropped. 

    Image rotation should be optimized for online viewing. So, if a single page in a book is best viewed by rotating the book, the scan of the page can also be rotated accordingly. 


    Technical preparation:

    Gallery images are shown with a maximum size of 2000 by 2000 pixels in a web-safe format like JPG or WebP. Uploads should be prepared accordingly. 

    Each type specimen publication is uploaded into a new “gallery album”. 

    Ordering in an album is based on the file name. Therefore the filename should consist only of an integer value with leading zeros. For example, if there are less than 100 images, the images should be named 01.jpg, 02.jpg, 03.jpg and so on. If there are more than 100, but less than 1000 images, the file names should be 001.jpg, 002.jpg, 003.jpg and so on. 

    In conclusion, the typical preparation steps are:

    1. rename the pictures in batch (e.g. from library-id1301-helvetica-1965-001.tif to just 001.tif)
    2. change the size in batch so the longer side of the pictures is reduced to exactly 2000 pixels
    3. convert to a web-safe format like JPG or WebP

    In addition to Gallery images shown on the Letter Library platform, scans can also be offered to be downloaded directly through our platform. 

    Only ZIP archives can be uploaded to the type specimen download section. For very large publications, it can be useful to break down the publication into multiple ZIP files to prevent upload errors. For example, instead of uploading one ZIP archive of around one gigabyte, use 3 ZIP archives of around 300 megabytes. 

    Files in the ZIP archive can use “lossy compression” formats like JPG or formats such as TIF. 

    In contrast to the Gallery section, there are no restrictions in regards to the file names or the image content. The scans can be raw files from the scanner/camera or retouched images. The details can be mentioned in the description for the download resource. 

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