Unfortunately for those who love it, the linotype, a machine that once changed the world, is not outdated and has no future. Sorry to be so blunt, but there is simply nothing a linotype can do that a computer cannot. On a computer, you can “back-space” to fix errors. On a linotype, you must re-do the entire line if an error is made. Linotypes also require “experts” to use them, to be familiar with the keys and the knacks of the machine. Computers are much more, let’s say, “user-friendly”
Solid proof that the linotype has no future would be that in “Linotype: The Movie” that we witness the machines get destroyed as they are no longer needed. The machines have been reduced to being displays in museums and Universities, but not for practical use. Now this is different than a letter press, which actually creates a unique imprint attractive for wedding invitations and posters, for a linotype is an extremely specific piece of machinery that utilizes “line casting” making it’s main purpose to publish newspapers. Not to be super sad, but newspapers are now being printed less and less, as more people have begun to read them online. This further guarantees that sadly for our friend the linotype, that there lies no future.
(Right) Luckily, the printing press still comes into good use to make gorgeous posters like these!
(Left) The linotype at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.