PliegO’Maker at the ATypI congress

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The annual congress of the International Typography Association (ATypI), was called ATypI All Over as this year it wasn’t held in a specific place but online. It was the 64th edition (yes!) of the congress of this association, created in 1957 by the typographer Charles Peignot. The team was present with a communication on the state of development of PliegO’Maker” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>PliegO’Maker and on the concepts behind this tool, as well as on rescuing the literature of cane and string in the computer age.

For some time now, the team has been contributing to femProcomuns Teixidora GAC and, especially since the confinement of March 2020, we have given a boost to the PliegO’maker and are jointly seeking resources and collaborations to follow its development. is an initiative that promotes desktop publishing in a simple format, with paper printed on both sides and a specific layout so that when folded it forms a booklet. The initiative was launched in 2011 and has promoted the format in different areas. Marc Antoni Malagarriga (femFum) incorporation to the team, with his experience in Postscript programming and his passion for editorial layout, led to the idea and development of a programme that, integrating knowledge of the typographic tradition, assists the desktop self-publisher in the layout of booklets by extracting content from different sources.

PliegO’Maker is a tool written in Postscript that executes several algorithms to extract graphic and text content from the fonts indicated, to layout it by imposing pages on a single double-sided sheet in PDF format ready to distribute, print and fold.

Structurally, for automatic layout, it is based on what are called “harmonic layouts”; a series of diagramming structures that come from the classic tradition

(Honnecourt, Van DeGraaf, etc), like those applied to the Bible printed by Gutenberg.

To this end, some of the research carried out by Dr. Begoña Simón, contained in the book “Cuadernos de arquitectura gráfica“, compiled by Professor Oriol Moret of the University of Barcelona, is applied.

Conceptually, the fpliegO’Maker also refers to the manifesto The New Art of Making Books. Written at the end of the seventies by the Mexican performer and artist, established in Holland, Ulises Carrión, it introduces a series of algorithmic concepts with a new look at the concept of what a book is. He invites us to understand it as a sequence of spaces and times, to place greater emphasis on the whites and silences, and to consider a book that is not being made by the author but by the reader.

PliegO’Maker is developed as a free software in a Git repository and uses the also free interpreter Ghostscript. Currently, an important part of the functionalities are already developed but some aspects are yet to be solved. Contributions and collaborations are welcome.

Watch the video of the presentation at the conference (in Catalan with English subtitles).

Presentation made by Marc Antoni Malagarriga and David Gómez Fontanills, recorded and edited by Ariadna Torres Giménez, with the collaboration of Mònica Garriga Miret and Enric Senabre in the script.