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Printer's Devil | Posters


The Printer's Devil
Photo - Print Devil 1Whose fault?

There was a convenient belief among printers that there was a special devil in every print-shop.


Need someone to blame?

Photo - Print Devil 2

This printer's devil perches outside a shop in Stonegate, York, England

At night, or when the printer was not watching, this pesky demon would iuvert letters, mizspell a word or perhaps remove an entire or even a complete line.

In the days of movable type, every letter had to be picked and placed by hand. Thin spacers, know as leading, were added to line everything up.

Mistakes were inevitable, and the printer's devil took the blame.

Photos © 2001 C Jones Photo above has been retouched

According to the OED, devil can also mean 'a mischievously energetic, clever or self-willed person' and is also a term for junior legal counsel in England.

From Copyright © 2001