Leads

Leads are around the same height as spa­cing and so don’t print.  They vary in length and also width.  On width, leads are sup­plied in point sizes and are most com­monly avail­able in 1, 1½, 2 and 3 points.  It can be con­fus­ing to determ­ine the dif­fer­ence between dif­fer­ent sizes when com­pos­ing, so in some cases it might be wise to stand­ard­ise on one or two sizes.  It’s dif­fi­cult to detect the 0.007″ between 1 and 1½pt leads.  On length, they should be accur­ately cut and your sup­plier will nor­mally do this.  If you are cut­ting then you need to be as precise as possible.  It is also worth­while to cut leads ½pt shorter than the page meas­ure used to help over­come the prob­lems of squeeze..

Leads are nor­mally stored in racks with dif­fer­ent com­part­ments for each length and sizes so that they can be eas­ily found.  Remem­ber that leads can also be com­bined: there is no need to keep a 40em lead when two 20em leads can sit next to each other.  If you are short of space you could stand­ard­ise here on 6em mul­tiples so that you can cover 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 ems which should account for most prac­tical uses.

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