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Julian D. A. Wiseman
Publication history: only at www.jdawiseman.com/papers/placemat/paper_size_advice.html. Usual disclaimer and copyright terms apply. Also see the main documentation at www.jdawiseman.com/papers/placemat/placemat.html; the PostScript program itself; the documentation on how to use code in parameters; and, for PostScript programmers, the list of re-usable routines.
When creating a placemat, a page size and the page orientation must be chosen.
Before being clever, there is a basic question of the highest importance: how competent is the person doing the printing? If not known to be competent, use the geographically appropriate of /A4 or /USL, spreading glasses over as many sheets as required. Otherwise you might arrive at the tasting and find your /A3 or /USLegal placemats shrunk down to A4 or US Letter. If the glasses are bigger than thimbles, this won’t work. (If the glasses are not bigger than thimbles, the tasting won’t work for a different reason!) So, before making an aesthetic decision, make the practical decision about the competence of the person doing the printing. Twice the author has been caught out by this: you be less trusting. Henceforth in this page it is assumed that the person doing the printing has the required basic competence.
In the code paper size and orienatation are specified thus:
/PaperType /A4 def /Orientation /Landscape def
Various page sizes are allowed including /A4 (8.28″×11.70″), /USL (8½″×11″), /A3 (11.70″×16.55″), /USLegal (8½″×14″), /USL2 (11″×17″), all of the A sizes from /A0 to /A9, and all of the B sizes from /B0 to /B9. PaperType can also be an array of length two, [a b], a≤b, being paper of size, measured in points, a×b.
What page size should be chosen? That depends primarily on what paper sizes are available (North American or ISO), how many glasses there will be on each page, and how big are the glasses to be used.
In the chart below triangles show the radius for x glasses and packing style /PseudoHexagonal; the squares show /SquareGrid packings; and the lines connect the larger of the two. Not shown are the /RectangularDislocation and /RectangularDislocationV patterns, which almost always don’t produce a larger radius than the two just mentioned. The /Gaia and /GaiaElegant packings, that self-evidently use space less efficiently, are shown with dashed lines. Unsurprisingly, the radius non-strictly decreases with more glasses; and larger page sizes mean larger radii. (It is assumed that the margin parameters, MarginL, MarginR, MarginT, and MarginB, are at their default value of 30; NumRowsMin is 1; NumRowsMax is large; and that MaxRadius ≥ 160.)
Also shown are the boundaries for various glass sizes. The author owns many of the INAO/ISO 3591 tasting glass (excellent for port, Madeira, sherry, whisky): this has a radius of 30mm ≈ 85pt. Other port enthusiasts own the IVDP glass designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, which is of very similar shape and size except that the foot has a radius of 36mm ≈ 102pt. But a circle radius of 85pt packs the glasses rather tightly, making it very awkward for fingers to extract a glass. So a recommended minimum radius, shown in yellow, is 102pt. Obviously larger glasses require a larger radius: measure the stemware that is to be used and add 20%.
If using stemware with a radius of 30mm, the author recommends as follows.
Retaining the default setting of PermittedPackingStyles is usually satisfactory, unless /GaiaElegant is desired, in which case /PermittedPackingStyles [/GaiaElegant] def.
Julian D. A. Wiseman
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