In this previous post I excitedly hyped a starshaped press book 'An Alphabet of Sorts'. Although I didnt follow up with a review - when it arrived in the post 'An alphabet of sorts' was well worth the wait. It is a delightful little book that is impeccably printed.
Jennifer Farrell is the designer/printer extraordinaire behind Starshaped press, and she has a *new project on the go I am really keen to share with you!
*(Actually Jen has two exciting new projects I am keen to 'shout from the roof tops' about - but more on her P22 collaboration later in the year!)
The first is The Well-Traveled Ampersand a print series in which Jen pairs ampersands with pictorial representations of the region or city for which they were designed or have become associated. Like 'An Alphabet of Sorts' the well traveled Ampersand uses shapesetting to create type from analogue 'pixels' (printers sorts of type, borders, ornaments, glyphs and glints).
Jen cleverly employs wood jigs for the negative space to shape the printed forms (a technique I am very keen to try in my own letterpress work)! The prints are sold separately, but a limited edition set of 50 is being produced that includes all 16 prints along with a colophon and custom printed outer sleeve.
A Well Traveled Ampersand questions 'Can a typeface give voice to a city, a region, a country?' (One only needs to think of Johnston and London to enthusiastically answer yes!) But Jen pushes this line of inquiry further to ask 'Can one single character accomplish the task?' And boldly asserts 'This collection of prints proves the 27th letter of the alphabet is up to the challenge. By pairing ampersands from established typefaces as well as hand lettered work from the geographical area, they were either designed for or evoke.'
Based on the Cooper Black representation of Chicago (shown above) I am certain you will agree the ampersand is certainly up to the challenge!