John Boardley tells of a 15th century best seller ‘a tale of illicit love and adulterous passions’ the latest article on ilovetypography.com which is sure to please all the book and print historians. “This a woodcut from the only illustrated printed edition of the fifteenth century. Printed by Pacini around 1500. Only four copies survive: three in Italy and one in the United States, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.”
For a century, from the 1870s to 1970s, typesetters were routinely paid to set type that was discarded. This “bogus copy” has to due with unions and managers, keeping a decent wage, preserving jobs, and ultimately the end of the era of metal type. Learn about the last man at the New York Times who had a job for life as an outcome of “bogus.”
The 1800s were a time of massive transformation in printing. The 1700s saw printing move from cottage to larger scale, but many factories held back industrial operations. Those changed dramatically right around 1800 and proceeded through the end of the century. In this article Glenn Fleishman focuses on an overlooked aspect: paper molds used to duplicate entire pages of type and images, often for newspapers, that were cast as metal plates. These remained in use until the 1980s in American newspapers!
The baseline is one of the foundations of legibility, allowing letters to be read in a flowing fashion along a horizontal line our minds construct. So how did type foundries keep a consistent baseline? They did not. At least for most of the first four and a half centuries of printing before industrial scale had fully set in and before standardization became keenly important as an element of efficiency and productivity. Read this fascinating article from Glenn Fleishman for more.
A practical treatise on the production of books in nineteenth century London. The book guides the novice from manuscript to distribution, demonstrating the interconnectedness of the people and processes involved. A facsimile of the 1892 edition alongside new texts by Esther McManus and Samantha Whetton. Available in-person or online londonbookarts.org/shop
Many of the first printed books in Europe were decorated with illustrations, initials and borders. Each served a purpose: initials signaled, via their range of sizes, a textual hierarchy, working in much the same way as chapter headings and sub-headings do today. Decorative borders were employed to demarcate or divide books, chapters or sections and, from the last decades of the fifteenth century, were used at the beginning of books as openers or title-pages.
An American private press founded by Spencer Kellogg, Jr., in the 1920s. Influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, the Aries Press produced exceptional examples of fine printing. This deluxe (Signed and numbered) edition of 50 is a collaboration with P22 Type Foundry, RIT Press, and Wells College Press. Featuring letterpress printed pages, and gorgeous marbled endpapers by Stephen Pittelkow.
Quentin Schmerber’s Esad talk on Baskerville in France (and his changing relationship with English typefaces) released as a video capture, its honest, insightful (nerdy!) and delightful - check it out and after the jump note the links on the right to other speakers from the event.
Can you imagine transporting yourself through place and time to ancient Rome? Designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Nina Stössinger did precisely this when exhaustively researching their latest release. “This would turn out to be not just a design challenge, but a conceptual historical endeavour, like an archaeological dig.”