Robert Bringhurst in Boston, April 2017
Robert Bringhurst and Amelia Hugill-Fontanel at the Society of Printers 43rd Annual W.A. Dwiggins Lecture at the Boston Public Library.
Bringhurst is the noted type historian and poet who spoke on the life and work of type designer Hermann Zapf. Amelia made the trek from Rochester, NY where she is Associate Curator for the RIT Cary Collection.
Attention, Dwiggins Lovers!
Funds are being raised for a magnificent book on W. A. Dwiggins via a Kickstarter campaign that runs until April 28, 2017. Letterform Archive’s publishing program debuts with W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design, a comprehensive illustrated biography of the innovative type designer, illustrator, and lettering artist, William Addison Dwiggins. Written and designed by Bruce Kennett, with a foreword by Steven Heller, this book is essential for anyone interested in graphic design, publishing, and the book arts.
A place in Haverhill to hold the presses
Boston Globe correspondent James Sullivan paid us a visit. This is what he found.
The latest from William Caxton
A unique example of 15th century printed text by English printer William Caxton has been unearthed at the University of Reading.
The two pages are from a medieval priest handbook dating back to late 1476 or early 1477, which was among the first books printed in England by William Caxton’s pioneering press. No other copies of the pages, printed either side of a single leaf of paper, are known to have survived.
Self-publishing c. 1917
Thinking of becoming a literary publisher and printing your books? You have illustrious forebears.
From The Guardian: “A publisher of one’s own: Virginia and Leonard Woolf and the Hogarth Press”
Photo by MaxHund at the English language Wikipedia, CCBY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2416900
The Inland Printer
The most current, up-to-date printing technology — 132 years ago.
The Inland Printer was the longest published printing magazine in the United States. First published in October 1884 and still published on a limited basis “It may have been the first magazine to use a different cover illustration on every issue,” according to MagazineArt.org.
See the industry in all its letterpress glory in the complete second edition from November 1884 here (view or download pdf, 14.9 MB).
New font technology on the horizon
Imagine a single font file gaining an infinite flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without also gaining file size — and imagine what this means for design.
Anatomy of ATF Type
What is a Type Foundry? A company that makes type.
One of the foremost in the US was American Type Foundries (ATF), founded in 1892 when 23 independent type foundries consolidated. These foundries were brought together for several reasons, one being that the Linotype, which produced a line of type, was introduced a few years earlier and was cutting into the sales of hand set type. Another was that the type produced by the various foundries was not systematic — point sizes and baselines varied between companies.
Remembering Hermann Zapf (Nov. 8, 1918 – June 4, 2015)
Hermann Zapf was the preeminent worldwide typeface designer and calligrapher who lived in Darmstadt, Germany. He was married to calligrapher and typeface designer Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. His typefaces include Palatino and Optima.
I first met him in 1960. I was the mail boy at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn, NY and was delivering the mail to his cubicle on the 8th floor. He was adapting Palatino for the Linofilm. One day I got up the nerve to ask “Mr Zapf, what do you do?” He replied, “I correct the errors of my youth.” For example, the lowercase y had a curved calligraphic descender. He straightened it out. Those who stole Palatino from the hot metal version had something different from those who stole it from the phototypesetting version.
Our Favourite Typefaces of 1915
From the wonderful type blog Alphabettes:
It’s been an exciting year in type; one that saw many technical innovations, company mergers and restructuring, as well as some delightful new font releases which we will surely encounter in printed matter around the world soon.
But let’s start with the biggest loss for our industry in 1915: Georges Peignot, type founder in Paris and one of our greatest type designers — of Grasset, Auriol, or Cochin to name a few — died in battle, only 43 years old. Curious to see how long the foundry will be able to remain independent without its head :/ Another substantial loss was the death of Wilhelm Woellmer’s CEO Siegmund Borchardt. His son Fritz (34) suceeded him at the Berlin foundry.
Just discovered a fantastic online journal devoted to type design, visual culture and typography. It’s in Russian and English and covers a lot of ground but will be especially interesting to you if you’d like to learn more about Cyrillic type forms and typefaces. Go there now: http://typejournal.ru/en/
(via Ilya Ruderman)
History of the Linotype Company by Frank Romano released
No single machine impacted the setting of type as did the Linotype. At the time of the Civil War, typesetting was the second most common occupation in America, surpassed only by farming. Both were done primarily by hand. The Linotype machine mechanized typesetting. Outside of Gutenberg’s invention of movable type no other single machine has had the impact on printing as has the Linotype.
The Monotype Recorder Online
(This discovery courtesy of Mikko Vierumaki and Erik Spiekermann on Twitter)