Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Gift Idea


Just in time for Christmas, a Gift Certificate for a Letterpress Class. You choose which one, how many hours and give it to your favorite printer-to-be. Then schedule the class anytime next year. In return I send you a Certificate to put under the tree. Each class is described in this blog. Happy Holidays. Contact me a or email here.

100s of SPECIALTY GIFTS are also available at this site. Everything from aprons to luggage tags to wrapping paper to ties; all with letterpress themes. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Antique Letterforms

During a recent trip to East Tennessee, I visited a Civil War Era Cemetery in Dandridge. I took many photos but especially wanted to post this one. The typeface looks remarkably similar Letter Gothic designed by Herb Lubalin and Antonio DiSpigna in 1974. The birth and death dates on the stone clearly show this type superseded his by 123 years. Compare the stone's type to the digital version. Of course the stone engravers of the East Tennessee had their own style and type as did many engravers from other parts of the country.

Full view of the head stone

Close up of the large letter B.
Compare the R to the digital version.
Dates of 1777 to 1851.
 Of particular interest are the shape of the B and R. The leg of the R has the same curve as Lubalin's and  the B has almost equally balanced loops, top and bottom.
Serif Gothic from Identifont.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lecture by Sumner Stone Tonight

Don't miss the lecture by Sumner Stone to begin his 4-Day Workshop Structure & Emotion in Letterform. Here is a link to his site. For tickets go to this link or purchase them at the door.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Letterpress Class at Foothill College

I am teaching a 12 Week Class beginning on April 12th. It meets every Saturday from 9:00-3:50.
You will explore hand typesetting from approximately 100 cases of rare wood and metal type. Experience printing from linoleum and wood cuts and photo polymer plates. Use a Columbian #2 table top platen, a 10 x 15 Old Reliable floor model platen, a 15 x 22 Reprex flatbed cylinder press or the Show Card 18" x 24" flat bed cylinder press. Cost is approximately $200 for complete course.  Registration is open now online at Foothill College for Course GIDF092.01 CRN 40311.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

IDENTIFY this type and these pages from a Rare Book.

The pages were among some printing equipment donated to Foothill College by a San Francisco Printer's widow. So far my research has determined the origin to be an English printer from the 19th Century. The pages are from the Reverend John Fox's Book of Martyrs. After the Bible, it is the most frequently reprinted book in the English language.

The Book of Martyrs was first published in 1563. John Day, a famous English printer publish a folio size in 1570. The complete book is almost 1000 pages. It has been published in 2 volumes, octavo size many times but my interest is in a folio size book, 10" x 16". My samples are folio size with double column text blocks, a running head with a rule below on most text pages and a double rule down the middle between the text blocks. I have found several examples via Google book search that are folio with double columns and a running head but so far no double rule. Here is a photo of a page and a spread.

Some similar editions I have found were one published by Thomas Kelly in London, 1822, another by John Malham in 1830 and a third by John Cumming in 1844. I am resonably sure this time period is correct by analyzing the type style. The type appears to be a close match to William Thorowgood's type of 1824. The "?" is quite distinctive and unusual. Here is a close up to show it. The Italic is also close to one used by Thorowgood. The loop on the top left of all the lower case "r"s is very distinctive.

It also looks a lot like a Didot but why would an English printer be using a French Modern type? Anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A short movie, one cycle, printing a small invitation on an 8" x 12" C&P Old Style Platen. You can see the paper being inserted into the guides, then the throw off lever being pulled to the print position with the left hand and the printed piece being inspected for quality after the throw off is moved to off impression. Really quite simple once you get used to it. Come by and try it.