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Re: [PPLetterpress] Book: The Art of Wood Type

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  • Jessica Spring
    It is paperback, about an inch thick and printed on heavy coated paper. It s filled with beautiful photography, but I confess to cringing at the wood type
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 8, 2009
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      It is paperback, about an inch thick and printed on heavy coated paper.

      It's filled with beautiful photography, but I confess to cringing at
      the wood type assemblages created by some of the collectors then used
      to hang on walls or serve as magazine covers, doors, etc. There is
      also something strange to me about wood type all cleaned, oiled up and
      arranged for photos--a sort of letterpress porn, perhaps, when you
      realize the "proofs" of the type on the left are actually created in
      Illustrator (reversed, blemishes removed, missing characters digitally
      rendered, perfectly reproduced in solid black). It's a whole different
      aesthetic than much of the wood type actually printed today that
      reveals the age of the substrate. I've seen folks like John Horn make
      gorgeous prints from his vintage wood type. I wonder how folks decide
      that their collection is just too valuable to actually use for printing?

      I'm also curious about a photo in the book of a composing stick filled
      with metal type. It is set perpendicular to the length of the stick
      without leading. Great photo, but I've never used a composing stick
      that way. There are descriptions of other kinds of printing surfaces--
      magnesium, woodcuts, etc. but no mention of photopolymer that I saw.

      No intent to discourage folks from buying the book, just some thoughts
      after looking through it last night....
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
      Jessica Spring
      http://www.springtidepress.com




      On Jan 8, 2009, at 7:28 AM, Fritz Klinke wrote:

      > Aside from a pretty website, I can't find basic information about
      > this book,
      > like number of pages, size, and type of binding. I guess I can send
      > an
      > inquiry to Gregg, but it seems odd this information is not given to
      > start
      > with.
      >
      > Fritz
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Peter Fraterdeus" <peterf@...>
      > To: ""“sfletterpress-yahoogroups.com”""
      > <sfletterpress@yahoogroups.com>;
      > "PPLetterpress" <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 7:58 AM
      > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Book: The Art of Wood Type
      >
      >
      > http://theartofwoodtype.com/
      >
      > Greg Ruffa has done an extraordinary job to document and display the
      > beauty of these wonderful old types.
      > Full color wood-pr0n ;-)
      >
      > Order direct from Greg, as he has self-published the book, after four
      > years of research, drawing on his own extensive collection of type as
      > well as those of fellow collectors and lovers of wood type.
      >
      > Each of the faces is shown in a color photo of a full alphabet, as
      > well as a lovingly rendered redrawing of the forms.
      > That is, Greg has rendered each glyph in Illustrator, to show the
      > design as it is conceived, as well as the physical type as artifacts.
      >
      > This book is a "must have" for anyone who shares Greg's love of these
      > sometimes idiosyncratic, often stout, occasionally drop-dead gorgeous
      > letters. "The Art of Wood Type" compliments and enhances Rob Roy
      > Kelly's landmark "American Wood Type", now out of print (which can
      > generally be found on abe.com, however).
      >
      > Highly Recommended. *****
      >
      >
      > Peter Fraterdeus
      > Almost Free™ Business Cards from Exquisite Letterpress
      > http://slowprint.com/almostfreelp
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • David Goodrich
      The book measures 9 h x 9 1/4 w x 15/16 thick and is 320 pages, paperbound on thick coated stock, entirely in full color. I have to agree with Jessica about
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 8, 2009
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        The book measures 9" h x 9 1/4"w x 15/16" thick and is 320 pages, paperbound
        on thick coated stock, entirely in full color.

        I have to agree with Jessica about some of the contents. In addition, the
        graphic design is very modern, almost web-page style, which seems totally
        out of keeping with the wood type itself.

        But Greg includes a lot a valuable information. He also is to be
        complimented on including a number of faces which are not in Rob Roy Kelly.
        But there are some surprising omissions of fairly standard late nineteenth
        century faces, such as Egyptian Ornamented, perhaps the best-known purely
        wood type design. There is also very little discussion of the historical
        progression of type design throughout the period.

        It's a mixed bag but definitely worth getting.

        David


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Austin Jones
        I think Jessica has pretty much stated my thoughts. It is a very pretty book. I am pleased to have it in my library. The author dedicates the book to Rob Roy
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 8, 2009
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          I think Jessica has pretty much stated my thoughts. It is a very pretty
          book. I am pleased to have it in my library. The author dedicates the book
          to Rob Roy Kelly. I think Kelly did a great job of presenting a history of
          Wood Type. Its purpose and use are well presented. I was a bit surprised
          that the author of this book took such a different approach in presenting
          Wood Type.

          I think this book is more intended to display the collections of Wood Type
          Collectors than a book dealing with Wood Type as we printers see it. The
          book by Kelly is much more definative and complete. All of the photographs
          are great and are well edited. There is nothing natural or real about this
          book. It presents a very artifical. East Coast Art Studio look at Wood Type.
          Certainly not the look of the wood type in my shop.

          If you enjoy Wood Type, by all means you will enjoy this book. I think the
          point here and what I read in Jessica's comments - know what you are
          getting. This is a Coffe Table book for all those friends and neighbors who
          wonder what all that stuff you collect is for. I would agree with Fritz -
          the website does not do a very good job of describing the book.

          Austin Jones
          prints by AJ
          austin@...
          http://printsbyaj.com
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Jessica Spring" <springtide@...>
          To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:24 AM
          Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Book: The Art of Wood Type


          > It is paperback, about an inch thick and printed on heavy coated paper.
          >
          > It's filled with beautiful photography, but I confess to cringing at
          > the wood type assemblages created by some of the collectors then used
          > to hang on walls or serve as magazine covers, doors, etc. There is
          > also something strange to me about wood type all cleaned, oiled up and
          > arranged for photos--a sort of letterpress porn, perhaps, when you
          > realize the "proofs" of the type on the left are actually created in
          > Illustrator (reversed, blemishes removed, missing characters digitally
          > rendered, perfectly reproduced in solid black). It's a whole different
          > aesthetic than much of the wood type actually printed today that
          > reveals the age of the substrate. I've seen folks like John Horn make
          > gorgeous prints from his vintage wood type. I wonder how folks decide
          > that their collection is just too valuable to actually use for printing?
          >
          > I'm also curious about a photo in the book of a composing stick filled
          > with metal type. It is set perpendicular to the length of the stick
          > without leading. Great photo, but I've never used a composing stick
          > that way. There are descriptions of other kinds of printing surfaces--
          > magnesium, woodcuts, etc. but no mention of photopolymer that I saw.
          >
          > No intent to discourage folks from buying the book, just some thoughts
          > after looking through it last night....
          > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          > Jessica Spring
          > http://www.springtidepress.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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