Re: [PPLetterpress] Book: The Art of Wood Type
- 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
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.
prints by AJ
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jessica Spring" <springtide@...>
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