- Odd question.
In a recent conversation with an "old school" letterpress book printer
(like me), I heard the term "carriage trade" to describe the
relatively recent influx of card printing folks to letterpress. I have
previously heard (and used) "letterpress boutique." Both of these are,
obviously, in their intent, derogatory. Like I said, "old school" (a
phrase I have noted increasingly from students).
Since this list is likely now composed of more members than not who
actually are exclusively letterpress card printers, what is a
If you read German, all the books by Hans Peter Willberg are extremely
interesting, in particular "Lesetypographie" and his latest
"Mikrotypographie". If you don't understand German, at least the highly
comprehensible illustrations and exemplary text settings are worth it.
Willberg deals both with the macro (and style) level as with the
microtypographic level. It is however to the latter that his main interest
seems to go (as is the case with every genuine typographer) and he
elaborates the topic almost exhaustively as I haven't seen doing it before.
To get the feel and touch with microtypographic issues directly relating to
matters of type design: read Gerrit Noordzij ("LetterLetter" available in
English from Hartley & Marks).
Don't forget the classics: Paul Renner's "The Art of Typography", Jan
Tschichold in various publications and Eric Gill in his "Essay on
Typography", to name only some at random.
Sometimes you may find some very interesting articles in the TeX-world, for
instance in the TUGboat magazine, which has a chapter on typography. These
guys (mathematicians and alike) are really doing a great job and some of the
TeX-distributions (such as pdfTeX and XeTeX) offer the finest typographic
software available today, often pioneering in areas were commercial vendors
(such as Adobe) leap behind. Read their articles and you'll learn a lot
about the possibilities of integrating thoroughly classic typography with
digital automated design.
Good reading! (Although I might agree with Noordzij: "Perhaps typographers