Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [PPLetterpress] Calligraphy and deep impression

Expand Messages
  • Mike Anderson
    David must have thought that the Gutenberg Bible was also disgusting, since it to was a copy of the pen-based hand of the time - Gutenberg and staff used a
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      David must have thought that the Gutenberg Bible was also "disgusting," since it to was a copy of the "pen-based hand" of the time - Gutenberg and staff used a manuscript, penned by a scribe (or monk), as their exemplar. Sometimes I feel the "great," or those who believe themselves to be the "great" forget their roots.



      Mike



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gerald Lange
      To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 2:59 AM
      Subject: [PPLetterpress] Calligraphy and deep impression


      We often see script typefaces mixed with roman typefaces and rarely
      think anything of it. I have a couple of high end invitational card
      clients who do this routinely. The other day I was processing some
      plates and I suddenly remembered what the respected calligrapher Ismar
      David had once said about this.

      Back in 1984, I had given a workshop at a calligraphy conference, had
      printed a special broadside for the event, and the covers for the
      convention catalog. At dinner one of those nights, I was seated next
      to David and his adoring minions and one of them passed over the
      broadside to Ismar and sweetly said, look what Gerald printed for us.
      David, who simply could never restrain himself, yelled out
      "disgusting." The minions dropped their heads.

      I knew what he meant though, it wasn't my calligraphy but I was the
      ignoramus who was so disrespectful of tradition that I would take a
      pen-based letterform and impress it into the paper.

      Well, the times have changed, but I wonder if today's designers ever
      even think about this "travesty" of technologies.

      Gerald
      http://BielerPress.blogspot.com





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gerald Lange
      Mike Well, they certainly had to use something for their copy, now didn t they!? (where is that interrobang when you need it?) Interestingly, Peter Schoeffer
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Mike

        Well, they certainly had to use something for their "copy," now didn't
        they!? (where is that interrobang when you need it?)

        Interestingly, Peter Schoeffer was working at the Sorbonne as a
        manuscript copyist just prior to his work on the Bible. Thus he was a
        crucial addition to the team; especially so since the edition had to
        look as if it was written by hand (or so it has been suggested). I doubt
        mentioning that to Ismar would have furthered the cause though, since
        "impression" was the insurmountable problem facing the early printers.

        Gerald
        http://BielerPress.blogspot.com


        Mike Anderson wrote:
        > David must have thought that the Gutenberg Bible was also "disgusting," since it to was a copy of the "pen-based hand" of the time - Gutenberg and staff used a manuscript, penned by a scribe (or monk), as their exemplar. Sometimes I feel the "great," or those who believe themselves to be the "great" forget their roots.
        >
        >
        >
        > Mike
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Gerald Lange
        > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 2:59 AM
        > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Calligraphy and deep impression
        >
        >
        > We often see script typefaces mixed with roman typefaces and rarely
        > think anything of it. I have a couple of high end invitational card
        > clients who do this routinely. The other day I was processing some
        > plates and I suddenly remembered what the respected calligrapher Ismar
        > David had once said about this.
        >
        > Back in 1984, I had given a workshop at a calligraphy conference, had
        > printed a special broadside for the event, and the covers for the
        > convention catalog. At dinner one of those nights, I was seated next
        > to David and his adoring minions and one of them passed over the
        > broadside to Ismar and sweetly said, look what Gerald printed for us.
        > David, who simply could never restrain himself, yelled out
        > "disgusting." The minions dropped their heads.
        >
        > I knew what he meant though, it wasn't my calligraphy but I was the
        > ignoramus who was so disrespectful of tradition that I would take a
        > pen-based letterform and impress it into the paper.
        >
        > Well, the times have changed, but I wonder if today's designers ever
        > even think about this "travesty" of technologies.
        >
        > Gerald
        > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Peter Fraterdeus
        ... He was right, absolutely! I m trying to remember about what :-) ... Yes, the house of memory technique. I can t remember the term either, but I m sure I
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          At 6:50 PM +0000 3 09 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
          >Hi Peter
          >
          >Well, Socrates was right though was he not?

          He was right, absolutely!
          I'm trying to remember about what :-)

          > I recall the story of a
          >Greek actor who was able to identify the bodies of theater goers after
          >an earthquake crushed the audience, simply because he had memorized
          >their sitting arrangements during the play. There is a term for the
          >type of memorization practiced in the middle ages prior to printing,
          >of course, I can't recall what it is!!!

          Yes, the house of memory technique. I can't remember the term either, but I'm sure I left it here under the potted palm in the entryway! Iamblicus writes about the Pythagorians using this. Similar was the practice of the poets and bards prior to writing (as Socrates implies) But that's not the middle ages... hmm.

          >Tiniest of correction here and for your interest. The wood block
          >printed book is actually thought not to have preceded the printed book
          >(movable type). None have been dated as such.

          Ah, now that you bring it up, I recall some discussion about this question.
          Nonetheless, I'd have to wonder, since the oriental book had been made this way for centuries, why it would not have found use in the West, what with the Silk Road and Marco Polo, et al.

          > There are examples of
          >printing from wood that do precede metal type by well over half a
          >century but the idea of printing in traditional book form apparently
          >never took hold. The sequence is, supposedly, that once the printed
          >book created a hierarchy in production method, the wood block books
          >appeared and quickly established themselves at the lower level of
          >access and pricing. Rather than be done away with by printing as is
          >commonly thought, the written manuscript (especially in illuminated
          >form) rose to the top of the hierarchy and held that position for near
          >a century.

          Indeed, and to some degree still holds it.
          Interesting that Letterpress, having been given up for dead by commercial interests, now hold a very strong second in line after unique calligraphic mss for top of the contemporary book heap.


          >David seems never to have had a problem with his work being reproduced
          >via the offset process, as he was well published.

          Exactly. I just don't get what the bug is in some bonnets.
          Sheesh.

          >As an aside, Ieuan
          >Rees spent the entire week of the conference out in the courtyard
          >cutting letterforms into stone.

          Ieuan is like that ;-)
          I suggested to the ATypI that they have him to the Brighton conferernce coming up this month.
          He will in fact be speaking, and I hope, carving given an opportunity.

          Unfortunately, I'm not going to be there this year....

          P.



          --
          AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@
          {ARTQ: Help stop in-box bloat! Always Remember to Trim the Quote!}

          ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com

          -:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*
          Peter Fraterdeus http://www.alphabets.com : Sign up for "MiceType"!
          Galena, Illinois Design Philosophy Fonts Lettering Letterpress Wood Type
          Dubuque, Iowa http://www.fraterdeus.com
          Photography Irish Fiddle Political Observation
          http://flickr.com/photos/pfraterdeus
          http://youtube.com/user/pfraterdeus
        • Gerald Lange
          Hi Peter I m not sure to what extent books and currency may have made their way via the Silk Road, but the books would not have been in codex form. Certainly
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Peter

            I'm not sure to what extent books and currency may have made their way
            via the Silk Road, but the books would not have been in codex form.
            Certainly Europeans had seen some of these materials prior to the
            development of Western printing but the main problem was that the worlds
            of writing and those of metallurgy, casting of medallions, coins, etc.,
            did not cross, probably because of social strata. Medallions and coins
            had been cast using punches since classical times, perhaps before (e.g.
            the Phaistos stone). Even the medallions that protected Marco Polo and
            other westerns in their journeys, the paiza, issued by the Khan, appear
            to have been cast from punches. It is uncertain if any of the Asian
            paper materials that had been printed from cast type made their way to
            Europe.

            Gutenberg's political/social affiliation with the Mint seems to be the
            only plausible connection as to where the two streams would have melded.
            The plea from the Church for a form of mechanical writing to prevent
            corruption in the copying of text was in place and likely the impetus.
            All that was required was for someone to connect the dots.

            Gerald
            http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

            > Ah, now that you bring it up, I recall some discussion about this question.
            > Nonetheless, I'd have to wonder, since the oriental book had been made this way for centuries, why it would not have found use in the West, what with the Silk Road and Marco Polo, et al.
            >
            >
          • Peter Fraterdeus
            Hi Gerald ... Yes, it s really fascinating to see the wax punches used by the Romans*, and consider how matters might have turned out if some enterprising
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Gerald

              At 4:17 PM -0700 3 09 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
              >...Even the medallions that protected Marco Polo and
              >other westerns in their journeys, the paiza, issued by the Khan, appear
              >to have been cast from punches. It is uncertain if any of the Asian
              >paper materials that had been printed from cast type made their way to
              >Europe.


              Yes, it's really fascinating to see the wax "punches" used by the Romans*, and consider how matters might have turned out if some enterprising Roman had thought to use multiples of these things to produce movable type -- rudimentary as it may have been -- 1500 years before Gutenberg

              *I recall the example in Fred Goudy's "The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering"

              However, the 'books' I was thinking of were the woodcut books, full pages from each block, regarding Mr. David's attitude about impressions from calligraphic originals, regardless of the form, scroll or codex.
              As far as the codex, I'm not sure that it was exclusive to the West *, in any case, as there are plenty of examples of Oriental scrolls bound as 'accordion' books, or in fact, of accordions punched through and sewn. (Of which, I'm sure sure you are aware!)
              However, I don't recall the time line of when these are known. Perhaps it's after contact with the West...

              *unless the technical definition precludes accordion books in favor of collections of signatures...

              Not my area of expertise, but I'm interested ;-)

              Ciao!

              P


              >

              --
              AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@
              {ARTQ: Help stop in-box bloat! Always Remember to Trim the Quote!}

              ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com

              -:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*
              Peter Fraterdeus http://www.alphabets.com : Sign up for "MiceType"!
              Galena, Illinois Design Philosophy Fonts Lettering Letterpress Wood Type
              Dubuque, Iowa http://www.fraterdeus.com
              Photography Irish Fiddle Political Observation
              http://flickr.com/photos/pfraterdeus
              http://youtube.com/user/pfraterdeus
            • Gerald Lange
              Hi I m not certain about the timeline in the evolution of the book form in various parts of the world, but I suppose I could walk over to my library; but it is
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi

                I'm not certain about the timeline in the evolution of the book form
                in various parts of the world, but I suppose I could walk over to my
                library; but it is too hot to make the effort.

                It's quite possible that some enterprising young Roman did come up
                with a way to use multiple punches for such a purpose. The way it
                worked out successfully though, is all that matters. 14th century
                Europe, not the Roman Empire, not Asia, was prime for the development.

                Printing preses were in existence—all that was required was to work
                out the complexities of the hose. Punchcutting and casting technology
                had been perfected. Paper had been used for writing, and for printing,
                for some time. The casting properties of lead were clearly understood.
                The use of ink for painting on metal was known. A well developed
                knowledge of metallurgy and mechanics, an effective mercantile
                structure, unrestricted trade channels, standardization of mechanical
                parts and tools that could be used without specific application,
                etc.—all in place.

                All was there, it seems, except for the adjustable casting mould, the
                tool that would allow letters to be spaced as if they were hand written.

                Gerald
                http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Peter Fraterdeus <peterf@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Gerald
                >
                > At 4:17 PM -0700 3 09 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
                > >...Even the medallions that protected Marco Polo and
                > >other westerns in their journeys, the paiza, issued by the Khan, appear
                > >to have been cast from punches. It is uncertain if any of the Asian
                > >paper materials that had been printed from cast type made their way to
                > >Europe.
                >
                >
                > Yes, it's really fascinating to see the wax "punches" used by the
                Romans*, and consider how matters might have turned out if some
                enterprising Roman had thought to use multiples of these things to
                produce movable type -- rudimentary as it may have been -- 1500 years
                before Gutenberg
                >
                > *I recall the example in Fred Goudy's "The Alphabet and Elements of
                Lettering"
                >
                > However, the 'books' I was thinking of were the woodcut books, full
                pages from each block, regarding Mr. David's attitude about
                impressions from calligraphic originals, regardless of the form,
                scroll or codex.
                > As far as the codex, I'm not sure that it was exclusive to the West
                *, in any case, as there are plenty of examples of Oriental scrolls
                bound as 'accordion' books, or in fact, of accordions punched through
                and sewn. (Of which, I'm sure sure you are aware!)
                > However, I don't recall the time line of when these are known.
                Perhaps it's after contact with the West...
                >
                > *unless the technical definition precludes accordion books in favor
                of collections of signatures...
                >
                > Not my area of expertise, but I'm interested ;-)
                >
                > Ciao!
                >
                > P
                >
                >
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.