Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Cards . . .

Time is running out to commission your own custom letterpress cards for this Holiday season! To discuss prices and options contact me now. This is a closeup of my William Morris inspired border drawn and printed especially for one of my best clients.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Parenthesis 27 . . .

Have you seen my cathedralic broadside? The Parenthesis 27 de luxe edition portfolio is now out! It includes work from prestigious presses from around the world, and my latest and most complex Typosignet. You can purchase the entire portfolio from The Fine Press Book Association, or purchase a  non-folded copy of my broadside for $60 by contacting me

My design is made up of thousands of small typographic ornaments. Type ornaments such as the Granjon 6 piece (shown below) have been used by printers since the 16th century, but are seldom used today. These simple ornaments, and others like them, provided much of the basic building blocks of my complex design.
One reason typographic ornaments, in general, are so rarely seen today in large quantities, is because of the time and difficulty in using them to create a pleasing arrangement. Although I design these arrangements digitally and then print from plates, each and every little piece is placed separately without automation. This design evolved over the course of a month, working a few hours each day. There were a number of times I almost gave up on it, but I hope you will agree that the results make up for the tedium and difficulty of it all. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Recent Acquisition . . .

Meet our newest press, a hefty tabletop C&P Pilot press with stand! This press came from a small basement offset print shop owned by a very nice older gentleman just down the road in Auburn, New York. Actually this is the first and only press, that I have been able to find locally! The press needs new rollers and I will be painting it once the weather warms back up. This is a great press for beginners, having originally come from the Auburn High School, and I will be pressing it back into teaching service for future workshops. 

The seller also has a well cared for A B Dick 360 offset press, paper cutter, collator, document camera, and accessories available for sale as a complete package. Contact me if interested, and I will let you know how to get a hold of him. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

In the News. . .

The Citizen Newspaper, based in Auburn, New York just published an article about my work and recent workshops! Unfortunately a few small details were somewhat confusticated, but overall the article was nicely done and included two large photos. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Short Why on the Long S . . .

Example of printing from 1591 showing numerous examples of the italic long s.

While discussing the subject of printing history, I sometimes get asked about the letter "f" being used in place of "s." This is actually known as a long s and can be seen in old printed books, manuscripts, and even handwriting. The long s was usually used whenever a lowercase "s" appears in the text  and was not at the end of a word. At the end of a word what we would consider the normal "s" was used in most instances, and sometimes within ligatures (joined letters), but not always. The long s looks most like an "f" in Roman types, but the crossbar does not pass all the way through the letter as it does in "f." The ſ seems to have fallen out of favor in print sometime around or before 1800. It sometimes reappears when a time appropriate typographic treatment is wanted, such as in the Bruce Rogers examples below.

Here in "Eſſayes" we can see just how much the long s looks like an "f" in Roman type.
Indeed this book can be found unfortunately misspelled in many library catalogs. 

Here in Bruce Rogers' 1927 reprint of "Benjamin Franklin's Proposals for the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania of 1746" we can see that the compositors themselves were not entirely comfortable with the long s, as they mistakenly used an "fi" ligature in place of an "ſi" in "visit." The correct "ſi" ligature is used throughout the rest of the book.

Oak Knoll Fest 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oak Knoll Fest. . .

Don't forget to come see us at Oak Knoll Fest October 3-5, 2014 in New Castle, Delaware! See the photos below for a preview of our table.

"Oak Knoll Fest XVIII is scheduled for October 3-5, 2014. The theme this year is "Craftsman to Collector: Selling and Buying the Fine Press Book." Printers, librarians, booksellers, and collectors will discuss that theme in a free symposium (registration required) on Friday (10/3), focusing on the various avenues printers can use to share their work with the world.

The book fair follows on Saturday and Sunday (10/4-5). See this year's exhibitors, including 40+ printers from North America and Europe, here.

We will also host talks by John Randle of the Whittington Press, Carolee Campbell of the Ninja Press, and our very own Bob Fleck, each speaking their own experiences in the world of books." -Oak Knoll