a typographic collection of sorts

THIS BOOK WAS FUN to research and print. One of the challenges in creating a book from scratch is coming up with interesting text. Old-fashioned alphabet abecedarian books for children with their quaint and charming illustrations were the inspiration for this one. Jill got to go on a scavenger hunt in the Lead Graffiti collection looking for the perfect visual to represent each letter.

In place of the typical animals and objects, the illustrations are made of typographic sorts, the generic term given to the individual handset type metal bits used in letterpress printing. And in this book, each letter of the alphabet refers to a specific typographic glyph (character) or term. Some are obvious and familiar just to get you going. You may need to put your thinking cap on for others. And a couple are pretty strange, but they're all real typographic terms.

The large letters are printed from 40-pica (about 6 2/3” high) Gothic Extra Condensed wood type. You can see the actual wood grain in some of the letters, as well as some of their "battle scars." It's interesting to note that the O had been improvised by an earlier printer who had carved away the tail of a Q.

As the text pages are double thick and quite stiff, they are somewhat reminiscent of a young child's first alphabet book. The flutter book format allows each page to "present" itself, one at a time, for easy page turning,

I hope you enjoy discovering some of the arcane and unusual terminology used in typography as much as I enjoyed researching, typesetting and printing this book. Handset and printed slowly & patiently via letterpress at Lead Graffiti in Newark, Delaware.

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BOOK : ABECEDARITYPE : a typographic collection of sorts

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  • Edition of 26 books, signed and numbered by the artist, printed in 2017
  • 32 pages, size 5" x 11," bound in a flutter-book format with additional handsewn endsheets
  • Designed and handset in 40-pica Gothic Extra Condensed wood type, and various metal types and printers ornaments. Typedex and colophon were handset in Spartan. Title handset in Jefferson Gothic and Tourist
  • Printed via letterpress in black and grey inks, on a Vandercook Universal III and SP15
  • Main text stock is cover weight Suture paper with Lokta paper endsheets sewn with linen thread
  • Hard cover wrapped in black Iris book cloth with a hand-painted spine