How Type Writes Poetry

Easy as pied

WHEN THE MAIL DELIVERS a box of jumbled type, we make poetry—eventually. We bought a nice font of 48-point Onyx metal type on eBay. When it arrives it is a pied mess.

There was nothing left to do but pull out the type (in no particular order) and set it in a galley to proof. The damaged letters could be culled and the remaining sorts organized for future use.


The galley of random Onyx sat around for a while as other projects came and went. And then an idea struck about printing the now hand-set type as a poem of random letter shapes : figures, punctuation, caps, lowercase. Lined-up scrambled-almost-words speaking so excitedly you couldn't understand what they were saying.

Onyx is an elegant up-town typeface that let its readability guard down and had a little ordinary fun for a change. This is "How Type Writes Poetry." 

We set the title and colophon in a different typeface, positioning the type in two columns (a secret nod to the Gutenberg Bible), and printing the initial cap O (the first letter out of the box) in red for a bit of flair.

Next broadside entry :  Ripple in Still Water / Grateful Dead