Worth a look: Remarkable 19th-century printing galleries

PublishingMojo's picture

My colleague Dick Sheaff has built an outstanding collection of ephemera which he has generously made available for viewing online.
The following galleries will be of particular interest to typophiles (remarks in quotes are Dick's):

  • Artistic Printing: "[B]etween the late 1870s and the mid-1880s a group of American and British letterpress printers developed a design aesthetic that, at its best, was clean, bold and graphic. In its purest form, ‘Artistic Printing'—as the practitioners themselves labeled the approach—used metal type and brass rules almost exclusively. The results often appear quite fresh to our 21st century eyes."
  • Gaslight Style: "One pronounced aspect of Victorian design was a great interest in creating the illusion of depth, particularly so with lithographers. Type, vignettes, products and design elements are made to seem multi-layered through the use of shadows, superimposition, dimensional banners and ribbons, turned-up faux page corners and choice of colors."
  • Typotecture: "architectural constructions made up from letterpress type elements . . . letterpress printer John Kristensen of the Firefly Press in Boston . . . refers to them as ‘typotecture.'"
  • Type Pictures: "Letterpress ‘type pictures'—scenes constructed from metal type elements—became particularly common during the 1870s and 1880s . . . As with all ‘creative' arrangements of type, the quality varied. Some typesetters created lively and interesting scenes, while less talented workers seemed to have thrown together elements rather randomly."
  • And finally, for something completely different, there's Dick's collection of photographs of people holding fish (sample below).
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