Some Don't Know Some Some or 4AD

One of HM's favorite people (a bookseller, no surprise) wrote this week after reading the brief foreword in our latest, Types/Paper/Print. Dear Soul was politely wondering if "some some" - used in the foreword with reference to a quantity of typefaces included in the sampling - was a printer's term he had not previously encountered, or maybe not?

We cannot be responsible for other people's lack of knowledge. Given his own regional locutions, he should have immediately recognized it for being contextually similar to the plural "all you all." The term that appears in the T/P/P foreword is part of a lexicology familiar to printers as far back as Gutenberg, all of them having included some variant of it in something they printed at one time or another. Our correspondent really was a wonderful friend & supporter for the longest time; too bad we'll no longer be at home for his future calls or notes.

More significantly, major gaps in our own knowledge were serendipitously filled this week, and will make valued  contributions to the printing of upcoming books. The English music label 4AD may be the single most important influence on HM, both graphically (at least in terms of providing inspiration) and curatorially - the concept of  wildly diverse output united only by the tastes & interests of the people presenting it. If you liked what you'd heard from the label, you'd probably like whatever else you found from the label. And its in-house design team, 23 Envelope, our eyes to type in design.

The vinyl was purged long ago (good riddance) but over the years, whenever a 4AD CD was found, it was added to the collection. Imagine the happy surprise to find not one but two new (to us) items this week, both of which have proven sublime listening, the glacial wall-of-sound fog that fills a room and lets your mind wander while your body repeats a series of tasks (i.e. prints with a handpress). Swallow was an iffy candidate, as the credits listed singing (not something we generally want to hear), but that singing was built into the musical wall, mortar in the bricks. The Hope Blister was blissfully vocal free, and bonus - it was a new incarnation for Ivo (Mr 4AD) Watts and the team behind This Mortal Coil (iconic, but less frequently heard at HM due to the predominance of vocals in the tracks). Both of the new discs are sonic representations of HM's aspirations, & highly recommended.

Met with Shinsuke Minegishi this week, got into detailed planning for his retrospective book. Prints & engraved blocks all over his apartment floor for a few hours. Ideas bubbling. Publication about a year from now...


Jason Dewinetz over at Greenboathouse Press (see link at right) sent copies of a label he'd recently set and printed, to adorn a box he'd constructed to contain (& hide) a collection of H'ephemera assembled over the past few years. His own unique drop box. The HM pair looks lovely; a bit of grafting & those serifs could be married up in an interesting way...

Without Jason's labels, we'd have no news to report. Still finishing the cases for Types/Paper/Print. About which: the deluxe issue is fully subscribed. Some copies will go to booksellers, so if you had your heart set on one, let us know & we can direct you to someone. Those copies are expected to come out of Claudia's studio mid-May. The current plan is for a binding very similar to Elements in Correlation: quarter leather, leather tips, paste paper over boards (probably different papers for each copy, culled from Claudia's stash of leftovers). 

One point about the deluxe copies that we've repeatedly forgotten to mention: the frontis wood engraving is signed by Shinsuke Minegishi. 


Awesome: The Whys & Hows of HM

The online magazine Vancouver Is Awesome (an aspirational name) recently posted an interview with HM publisher Rollin Milroy. It's a very, very long interview, complete with his trademark run-on sentences. It also gives about as accurate a picture of the studio's Why and How as is ever likely to appear, for which the author, Liisa Hannus, must be thanked. Milroy's usual no-interview policy was waived due to Hannus's genuine enthusiasm for all things print, and the legwork she'd put into research before getting in touch.

“Some people focus on the price of these things and the cost and wonder ‘How can books cost that much?’ Well, if you don’t understand the process, the price makes no sense to you. But if you do understand the process, and therefore are interested in the process, the price makes sense to you. Now, whether you’re prepared to pay that price for that book is totally up to you and your taste, which is the rest of the fun."


With Occupied Over, It's Time to Start Cutting

Copies of Occupied By Colour have been traveling to their new homes over the past couple of weeks. The book is bound in quarter leather, with the head and foot of the boards edged in leather (with leather onlay and gilt tooling). The boards are covered in Claudia's custom paste papers upon which she has hand-tooled a progression of circles.

The cloth box (edged with the same paste paper) contains a crystal prism; a pamphlet briefly recounting the history of hair dye, along with three actual samples (ick); and a vintage dye-test thread card from the Courtauld Co. (early 20th century?).

As with previous volumes in this series, the first eight copies in the edition form a deluxe issue. These copies feature a more elaborate binding, and an original color analysis of a different historical work of art. The color analysis process is based on the work of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel, as found in her idiosyncratic book Color Problems (1901). Shown below is the analysis of Ingres' The Grand Odalisque.

While Claudia is completing the deluxe bindings, Barbara is diving into the writing and planning of their next collaboration (which will not be part of the color series). Cutting Paper, a miscellany of cut-paper art ("scherenschnitt") from Claudia Cohen & Barbara Hodgson, the team behind our ongoing color series and 2011's WunderCabinet. This venerable art form – practised everywhere paper is found – requires no more than scissors and knives and any kind of paper. Each copy of Cutting Paper will include approximately three dozen examples of archival and original cut-paper art. Brief essays will describe the techniques, the variations found around the world, and the history of the art form. There will also be an extensive bibliography. The book will be printed at Heavenly Monkey on a variety of handmade papers, and issued in an edition of 30 copies (including 10 deluxe).

p.s. apologies to all the 99 percenters whose search inquiries lead them to our Occupied posts. An unfortunate, but humorously ironic juxtaposition of meanings.


It's In The Mail

The first batch of Types/Paper/Print were sent out to their future lives today. So were a bunch of the 2012 New Books prospectus. About halfway through casing the regular copies of the book. The photo above shows the three different marbled patterns being used.

But the exciting news is that, within the week, Marsen Jules' label is issuing the long-planned collection of original music inspired by the works of Harold Budd. Very cool. Perfect for quiet moments printing, or reading, books.