The Finest Traditions in Hand-Set Type

How's that for a mouthful of busted chiclets? Oddly, it takes more time to set & lock-up a disaster like this than setting it properly. Part of the genius of movable type: it resists being used improperly. But we showed this Garamont who's boss.

All in aid of the new book, which has (yet another) new tentative title: Improvised Impressions. The title reflects the process that came to be used for displaying each face in the book: While there was some general design conceived in advance for each page, the details were worked out on the bed of the press, as the type was set. Where books typically are exhaustively planned in advance, the complete lack of continuity in content or form from page to page in this collection of types allowed (& often required, due to a shortage or complete absence of one letter or another) an improvisational approach. Intuition was the guiding principle. Each page was created in the moment, each step and decision a response to the one preceding it, working within the constraints of the page and what was available in (& lacking from) any given drawer of type.
The entire undertaking is underscored by an impish attitude toward the types on display: respect, but not reverence. Improvising is an act of the moment; the printed pages in this book are permanent records of the improvisations. 

Down to the last few sheets now: the foreword, title page & colophon. The edition will be 35 copies, with the first 15 being a deluxe issue. These will be bound in full vellum by Claudia Cohen, and contain two additional sections (16 pp.), per the last post here. As the image above suggests, the second of those sections gets a bit unruly.

Speaking of Claudia, did you know there actually are three variations to the deluxe binding for Paper Should Not Always Be White? She came up with three designs for tooling the front board & we couldn't pick a favorite, so she did all three. Two of them are shown above. There's no priority or preference (except one's own). We'll post some more images of the deluxe binding next week.