That Kind of Type

Heard an interview yesterday with the terminally kool Henry Winkler, who has dyslexia. He's co-authored a very popular series of books for young readers about a kid (Hank Zipzer) with dyslexia. In the interview he mentioned that one of the books had been set in a face designed specifically to be more easily read by people with the condition. I needed to see what that would look like:

Dyslexie was designed by Christian Boer. Dezeen magazine ran a short piece about it last fall. According to Boer, "With a heavy base line, alternating stick/tail lengths [stick ?], larger-than-normal openings, and a semi-cursive slant, the dyslexia font ensures that each character has a unique form.

"Traditional fonts are designed soley from an aesthetic point of view, which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognise for people with dyslexia."

Interesting that one of the core concepts behind type design since Gutenberg has been familial harmony & consistency among the letterforms, and that this ideal exacerbates the challenge to people with dyslexia. Dyslexie certainly wasn't designed with aesthetics in mind, but if it works, function before form.

By pure coincidence, the Dezeen page linked above also includes a link to this short stop-motion film illustrating the history of type. It was made by a Canadian designer (!), Ben Barrett-Forrest.  


Finally got around to unwrapping all that Deepdene I got last year. Project pending, depatils to follow...

Personal to D: sorry we didn't connect before you took off. Kept meaning to call but the kid kept distracting me. Have fun, talk soon.


RRR's Campaign to Redesign Everything

That smart looking young man must be reading the latest issue of UBC Alumni Chronicle, the one that features a profile of Commerce grad-turned typography guru Robert R. Reid. Ran across this while looking through UBC's online archives. Interesting to learn that (according to the scribbler) Kuthan's Menagerie was a kid's book. The article's best part is the coda in which Bob is invited to critique the magazine's layout: leave it to Bob to hijack design for his own profile. This was right around when he was printing John Newlove's Grave Sirs: and it shows. Jazzy.


The phrase mooched about doesn't get used enough anymore. Explains a lot of what's been going on around here...


Some Things Fishy

Got a note from oddball Jim Westergard reporting a recent flood of online interest in The Intruder, which features his wood engravings published by Deep Wood Press in 2012. My question is, why is this the first time I'm hearing about it at all?

The book, by Robert Traver, falls in the angling category (which probably has a larger audience than books on books by a factor of ten). Jim's note made me realize that, despite having no interest in fishing, I have a number of books on the subject...

Alison's Fishing Birds, the first piece of printing by Jim Rimmer I got.

A 1997 reprint of Pool & Rapid, published by the (Roderick) Haig Brown Fly Fishing Association on Vancouver Island. I got this because it was designed Bev Leech and is one of the last letterpress books printed at Morriss Printing. But haven't actually, like, read it. But you can if you want to: the association still has copies & they're available at half the issue price!

And the jewel in the fishy crown, selections from the diary of Roderick Haig-Brow, published in five volumes by Beaverdam Press in 1992. I wrote about this before. Stunning piece of work.

There are lots of other stunning examples of fine press publishing that, despite being about fishing, I would add to the collection if the right copy came along. The first two publications from D. R. Wakefield's Chevington Press were about trout. His work is fantastic. One guy doing everything, intaglio and letterpress combined.


Alan James Robinson did at least two books about angling. I think it had a fly incorporated to the binding or box. Others have done that as well. Don't like it.

Coincidentally, one of the titles in the selected bibliography of publisher Kevin Begos Jr included at the back of About Agrippa is an angling title: In Praise of Trout - & Also Me. (As if the trout wasn't enough, we get the personal history larded on; thanx Oprah.) I suspect this was a commission book for Begos...


A bookseller once tried very hard to convince me to buy a copy of the Ashendene Treatyse of Fysshynge printed on vellum. It was priced to sell, but I kept saying, I just don't are about the topic, especially in olde englishe.

Anyway, despite the fishiness of it, I'm sure Jim's new book is very kool.


The Private Press of Roy A. Squires

For more than a decade I have toyed with the idea of writing some kind of article about Roy A. Squires, "private pressman." Given California's long tradition of private press publishing and fine printing, I could never understand why Squires was all but unknown to collectors and even printers who were his contemporaries (part of the reason undoubtedly was his "genre" literary tastes). 

Many of the people who collaborated with Squires were dead by the time I started asking around, and he didn't leave any kind of an archive. The few people I could contact who had known him either didn't have much specific information about his printing, or (in one case) didn't want to answer any questions at all. My "research" ended up consisting primarily of amassing a more-or-less complete collection of his publications (more if you count simply having a copy of each title; less if you insist on the more scarce and obscure variants). I also managed to gather a number of his letters to subscribers, which are full of wit and interesting details.

I'm not sure if it's instead of or in preparation for, I've started a blog about Squires' press. I'm going to do one post for each of his publications with images, in chronological order, plus any interesting bibliographic details culled from his letters or other sources.

There isn't much in common between what HM gets up to and Squires' publishing, so I don't anticipate an overlap in readership. I'm challenged to explain why I've been interested in his work for so long. Perhaps because it was some of the first letterpress printing I ever saw (and to this day it may be the only letterpress printing young collectors encounter, whether they're aware of it or not), and perhaps also because the modest scope of his publications made the whole endeavor seem possible to a beginner. Inspiring others is the greatest accomplishment for artists or craftsmen.


A new, ongoing feature coming soon: the HM Garage Sale! Mostly (non-HM) books being culled from the my private collection, priced to move. Even with the move over, I'm into shedding weight...