Books Are Will Rueter's Utopia

Printing for HM's next calligraphic book starts today: Books Are My Utopia features 18 full-page (three of them fold-out) quotes on the theme of books, each one rendered by HM's longtime friend and confidant, Will Rueter. The concept and format are similar to 2017's An Alphabetical Accumulation, wherein the calligraphy is reproduced from polymer plates, but a portion of each page is then added by Will's pen (for example, in the mock-up below, the red and blue will be added by him). 

Will would object to being called a calligrapher, but calligraphy has been an important part of his 50+ year career as a designer and printer. All of The Aliquando Press's publications reflect his passion for variations in, & combinations of letterforms, and he's too modest about his skills. Books Are My Utopia  will be the first publication that focuses exclusively on his calligraphy - everything in the book is by his hand.

Most of the printing will be done at HM, on four different papers: F.J. Head, Barcham Green and Twinrocker (all handmades); and a mouldmade that I'm saying is Saunders c.1950s, but that might be a lie. Either way, it's a lovely laid sheet. The three fold-out sheets will be printed on Japanese papers, by Will in Ontario. Below is the original calligraphy (i.e. art from which plates were made) for the list of authors from whom the quotes were taken.

Printing will be finished this month, and then the sheets go to Will for the embellishments. He hopes to have everything ready for binding by the start of 2020. Like An Alphabetical Accumulation, Claudia Cohen will be binding the edition of 36 copies uniformly; the exact structure and design are still being pondered. We'll put up some progress photos once Will starts laying hands on printed sheets, along with some of his thoughts on the importance of learning to make letterforms with a pen for typographers and designers.

HM participated in the Fisher Rare Books Library's bi-annual small press fair last month. The Fisher is a beautiful space, and the University of Toronto campus is a fun place to be in September. I had a table beside Will, so we spent most of the day kibbutzing and finalizing details for the calligraphy book. I also caught up with the excellent Shanty Bay Press duo, and met a few Toronto people whose names I knew but had never encountered in person. I even printed a freebie that (sort of) illustrates how books are printed at HM. Best of all, the day before the fair I spent at the Fisher playing with books for the Griffo project, including a couple of early Aldine octavos, and the library's copy of the stunning Paulina de Recta Pasche (1513, with types cut by Griffo). More about Griffo after Will's book is out of the press...