The Art & Practice of Typography

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The Art & Practice of  Typography – DIGITAL
A Manual of American Printing, Including a Brief History up to the Twentieth Century, with Reproductions of the Work of Early Masters of the Craft, and a Practical Discussion and an Extensive Demonstration of the Modern Use of Type-faces and Methods of Arrangement.

Organizador(es): Gress, Edmund G. Gress
Ano: 1917, 2ª edição
Número de Páginas: 336

In the preface to the first edition of “The Art and Practice of Typography,” the author stated that he did not “anticipate again having the pleasure of producing a book as elaborate as this one,” but the favor with which the volume was received made another edition advisable, and in consequence he has had the additional pleasure of enlarging and revising it and of producing a volume even more elaborate and with a better selection of examples.

The task of rewriting and replanning the second edition was near completion when America entered the war against Germany, and now, a few months later, the book is presented to the public. The first edition was published in February, 1910. Work on the new edition was begun by the author in the latter part of 1913, and so great has been the task, in addition to his customary editorial labors, that almost four years have passed.

The extent of the work will be comprehended when it is mentioned that there are twenty-eight chapters, in which the illustrations or typographic arrangements, numbering six hundred and fifteen, include forty full-page specially-printed inserts. Most of these illustrations or typographic arrangements are in color. The text matter, which makes direct reference to the examples, totals nearly one hundred thousand words.

That these examples are mostly high-class and by many of the best typographers in America (Europe also being represented), is due to the fact that the author during his connection with The American Printer has received several thousand pieces of printing, from which selections were made for this work.

Great care was exercised in the choice of examples in order that the book would not become obsolete, and it is believed that most of the type arrangements shown will be considered good for a hundred years to come. That this is possible is proved by the Whittingham titles on page 32, one of which is sixty-eight and the other seventy-three years old at this writing. These titles were set up when most typography was poor, yet few other type arrangements of that time would meet approval today; which indicates that it is not when printing is done, but how it is done that makes it good or bad.

Attention should be called to the plan of this volume. There are two parts, the first having to do with typography of the past and the second with typography of the present. Good printing of the present has a basic connection with that of the past, and for this reason one part is incomplete without the other.

The entire first part should be studied before any of the ideas in the second part are applied to present-day problems, and especially should the chapter on Type-Faces be patiently read and studied. The printer should first know type-faces and then learn how to use them.

In the chapters on Harmony, Tone, Proportion, Ornamentation and other art principles the author does not intend to advocate that his readers shall make pictures with type or build pages that are merely beautiful. The first requirement of typography is that it shall be easy to read; the second is that it shall be good to look at. The efficient typographer studies the copy and arranges it so that the reader’s task is an easy and pleasant one.

In planning the second edition the general style of the first edition was retained. However, an effort was made to change the style, especially of the binding, but so satisfactory was the original that it was again adopted.

The historical chapters in the first part have been revised and slightly altered, but they are practically as before. Extensive changes have been made in the second part. The text has been thoroly revised, and better typographic examples substituted in many cases. These chapters especially have been greatly altered: Booklets, Catalogs, Announcements, Letterheads, Billheads, Business Cards, Posters, Advertisements, Imprints.

The chapter on Type-Faces is all new and has been enlarged from ten to twenty-four pages. New chapters on the following subjects have been added: Package Labels, Blotters, Newspapers, Periodicals, House-Organs. In place of the medley of contest specimens in the appendix of the first edition, there are halftone reproductions of more than one hundred attractive holiday greetings.

No one realizes more than does the author the minor defects in typography, presswork and other details that viiiare present in this volume, yet the effort of a Hercules and the patience of a Job have been expended in making everything as correct as possible. As the book now stands, it is a reaching after the ideal, with human inability to attain perfection. It is needless to point out imperfections; the reader will discover them.

In his selection of examples and recommendation of type-faces the author has been entirely free from pressure from any source. If certain type-faces are favored, it is because the author believes he is doing something for the cause of good printing by favoring them. What has been written has been written with sincerity.

It is well to mention that the “Pilgrim’s Progress” title on page 21 is not genuine. Having seen the book on exhibition at the New York Public Library, the author arranged to have it photographed and included in this work. The sequel to this is interesting and rather humorous. When the chapter on Type-Faces was being written and Caslon types were being studied, the author was startled to find that the types used on the “Pilgrim’s Progress” page were the same as those William Caslon was supposed to have designed forty-four years later. Greatly puzzled, the author made a trip to the library and examined the original. He immediately saw that the type-face used on the body of the book differed from that on the title. Discovering a note on the fly-leaf signed by William Pickering, the explanation dawned on him. The book was probably owned by Pickering in the middle of the last century and the title-page being missing a new one was set up, printed and inserted when the book was rebound. It was Whittingham, Pickering’s printer, who revived the Caslon types about that time, and he naturally used these types as the nearest approach to the English types of the period, 1678, when “Pilgrim’s Progress” was first published.

It is impossible to mention by name all of those who have in one way or another assisted and encouraged the author in the production of this volume. A list of acknowledgments would include typographers of international note and typographers-to-be whose prentice hands need guidance. It would include office associates and those of the workrooms whose interest and attention to technical details helped much in the effort to make the work worthy.

There is one, however, were such a list printed, whose name would lead all the rest, the man who, back in 1903, conceived the idea of this book; without whose business support this elaborate and costly work would have been impossible; whose ideals have been an inspiration; whose confidence and encouragement generated the energy and enthusiasm that have attended the author during the fourteen years in which this work has been building. It is a privilege to pay this tribute to John Clyde Oswald.

Edmund G. Gress.
New York, July, 1917.




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