Paragraphs on Printing

Paragraphs on Printing

Paragraphs on Printing

Paragraphs on Printing

Excerpt

It is our American way to set great store by the wonders of the slide-rule, and we and our allies will probably have reason presently to thank our stars that this is so. But this national urge to reduce things to handily working formulas may sometimes result in embarrassments when an unprecise project such as that of this book is afoot; and it is revealing no secret to say that at no time has Mr. Rogers been enthusiastic about the idea. This should be understandable enough, for an artist's thought processes are so vagarious that it is a difficult if not an impossible thing for him to tell just how (or why) he goes about his work. Also there is the question whether it may be entirely fair that, in addition to doing his work, he be asked to explain himself and to give away those little back-stage procedures which, seen in the cold light of day, are likely to appear disillusioning and commonplace.

In the present work, some few rules as to printing practice have been hazarded, but the core of the matter of book design, as of any other art, still remains an intangible and can be approached only by indirection:

And thus do we . . . By indirections find directions out.

Hamlet: II, 1, 65.

We are hearing Bruce Rogers himself talk for a time as he works; and we have some of his finest and most interesting pages spread before us. So we should be able to gather many a hint as to his methods. Above all we can . . .

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