Books and Printing: A Treasury for Typophiles

Books and Printing: A Treasury for Typophiles

Books and Printing: A Treasury for Typophiles

Books and Printing: A Treasury for Typophiles

Excerpt

Labeling these observations "introductory" isn't to confuse the purist. He knows that the terms preface, foreword and introduction become mixed frequently, he doesn't like it and he much prefers retaining the proper distinctions.

"An introduction," he will insist, "should be solely concerned with the subject of the book, and introduce or supplement its text. And the preface or foreword should properly deal with the book's purpose, and define its limitation and scope. Let's keep things that way."

Unfortunately, there isn't one term that covers comment which flows from one division to the other in a miscellany like this. At times--and at the risk of editorial modesty--I may seem something of a typographic barker, singing the praises of certain essays and pointing up different attractions. At others, the text will be supplemented with an explanatory note, or amplified to bring it up to date, as in the Josephy, Ransom and Rushmore articles.

It amounts to an assist in getting back to purpose: that of informing on matters typographic, and on books, their printing and some of the fascinating steps along the way. In selecting material of appeal to the collector, printer, typographer and student, I have not overlooked the professional curiosity of editors and technicians. That's the thinking behind the inclusion of extracts from McKerrow and Mores and Watson, among other scholarly contributions.

Where there was a choice, the preference was for the author with a point of view and the ability to express it interestingly. Four articles indicate this approach. Printing, Paper and Playing Cards, the brilliant survey of Lancelot Hogben, illumines the birth and spread of writing and printing as nothing else I know. Otto Ege's brief account of the development of our alphabet, with its memorable letter-diagrams, has a different, not less valuable appeal, as does Oscar Ogg's comparison of Lettering and Calligraphy, with its specimens of his own distinguished hand. And in "Printers As Men of the World," Evelyn Harter writes of a number of great printers as men of intellect, at home in the world of ideas. Her stimulating . . .

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