Skip to the good stuff!


Founding Member to Deliver Lieberman Lecture

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

Working layouts for a celebratory broadside for J. Ben Lieberman, designed by Herbert Johnson and printed by Pat Taylor, 1978. Gift of Herbert Johnson to RIT Cary Collection, 2014.

Working layouts for a celebratory broadside for J. Ben Lieberman, designed by Herbert Johnson and printed by Pat Taylor, 1978. Gift of H. Johnson to RIT Cary Collection, 2014.


American Printing History Association presents

The Lieberman Lecture

Anatomy of a Type Design: Centaur by Bruce Rogers*

By Herbert H. Johnson
*And a Footnote on Its Erstwhile Companion, Arrighi by Frederic Warde
Monday, November 17, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester, New York

Bruce Rogers (1870–1957), was a typographic adviser and book designer for such renowned printing establishments and publishing houses as The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Printing House of William Edwin Rudge, Mount Vernon, New York; and  the Harvard University Press. In England, Rogers was associated with both Cambridge and Oxford University Presses. His reputation as the leading American book typographer of the first half of the 20th century remains unchallenged. 

Bruce Rogers’ elegant Centaur typeface, based on Nicolas Jenson’s roman type of 1470, is considered by many to be one of the most perfect typefaces ever designed. Please join Herbert H. Johnson, the American Printing History Association’s 26th Lieberman Lecturer, as he traces the history of Centaur’s design origins and its connection to the italic typeface, Arrighi designed by Frederic Warde. Professor Johnson will also share details of how an irreplaceable suite of original Centaur and Arrighi artifacts were acquired by RIT’s Cary Collection.

Herbert H. Johnson is the leading authority on the work of Bruce Rogers, and has examined nearly every one of BR’s prolific output of collectible books. Professor Johnson, an alumnus of RIT’s School of Printing, worked early in his career in New York and abroad as a book designer and director of design and production at Alfred A. Knopf, Macmillan, and Teacher’s College Press. He was a founding member of the American Printing History Association in 1974. In 1978 Professor Johnson returned to his alma mater as the third Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Professor, and to teach courses in book design, typography, and book publishing. For the next five years, he was instrumental in acquiring landmark holdings for the Cary Graphic Arts Collection. Johnson has published many books and articles and continues an active life in printing history as a collector and lecturer.

The annual Lieberman Lecture commemorates Dr. J. Ben Lieberman (1914–1984), founding president of the American Printing History Association. The lecture is given at a different institution each year by a person distinguished in the history of printing or the book arts.

Conference Reporters Needed


The upcoming APHA/Friends of Dard Hunter conference is nearly filled to capacity. As was done for the 2013 conference, this website will recap the presentations, demos, and tours. But we need your help: just summarize an event in about two hundred words. The editor is coordinating assignments to make sure that all events are covered. Please see the program and sign up now.

Printing the Conference Program

Grendl Lofkvist

Inkworks Printing

Grendl Löfkvist operating the Presstek 34 DI-X at Inkworks Press. Photo by Scott Braley.

Members of APHA and the Friends of Dard Hunter, will soon receive by mail, the program for the upcoming conference in San Francisco. It was printed on a Presstek 34 DI-X four-color waterless offset press at Inkworks Press. On this high-tech machine, plates are imaged directly on press using lasers, bypassing film entirely. The press can produce up to 300 lpi and stochastic screening in perfect register. [Read more]

Festoons of Fancy


Via the contact form:

I have a printing plate from the title page of Festoons of Fancy, William Littell, 1814, Louisville, Ky. I have been told that the title page would have been typeset and not printed from a plate. Have researched endlessly on line with very little success. Can it be determined by looking at the book which printing method was used? Thank you in advance for your time and any insight you can provide. See image. [Read more]

Nominations Needed


APHA annually makes two awards, one to an individual and one to an institution, as a way of recognizing “a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation or dissemination of printing history, in any specific area or in general terms.” The 2015 Awards Committee, comprising Amanda Nelsen, Kathleen Walkup, and Michael Thompson (chair), is now accepting nominations for these awards. [Read more]

Postcard from Printers’ Row

Paul Moxon

Andrew Franklin Wanner (1855–1935) was a central figure on Chicago’s printers row. Letterpress printers might know his company as the original maker of Poco and Potter proof presses. It was also one of the earliest selling agents for Vandercook, the most sought after brand of proof press today. [Read more]

Conference Registration is Open

Sara T. Sauers


Paper on the Press, APHA’s Joint Annual 2014 Conference with the Friends of Dard Hunter is now accepting registration. Paper on the Press has something for you! From hand-made to machine-made to digital, from industry to education to the arts, we hope you will join us in examining the historical and contemporary ties that connect paper and press. Presentations, demonstrations, exhibitions, excursions, camaraderie, San Francisco, and Oakland all await you. Program information and registration are now available.

ISO: William S. Dorr, NYC printer ca. 1833


Via the contact form:

I am writing my dissertation on the printing enterprise of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1833-1840, and am trying to find information on one of the printers it used by the name of William S. Dorr. Do you know of any archives or sources in New York City that might have information on Dorr or the printing industry in New York City in the 1830s? Thanks, Paula Hunt.

Anglo-American Coöperation

Robert McCamant

I’m pleased to announce that APHA and the Printing Historical Society of the UK have agreed to start offering reciprocal benefits to our memberships.

APHA members can attend most PHS events and purchase some PHS publications at the member price. PHS members will be invited to do the same with APHA events.

As it happens, PHS is about to stage a sizeable conference in honor of their 50th anniversary. It’s to be November 13 and 14 in London, and has an impressive array of speakers on a variety of topics. As an APHA member, you are entitled to attend at the rate of £95 (about $162 at today’s rates). The list of speakers and a link to an online registration page can be found here.

Current paid-up APHA members should have received the discount registration code in their email. If you’re not paid up, there’s no better time than the present to fix that.

We’re happy that we’re going to have a blockbuster fall conference in San Francisco October 16-18 as an enticement for PHS members to visit us.

—Bob McCamant, APHA President

Navigating Print Identification with Graphics Atlas

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

A postcard showing chromolithograph color overlaid with a letterpress halftone under varying magnification, as shown in Graphics Atlas.

A postcard showing chromolithograph color overlaid with a letterpress halftone under varying magnification, as shown in Graphics Atlas.

Admit it: you are among the special set of people, like me, who carry around a loupe to examine dot structure on demand. If so, the Graphics Atlas will become your new favorite web haunt for educational reading and pure delight. [Read more]