In my introduction to my book Tolbert Lanston and the Monotype: The Origin of Digital Typesetting (University of Tampa Press, 2013), I noted that a whole lot of “stuff” was left out of the book intentionally. Paul Moxon has asked me just what that “extra stuff” might be. [Read more]
Matthew McLennan Young began his talk by discussing Jacob Christoph Le Blon’s Coloritto, or, The Harmony of Colouring in Painting (1725). Le Blon invented tricolor printing in the primary colors (blue, red, yellow), occasionally adding black or another color to improve the result. In order to break down the colors into primary components much trial and error was required. Because Le Blon was self-taught, he looked at the printing “accidents” to help guide and refine his methods. [Read more]
Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator at Princeton University, spoke on “Adding Color: The Business of the Stenciller in Twentieth-Century Publishing.” Many scholars do not treat stencil as a printing art and yet pochoir (its French name) was closely involved with producing high quality color for the printing industry. [Read more]
Orbis Typographicus is a letterpress portfolio tour de force that was released in 1980 after ten years of close collaboration between Hermann Zapf in Darmstadt and Philip L. Metzger of the Crabgrass Press in Kansas City. This title offers the reader a typographic world that only Professor Zapf could envision: full of alphabets and aphorisms, all handset and exquisitely printed by Metzger in a multitude of styles that make the reader believe that she is party to some wonderful typographic time travel. [Read more]
The 2014 APHA Awards Committee names Roger Stoddard as the recipient of the Individual Award and David R. Godine, Inc. as the recipient of the institutional award. Both awards are intended to recognize “a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation, or dissemination of printing history, in any specific area or in general terms.”
Stoddard and Godine will speak at the APHA annual meeting to be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 25, 2014. The meeting will return to the Trustee’s Room of the New York Public Library this year.
Jane Rodgers Siegel, rare book librarian at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, gave us a virtual tour of landmarks in her talk “Experiments in Color Printing in the Fifteenth through the Nineteenth Centuries: A Survey.” Printed color was rare in book illustrations until the nineteenth century, when color printing dropped in cost and became widely available. [Read more]
In her concise and well-illustrated talk on early color printing in Germany, L. Elizabeth Upper set a high standard for the speakers who followed her. Upper made her main point early and repeated it throughout the presentation: color printing from woodcuts in Germany in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was more common than previously thought. [Read more]
Why color? For keynote speaker Sarah Lowengard, whose research hangs at the intersection of scientific theories and technological processes in eighteenth century Europe, the answer is in its multiple meanings. Color is both concept and process, and is therefore a significant framework for looking at that modernizing culture’s art, materials, and technology of making. In a similar vein, Lowenberg posited an overarching question about aesthetics, technology, and science: How do we make something beautiful, but lasting? [Read more]
Storyville, a neighborhood in New Orleans, was an infamous red light district mandated by city ordinance in 1897. The area spanned several blocks and represented a way for the authorities to keep an eye on legalized prostitution.
Russell Maret makes letterpress prints that originate from his paintings, which he uses as sketches. His prints maintain a painted look—those subtle transitions in color and shading—through a painstaking process of scanning, drawing separations, preparing negatives and plates, mixing inks, and printing layer upon layer of carefully chosen and expertly registered hues. Maret shared his techniques, developed particularly since 2008 it would seem, when someone said about his muted color map in Mediaeval in Padua, “Nice book, Russell, but use more colors.” [Read more]