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Founding Member to Deliver Lieberman Lecture

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.

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