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Logo Meaning Revealed!



Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s APHA conference at the Huntington. In the months and days leading up to it, we represented the theme, The Black Art & Printers’ Devils: The Magic, Mysticism, and Wonders of Printing History, with a logotype that individuals always asked about. Did it have something to do with Prince? Aleister Crowley? International currency? 

The symbol represents metal type and combines historical chemical symbols for lead, antimony, and tin. The individual symbols are drawn in proportion to the components of type metal, but the proportions are those for foundry type (54% lead, 20% antimony, 18% tin [these proportions are variable as John Risseeuw explained in his presentation—the recap will be posted soon]). The proportions are also represented by the area of the object in Adobe Illustrator. These particular symbols were designed by Rudolf Koch and first published in 1926 in Das Zeichenbuch, later in English as Book of Signs and our designer, Barbara Hauser, used Koch Signs 4, a digital font from P22 Type Foundry. The symbol for tin has started to melt into the symbol for lead, whereas the symbol for antimony is still represented in its entirety. Tin has a lower melting point than antimony.

Our congratulations to Pamela Barrie, Christian Haunton, and Grendl Löfkvist for submitting the most correct and thorough answers.


During the next few weeks, the appearance of this logo will indicate articles that recap conference events.


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