Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted some scans of nineteenth-century wood types by William Page, from the rare specimen book Wm. H. Page & Co. Wood Type of 1872. The designers at the Cary Graphic Arts Press (Rochester Institute of Technology) apparently share my love of Page's colorful woodtypes, for their lovely Wood Type Notecards reproduce some pages from the exceedingly rare Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. of 1874. I don’t imagine I’ll need much of a pretext to send these to my favorite typophiles; I think I’ll save the SIN cards to send to clients who don’t correctly use small caps or smart quotes. —JH

Love Letters from Plum Press

You can always tell when a typeface designer is involved. Some unseen force summoned me across the room to this beautiful set of greeting cards, resplendent in rich stochastic color, and bearing a wonderful assortment of letterforms. The choice of typeface for the letter K was enough to identify their designer as a connoisseur: it’s Sapphire, a rare and underestimated typeface by none other than Hermann Zapf (1953), and one of my personal favorites. The others in the series have their own stories, as I would soon learn from their designer: it’s our very own Sara Soskolne, who designed them for Plum Press.

The P is modeled on a Photo-Lettering face called Johnson Grafin Hedda, and the F and C are adapted from an 1884 set of French signpainter’s specimen sheets titled Modèles de Lettres. In nice counterpoint to the luscious outside, inside each is an inscription set in our own HTF Didot font. The complete collection features eight cards, covering for a range of appropriate occasions; I’m stocking up on the the apology card, K is for Knucklehead, in anticipation of future bad behavior. —JH

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