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Click Here to View other titles by  graphic design | typography graphic design | typography

Publications on the history of modern typography, trademarks & logotypes, packaging, posters, advertising, signage, commercial art, book design, letterheads, etc., including notable designers and their works in these fields.

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Kelly, Rob Roy, American Wood Type: 1828-1900, New York, Da Capo Press (unabridged republication of first ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1969), 1977, first edition thus, small folio (12" x 9"), SB, paper wraps illustrated in color, VG / none. Light edgewear.

Subtitled: "Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types". 350 pp., including a comprehensive bibliography, index. Profuse b/w illustrations and type specimens throughout.

The author studied design at the Minneapolis School of Art and continued with graduate studies at the Yale School of Art and Architecture under the tutelage of design masters: Josef Albers, Lester Beall, Alexey Brodovitch, Alvin Eisenman, Leo Lionni, Alvin Lustig, and Herbert Matter. Kelly, an impassioned graphic design educator, historian and collector, first published this highly influential text in 1969 after exhaustive research about this previously ignored piece of our graphic design past. Still considered a classic today, it sparked an enthusiastic revival in the usage of these uniquely American typefaces among designers in the 1970's. Herein he "tells the complete story of wood type, beginning with the history of wood type as a printing material, the development of decorated letters and large letters, and the invention of machinery for mass-producing wood letters. The 19th century heydey of wood type is covered in great detail " In seven chapters, he examines styles, individual artisans, and the competition among manufacturers, printers and related trades, as this then "new industry" grew up during the early days of American advertising. Includes an epilogue on the usage of wood type in the 20th century, followed by a large section of 105 full page specimens.

The specimen plates are divided into three families, each carrying a caption (dates and additional details on each typeface gleaned by Kelly):

"Romans", 13 plates;
"Antiques", 53 plates;
"Gothics", 39 plates.

The primary reference on American wood type and an invaluable resource for designers. Increasingly scarce. Highly recommended.    [Book ID # 1986]


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