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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Modern Masters



Frederic W. Goudy (1865–1947). Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1940. Octavo.

Frederic W. Goudy was one of the major American type designers of the twentieth century. He designed some of the most popular types of his time and place, including Goudy Old Style, Deepdene, Forum, and Copperplate Gothic. In addition, Goudy wrote many books and articles on typography and type design. Typologia is a collection of essays by Goudy on various aspects of lettering and bookmaking. They contain Goudy’s personal views on type design and typography. The section on the legibility of type has some interesting observations which are more universally applicable than many of Goudy’s more personal ideas about type design.

In addition, the book is a fine example of Goudy’s talents as a book designer.

PROVENANCE: The Library of the Grolier Club; inscribed by the author to Florence E. Duvall



Stanley Morison (1889–1967). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953. Octavo.

One of the most remarkable things about Stanley Morison is that not only was he a first-rate author of works on typography (more items in this Grolier Hundred are attributed to Morison than any other individual), but he also put his historical knowledge to profound practical use. He was a book designer, historian of type, and director of type design for one of the major type machine companies of the twentieth century, the British Monotype Corporation. The latter was arguably the most enduring aspect of his work.

Each essay in A Tally of Types is set in the typeface under discussion, making it not only an informative account of the evolution of important typefaces, but also something of a type specimen book.

LENDER: The Grolier Club



Jan Tschichold (1902–1974). New York: Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc. [n.d.]. Folio.

Early in his career, Jan Tschichold was a proponent of the extremely radical typographic style – using sans serif typefaces, always in asymmetric arrangements – most often associated with the Bauhaus, though Tschichold was never a member of that school. Sometime in the 1930s, Tschichold made a radical about-face, becoming a resolutely traditional designer working almost exclusively in the classical style. This volume contains a valuable essay on planning a book, together with 58 color plates displaying Tschichold’s work from 1939 to 1949 in his classical style, without an asymmetric layout in sight!

LENDER: Jerry Kelly

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Jack Stauffacher (1920–2017). San Francisco: The Greenwood Press, 1954. Oblong quarto.

Jack Stauffacher was an influential typographer whose career began in his native San Mateo, California. For several years he taught printing at the Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, but he spent most of his working life in San Francisco. Early on he became enamored with the qualities of the series of types designed by Nicolas Kis of Hungary (1650–1702), which were mistakenly attributed to Anton Janson of Leipzig, Germany.

Stauffacher acquired a full range of the types in 1950. This book was printed to display the freshly cast fonts, along with specimens of the Monotype and Linotype versions and a couple of related types. Janson: A Definitive Collection is the first book published in America to correct the misattribution of Kis’ fonts.

LENDER: The Grolier Club



Jan Van Krimpen (1892–1958). New York: The Typophiles, 1957. Duodecimo.

Type designs by the Dutch designer Jan van Krimpen never enjoyed the wide popularity achieved by those of Goudy, Trump, Zapf, or others, but his work has been appreciated by discerning typographers from the start.

Van Krimpen was one of the last type designers to work exclusively with metal type. Others that followed, such as Hermann Zapf and Adrian Frutiger, worked with metal as well as phototype and digital character generation. One wonders what Van Krimpen would have done in the face of such developments, which he probably would have resisted (see A Letter to Philip Hofer on certain problems connected with the mechanical cutting of punches, written in 1955 and published by David R. Godine in 1972).

LENDER: The Grolier Club

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Sohn Pow-key (1922–2010). Seoul: Po Chin Chai Co. Ltd., 1987. Folio.

Moveable type was not invented by Gutenberg; that innovation is attributable to P’i Sheng of China, who used hardened clay letters between 1041 and 1048. Clay was not an ideal substance for printing type, but even cast metal letters were used centuries before Gutenberg. The credit for that major development belongs to Korea. The exact date is not known, but as Early Korean Typography notes we can be fairly certain it was after 1102 and before 1232.

Gutenberg would not have known of the Chinese and Korean use of moveable type, which is a major component of the printing process.

LENDER: Jerry Kelly

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Geoffrey Dowding (1911–1988). Clerkenwell: Wace & Company, 1954. Octavo.

Geoffrey Dowding's teacher, J.H. Mason, had been a compositor at both the Doves and Cranach presses, two of the finest private presses from the early twentieth century. Following the example of William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, the private presses re-established early practices for good typography, such as close word spacing, no extra space after punctuation, leading suitable for the typeface and proportional to the line width, etc., which are delineated in this book.

While this book was not at hand in many type shops, it should have been. For many of those concerned with fine typography it is considered a “must-have.”

LENDER: Jerry Kelly

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John Carter, Frank Francis, Stanley Morison, et al. London: F.W. Bridges & Sons and the Association of British Manufacturers of Printers’ Machinery, 1963. Octavo.

The year 1440 was traditionally considered the year when Gutenberg first began to develop his printing method. To celebrate five hundred years since this momentous event, several British typographers began in the late 1930s to plan an exhibition. However, the world situation was not conducive to the British celebrating the German development of printing from moveable type. Therefore, the books were only exhibited for about two weeks. It would be almost a quarter century later, in 1963, that a couple of larger-scale exhibitions celebrating Gutenberg’s invention would be mounted.

The main exhibition was a stimulating selection of books which influenced the thinking and activities of mankind. A smaller satellite to illustrate the multiplication of literary texts is most pertinent to the subject of One Hundred Books Famous in Typography. Item 178 in the fine printing section is the book on Fra Luca de Pacioli published by the Grolier Club in 1933.

PROVENANCE: John Hayward; Library of the Grolier Club



Stanley Morison (1889–1967). Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1967. Folio.

No book in One Hundred Books Famous in Typography had as long a gestation period as Morison’s work on the Fell types. This exhaustive account of John Fell (1625–86) and the types he procured for the press at Oxford University was commissioned by the University in 1925, but the volume was not published until forty-two years later.

The Fell types themselves are a rather incongruous accumulation, including fonts cut by Garamond, Granjon, Hautlin, Van Dijck, Walpergen, and others; a real hodgepodge. The quality of the Fell fonts varies greatly.

This folio volume was handset in several of the types Fell had acquired. Running to more than 300 folio pages, it is one of the last great monumental letterpress books to be handset; in that regard it is perhaps only rivaled by the folio English translation of Charles Enschedé’s Typefounderies in the Netherlands, printed eleven years later at the Enschedé type foundry in Haarlem.

LENDER: The Grolier Club



Harry Carter (1901–1982). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969. Octavo.

Carter was a type historian and a practitioner of typography and type manufacture. He designed typefaces, cut punches by hand, designed books and ephemera, but Carter is best known for his writings on the history of printing. Nowhere are Carter’s views on printing expressed more completely than in A View of Early Typography. The first line in the book: “Type is something you can pick up and hold in your hand” has achieved something of the status of “Call me Ishmael” among typographers, though it must be said that this statement is no longer true today, and was not completely true when those words were published in 1969.

Harry Carter’s son Matthew became one of the most important type designers of the phototype and digital eras.

LENDER: The Grolier Club



Giovanni Mardersteig (1892–1977). Verona: Editiones Officina Bodoni, 1969. Octavo.

Giovanni Mardersteig is considered by many to be the finest letterpress printer of all time. Mardersteig was also a scholar of calligraphy and typography. He shared his friend Stanley Morison’s admiration for the 1495 roman font cut by Francesco Griffo for Aldus Manutius. And, like Morison, Mardersteig supervised the production of a revival of that roman type: Morison’s Bembo was made for Monotype machine composition, while Mardersteig’s Griffo font was hand cut for hand composition at the Officina Bodoni. Both versions of this seminal Aldine roman are shown in Pietro Bembo & De Aetna.

At the end of the volume is an informative essay by Mardersteig on the 1495 font and early type production in general.

LENDER: Jerry Kelly



John & Rosalind Randle, editors. Andoversford: The Whittington Press, 1981–present. Quarto.

Since Matrix is published (just about) annually, it might best be classified as a periodical. But being a substantial volume of 72 to 272 pages, containing major articles which many publishers would have been glad to have issued as a separate book, this series of volumes, like The Fleuron, deserves consideration in a selection of Books (with a capital B).

Most English language journals of typography have been short-lived, but as of the opening of this exhibition, Matrix has been published continuously, if not quite annually, since 1981, comprising 36 issues to date. 

LENDER: The Grolier Club



Adobe Systems. Mountainview, CA: Adobe Systems Inc., 1980s & 90s. Octavo.

John Warnock and Chuck Geschke were software engineers at Xerox’s legendary PARC computer research laboratory. There the two worked on programs for graphics applications, and with “Postscript” they thought they had developed a good product that had commercial potential, but Xerox would only use it for in-house work, refusing to offer it to commercial printers. Frustrated, they left the firm in 1982 to form their own company in order to market the page description language they were working on. Thus began a new era in digital typography, a revolution that is still being felt today, four decades later.

PROVENANCE: Ex Ponto volume inscribed by the type’s designer, Jovica Veljovič, to Jerry Kelly