Archive for July, 2009

36 pt Gill Cameo Ruled

24 July 2009

GillCameoRuledWe bought this fount of 36 pt Gill Cameo Ruled on ebay this week. It’s not the sort of thing we usually go for, but this was irresistible. We don’t have a use for it in mind, but we’re confident that it’ll be just the right thing for a job one day.

Eric Gill, whose name it bears, was a purist – ‘Letters are things, not pictures of things’, ‘A is A and B is B’. We’re curious to know what he made of the many variants of his type face that Monotype released. It’s easy to imagine him condemning them, and just as easy to imagine him justifying them as the inevitable consequence of machine made things.

Gill Cameo Ruled was one of a great number of types sold by Mouldtype Foundry when they were still going. If a fount wasn’t needed they’d sell display sizes (18 pt and above) as individual sorts. We still have a line of 36 pt Pepita bought that way. We only bought type when it was needed for a job in those days, but looking back it’s a shame we didn’t get any Festival Titling. It’s hard to imagine using it very much, but what lovely letters.

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Busy, busy, busy

18 July 2009

There’s a lot going on here at the moment, hence the infrequent blog entries.

Phil has been frantically printing Richard III, the latest in the the Letterpress Shakespeare series for the Folio Society. His attempts to meet the production deadline haven’t been helped by an ink problem. We used to buy a black from Shackell Edwards that was made to our specification. It was wonderfully stiff and dense, and gave a terrific sharp, rich result. SE went out of business earlier in the year, and when we asked another manufacturer, who will remain nameless, to provide a match what they came up with was so thin and runny that we’ve had to reprint five formes.

Our usual practice on the Shakespeare is that Nick imposes the formes and Phil prints them. The impositions don’t take nearly as long as the printing, and in between times Nick has been working with Rosa on the proofing press. They are printing a short extract from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for the Oak Tree Fine Press. It is only 48 pages, but they are all in two colours and there are ten or eleven wood engravings to print from the original blocks too. The type was set on a Mac and made into line blocks, which need careful positioning on the press. To add to the fun, some of the edition is on hand made paper which has very irregular edges, a nightmare for maintaining register.

The job has had its problems and it’s going much slower than we had hoped, but the printing’s looking great.