Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On Helvetica, by Andrew Hoyem, for the Los Angeles Times

The Grabhorn Institute recently sponsored a showing of the film Helvetica, which played to an overflow crowd. Arion Press publisher Andrew Hoyem opened the showing by reading from his essay on Helvetica, written for the Los Angeles Times. The text of the essay follows.

How we love to celebrate anniversaries! Two years ago it was Albert Einstein, for the centenary of the Theory of Relativity. Last year it was Samuel Beckett’s hundredth birthday, and performances of Waiting for Godot abounded. In 2007 it is fifty years since the publication of Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, and it is fifty years since the introduction of a typeface called Helvetica. Amazing! A type of type, an alphabet of a certain style used for printing, is being celebrated for turning a half-century old with an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a documentary film by Gary Hustwit, and lots of attention in the press.

How to account for all this attention being paid to letterforms? Going back to Gutenberg, types that were cast in lead, if they survived, were mere adolescents at the age of fifty. Classic typefaces still in use today, such as Caslon (English), and Bodoni (Italian), date back to the eighteenth century, and Garamond (French) to the sixteenth. Why should an upstart rate so many cakes and candles?

When Jack Kerouac typed out his manuscript of On the Road, he wrote with a typewriter, using a roll of teletype paper, so that in his frenzy of inspiration he would not have to stop. The text of the “Scroll Version”, which differs from the novel as issued, will be published in this anniversary year.

Typewriters use raised steel letters on arms, much like lead type, that strike through an inked ribbon to leave the character printed on paper. Kerouac’s typewriter used a simplified face, letters with strokes of uniform thickness and uniform width, so that the narrow “i” took up the same space as the wide “M”. The letters had serifs, the horizontal strokes at the ends of letters that aid in character recognition and, incidentally, make the clumsy spacing of typewriter type somewhat less objectionable.

Fifty years ago, readers could tell the difference between a typewritten letter or manuscript and the type printed in books, magazines, and newspapers, because the letterforms in printing had strokes that varied from thin to thick and the individual letters varied in width from “i” to “M”. But beyond that, very few people would have noticed any differences among the printing types they read.

In 1957, when Helvetica was introduced, the general public took no notice. The type was not an original design. Max Miedinger (1910-1980), a freelance designer who had been an employee of the Haas Type Foundry in Munchenstein, Switzerland, was commissioned by its director Edouard Hoffman to redesign an earlier typeface called Haas Grotesk. It is a sans-serif font, that is, a type without expanding terminations to the strokes that establish the basic form of letters. You might think of sans-serif types as skeletons of letterforms, without flesh or clothing.

A German type named Akzidenz Grotesk was enjoying success in the 1950s, so Haas decided to develop a competitor. Miedinger redesigned a type that itself was a redesign, based on Scheltersche Grotesk from another typefoundry, Schelter & Giesecke in Leipzig. The “new” type was named Neue Haas Grotesk, not Helvetica. That name was attached in 1960 when Stempel and Linotype of Frankfurt had taken over the type and wanted a moniker that would have international appeal. Helvetica refers to Helvetia, the Latin name for Switzerland.

Swiss design was then in its ascendancy. Spare, programmatic, asymmetrical, based on grid systems, and often employing sans-serif types, the style has had worldwide influence. Twenty years earlier, in 1937, the type historian D. B. Updike wrote, “At present asymmetric tendencies seem to be in vogue; based, perhaps, on the leaning tower of Pisa which, to those who ascend it, produces that acute sensation of motion which we are told is desirable in modern typography.” This is from Updike’s introduction to the second edition of his great two volume study of types He purposely avoided discussion of the serif-less varieties.

What works for road signs doesn’t necessarily work for On the Road or any extended reading. Billboards, headlines, advertisements, short statements, on paper or the glowing screen, can benefit from the stripped-down geometric effects of sans-serif types like Helvetica. But most of the words we read are set in type with serifs, long known to be far more pleasant to look at and quick to comprehend. Those few sans-serif types that are relatively readable in text, such as Gill Sans, have a shapeliness shared with classic faces, or swellings at the ends of strokes that are vestigial serifs, as in Zapf’s Optima. Even bones tend to have knobs at their ends.

The type critic Andrew Crewdson has written that Helvetica is “intrinsically unremarkable. Helvetica appeared at the right time, was marketed effectively, became fashionable, was widely copied and adapted by various typesetting equipment manufacturers, and because of the ubiquity it acquired, fell into the role of the western world’s default sans-serif. Some typeface had to occupy this place, but there were no good reasons why it should have been Helvetica.” Another type, also produced in 1957, is a better candidate: Univers designed by Adrian Frutiger for the type foundry of Deberny & Peignot in Paris. Discerning typographers admire Univers but it had not the universality of use that Helvetica has to this day.

Helvetica was adopted by Apple for its Macintosh computer systems in 1984. Because most of us now use computers, we have become our own printers and publishers, and we have grown typographically literate. We are aware of Helvetica and Times as names of types with very different characteristics. The Museum of Modern Art may claim Helvetica to be “the official typeface of the twentieth century”, but I’d say it was Times, developed by Stanley Morison with Starling Burgess and Victor Lardent for the London newspaper in 1931.

Regardless, the hullabaloo about Helvetica is occasion to celebrate. The populace is considerably more cultivated about type than it was fifty years ago, and that is a good sign.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Artists celebrate Kiki Smith's Sampler in New York


A rousing gathering of Arion Press artists and friends honored Kiki Smith on November 3, during the Press’s yearly stint at the IFPDA Print Fair at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. The event marked the release of the book Sampler, with 200 poems by Emily Dickinson and more than 200 images by Kiki Smith (shown in photo above with the book). The title Sampler refers to a sampling from Emily Dickinson’s more than 1,700 poems, as well as Kiki Smith’s inspiration in embroidered samplers.

Artist Kara Walker and William Matson Roth

Kiki Smith was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Arion Press during the print fair. Kara Walker, woman of the hour with her retrospective at the Whitney, was one of the first to arrive at Le Refuge restaurant in the east 80s, to be greeted by her friend Arthur Danto, The Nation art critic and contributor to many Arion publications. Kara and Kiki held forth at one end of the table, mesmerizing collector William Matson Roth. His ties to the Press go all the way back to his partnership in the Colt Press with the famously witty Jane Grabhorn in the 1930s. Joan Roth was entertained by sculptors Mel Kendrick (Kora in Hell) and John Newman, along with architect Ross Anderson (Journey Round My Room) and New Yorker artist Barbara Westman. Joining in were novelist Susanna Moore and subscribers Myron and Esther Luria.

That afternoon, Kiki Smith was busy showing Sampler to visitors at the Arion stand at the Print Fair, among them New York subscriber Neal Rosen. Sculptor Martin Puryear dropped by the stand, where one of his woodcut prints for the Arion Cane was on display. Puryear was congratulated all round on his opening at MOMA, as was the retrospective's curator, John Elderfield, who visited with Jeanne Collins, a transplanted San Franciscan.

Sculptors Martin Puryear and John Newman with Andrew Hoyem
and Diana Ketcham at the Print Fair in New York.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

News of the Grabhorn Institute

The Grabhorn Institute is the nonprofit arm of Arion Press, engaged in education and preservation efforts. Our programs include a lecture series, exhibitions, tours of the production facility, and apprenticeships in typecasting, letterpress printing, and book binding. Here is the 2007 Report Letter to supporters summarizing some of the institute's many recent activities.

There is much to report since we last wrote to you with news of the Grabhorn Institute. Our lectures, exhibitions, tours, and other educational programs have flourished, with special groups added to the regular weekly tours of our production facility. Aiding our public outreach is an e-mail newsletter and journal, launched in March with the help of new staff members.

We participated in the successful US/ICOMOS conference of 200 international preservations held at the Presidio. In a letter of thanks, Presidio Trust Director Craig Middleton wrote, “a number of the participants in your tour felt that visiting the Press was the highlight of their visit to San Francisco.” At the time of February’s CODEX Foundation Book Fair in Berkeley, we hosted visitors from England, Italy, and Germany. Closer to home, we conducted a special tour for 40 from Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center.

In the Grabhorn Institute Lecture and Exhibition Series, now in its sixth year, our exhibition “Embroidered Bookbindings” drew an enthusiastic audience of more than 500, with four sessions devoted to demonstrating bookbinding techniques. The show received coverage on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle arts section from writer Heidi Benson.

Another high point of the Series was award-winning author Adam Hochschild’s illustrated talk on the heroic printers and publishers of the British abolition movement, “Twelve Men in a Print Shop”. We held our program on May 17 to celebrate the May 17, 1757 meeting of London printers that led to the outlawing of the British slave trade by Parliament in 1807, an anniversary celebrated around the world this year. Our co-sponsors were the English-Speaking Union, the Book Club of California, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The training of apprentices and young staff was enhanced by travel opportunities. We sent bookbinding apprentice Stephanie Heaney to a summer session at the University of Virginia Rare Book School. Graduate apprentice Kenneth Howard received a week of instruction with Rich Hopkins in Terra Alta, West Virginia, on the use of our newly acquired Monotype Supercaster. One of only a half-dozen in this country, our machine is capable of making up to 72 point type. Howard, who is being trained in typecasting by 76 year-old Lewis Mitchell, was also the subject of a 30-minute vodcast on his typesetting in metal of the credits of the new Daniel Day-Lewis film There Will Be Blood and will attend the film’s Hollywood premiere this month.

Executive Director Andrew Hoyem was honored with the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Northern California Book Reviewers Association. This year Hoyem continued to lecture widely, addressing, among others, groups in Lexington Kentucky, Wilmington, Delaware, and at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, where an exhibition of Arion Press books and prints was held in February.

Artist John Baldessari was the honored guest at the Grabhorn Institute’s annual Spring Benefit Dinner, joining such past honorees as Wayne Thiebaud and Martin Puryear, whose retrospective at the MOMA opened this month to enthusiastic reviews. The Folio donor group celebrated its third year with a talk by Stanford University historian Peter Stansky on Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press. Other fund-raising efforts led to our second grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

It was a year marked by distinguished visitors: John Stubbs from the World Monuments Fund stopped by, as did writers Tobias Wolff, Robert Alter, Lady Vaizey, David Thomson, and Diane Johnson, artists Kiki Smith, Bob Bechtle, and William Hamilton, and film producers Todd Black (The Pursuit of Happyness) and Lynda Myles (The Commitments).

Keep in mind that our weekly tour of the typefoundry, pressroom, and bindery is Thursdays at 3:00. We encourage special tours for schools, alumni groups, and book clubs.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

God's Printer: Arion Press Folio Bible video from CBS Sunday Morning



This 8 minute video segment from CBS Sunday Morning shows the making of the last Bible to be printed by letterpress in the Gutenberg tradition from hot metal type, crafted by hand in a small workshop in San Francisco. The video shows each step in the making of the Bible, starting in the historic Monotype foundry of Mackenzie and Harris, and also features the cylinder press in operation, the calligraphic illumination process, and the hand sewing of books in the bindery.

The video features interviews with Andrew Hoyem and other Arion Press craftsmen, as well as type designer Sumner Stone and calligrapher Thomas Ingmire.

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Bay Area Backroads visits the Presidio


KRON-TV's Bay Area Backroads show visited the Presidio of San Francisco recently. The 20-minute program included a very brief stop in Arion Press's M & H Type foundry. The video gives a nice overview of the Presidio's history, archaeology, current developments, as well as visits to four restaurants located on the grounds of Presidio, which you may find interesting if you are planning to visit the Presidio to take a tour of Arion Press or visit our gallery.

View the Presidio video on Bay Area Backroads (note: the brief video of the M & H Type foundry is in the segment labelled "The Presidio" in the video player window).

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Emily Dickinson book on press with Twinrocker handmade paper

From left to right, Jerry Reddan, Andrew Hoyem, Kenny Howard, and Blake Riley check proofs and press settings as sheets are printed for Arion's forthcoming Emily Dickinson collection, being printed in two colors with artwork by Kiki Smith.


Jerry Reddan loading Twinrocker handmade paper into the press for the Emily Dickinson book.


Jerry Reddan at the Miller press as sheets for the Emily Dickinson book are being printed.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kenny Howard on film titles and typecasting



Photographer Lucy Gray recently interviewed Kenny Howard from
M & H Type about his work on film titles. He also discussed typecasting (the non-Hollywood variety). The 34-minute slide-show/podcast is part of a series called "Lucy Talks Movies" on Podtech.net, and it includes numerous photos of the M & H typefoundry and the Arion pressroom and letterpress facilities. Here's how Lucy introduced the "vodcast":

"Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Thomas Anderson have made a new movie called There Will Be Blood, based on the Upton Sinclair novel, Oil. After seeing a special edition of Moby Dick, made by Arion Press, they called the San Francisco publisher of fine art edition books to make the title sequence for the film. Kenny Howard responded."

Kenny Howard portrait
Kenny Howard holding a film title proof; portrait photo by Lucy Gray.

Download Vodcast: MP4 VideoVideo iPod Optimized VideoiPod

Related Arion Press podcasts
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Illustrated Talk on RR Donnelley Sept. 10th

The Grabhorn Institute Lecture Series is presenting an illustrated talk by Kim Coventry: “Printing for the Modern Age: Commerce, Craft, and Culture from the Presses of RR Donnelley.” The talk takes place September 10, 2007, at 6 p.m.

Illustrated with materials from the RR Donnelley archive, this talk will explore the company's role from its founding in Chicago in 1864 to the 1980s with an emphasis on the 1920s–1950s, at which point it was arguably the largest printer in the world. Among the many topics will be the history of the company's 1930 Rockwell Kent-illustrated edtion of Moby Dick, considered one of the definitive illustrated editions.

The event is preceded by a reception at 5 p.m. R.S.V.P.: 415-668-2548 or grabhorn@arionpress.com. Please respond if you are planning to attend the reception and talk. This lecture is supported by the Book Club of California and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kim Coventry served as a curatorial consultant at RR Donnelley for 16 years, during which time she organized the company's archive and oversaw its transfer (in 2006) to the University of Chicago, where an exhibition of the Donnelley materials, including photographs, books, and graphic arts, was held at the Library in 2006.

In the 1930s, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company launched a promotional campaign to position itself as a printer for a then-growing mass market book trade. To attract the attention of book publishers and to prove that high quality books could be printed in America by a large commercial printer, R.R. Donnelley embarked on a rare publishing venture, referred to as "The Four American Books" project.

The books were to be "American" in every way—authors, illustrators, typefaces and even paper were all of American origin. "The type will be set by machine, the paper made by machine, and the book printed in the regular book pressroom in the ordinary way on cylinder presses," stated the pre-publication prospectus.

One criteria for selection was that the literary works considered could not have been illustrated previously. Four well-known artists were each given a list of books from which to chose; each was then commissioned to undertake the design and original illustration of a single title. Rockwell Kent selected Moby Dick, W.A. Dwiggins selected Poe's Tales, Edward A. Wilson selected Two Years Before the Mast, and Rudolph Ruzicka selected Walden. Every small detail—the choice of paper, typeface, ink, binding materials, and in one case the design of the wrapping paper and mailing label—was included in the planning of this project.

The campaign had the desired result. Of the limited editions of 1,000 copies published, nearly all were sold. Moreover, the project exerted an influence over the way books were published for several decades. The Lakeside Press's three-volume Moby Dick was, for many decades, regarded as the definitive edition of Melville's great work. Most importantly, the project expanded R.R. Donnelley's client base among book publishers.
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Exhibition of RR Donnelley's Four American Books

In 1926, the nation’s largest printer, RR Donelley in Chicago, started planning a series of literary classics to be designed and illustrated by the best American practitioners of the day, producing: Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s Two Years Before the Mast, designed by Edward A. Wilson, Thoreau’s Walden, designed by Rudolph Ruzicka, Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales, designed by W. A. Dwiggins, and Melville’s Moby-Dick, illustrated by Rockwell Kent. Known as the “Four American Books,” these were intended to prove that American book design and printing equaled that of Europe. The four books are on display in the Arion Press gallery on September 10, 2007 for the talk by Kim Coventry.

Herman Melville
Moby Dick, Or the Whale, 1930
Chicago: The Lakeside Press
Illustrated by Rockwell Kent

Kent himself described his book as "the most beautiful book ever published in America." Professor Claire Badaracco writes, "Kent's work was successful not solely because of his reputation as an artist but also because of the aesthetics of the text of Moby Dick itself. Melville's book is a philosophical story told in Old Testament dimensions . . . The whale that sound the ocean's depths is depicted by Rockwell Kent against stars in a pitch black sky."

Both Moby Dick and Walden were recognized for superior design by the Fifty Books of the Year competition in 1931.

Herman Melville
Moby Dick, Or the Whale, 1930
New York: Random House
Illustrated by Rockwell Kent

When Rockwell Kent submitted his drawings for Moby Dick, it was evident that this book was destined for success. It was quickly decided that a one-volume pocket-size trade edition of Moby Dick should be published in addition to the three-volume collector’s edition. Random House was selected as the publisher and the printing was done by R.R. Donnelley. Ten thousand copies were distributed through the Book-of-the Month Club. Many other editions of Donnelley’s illustrated Moby Dick have been issued over the last sixty years. It is still in print and requests for use of Kent’s drawings continue to be received.

Edgar Allen Poe
Tales, 1930
Chicago: The Lakeside Press
Illustrated by W. A. Dwiggins

There were several obstacles in publishing Poe’s Tales. It took nearly a year for R.R. Donnelley to select the 1840 edition as the one to publish. Dwiggins also found his task daunting, “I knew that it was foolish to try to ornament Poe. Nobody could hope to make pictures rich enough in weave to stand up beside the intricate embroidery of the text.” Indeed, Kittredge had a difficult time getting Dwiggins to finish his illustrations. Dwiggins wrote to Kittredge about the delay, complaining about the “jungle of damn little hurry up jobs,” but stating, “The Poe racket is the thing I am keenest about.”

Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea, 1930
Chicago: The Lakeside Press
Illustrated by Edward A. Wilson

The binding materials used for this book were most unusual. The blue cloth was purchased from Lord & Taylor in New York City. The cloth on the backbone, a natural linen, was purchased from Marshall Field & Company in Chicago. As these were not materials customarily used in book binding, it required special attention from the R.R. Donnelley bindery to prepare the cloth so it would take gold leaf stamping.

Henry David Thoreau
Walden: Or Life in the Woods, 1930
Chicago: The Lakeside Press
Illustrated by Rudolph Ruzicka

Rudolph Ruzicka, a native of Chicago, was an experienced book designer who had worked for R.R. Donnelley on several projects before the Four American Books commission. R.R. Donnelley arranged for a house for Ruzicka in Concord, Massachusetts during the summer of 1929, so he could be near Walden Pond while completing the illustrations.
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Jerry Reddan and Tangram


An exhibition of Jerry Reddan's Tangram private press is on display through September 7, 2007 in the Arion Press gallery. The exhibition is titled "Pj’s on the Qt: selected Tangrams / more pieces to the puzzle". At a recent opening reception, Jerry explained the significance of the first part of that title, noting that "pj's" refers to "personal jobs" done in the foundry and pressroom "on the q.t.", a playful reference to the way these publications were created after hours over the years. Following is a short essay about Tangram written by Andrew Hoyem for the exhibition.

Jerry Reddan and his Tangram Press

Gerald Reddan is the master printer at Arion Press, where he has been employed since 1977, thirty years in September 2007. He started with Moby-Dick, helping with hand composition of that 600-page novel. Reddan has been responsible for typography and presswork on such projects as: Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Ulysses by James Joyce, Poems of W. B. Yeats, The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, Cane by Jean Toomer, and The Holy Bible.

In addition to his full-time work as a printer, Jerry has been very active with his private press, producing a long list of literary pieces, mainly poetry, written by accomplished friends and well-known writers who earned his admiration. Using the facilities of Arion Press on his own time, he has published books, broadsides, and other ephemera, since 1987 under the Tangram imprint, but also dating back to his beginnings as a printer.

After service in the U. S. Navy, Jerry Reddan attended Humboldt State College. In 1972 he returned to Humboldt County to find work in a print shop. He began in the bindery at Eureka Printing Company, owned by Jerry Carter, and trained on small offset presses, first a Chief 15, then a Solna 125. While there he printed by offset Ralph Nelson’s translation of the Mayan Popol Vuh, with design and production by Barbara Llewellyn, and learned to use letterpress equipment to print broadsides.

In 1975-76, Reddan served a year’s apprenticeship with Wesley Tanner at Arif Press in Berkeley. In 1976-77 he worked at Adrian Wilson’s Press in Tuscany Alley in San Francisco on Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. He did some personal projects while at these notable presses. When he came to Arion Press on Commercial Street in San Francisco, Jerry continued his private printing before and after hours and on weekends.

This exhibition celebrates Tangram, named for a Chinese puzzle of seven pieces (five triangles, one square, and a rhomboid) that can be arranged into a square. The first Tangram imprint was “The Tunnel”, a poem by Jim Dodge dedicated to Jack Spicer, in 1987. In 1988 he began a yearly Winter Solstice greeting with Dodge. The first Tangram chapbook was by Dodge and the second by Jerry Martien, both Humboldt County writers. Since then, as he says, publications have popped up like mushrooms in the redwoods.

Tangrams are precious in the nicest possible ways. They are modest but exquisite editorially and typographically, perfect in presswork, choice of paper and binding materials. Some special bindings have been done by Peggy Gotthold, for many years a colleague at Arion Press. The editions are limited to very few copies, generally no more than one hundred fifty. Tangram is truly a private press, nearly a secret, the personal expression of a discerning reader and a great craftsman. To the extent Tangram is public, some copies are offered to the world by rare book dealers. Fortunate are they who have Tangrams on their shelves or can see a selection of them as in this exhibition.
—Andrew Hoyem

AUTHORS AND ARTISTS

Authors: Keith Abbott, John Brandi, Clifford Burke, Julia Connor, Cid Corman, Michael Daley, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Jim Dodge, Jonathan Greene, Michael Hannon, C. G. Hanzlicek, Ben Howard, Denise Levertov, Barry Lopez, Jerry Martien, Michael McClure, Tim McNulty, Robert Mezey, Hilda Morley, Ed Munn, Gary Paul Nabhan, Ralph Nelson, Pat Nolan, Mike O’Connor, Bill Ransom, Kate Reavey, M. C. Richards, Pattiiann Rogers, John Ross, Steve Sanfield, Andrew Schelling, Will Staple, Joseph Stroud, Robert Sund, Janine Volkmar, Finn Wilcox.

Artists: John Brandi, Lo Ch’ing, Monica Dengo, Amy Evans, Peggy Gotthold, Morris Graves, Charles Hobson, Douglas Holmes, Thomas Ingmire, Robert Sund, William T. Wiley.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Pj’s on the Qt: selected Tangrams / more pieces to the puzzle, exhibition, August 15 through September 7, 2007, Arion Press gallery in the Presidio of San Francisco, sponsored by the Grabhorn Institute with support from The Book Club of California and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tours of the typefoundry, pressroom, bindery, and gallery

Public demonstration tours of the historic printing and bookmaking facilities of Arion Press and the typefoundry of M & H Type are held Thursday afternoons at 3:00 and last approximately one hour. Tours of the production facility are conducted by craftspeople trained in typecasting, hand composition, letterpress printing, and bookbinding. There is a charge of $7.00 per person and reservations are required. The tours are sponsored by the Grabhorn Institute. For reservations call the Grabhorn Institute at (415) 668-2548 or e-mail grabhorn@arionpress.com.

School group touring the bindery.

School classes and groups of children 10 and over are welcomed to see how books are made from start to finish in the old fashioned way. Special arrangements for classes and alumni groups are also available.

Tour group in the typefoundry.

Publisher Andrew Hoyem with a possible future apprentice.

Andrew Hoyem with a tour group in the gallery.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

M & H Type goes Hollywood, thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis

Look for a film credit for typecaster Kenny Howard of M & H Type when you view the forthcoming film starring Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood. Day-Lewis and director Paul Thomas Anderson recommended M & H to do the titles and credits after the two of them saw the 1979 Arion Press Moby-Dick and were taken with the typography. Last month, Howard was busy hand-setting the film’s main titles in Goudy Text and Goudy Modern, the typefaces used in the dedication to Nathaniel Hawthorne in the Melville novel. He used digital versions for the rest of the credits. The only directive he received from the client was not to make the black-letter type look “too Dracula”. The film is based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!