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The Noblest Roman

September 16, 2016

The Book Club of California has just published  The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers by Jerry Kelly and Misha Beletsky ‘an immersive dive into the history of the Centaur typeface, complete with rarely seen drawings and proofs from the Monotype archives and the Library of Congress’. Do check it out….

For more on Bruce Rogers see my post herecentaur jenson

The last US newspaper printed letterpress

March 23, 2016

A good friend in the UK suggested this link to a newspaper that is still printed letterpress in the US.

Do have a look

And note that Australia still has its own letterpress newspaper. See my blog here and search for the Don Dorrigo Gazette.

Answer to Christmas Quiz 2015

January 11, 2016

No, the Quiz 2015 did not show an organ. I quite simply do not understand how no one got that this is an illustration of the Monotype Keyboard piston block. Wasn’t it obvious. Shame on you! Taken from the essential Book of Parts, dated 9/56. [Better luck next year.]

Monotype Keyboard Monotype Keyboard Piston Block

Christmas Quiz 2015

December 24, 2015

In reviving a ‘tradition’ that was first launched in 2012 (see here), may I first of all wish those loyal, and new, readers a safe, relaxing, enjoyable and stress-free (is that possible?) holiday season wherever you may be. Take time out and take time to reflect.

Okay – here is the photo: can you name what this is and what machine it belongs to? There is no prize – just the quiet adulation that comes from being one of the few able to recall pre-digital technology (now, that was a clue). I will give the answer to those suffering sleepless nights in the first week of January 2016. And – no Googling. Not that it will do you any good mind.

Now what is this assemblage of pipes…it is not an organ

Now what is this assemblage of pipes…it is not an organ

Eric Gill and the curse of the sub-editor

December 23, 2015

A friend from London, UK, writes: “I noticed Station number X had a pair of dice (the Romans were gambling for Christ’s clothes) but that Gill did not have the correct configuration of the numbers on the die. Gill did not know that the opposite sides of the dice always add up to seven. Five is opposite to two, six is opposite to one, and four is opposite three. Ooops. The curse of the sub-editor strikes again.”

Station X at Westminster Abbey, London, UK

Station X at Westminster Cathedral, London, UK


Rocket Ship desk mobile #2

November 7, 2015

Source: Rocket Ship desk mobile #2

Thoughts on lettering on stone

October 5, 2015

I was recently contacted by a guy seeking some initial tuition in learning how to letter-carve. As I was nearby I called in to see him and ran through a few basics. As I was there I realised how important it is to master the following:

  • Proper preparation of the letters – spacing and shape. Need to draw on paper first and then transfer to the surface of the stone.
  • Need to keep stem widths even throughout
  • Attention to terminals
  • Close attention to characteristics of each letterform.
  • Build/make yourself a frame so can cut standing – not hunched over a bench.


Happy to answer questions – and also browse the blog for other entries on letter-carving.