This issue demonstrates, more clearly than some, the breadth of our editorial remit. Type and typography, in relation to craft, technology and even political life are examined with the help of some outstanding examples.
Students of design, while being urged to consider a headlong rush to ‘virtual’ typography, find their natural need for grounding – for solid unit systems and materials – more than satisfied in Alan Kitching‘s letterpress workshops at London‘s Royal College of Art.
Elsewhere Steven Heller considers dogmatic design – typography in the context of political magazines. Rosmarie Tissi‘s experimental approach contrasts with Derek Birdsall‘s remarkable renovation of the book of Common Worship, chronicled by Robin Kinross.
While we consider the future of e-books, Alfred Tilp takes us back to a time when students could derive inspiration from the ‘hands-off‘ teaching approach of Walter Brudi.
A new Baseline lexicon begins, providing a comprehensive review of leading typographers. More evidence of the variety of approaches which, combine to provide the foundations for contemporary typography.
There is an undeniable irony about the location of the letterpress studio at the Royal College of Art in London. It is not so much that a redundant printing technology is back in vogue, with students at one of the most glamourous art and design schools in the world clamouring to attend workshops to learn a fusty typographic trade. Rather, it is the fact the letterpress studio’s remarkable collection of old types, cases and printing presses lines a corridor and two printrooms of the Stevens Building on the RCA‘s Kensington campus, a facility named after the former RCA Rector Jocelyn Stevens who so nearly threw the whole job lot onto a skip in the 1980s…
It is axiomatic that we always tend to overestimate the short-term effects of any new technology, while underestimating the long term ones. In the confluence of computers with books we also encounter an additional resistance to realizing the potential. And not just the predictable resistance of traditional printers and publishers, but one based on the human bond with the tactile, emotionally charged object – the conventional book…
©2001 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.