Tag Archives: 1960s

More joy of text – Oliver Simon’s Introduction to Typography

Introduction to Typography book

Cover

By a Typographer, I do not mean a Printer, as he is Vulgarly accounted, any more than Dr. Dee means a Carpenter or Mason to be an Architect; but by a Typographer, I mean such a one, who by his own Judgement, from solid reasoning with himself, can either perform, or direct others to perform from the beginning to the end, all the Handy-works and Physical Operations relating to Typographie.

Mechanick Exercises, or the Doctrine of Handy-works applied to the Art of Printing Joseph Moxon, 1683

Typography may be regarded as consisting of three parts: each distinct and indispensable, namely, punch-cutting, founding and printing. The practice of the different branches produces artists of three different kinds, the first punch-cutters, the second founders and the third printers, but he who combines a knowledge of all three branches is fit to be styled a Typographer.

Manuel Typographique Simon-Pierre Fournier, 1764

• the style and appearance of printed matter.
• the art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it.

Oxford Dictionary of English

This is the revised 1963 edition of Oliver Simon’s classic 1945 book – Introduction to Typography – edited by David Bland. The first two quotes are taken from the definitions of typography printed in the prelims of this edition. The third is the modern definition from the dictionary my Mac uses (the Oxford Dictionary of English according to my preferences panel). Oliver Simon was the typographer at Curwen Press from the 1920s until his death in 1956. This was in the days of the switch from physical type to film setting. I wonder what Oliver Simon would have made of things today.

Introduction to Typography book

Suitable typefaces for display type

Introduction to Typography book

Glossary

I find it fascinating how processes, terminology, ideas, rules and even roles in printing and production shift and change meaning. One small example: we still refer to the author’s final ‘manuscript’, but it’s many years since I received a sheaf of typewritten pages from an author.
Another example: the role of copy-editor isn’t mentioned in this book, but what we would think of as copy-editing tasks are that of the compositor or setter. There is a section at the beginning of the book discussing what to capitalise, use of small caps, quotation marks, parentheses, italics, etc – things that modern copy-editors would concern themselves with. But the onus is much more on the author to supply a ‘carefully prepared MS. [which] must be strictly followed as to punctuation and spelling’. And Simon also notes that: ‘An intelligent interpretation of an author’s meaning by means of correctly placed punctuation marks is an art that can be acquired only by long experience, and for which no hard-and-fast rules can be formulated’. I assume that the copy-editor’s role developed as publishing increased in order to streamline the process and allow typesetters to set type quickly without having to consider the finer points of grammar and style as they went along (I remember seeing typesetters use photosetting machines – speed and accuracy were critical), and presumably as part of trade publishers’ services to authors – longer expected to supply ‘carefully prepared manuscripts’!
Today the copy-editor’s role has changed again – in many cases there is no longer a need to mark up a manuscript for the typesetter to follow – often the author’s Word document is directly amended by the copy-editor before it goes on to the typesetter (if it goes to a typesetter at all) – and sometimes these copy-editing tasks are undertaken by someone who can not only edit, but set the text professionally too. With the rise in self-publishing and small, independent publishers there are definite advantages to being multi-skilled in all aspects of putting publications together, be they print or digital. Maybe we are coming full circle? Perhaps again a typographer will be ‘…such a one, who by his own Judgement, from solid reasoning with himself, can either perform, or direct others to perform from the beginning to the end, all the Handy-works and Physical Operations relating to Typographie.’?

Introduction to Typography book

Introduction

Introduction to Typography book

Discussing paper

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Ooh La La! Sixties Pin-up Playing Cards

1960s playing cards

Four aces

Ooh La La! Not a book today, but a pack of gorgeous sixties playing cards. I got sidetracked down the road of playing cards recently and came across these on Ebay. And they are fifty-two pieces of utter fabulousness. According to The Internet the deck was called ‘Cherie’, and they were made in 1965, possibly as an advertising deck or possibly a version was put out as an advertising deck. The illustrators were Hans and Louise Neupert.

These come right out of the time of Sweet Charity, James Bond, Viva Maria and Cat Ballou – faux Wild West showgirls, Fosse, feathers, fans, sequins and ‘legs that go on for ever’.

The court cards and aces are illustrated in zingy, vibrant colour with a different woman on each card, the number cards have a line drawing for each number. Hearts and Diamonds are printed in Schiaparelli pink instead of red. They use a luscious, curvy script font. My set, unfortunately, came without the original box and no jokers (but I knew that before I bought them). I shall try to track down the jokers at some point.

Gin Rummy, anyone?

1960s playing cards

“Hey, big spender”?

1960s playing cards

Close up of number card

1960s playing cards

four suits

1960s playing cards

Card backs

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Peter Pan and Wendy by JM Barrie – Illustrated by Anne Grahame Johnstone

Peter Pan Cover

Cover

A little while ago I found a version of Peter Pan and Wendy illustrated by Anne Grahame Johnstone and first published in 1988 by Award Publications Ltd. I am sort of collecting Anne and Janet Grahame Johnstone books – picking them up whenever I see them. I particularly like their attention to period details (especially in the costumes). Many of their fairy story illustrations are beautiful – with their 17th and 18th Century style costumes.

But here’s Anne’s version of Peter Pan and Wendy (in equally lovely Edwardian and fantasy costume).

Peter Pan and Wendy, John and Michael fly to Neverland.

Flying to Neverland illustration

Flying to Neverland

Here’s Captain Hook.Isn’t he fabulous!

Captain Hook illustration

Captain Hook

Tinker Bell – very different to the Disney version.

Tinker Bell illustration

Tinker Bell

Wendy sews Peter’s shadow back on.

Illustration from Peter Pan

Sewing Peter’s shadow back on

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Hilda Boswell’s Treasury books

Front covers

Front covers

I haven’t posted for a while, so here’s two books. They are both Treasury books, by Hilda Boswell, published by Collins. On the left we have Hilda Boswell’s Treasury of Fairy Tales, published in 1962, and on the right, Hilda Boswell’s Treasury of Poetry, first published in 1968, but this is the revised 1978 edition.

I was given the Treasury of Poetry as a Christmas present in the early 1970s. I adored it – I read it over and over again. So much so that when I finally got around to replacing it a few weeks ago, I could remember pretty much every word and illustration. Here’s a small selection:

Clouds and rainbows

Clouds and rainbows

I love the lighting around the children on the left.

Illustrations from Hilda Boswell treasury

Mermaids and fairies

Many of Hilda’s illustrations feature little fairy/insect/flower hybrid creatures.

First page of The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies

First page of The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies

The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies is a traditional British folk song. There are several versions on Youtube including one by The Waterboys and a long entry about its history on Wikipedia.

Yesterday I came across The Treasury of Fairy Tales. I don’t remember having this book. It’s earlier, and you can see that her style is changing a bit and/or she’s using different media.

illustration from Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb

Illustration from The Wild Swans

Illustration from The Wild Swans

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty image

Sleeping Beauty

I can’t find much about Hilda Boswell other than a short Wikipedia entry: She was born in London in 1903 and died in 1976. She is also mentioned in the Wikipedia entry about Anne and Janet Grahame Johnstone. I’ve blogged about them before – and while their styles are different, they were working at more or less the same time and in the same genre. She is most known for illustrating Enid Blyton’s ‘Flower’ books in the 1940s and 1950s.

Back covers

Back covers

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Tales from the Ballet

Selected and adapted by Louis Untermeyer.
With wonderful illustrations by Alice and Martin Provensen. Published in 1969 by the Hamlyn Publishing Group.

The title page illustration is your ticket to the ballet. The contents page is the Children’s Matinée Programme. The introduction to ballet is The Overture. It covers twenty ballets ranging from classics like Swan Lake to Fancy Free and Billy the Kid. There are production notes at the end for readers who want to know more.

Tales from the Ballet cover

Cover: Tales from the Ballet

Waiting in the wings

The dancers waiting in the wings

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

The Firebird

The Firebird

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A 1960s Prague Guidebook

Prague guidebook cover

Cover

I like to collect old guidebooks of places I’ve been…
I’m not sure where I picked this up. Love the illustration and the maps and the blue and orange spot colours on the insides.

The title page reads

Prague

an intimate guide to Czechoslovakia’s thousand-year-old capital,
its beauties, its art-historical monuments, its sights, ancient and modern, its romantic nooks and corners, with their historical and literary associations

It’s by Alois Svoboda and published in 1968 by Olympia.

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Books and illustrators from my childhood number 4 Ant and Bee

The Ant and Bee stories by Angela Banner were first published in the 60s and 70s. They are completely bonkers, but simple early readers featuring an ant with walking stick and bowler, a bee with a moustache and umbrella and a kind dog called Kind Dog – as well as a little girl who has red plaits as I did as a child.

Anyway – the amazing, fabulous news is that Egmont have just reissued two of the books in their original format – available to buy anywhere books are retailed.

Ant and Bee illustration by Angela Banner

Ant and Bee and the jewel

Ant and Bee illustration by Angela Banner

Ant and Bee and the little girl

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More Alice in Wonderland illustrations – Tove Jansson

Tove’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland were first published in 1966 by Bonniers in Sweden – this edition in 2011 by Tate Publishing.

This is just after the caucus race. The animals are eating the comfits that Alice gave them as prizes. I love the one at the end spitting the sweet out.

The creatures from the pool of tears

The creatures from the pool of tears

The Hatter wears three hats. The Hare looks very chilled.

The Hatter, Hare and Dormouse

The Hatter, Hare and Dormouse

The trial scene. Notice the King looking sideways at the Queen.

The trial scene

The trial scene

 

 

 

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Books and their illustrators from my childhood number 3

Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Ralph Steadman.

I doubt that I had this version, but Alice has always been essential reading in our family. I am starting to get a small collection of illustrated Alices, so when I was out today  and came across The Complete Alice and The Hunting of the Snark I had to grab itThis hardback was published in 1986 by Jonathan Cape. Ralph Steadman’s version of Alice in Wonderland was first published in 1967 – so it qualifies for ‘around during my childhood’.

The mouse’s tale after the caucus race.

The Caucus-raceRalph Steadman's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Published 1967 Dobson Books Ltd.

The Caucus-race
Ralph Steadman’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Published 1967 Dobson Books Ltd.

The  Hatter and the March Hare are introduced. I adore this illustration. Note the Hatter’s glasses and headphones and Alice’s mid-century chair.

A Mad Tea-PartyRalph Steadman's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Published 1967 Dobson Books Ltd.

A Mad Tea-Party
Ralph Steadman’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Published 1967 Dobson Books Ltd.

The trial – so much to look at here. And the Rabbit is dressed as a city gent in this version, with bowler hat (holes cut for ears) and tightly furled umbrella.

The trialRalph Steadman's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Published 1967 Dobson Books Ltd.

The trial
Ralph Steadman’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Published 1967 Dobson Books Ltd.

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