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Design Review: Volume 2, Issue 6 (May-June 1950)

Four Centuries Of Fine Printing

Four Centuries Of Fine Printing

Introduction by Stanley Morrison

Ernest Benn Ltd. London.

This book was originally published in 1924 and was limited to 400 copies for Great Britain. The format measured 13 × 18 inches comprising over 600 examples of printing reproduced in collotype. In the present demy octavo edition the plates, 272 of them, are unfortunately half-tones on glossy paper, but nevertheless they present a valuable record of the development of fine printing. The actual size of the type area is given below each illustration and it is possible with a little imagination to visualise the original. In fact there is probably more truth in a reproduction frankly reduced and printed on a glossy paper than in a “facsimile” that is not perfect in every respect.

The text by Stanley Morrison occupies some 40 pages, gives biographies of the leading printers and discusses their contributions to the developments of Roman faces. The book is an admirable introduction to the study of typography and an excellent reference work.