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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Looking Forward

Looking Forward.

Four years have passed since Typo was started, and at the close of another volume we have once again to convey to our friends a New-Year greeting. In reviewing the past, we have much cause for satisfaction. Our journal has steadily advanced from the first, and the present volume contains more matter than either of its predecessors. Our original programme has been adhered to— Typo has been primarily a technical paper and record of the trade, and secondarily a literary review, with special reference to colonial publications and the literature of the Craft and the graphic arts in general. A uniform size of page and style of composition has been maintained from the first. Changes in these respects are always annoying to subscribers, and will be avoided. The change we have long had in view, and have not yet seen our way to accomplish, is to publish sixteen pages of reading matter monthly. This, however, lies with our friends—not with ourselves. We make no promises for the future; but our plans for the year 1891 include a larger number than hitherto of original articles by a wider circle of contributors, and the issue of occasional supplements showing the skill of our colonial craftsmen, which will not only increase the interest of our paper, but stimulate the best of our New Zealand job-hands to friendly rivalry, and tend to elevate the general standard of work. The assurances from many quarters that our paper is helpful to young men learning the business, and is prized by them, have been to us a source of much gratification. We have not forgotten the time when we were in the position they occupy now—our difficulties and our perplexities. To sweep the office, to clear away pie, to clean ink-tables, rollers, and greasy machines, are not the most delightful of occupations; but the discipline is not only good—it is necessary; and the lad who does these unpleasant tasks cheerfully and well is the one who will be a good workman in days to come. Among the boys who do such work as this to-day are those who in a few years will not only manage and edit, but in some cases own the finest printing and publishing houses in Australasia. Nothing that can elevate the standard either of printing or journalism is outside the sphere of our journal, no onward movement is too insignificant for record, and nothing that tends to degrade, demoralize, or injure the profession can we afford to pass over in silence. The Press is not the coming power—it is already the power of the day, and the Printer is King. It behoves him to realize his responsibility, and to qualify himself to fill the position with becoming dignity. And though we find that in certain quarters the ideal trade journal is one that never ventures outside of the region of mechanical processes, and that has no concern with the times or manners, we altogether reject that view. Such a paper could not live—it would have no human interest. When thoughtful men in the Craft are discussing the economic and fiscal questions of the time, the issues of Socialism and Individualism, of the opposing forces of Constructives and Destructives between whom the structure of society so mysteriously maintains its equilibrium—they would have little patience with the trade journal that brought them no more valuable message than the proper arrangement of a ribbon border or the latest improvement in gas-engines. Nor would they greatly value a paper that was the mere mouthpiece of a Typographical Society, a Master Printers' Association, or a Printers' Supply Agency, though each in its way may serve a good and useful purpose. We have the satisfaction of knowing that our work is appreciated by a steadily-expanding circle of the best men in the Craft; and therein we find our best warrant for continuing on the lines already laid down.