Republication effort: a model for the fine press world?

October 18th, 2016

5e0287e5e348fcebf95fdd6a0a88bd94“The first exact copy of Depero Futurista, the Italian Futurist masterpiece of early-20th-century book-making is now available on Kickstarter.” That’s the meat of it. It’s an interesting idea, which is owned by Steve Kroeter, according to the Kickstarter page. I heard from Russell Fernandez about it. If they don’t get $249,000 in pledges they won’t make it. In a sense, it’s a no-lose proposition…nobody is out (except the creator of the VERY elaborate Kickstarter page with its lengthy video) if they don’t make their nut. (And nobody has to kick in what they said they would.)

Wouldn’t we all be glad we were going to sell out our run before we started printing? (Besides, I have an excuse to run the cool page design in the blog.)

–Bob McCamant

A [school] year of programs in Birmingham

September 28th, 2016

philabelThose ever-busy folk at The Centre for Printing History and Culture have announced programs for the months ahead. There’s one every month, and some months, like October and November, have more. The complete schedule is here. How about the 500th anniversary of Orlando Furioso, to be celebrated on October 11? February has Toshi Omagari discussing the validity of what he was taught as type design student (in Japan and England) and debunking myths in typeface design. The picture is Phil Abel of Hand and Eye Letterpress, who talks in March.

–Bob McCamant

Bob Fleck died this morning

September 22nd, 2016

bobfleckBob Fleck, Jr., owner and president of Oak Knoll Books, and friend to many FPBA members, died this morning. He had recently decided not to undergo another round of treatments and had entered hospice care.

I have been assured that Oak Knoll Fest will go on as planned next weekend, and that a celebration of his life will be part of the program. Those who have special memories are urged to arrive with their thoughts gathered.

–Bob McCamant

Scripps College Goudy Lecture and other festivities features Irene Chan

September 7th, 2016


Call it a whole day of Irene Chan, in fact. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is the main event. It will take place at 7 pm on Saturday, October 1 in the Scripps College Humanities Auditorium. The other two events cost money: she will give a workshop on “Cut & Folded Books” from 9:30 to 4 pm the same day. It costs $75. Just before her talk, at 5 pm, they will stage a dinner in the Margaret Fowler Garden, which costs $25.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to choose between activities and coasts, since Oak Knoll Fest takes place in Delaware the same weekend.

Send $75 for the workshop and/or $25 for dinner by September 22. Checks should be made out to Scripps College Press and sent to Scripps College Press, 1030 Columbia Avenue #2025, Claremont, CA 91711.

–Bob McCamant

Letterform Archive announces fall talks in San Francisco

August 31st, 2016

Thirty Two Years of Metafont with Donald Knuth
Tue. Sep. 20 – 6:00PM – 7:30PM
For more details and to register click here. Knuth is a particular hero of mine. Though I never mastered his typesetting system (though I tried, commercial systems always seemed more appropriate for my uses), his “Art of Computer Programming” series of books has solved many a problem I’ve faced over the years.

What’s The Use of Fonts In Use? with Stephen Coles
Tue. Oct. 04
6:00PM – 7:00PM
Free admission, please RSVP.

“Whose Font Is It, Anyway?” …Exploring the Business & Licensing of Type with Christopher Slye
Tue. Oct. 18
6:00PM – 7:30PM
Free admission, please RSVP.

–Bob McCamant

Ink, Press, Repeat opens September 6

August 30th, 2016

This exhibition presents a selection of contemporary prints and artists’ books, juried by Phil Sanders, Director of PS Marlowe and former Master Printer of Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. It runs through October 14 at William Paterson University Galleries, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ. The gallery’s web site.
–Bob McCamant

Exploring the Sans Serif in Birmingham

August 30th, 2016

If I weren’t planning to be in New Castle Delaware, USA, on September 30 for the start of Oak Knoll Fest, I’d certainly consider taking in the program on offer across the pond in Birmingham, England.

The list of speakers sounds fascinating: Professor James Mosley, University of Reading, Primitive types – the search continues; John A. Lane, Netherlands, New dates for the earliest sans serif printing types: the evidence from the type specimens; Chiara Barbieri, Royal College of Art, London, UK, The resonance of sans serif within and beyond the Scuola del Libro in Milan, 1933-43; Robin Fuller, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Grotesque terminology; Jessica Glaser, University of Wolverhampton/Birmingham City University, UK, ‘Block letters of blockheads’; Jon Melton, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, Revolting sans; Sebastien Morlighem, Ecole superieure d’art et de design, Amiens, France, Nineteenth century sans serif typefaces in France; David Osbaldestin, Birmingham City University, UK, The sans serif in Britain: development, deployment and influence; Ann Pillar, University of Reading, UK, ‘Decoration but not decoration’ Edward Wright’s sans serif letterforms for public buildings, Vaibhav Singh, University of Reading, UK, The ‘sans serif’ beyond Latin?: Univers and the New Nagari project.

The program printed more attractively here. And though it is a free event, you should visit this page to acquire tickets.

–Bob McCamant

Maret sez: landmark event in re-creating the past

August 25th, 2016

Russell Maret describes a breakthrough which may permit the machine-casting of new typefaces. It may sound like a small thing, but it means a great deal.
–Bob McCamant

More job openings at Arion Press

August 10th, 2016

The estimable Arion Press in San Francisco has a trio of openings: The first is a single job in which the person will wear three hats: Pressroom Apprentice, Designer, and Tech Support Position. Read all about it. The other positions are in the bindery; one is a full time position for an experienced binder, while the other is an apprenticeship.

–Bob McCamant

International miniature book binding competition announced

July 22nd, 2016

The Dutch Handbookbinding Foundation is organizing an International Miniature Bookbinding Competition in 2016/2017. The event is being organized in co-operation with the Meermanno Museum (the oldest book museum in the world) in The Hague and Private Press De Buitenkant in Amsterdam. The competition will culminate in an exhibition at the Meermanno Museum in autumn of 2017.

Bookbinders worldwide are invited to enter. Dutch writer Geert Mak will write a text (in English) for the book. Well-known graphic designer Max Kisman will do illustrations. The sheets will be printed by De Buitenkant’s printers, after which the binders can get to work to create their binding.

The jury will be made up of a panel of bookbinding experts and book designers who will be looking for a high standard of craftsmanship together with original and innovative design. The jury will award three prizes for the most beautiful and well-crafted books: €1000, €750 and €500 will be awarded to the first, second, and third prize-winners.

All prize-winning books will become the property of the Meermanno Museum and will be part of a new collection of miniature books, to be constituted as a result of this competition. Non-winners may choose to donate their entry to the Meermanno Museum (receiving a signed certificate of donation) or to have their entry returned to them after the exhibition.

You are invited to participate. More information is available at website

For questions and/or additional information you can contact Lidy Schoonens at or Tine Krijnen at

–Bob McCamant