Archive for the ‘Curwen Press’ Category

Crowd Sourcing the Barbarians

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

curwen-press-border

As Jan & Crispin Elsted embark on their latest publication, they have put together an IndieGoGo crowd-sourcing campaign to help cover start-up costs. The project, possibly the Barbarian’s most challenging to date, is an involved examination and presentation of the Curwen Press’s impressive history with typographic ornaments.

The book will describe, celebrate, and display a significant area of printing history in the 20th century: the ornamented borders of one of England’s most distinguished trade publishers, The Curwen Press, which existed from 1863 until 1984. The press was well known for its artistic designs, and in particular, for its original and exquisite use of type flowers and ornamented borders.

For more information, and to view their introductory video on the project:
http://igg.me/at/barbarian-curwen/x/12276121

Curwen archive acquired by Barbarian Press. ‘The Curwen Project’ forthcoming

Monday, July 13th, 2009

curwen-p1931

Many readers of this blog will be familiar with the Curwen Press, the most important letterpress trade printer in England throughout much of the 20th century. In 1984 the Curwen Press closed and sold its entire composing room to Ian Mortimer, proprietor of I.M. Imprimit in London. The Curwen archive is still intact and was recently sold to the Barabrian Press of Mission, British Columbia, who have announced a forthcoming book, The Curwen Project, scheduled for publication in 2010.

The archive consists of three parts:

‘The first comprises about two hundred packets of set ornamental borders in pages, composed for specific jobs and then tied up and stored for future use.

The second part is made up of the Curwen Press composing room stock of ornaments, comprising fifty-eight half cases densely packed with unused ornaments from 6 to 36 point, and nearly one hundred packets of ornaments from the foundry, never opened.

curwen-fleurons-in-rack

Last, there is a large carton of printed proofs of all the borders and other jobbing work: the composing room records of printed jobs, marked up with compositor’s details of dates of printings, number of copies printed, and so forth.’

According to the Barbarian Press website, ‘The book will reprint the complete range of hand-set borders still standing from the time the Curwen Press closed in the 1980s, printed in similar colour ranges to the originals. A possible deluxe state will also show some borders no longer standing newly set from the Curwen Press ornament collection after proofs in the archive.’

Read the full story here (half-way down the page).

—Paul Razzell