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Old 01-25-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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Default Books for letter-lovers

I got two lovely books last month that should be mentioned here. Though different, both celebrate the roman alphabet (and in some ways alphabets in general) in all their quirky glory.

1. ABC3D, an art deco 3D pop-up book by Marion Bataille. It is a beautifully crafted tour-de-force, an alphabet book, visual toy, and marvelous invention in one package. I got enormous pleasure from turning the pages (carefully — they are fragile) to see how the next character would be exposed and how it changes. (The link is to a blog video showing all the pages, including letters that morph into other letters before your eyes.) All this pleasure for $14 (Amazon price).

2. The Art of Wood Type by Gregory Ruffa. Wood type fonts shown in beautiful color photos (the type itself) and B&W specimens (printed from Illustrator drawings by the author). Background, history, notes on historic figures and contemporary wood type collectors. For type lovers, this book deserves shelf space alongside such iconic classics as Rob Roy Kelly’s American Wood Type: 1828–1900 (Ruffa dedicated his book to Kelly); American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century by Mac McGrew; and Nineteenth Century Ornamented Typefaces by Nicolete Gray and Ray Nash. Published and sold only by the author, and not cheap ($55), nor should it be. The author’s web site (link above) has a video showing some of the pages.


Last edited by ktinkel; 01-25-2009 at 12:04 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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