Copies of the deluxe and standard editions of Specimens of Diverse Characters arrived from Book Lab II this week. I realize that I designed the books but I am still surprised by their heft—they are BOOKS. The transformation from loose sheets to bound book always takes me off guard, the final metamorphosis in the chain from concept to sketch to drawing to print to book. It is easy to understand why so many printers and book makers have also been drawn to alchemy.
The books are bound using a modified Bradel binding that opens beautifully flat at every spread. The standard edition has a red leather spine with paper covered boards printed from my foundry Lisbon Ornaments. It is housed in a cloth covered clamshell box with an inset red leather label stamped in silver foil. The deluxe edition uses the same structure but the boards are covered in gray leather with a specimen of Iohann Titling stamped in silver foil on the front cover. In addition to the book, the deluxe comes with a portfolio of progressive state proofs of three complex prints and a selection of five unbound prints from the book. The book and portfolio are housed in a clamshell box with a leather spine and foredges. At the back of the box is an inset window behind which is a setting of Harry Carter's passage Type is something that you can pick up and hold in your hand in a special issue of Iohann Titling foundry type cast on a 30pt body.
The standard and deluxe editions of Specimens.
The deluxe edition with its box.
The deluxe box showing the inset form of type. In the foreground the book sits on
the portfolio of state proofs and prints that accompanies the edition.
A close up of the type form.
The standard edition with its box.
A close up of the patterned paper printed from foundry Lisbon Ornaments.