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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • [+] More A Brief Guide to Collecting the Works of Eric Gill 

    A Brief Guide to Collecting the Works of Eric Gill
    Published since 15 Nov 2016
    Eric Gill was a sculptor and engraver who is now best known for his scandalous personal behavior alongside his spiritual art. Gill remains a controversial artist. As his biographer Fiona MacCarthy so aptly puts it, “Does consciousness of artists' reprehensible behaviour (Gill, [today,] would no doubt be in prison) put up a barrier between the viewer and the work? Or does knowledge of the artist's life, fallibilities included, amplify and enrich our understanding of the art?”* While that question may be one each individual must answer for him or herself, for those interested in the work of Eric Gill, what collectibles should you seek out?
  • [+] More Book Collecting Basics - Eric Gill, Typographer 

    Book Collecting Basics - Eric Gill, Typographer
    Published since 22 Jan 2015

    Eric Gill was born February 22, 1882. A talented sculptor, typographer, and illustrator, Gill's life was a study in contrasts. A deeply religious Roman Catholic who believed that sexuality was an expression of the divine, and an artist who defiantly characterized himself as a workman in the medieval tradition while his statues, illustrations, and typefaces adorned the modern buildings and pages of his era, Gill unified seemingly opposing ideas in his life and work.

  • [+] More Celebrating Beatrice Warde 

    Celebrating Beatrice Warde
    Published since 15 Oct 2014

    After a short hiatus, we're back on the occasion of typographical scholar Beatrice Warde's birthday. Born on September 20th, 1900, Warde lived during a renaissance in American and British graphic design and was a woman who made a name for herself in the then predominately male world of typography. Warde had an interest in calligraphy and letterforms from a young age, and she was able to nurture and expand this interest after she became assistant librarian at the American Type Founders Company in 1921. Her position allowed her to spend time researching typefaces and printing history, a pursuit which led to the publication of "The Garamond Types, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Sources Considered," an article Warde wrote and published in The Fleuron under the pseudonym Paul Beaujon in 1926. This article cemented Warde's influence as a scholar of typography by tracing the origins of Garamond types and finding that certain types initially attributed to Garamond were, in fact, cut by Jean Jannon.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books, First Editions and Ephemera - Fine printing, fine dining 

    Collecting Rare Books, First Editions and Ephemera - Fine printing, fine dining
    Published since 22 Jan 2014

    Sir Sydney Roberts, Secretary of Cambridge University Press, 1922–48, writes: ‘The early 1920s were marked by a typographical renaissance which had a notable influence upon book-production; or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the war interrupted a movement which had already begun …  It is true that during the ’nineties new standards had been applied to the printing of poetry and belles-lettres, but it was not till after the war that publishers as a whole began to recognise that the basic principles of book-design could, and should, be exemplified as clearly in a half-crown textbook as in a three-guineaédition de luxe …

  • [+] More The Collector and The Collected: Two Typophiles From New York 

    The Collector and The Collected: Two Typophiles From New York
    Published since 01 Oct 2013

    “There are two typophiles from New York in my library: the Collector and the Collected. One was born in Rochester in 1918. The other died in Rochester in 1991. One sold printing equipment and supplies. The other ran two printing firms, one of which belonged to his father. One collected printing presses and books about printing. The other wrote a bibliography of books about printing. One was a witness in a hearing of the Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s (he sold printing equipment to the Communist Party). The other was Director of the Printing and Publishing Division of the Department of Commerce in the 1950s. One sold his antique press collection to the Canadian National Museum of Science and Technology in the early 1970s. The other sold his printing equipment company in 1966, and became a graphics arts consultant. One moved to California in the early 1970s. The other moved back to Rochester after he retired. One was a member of the Roxburghe Club and the Book Club of California. The other was a member of the Typophiles, the Goudy Society, and the Grolier Club. Who is the Collector? And who is the Collected?“

  • [+] More Ben Barrett-Forrest: The History of Typography, in Stop-Motion Animation 

    Ben Barrett-Forrest: The History of Typography, in Stop-Motion Animation
    Published since 11 Jul 2013

    Built with 2454 photographs, 291 letters, and 140 hours of his life, Barrett-Forrest’s animated short is a delight.  As he guides us from the lowly beginnings of Guttenberg’s printing press, all the way to the computer age, it becomes apparent that the art of type is a corollary for history. Like architecture and fashion, typography is a reflection of the world in which it’s created. Barrett-Forrest explains his interest in type and the genesis of the project in an interview below.

  • [+] More From Bauhaus to Penguin Books - Jan Tschichold’s Influence on Modern Typography and 20th Century Book Design 

    From Bauhaus to Penguin Books - Jan Tschichold’s Influence on Modern Typography and 20th Century Book Design
    Published since 30 Jul 2010

    "As a teacher, theoretician and advocate of Die Neue Typographie  (the title of his historic tract from 1928), a fiery young Tschichold enthusiastically took up the banner of strict Modernist design after exposure to early Weimar Bauhaus exhibits. In it he effectively denounces the “decay”—the clutter and filigree—prevalent in common German design and typography at the time, promoting exclusive usage of sans serif (Grotesk) typefaces and asymmetrical layouts."