18 November 2008

Ex Libris

Here's a find! Seven Roads has posted an amazing collection of book trade labels, stamps and imprints --hundreds of them. "Anyone who handles old books will have come across these small and sometimes beautiful labels pasted more or less discreetly into the endpapers. Publishers, printers, binders, importers, distributors and sellers of books --new, second-hand and antiquarian-- used to advertise in this way their contribution to bringing the books to market" Check it out. Submissions welcomed.

• Seven Roads, Gallery of Book Trade Labels

21 September 2008


Speaking of digital restorations. The good folks at the Criterion Collection asked me to lend a typographic hand to their release of Carl Theodore Dryer's Vampyr-- a wonderful and wonderfully surreal picture. Even though Vampyr is a sound picture it's full of subtitles and written text. Criterion puts it this way: "Subtitling Vampyr presents a special challenge. Dryer relies heavily on written text that fills the frame, and subtitles can be hard to read -or even see- against this background. For this reason, the Criterion Collection, taking care to reproduce the look of the original as closely as possible, prepared a version of the film in which the on-screen text has been digitally replaced with an English translation."

The design of that typeface, as well as the layout, fell on me. That meant, firstly, drawing a font in the style of the original hand-lettered inter-titles. What made it all sing was the fantastic work of the video production crew who added the requisite dust specs and halos around the letter forms.

Thrilled? Honored to be a part of a picture as great as this one? You bet. Purists, don't be alarmed. History was neither harmed or rewritten for this production. Both versions of the film are available in this release.

Click on the image for a larger view.

• The Criterion Collection

31 August 2008

My Gang

That's my great-grandmother Aliene and her brother Bud.  -- I think that's his name. I'll have to check -- They lived in Gardena, California when this picture was taken. Their parents owned a flower farm there. I wonder if they knew Stymie and Dickie? If ever a picture could use some digital restoration, its this one. Stay Tuned.