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Book Arts Collection

A guide to discovering artists' books in the Book Arts Collection at Hill Memorial Library.

About This Gallery

In this gallery are examples of a variety of typography techniques. Type that circles and floats around the page, text that degrades with a character's psychotic break, fanciful letterforms, and concrete poetry are to be found. The Multi-Language Themed Gallery also contains many pieces that highlight typographic techniques.

Typography Examples

"Voice" from Shaped Poetry

Todd, Glenn. Shaped poetry: a suite of 30 typographic prints: chronicling this literary form from 300 BC to the present. San Francisco: Arion Press, 1981.
PN6110 .V56 S5 1981 FLAT, Rare

"Voice" by Philip Lamantia (1959) from a suite of letterpress printed concrete poetry, primarily printed on handmade paper.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensons.

Abbott, Edwin Abbott. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensons. San Francisco: Arion Press, 1980.
QA699 .A13 1980 FLAT, Rare

Illustrated with hand-colored die cutouts of geometric shapes, and shaped typesetting throughout. The accordion style binding allows the book to unfold and lay flat (33-feet long!) or can be read as a codex. This is the 7th title of Arion Press.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Paris: Mutel, 1994.
Design and layout by Didier Mutel illustrated with 10 original copper engravings "touched up with walnut stain" and the text was printed with photo-engraved copper plates. “Jekyll & Hyde embodies the change/dissolution of the title character in the text. As Mr. Hyde takes over, words grow, distort, and overpower the narrative. Eventually, the letters on the page fall away and leave the reader with no thread to hold.” --Timothy Young, “If it is Beautiful, it is Useful: A Few Words for Didier Mutel and His Unheeded Manifesto."

An Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy

Xu, Bing. An Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy. Brooklyn: The Artist, 1996.
N7433.4 .X8 S78 1996 FLAT, Rare

An artist's book in the style of a Chinese calligraphy instructional manual. The text is English but you might mistake it for Chinese if you're not paying attention!

ii ss

Fraser, Kathleen and Hermine Ford. ii ss. New York: Granary Books, 2011.
N7433.4 .F69 L5 2011 FLAT. Rare

The artists state, "ii ss addresses the double-bind of to be—being human and being dependent upon the natural world for pleasure and sustenance. In this knowledge we have been awakened, with a harsh jolt, to earth’s gradual melting and shifting due to man’s deliberate avoidance patterns, both greedy and neglectful, leading us to the careless destruction of our planet home.”


reimagined letterforms

Æthelwold etc : twenty-six letters inspired by other letters and non-letters and little bits of poetry

Maret, Russell. Æthelwold etc: twenty-six letters inspired by other letters and non-letters and little bits of poetry. New York: Editions Schlechter, 2012.
NK3631 .M374 A38 2012 OVER, Rare

Fanciful letterforms designed by Russell Maret with ink swatches.

The Word Made Flesh

Drucker, Johanna. The Word Made Flesh. New York : Granary Books, c1996.
PS3554 .R68 W67 1996, Rare

Offset lithography facsimile of the letterpress original. In this book, Drucker calls "attention to the visual materiality of the text, this book attempts to halt linear reading, trapping the eye in a field of letters which make a complex object on the page. The work both embodies and discusses language as a physical form." -- Publisher's website

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