A PRINTER’S DOZEN
Rampant Lions Press, 1993
Designed and printed by Sebastian Carter at The Rampant Lions Press.
Published in an edition of 200 standard copies and 11 specials.
This is a book that I’d considered getting for quite a while, but until just recently hadn’t got round to actually doing so. My indecisiveness was, I think, down to the content being a series of spreads of incomplete texts, therefore making it a rather expensive book to buy just to be looked at rather than read. I had somewhat missed the point. Apart from Sebastian Carter’s well written introduction, A Printer’s Dozen is clearly not meant to be a book to read, but rather a visual reference of creative typography. In this respect it excels, making for a particularly fine showcase of Carter’s exemplary typographic talents.
The various spreads are a feast for anyone with a typographic leaning, and many of the sample texts presented make me wish that they had been fully realised, as complete editions would have been stunning. Curiously, it is the treatment of the one text that I’d never be remotely interested in reading that is the most visually impressive, and that is the Alice in Wonderland extract, using Kelmscott Troy printed in rich black with sidenotes in Haarlemmer italic printed in a muted mid green. Also of particular note is the spread for Dante’s Divine Comedy, with the main text printed in Albertus Light in a muted mid blue, and the subsidiary translation in Lutetia italic in a warm sandy beige.
Without being over-fancy or self-indulgent, this book is typography as art. For sheer inspiration, as well as being a fantastic volume just to dip into when you want to give your eyes a treat, you won’t get much better than this.
Copies may still be available from the publisher here.
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