A Christmas Present from Japan

This is a long overdue post about a terrific gift we received in early January.Japanese specimens

Big thanks to Akira Yoshino and Taro Yumiba (and others) who sent in a cache of great 20th-century Japanese type specimen books and ephemera. If you’re interested in taking a look, stop in during our open hours, or set up an appointment to visit.

 

Typographical Ransom Notes #1: Fine Port and Ham

For a while now I’ve been planning on making a repository to store interesting pages from type specimen books that I come across during the day. And, more importantly, I wanted a place for visitors who use the Updike Collection to share their own images (we welcome researchers taking pictures of the materials they’re using when they visit). That site is now up and running: typesampling-logo1There are only a few images available at present, but expect many more in the future. And to celebrate, here’s the first post in an occasional series of ransom-note-style collages taken from images on the site: FinePortAndHam

A Specimen Selection

Continuing our series on some of the recent new additions to our collections, here are a few type specimens that will join the Updike Collection, already impressively stocked with type specimen books from the sixteenth century to the twentieth:

These are five twentieth-century examples, including the Navy Hydrographic Office specimen book, which is in a plastic comb binding, complete with a small tool for opening the combs to add more pages as they became available:

Type specimen text is often enjoyable for it’s stream-of-conscious aesthetic. In many cases, like this Ludlow specimen, the text offers suggestions on how a face might be used. Headlines are indeed made for advertising a new product:

The table of contents for the Boyd Printing Company’s specimen book shows they covered all the bases: Linotype, Ludlow and hand setting: