Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eat Your Words

This hybrid pot-luck dinner meets art show returns to WNYBAC for a second year and will push the limits of what defines a "book". Participants are encouraged to create something tasty and ponderous...bordering on preposterous.

From the festival website: "April 1st is the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food. April fools' day is also the perfect day to eat your words and play with them as the "books" are consumed on the day of the event. This ephemeral global banquet, in which anyone can participate, is shared by all on the internet and allows everyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments. This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences."

entry and attendance details plus images from last years event can be found here:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hacking woodtype

In the digital age when designers don’t bother hand kerning by nudging the option arrow keys because it is too much trouble, it's heartening to look into old type cases and see what real kerning was...the cutting away of the space on a character to fit pairs together better. One can see in woodtype cases how a Cap A is notched at the top so out can fit into the T whose bottom has been notched. This was the sign of a craftsman printer who cared about how letter looked on the page.

Another woodtype artifact that is more rare but can be found in old cases, is modified characters. The limit of only a few of each letter in a woodtype font would often necessitate the sacrifice of some other letter to make the missing letter. An E turned into an F is easy to hide, but here are a few clever solutions to letter modification that have been discovered in the last few days at WNYBAC.

A number 8 has been frantically turned into an S.

This tiny 3 line woodtype C had been made into a G my inserting a type high lead shim

This V is now an A with the insertion of some solid material that will print at the same height as the rest of the letter (as found in the extensive woodtype collection at Massey College Toronto.)