We Gentle Beasts

We Gentle Beasts, written by Aurora Masum-Javed. Designed by Keith Graham

Publisher: Center for Book Arts

Edition: 100

Year: 2021

Designed & printed by Keith Graham to mark Aurora Masum-Javed’s reading on Thursday May 6, 2021 for Center for Book Arts Broadside Reading Series. Letterpress Printed using hand set type in an edition of 100.

Statement by the artist:

“Aurora’s broadside is printed on 300# Crane’s Lettra, which is an all cotton, heavier weight but very soft paper that takes an impression nicely. The poem is set in helvetica, with stymie for the colophon and a mix of typefaces for the title, all from the Center’s collection. The fluorescent lines are printed from linoleum blocks.”

“In designing the broadside for We Gentle Beasts I wanted to respond to the earthiness and sense of movement in the poem. I was thinking about ways to suggest old and new, living in the present moment and eulogizing the past. Points of inspiration were classic French title pages, which are strict in their alignment and often feature a beautiful mix of black and red inks, and playful twentieth century designers like Ettore Sottsass and Nathalie du Pasquier. To me the decorative letters used in the title, particularly the more baroque ones, almost become the embodiment of the poem’s protagonists.”



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