Hands-on History of Type: 200 Years of New Things (4/5)

Event Info

This class will take place on:

  • Mon, Feb 22, 3:00–5:00pm ET

In this session of Hands-on History of Type, Dikko Faust will focus on Chromatic Wood (and metal) Type. In class, Dikko will use three colors from two matching pieces of type to demonstrate intricate overlaps. This process was created by Edwin Allen in the 1840’s and brought to its height by William H Page in 1874. In 1920 this art form was nearly lost, but has since made a comeback in the 2000’s.

If Bodoni & Didot are “modern” everything that came after must be “postmodern.” This series of workshops, some Zoomed from Purgatory Pie Press, some from Center for Book Arts, will investigate the last two centuries of innovative letterpress, type design and type making – pantograph/router wood type, increasingly automated metal casting. The rise of postering, advertising and their evolving styles/rules. Type setting and word spacing styles. Demonstrations, discussions, resources.

Required materials:

  • unidentified type in students’ collections, if any.

In-print suggested book list:

  • Mac McGrew – American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll
  • Maurice Annenberg, etc. – Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs, Oak Knoll
  • Rob Roy Kelly – American Wood Type 1828-1900 Liber Apertus Press
  • Esther K Smith – Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. Rizzoli


About the Instructor

Dikko Faust founded Purgatory Pie Press when he was doing grad work with Walter Hamady at University of Wisconsin in 1977. He taught Letterpress and Typography at the Center for Book Arts, as well as School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union, Princeton, Rutgers, and workshops throughout the US, Canada, England and Germany. In these workshops, he also offers his services as Type Detective, identifying UTF’s (unidentified typefaces). For recreational reading, he prefers old type catalogs. He did extensive research for Esther K Smith’s Rizzoli reprint of William H Page’s Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders &c. Purgatory Pie Press has exhibited at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University and many other art centers throughout the world, including more than a dozen Center for Book Arts exhibitions– starting with CBA’s 5 year anniversary exhibition.

All images courtesy of the instructor.

In order to best serve our community near and far, many of our online classes are pay-what-you-can. While each class has a suggested price, we wish to make our educational programming as economically accessible as possible as well as to make sure our students feel fulfilled in their creative processes outside of the studio. The amount you choose to pay goes directly toward our instructors and toward creating scholarship opportunities for the future.

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