In the preface to the first edition of “The Art and Practice of Typography,” the author stated that he did not “anticipate again having the pleasure of producing a book as elaborate as this one,” but the favor with which the volume was received made another edition advisable, and in consequence he has had the additional pleasure of enlarging and revising it and of producing a volume even more elaborate and with a better selection of examples.
The task of rewriting and replanning the second edition was near completion when America entered the war against Germany, and now, a few months later, the book is presented to the public. The first edition was published in February, 1910. Work on the new edition was begun by the author in the latter part of 1913, and so great has been the task, in addition to his customary editorial labors, that almost four years have passed.
The extent of the work will be comprehended when it is mentioned that there are twenty-eight chapters, in which the illustrations or typographic arrangements, numbering six hundred and fifteen, include forty full-page specially-printed inserts. Most of these illustrations or typographic arrangements are in color. The text matter, which makes direct reference to the examples, totals nearly one hundred thousand words.
That these examples are mostly high-class and by many of the best typographers in America (Europe also being represented), is due to the fact that the author during his connection with The American Printer has received several thousand pieces of printing, from which selections were made for this work.
Great care was exercised in the choice of examples in order that the book would not become obsolete, and it is believed that most of the type arrangements shown will be considered good for a hundred years to come. That this is possible is proved by the Whittingham titles on page 32, one of which is sixty-eight and the other seventy-three years old at this writing. These titles were set up when most typography was poor, yet few other type arrangements of that time would meet approval today; which indicates that it is not when printing is done, but how it is done that makes it good or bad.
Attention should be called to the plan of this volume. There are two parts, the first having to do with typography of the past and the second with typography of the present. Good printing of the present has a basic connection with that of the past, and for this reason one part is incomplete without the other.
The entire first part should be studied before any of the ideas in the second part are applied to present-day problems, and especially should the chapter on Type-Faces be patiently read and studied. The printer should first know type-faces and then learn how to use them.
In the chapters on Harmony, Tone, Proportion, Ornamentation and other art principles the author does not intend to advocate that his readers shall make pictures with type or build pages that are merely beautiful. The first requirement of typography is that it shall be easy to read; the second is that it shall be good to look at. The efficient typographer studies the copy and arranges it so that the reader’s task is an easy and pleasant one.
In planning the second edition the general style of the first edition was retained. However, an effort was made to change the style, especially of the binding, but so satisfactory was the original that it was again adopted.
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