Monday, December 6, 2010

Old Books & Ornate Typography

I love old books. I love the feel and patina of rag paper and the sound it makes as you turn the pages; I love the subtle impression the metal type leaves on the page and the dense blacks of the ink; I even love the margins surrounding the text panels. I could go on. What I love about the pages in this book, Kunstrichtige Schreibart, (Translation: Proper Art of Writing) are not only the ornate letterforms, but the way the rich black ink has impregnated the paper and over time has migrated to the reverse side of the page to create lovely ghost-like images. The alchemy of these ghost images are just as beautiful as their mirrored counterparts on the front. This book of typography was first published in Germany in 1601 and authored and illustrated by Paul Franck. It was contributed to the Internet Archive public domain project by The Research Library, Getty Research Institute.

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