Monday, February 28, 2011

Experimental Ex Libris

There is no date on this great bookplate for Frederic J. Libbie, but it is from a Flickr set of the Pratt Institute Libraries Special Collection and most others in this set range in date from 1730 to 1901. I found one other bookplate for Mr. Libbie in this set which is dated 1895, although it is far more ornate. If you look carefully at the Garamond type pattern on this one, the designer, or printer for that matter, began in the center of the diamond shape and spelled out his name so it is right-reading, and then reversed the order of the letters to the left. They then repeated this pattern reading up and down from the center until an E creates the entire border of the diamond-shaped pattern. Probably designed by a printer who had a lot of E's and I's at his disposal or they just couldn't bear doing another Victorian style bookplate with fat cherubs sitting atop a stack of books. One thing about typographical patterns...they seldom go out of style.

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