Friday, April 19, 2013

The Story of Paper

As promised, I present the companion book to "The History of Printing", featured in my previous post; "The Story of Paper" written by a young Joe Obzina in room 5A at John Hay School in Seattle. There is no date on this book, however I believe it to be from the same era as the book on printing which was 1930. What leads me to think this is the last chapter  where Joe includes a list of 27 pulp and paper mills in the State of Washington in 1928. This charming book was another estate sale find from several years ago, found in stacks of well, paper.
     The binding of this book is a Japanese "stab binding", and coincidentally it uses the same grey binding cloth on the spine as the Printing book did. The other similarity between the two books is the cut construction paper lettering for the cover design and a simple silouette of a silkworm which is instrumental in the making of Japanese papers. They both match the sewing thread and the interior endsheets. The book measures 7.5 x 9 inches, making it just a bit larger than the other.

The title page is simple and plain, and lacks any sort of typographical hierarchy or ornament. Joe was not an adventurous book designer.

The history of paper coincides with the history of writing, which Joe gives only slight mention in his first chapter on "Ancient Writing Materials".

Joe is actually a much better writer and speller than young Albert was, but could take a lesson from him on illustration and layout.

The tipped-in "School" and "Special Paper" samples are a wonderful addition. Following these are lists of 36 different "Kinds of Paper" and 52 different "Uses of Paper", from Blotters to Parasols.

Side Note: Pardon the recent Letterology makeover here, but I inadvertently pushed the wrong button the other day and there is no quick fix. I tried googling "Why doesn't Google understand the definition of the word 'Revert'", but got not reply. Time for that big move over to Wordpress soon! 

1 comment:

  1. another reason to some to Seattle- to see these (coveted) books. I love it that you have looked up the author for the printing book. These are the best score, as far as I can reakon. Jewels.


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