Archive for September, 2008

The Atlas of Early Printing

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Spread of Printing AtlasThe University of Iowa has this nifty animated atlas / timeline of the spread of printing in Europe between 1450 and 1500.

[via Lauging Squid]

Letterpress Guild of New England Wayzgoose 2008 pictures

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

I just posted some photos from the wayzgoose to Flickr. Check it out.

Using a household iron to heat type

Monotype keyboard paper roll   Sam and Bill   Michael demonstrates the Linotype model 31   Jacob   Composed composing sticks

Rebecca brushes off excess leaf

Obama '08 Much missed, at least by me, was Leslie of the Sea Dog Press (who sent along these Obama signs since she couldn’t make it in person) and Kelley of May Day Studios, (who printed the lovely invitations to the event)

Of interest the weekend of September 20-21

Friday, September 19th, 2008

The Letterpress Guild of New England’s annual wayzgoose is tomorrow (September 20) at high noon at the Firefly Press in Allston.

The Somerville Urban Country Fair is also tomorrow in Union Square; Shelley and the Albertine Press posse will be there, as will myriad other crafty people.

The Boston Zine Fair is tomorrow and Sunday, September 21, at the Boston Art Institute on Newbury Street.

Also– and this is not letterpress related at all, but I do like beer– the Mercury Brewing Company’s harvest party is up in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.

There is way too much action this weekend!

The Victorian Emoticon

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Wired reports that on this day in 1982, the emoticon was invented:

At precisely 11:44 a.m., Scott Fahlman posts the following electronic message to a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use:


But the article also delves into historical precedent for using typography to convey emotions, and here’s where the letterpress / antique typography angle comes in:

In 1881, the American satirical magazine Puck published what we would now call emoticons, using hand-set type. No less a wordsmith than Ambrose Bierce suggested using what he called a “snigger point” — \__/ — to convey jocularity or irony.