One of the things that I love to play with is the different glyphs that come in a well designed font. Here’s an example, from the inside of this year’s Christmas cards.
This typeface, Feldman Engraver, has lots of nice alternate letters: see how the ‘h’ in ‘wishing’ is different from the ‘h’ in ‘the’, and the ‘a’ in ‘capital’ is different from the ‘a’ that follows.
Other examples of alternates include ligatures for letter combinations like ‘fi’, ‘ft’, and ‘ff’, lining and tabular figures, and small caps (like in ‘LLC’ here). It takes extra time to do this, but it’s one of the subtle things that elevates type into a really special design.
The Fall issue of Overland Journal is at the printer and will go out to OCTA members the week after Christmas. Bob Clark has retired as the editor–the first time since 2002 that I have not been working for him in some form!–and I’m happy to be working with our new editor, Marlene Smith-Baranzini. She was the associate editor of California History, the quarterly of the California Historical Society, but left the position before I worked on it. We both copy-edited The Governor: The Life and Legacy of Leland Stanford, and I learned so much about being an editor from reviewing her works–what to change and, more importantly, what to leave alone. Since then she has become a very trusted colleague (and fun person to meet up with when I’m in California!).
The first article in this issue of OJ is fur-trade oriented, thus this lovely cover image. I loved the detail of the mule in the background, but it became hard to see when I shrank the image down enough to fit the whole thing on the cover. Yet the whole painting is very lovely, and we wanted our readers to see the whole thing, too! So we are running both versions–the striking cropped version on the front cover, so we can see the nitty gritty of the trappers’ work in the river, and the full version on the back, where the bend in the river and the mountains in the distance are visible. I just love how it turned out.
Here’s the full info on the cover image, from the Fall issue: Alfred J. Miller, Trapping Beaver, ca. 1858–1860, watercolor on paper, 8.9 by 13.8 in. Courtesy the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Md. In 1837 the European-trained artist A. J. Miller (1810–1874) made his first journey into in the American West with a hunting party, creating quick, accurate sketches that he would later render in his Baltimore studio.
My husband bought me the book Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation for Valentine’s Day. From an interview with the author:
. . . the earliest typewriter keyboards did not have exclamation marks (typists had to type a period, a backspace, and then an apostrophe to simulate one), and the various different dashes—the em, en, figure, and quotation dashes, along with the hyphen—were conflated into a single “hyphen-minus” key that still blights the computer keyboard. Not only that, but many people persist in typing two spaces between sentences because it looked better in the context of a typewriter’s monospaced letters. The typewriter has a lot to answer for!
I don’t really do logo design, but this slideshow is an interesting view of all of the iterations of the new logo for Tavern on the Green. I actually liked the shields in slide 6 the best, but of course, I prefer design that is very simple.
Another book from this summer is now at press: Cheyenne War: Indian Raids on the Roads to Denver, 1804-1869, by Jeff Broome. Here’s a quote from a reviewer, John D. McDermott, whose book Red Cloud’s War: The Bozeman Trail, 1866–1868, I designed a couple of years ago:
The group of documents found in the National Archives known as Record Group 123 contains claims initiated by United States citizens to recover the value of property lost in Indian raids. In his latest book, Jeff Broome has used these documents to give us a fascinating account of Cheyenne raids in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming during the period 1864–1869. Illuminating one side of white-Indian conflict, it brings home the horror of war and its consequences, and elevates Indian depredation claims as an important source of our history.
The book will be available at the publisher, Aberdeen Bookstore, around Thanksgiving.
From the Guardian, Neil Gaiman on libraries and literacy:
Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information.
Check out the art on the trimmed edge of this book! I’m working on the details of a fancy limited edition, but we are not going quite this far.
I’ve been working on three dust jackets in the last month, very fun! Here are two of them; the third is about a month out from completion.
The first is for a reprint of a book that is out of print–just in time for a new museum at Fort Custer to open! Fort Custer on the Big Horn, by Richard Upton, is being released with a new foreword and introduction by Upton and Sons. It will go to press in just a couple of weeks.
The second is by a frequent customer of the rare books division of the Arthur H. Clark Company, Leonard Brant. It’s rare that I meet an author face to face, and even more rare that he comes to my house (since I work from home)! I’m delighted with how this cover is turning out. Kootenai Indians of the Columbia Plateau will be out in November.
It’s hard to tell here, but this cover is a deep eggplant color. It pairs really well with the warm brown of the foreground of this bison image from the Library of Congress, and it’s a nice change of pace–OJ covers often end up being blue, green or brown since we frequently run landscapes as the image. Our printer did a great job with it; they helped me make sure the color would be just right, and we didn’t have any of the banding that can happen with a dark color like this one over a large area. The summer issue will be done pretty soon, too!