Printers’ specimen book, 1958, Pt. 1

Mid-century fonts, layouts and illustration from Abbey Mills, North Wales

Designed by Eric Fraser, originally from Curwen Press

Featuring papers with names like Glastonbury Coloured Antique Laid, Basingwerk Parchment, Chariot Cartridge and British Oak Parchment this is a gorgeous volume. The production values are incredible, arresting the senses at every level, and even now the scent of musty forest hangs among its leaves.

Drawing by Charles Mozley

Every letter is flawlessly crisp, and touching the many silks, sheens and matts of the papers makes you feel like a Tudor merchant plunging his hands into a trove of fabrics from a newly-arrived shipment.

Figurehead by A Romney; Shop by C Arthur; Initial letter R Busbridge
Illustration by Cecil Keeling
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2 comments

  1. Dr Nick Campbell · May 13

    Beautiful! The ‘Beside the Seaside’ illustration looks suspiciously Bawdenish…

    • whistlesinthewind · May 13

      It does indeed, and more surprising the illustrations are the work of three different people – to think the world was once so full of such beautiful stuff. I was sure the ‘March’ image in part 2 was the textile designer Robert Stewart but no…

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