a christmas carol? How does the change in capitalization impact our reading of the text? Gavin Edwards’s The Case of the Initial Letter: Charles Dickens and the Politics of the Dual Alphabet is a thorough consideration of the use and abuse of the initial letter. The initial letter is the first letter of a word. It is not necessarily a drop cap or an ornamental letter that starts a chapter with embellishment. The upper-case initial letter is most often quieter than that – a C instead of a c – but, as we learn, it conveys dignity and carries political weight.
For centuries, humans have been surrounded by printed material. It is easy to ignore that certain typographic elements we take for granted now were, at some point, a novelty. John Boardley’s Typographic Firsts, published by the Bodleian Library, creates awareness for these developments that (mainly) started in the fifteenth century and still shape our books (even the digital ones) in the twenty-first century.
Nancy Stock-Allen’s book is an unapologetic homage (“Her brief but brilliant career in type design” is the subtitle) to the work of type designer Carol Twombly, whose career bridged the critical moment that typography moved from cold type (photo-based creation and capture that never successfully found its legs) to digital. Adobe Systems, where Twombly worked, was the epicenter of early type development for the digital age. At the time of her entry into professional life, Twombly was one of the very few visible women working in type design. ☛ ☞
Theo Rosendorf. The Typographic Desk Reference. 2nd ed. Forward by Erik Spiekermann. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2016. 350p. ISBN 9781584563119….
Stephan Füssel, ed. Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, no. 92. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2017. 288 p. ISBN 9783447108324. EUR 75.00. Frustrating as the delayed arrival of…