Herbert Spencer [Editor] : TYPOGRAPHICA 9. London: Lund Humphries,1954. First edition [Original Series]. A near-fine perfect-bound magazine in stiff printed wrappers with a near-fine uncoated (fragile) dustjacket of colored stock printed in two colors: mild wear to the spine and edges. Here is a rare opportunity for Graphic Design/modern typography aficionados to own an original edition of the legendary Typographica magazine. If you're reading this, you probably know that issues of this groundbreaking magazine never surface on the open market.
9.5 x 12.25 magazine with 40 pages printed on a variety of paper stocks. Reproduction techniques for this issue include letterpress and offset-lithography. Paper stocks include matte and uncoated. In terms of content, this is one of the best issues of the Original Series, in my opinion.
Typographica was the brainchild of founder, editor, designer and renowned typographer Herbert Spencer, and had a brief life, totalling 32 issues published between 1949 and 1967. But its influence stretched and stretches far beyond its modest distribution and print runs of the time. For many graphic designers, Typographica is something of an obsession, to be collected if and when found, savored, and poured over for designs, and techniques not seen since.
Spencer never intended to turn a profit, so no expenses were spared in production (just like Alexey Brodovitch's Portfolio). Different papers, letterpress, tip-ins, and more were all employed in the presentation of an eclectic range of subject matter: Braille, locomotive lettering, sex and typography, typewriter faces, street lettering, matches, and avant-garde poetry all found their way into the magazine.
Contents for this original 1954 issue:
Urbane, prolific and unfailingly modest, Spencer was a reformer dedicated to improving standards of design in a field dominated by the printing industry's outdated conventions. But he was also an aesthete with a connoisseur's eye for the wild modernist innovations with letterforms and layout of the 1920s. Spencer launched the seminal publication, Typographica, in 1949, when he was 25, and edited, designed and sometimes wrote for it for 18 years. Equally at home publishing one of the first articles in Britain about concrete poetry (then an international phenomenon), or an illustrated study of the design challenges presented by Braille, he was a new kind of designer-editor, able to think both visually and verbally, and to fuse images and words in meaningful new relationships.
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