The Complete Engraver

A review by James Puckett When it comes to the Gilded Age, the canon of design history teaches of broadside posters and the Kelmscott press. Wood type and artistic printing have attracted a following and are fighting their way in. Further outside the canon lies a neglected facet of design woven into society, personal lives […]

Emigre No. 70, the Look Back Issue

Reviewed by James Puckett In 1983 Rudy VanderLans, Zuzana Licko, Marc Susan, and Menno Meyjes began Emigre, a magazine about “…the global artist who juggles cultures, travels between them, and who is fluent in the cultural symbols of the world. An émigré.”[1] Early issues meandered through essays, interviews, fiction and poetry. VanderLans directed wild layouts […]

Designing Armitage

By James Puckett This is the doorway to The Claremount, an apartment building in Manhattan. I think that it was built in the 1890s. Those letters over the door just reached out and grabbed me from across the street and I had a typeface coming on.

Art and Text

Reviewed by James Puckett Artist Joseph Kosuth’s 1965 work One and Three Chairs presented a static composition that represents an idea three ways. It was heady stuff, addressing what conceptual artists saw as a crisis of reconciling the realization of concepts with the concepts. One of the three material representations in One and Three Chairs […]

Graphic Masterpieces of Yakov G. Chernikhov: The Collection of Dmitry Y. Chernikhov

Reviewed by James Puckett Yakov G. Chernikov (1889–1951), was a Russian artist, designer, and architect learned in classical and modern styles. As a draftsman he was on par with Piranesi and Rembrandt; his most forward-thinking drawings resemble the style of Yoshitaka Amano. This combination of knowledge and skill made him one of the most accomplished […]

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles

Reviewed by James Puckett I was excited when Taschen announced the first volume of Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, described as “This exuberant selection of typographic fonts and styles traces the modern evolution of the printed letter”*. Such language, including the title, is disingenuous, because this book is not a history. […]

Nineteenth Century Designers & Engravers of Type

Reviewed by James Puckett “The truth of the terse but expressive ‘dead and forgotten’, comes home with peculiar force to the searcher after information about the individuals who have developed the art and craft of typefounding.” – William E. Loy The Industrial Revolution is often seen as a black hole in the history of typography. […]

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