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aspen press

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know


to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”


William Morris (1834–1896)







Occasional thoughts and news from Aspen Press




ALLSORTS seemed like the obvious name for this page, the place for all sorts.


Firstly, my favourite confectionery is Liquorice Allsorts and secondly as some of you may know a piece of lead type is called a "sort".


Allegedly when compositors were setting type and got to the point where they ran out of a particular letter they would be "out of sorts".


While I am on the subject of printer related sayings of course there are lots.


The first one that comes to mind is "mind your p’s and q’s". Type is set in reverse so you can see how that comes about but my mental block is b’s and d’s so in our house minding your p’s and q’s has become mind your b’s and d’s.


Being a lover of quotes here are some printing related ones that I particularly like.


One of my heroes is Typeface Designer Frederic Goudy who I would have loved to have met and would certainly be one of my imaginary dinner party guests.


His best-known quote I think is "All the old guys stole all the best ideas".


He also said, "Any man who would letterspace Blackletter would steal sheep".


More printing related quotes.


Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world. - Benjamin Franklin


Never pick a fight with anyone who buys ink by the barrel. - Mark Twain


Letters are things, not pictures of things. - Eric Gill


Type does not need to be readable. It should be beautiful. - Ed Benguet - Type Designer


Type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters. - Jarod Kintz - Author


When I started printing, I was recommended to do 2 things


1) join the British Printing Society which I did and


2) find and read a copy of John Ryders Printing for Pleasure.


On the first page of the book there is a warning - "You should dispense with any idea of running a small press as a money-making side-line". (no comment) and my favourite, "Once you have printer’s ink on your hands you will find that the ink sinks into your veins and give you a whole new approach to type and the printed page".

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Thank you to everyone who came to see us at The watch House on Orford Quay to browse to chat and to buy. We had a great time meeting you all.

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