Archive for the Typography Category

Anniversary exhibition at CAM Raleigh through August 7

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Event, Friends, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Music, Politics/Philosophy, Publishing, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on July 23, 2016 by horseandbuggypress



It’s been a busy past few months, most notably with having a fantastic first stop to the traveling exhibition “20 Years of Horse & Buggy Press (and friends!), which debuted high above the banks of New Hope Creek at Cassilhaus during May. Cassilhaus, an amazingly beautiful home, gallery, and artist residency program designed and run by Frank Konhaus and architect Ellen Cassilly is one of the true gems of our area. They put on an amazingly rich and diverse set of exhibits and events at their place. I highly suggest getting on their mailing list.

The H&B anniversary exhibit is now up and running at CAM Raleigh (there are over 200 pieces in the show including all eighteen fine press books I’ve produced, some of which have the last few copies for sale) and there’s a series of talks (all free) with a bunch of the collaborators in the coming weeks.

Copious details on the exhibit and the events at our most recent two newsletters. (if you would like to be on the mailing list, just holler to me at  I send out 4–6 newsletters in a year.

July newsletter

May newsletter

Later this summer and continuing through the fall you will see a veritable explosion of blogposts profiling the bevy of book projects I’ve produced in the last few years and a few of the larger commissioned projects. I’m very excited about Journey, a 112 page book of photomontage by Catharine Carter which I just finished printing the covers for yesterday. The first 10 or 20 copies of the edition should be on hand at the Sunday, July 31 event at CAM Raleigh (see newsletters above more info). There will also be a giclee/lettepress broadside edition produced.



Roses: The Late French Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Design, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Publishing, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on November 27, 2013 by horseandbuggypress

The fifteenth title to be published under the Horse & Buggy Press imprint.

Roses: The Late French Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

Translations, Introduction,  & Essay by David Need
Drawings by Clare Johnson

Roses is a 224 page interdisciplinary investigation into Rilke’s late work, written in French instead of his native German, and produced with the utmost attention to detail and quality in materials.

Poet and poetry scholar David Need has been working on these translations for many years. The book presents the original French poems alongside David’s translations to English, and each of the 27 poems in the Roses series is accompanied by a pen and ink drawing by Clare Johnson. An essay by David, a series of appendix poems, and elaborate endnotes offer additional perspectives into Rilke’s work.

The books are offset printed in two colors using high-end heavyweight paper with a tactile eggshell finish, and the covers are partially hand-printed on the letterpress with wraparound foredge flaps. Each book includes a custom printed bookmark and is numbered and hand-signed by the author.

Roses sells for only $30, despite all the high-end production touches.

UPDATE. April 2016. There are less than ten signed and numbered copies remaining from the first printing. These now sell for $60 (the second printing sells for the original $30 price, the second printing does not have hand-printed covers but does utilize the same  -high-end paper and binding)..

For more information or to order a copy, please see the Announcement & Order Form

some spreads below . . .


2-title spread

3-Intro spread

4-poem spread

5-Drawing spread

5-Essay spread

7-appendix poems spread

8-notes spread

Books & Broadsides Exhibit at Ackland Museum Shop

Posted in Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project, Publishing, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on November 10, 2011 by horseandbuggypress

The Ackland Museum Store, located at the corner of Franklin Street and Columbia around the corner from the museum proper, has recently installed a great exhibit entitled “Books & Broasides (First Edition).”

Featuring the work of over a dozen book artists and craftspersons from across the Triangle it is an exuberant, diverse show and I’m proud to be a part of it.

The exhibit will be up through December 18 and the store is open every day. Great staff, great curating, and a well designed space. Definitely worth a trip. The show is much more than just fine press books as there are pop up books, collages, sculptures, and more.

Below is a link to a short video highlighting a few of the works in the show. (you may remember John’s pop up books from an exhibit in our foyer gallery a couple years ago).

Type porn film

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on January 26, 2011 by horseandbuggypress

things are busy here at H&B — book design, letterpress booklet covers for employee training manuals for counter culture coffee, menu design updates, posters, and lots of other projects. Updates will come in February after my trip to the Codex Book Fair.

In the meantime this short film below will keep you entertained.

Type as porn and celebrating the craft of producing typographic design. The work of House Industries. Good stuff.

Being able to successfully exist in the world of hand drawing and lettering, and master digital typographic design simultaneously is no small feat, kudos to them for pulling it off. And for being involved in sponsoring and supporting cycling.

four minute film

Chris Stern’s work lives on.

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Friends, Literature, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on December 28, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Chris Stern and Jules Remedios Faye were Stern & Faye Printers. Chris died in 2006 from cancer.

Great work reproduced here at the Stern & Faye website. The discerning reader will also notice that clearly their website was an inspiration point for the design of the Horse & Buggy Press website. Chris and Jules collaborated on some beautiful broadsides.

When I was a core student at Penland I discovered Chris’s work when I purchased States of Grace. I was intrigued because he seemed to be doing what I was trying to do… making beautiful book editions that are QUIETLY beautiful, tactilely engaging, and have great writing in them, and honor the private, intimate space of reading purposefully. These were books to be read and housed in bookshelves at homes, not ensconced in rare book libraries where the rarity is the books actually getting pulled out and read by anyone.

I wrote Chris a letter and we corresponded a few times (it sure is nice when people take the time to write back, share, and continue a dialogue; it makes the world seem like such a nicer, convivial place). Besides being an accomplished printer and an adventurous designer, Chris also was active in casting Monotype and working to preserve that craft (and helping out letterpress printers who were/are still interested in using metal type). I almost pulled the trigger on a book project a few years ago that I would have published myself — and Chris would have cast the type for — but it languishes to this day on the back burner due to a lack of funds. (there’s a fair bit of esteemed company —and interesting projects — crowding that back burner).

A few years ago we treated ourselves to a broadside Chris and Jules collaborated on when we were out in Seattle. (purchased at Wessel & Lieberman, a fantastic fine press bookstore) A detail of the broadside is pictured below.

Today I received an announcement about an initiative to start ” a working museum to preserve and continue the art and industry of the cast letterform.” The beginnings of this venture is Chris’s type foundry equipment. There is lots of information below at the link. This organization is a non-profit so any donations will result in a tax credit. Please consider contributing and/or spreading the word to folks that might be interested or do-gooders with the cash money to support important things that otherwise are going to die out.

Idea of a Working Museum

Sumi-e Chinese brush painting and calligraphy exhibit

Posted in Art, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project, Typography on November 4, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

The reception is this weekend, Sunday November 7 from 1:30-3:30 at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill. The exhibit is up through the end of the year.

Hopefully, I will be using some of Alice’s (Jinxiu Zha) artwork within “Yuri’s Brush with Magic,” the pre-teen novel I’m designing for Sleepy Hollow Books, a new publishing company started by Amy Spaulding here in Durham. I’ll be posting more information, including some sneak peeks, about that book after it gets sent off to the printer next week.

Broadside Project

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Horse & Buggy Press project, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on September 23, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

Randall better

I had the pleasure of designing and hand-printing a bilingual poetry broadside for Randall Styers.

As a very generous gift, Randall commissioned me to create this piece for Elizabeth Castelli, a good friend of his up in New York. The 1721 poem was from “Muzio Scevola,” and written for an Italian aria by Giovanni Bononcini and Paolo Antonio Rolli. It is always a treat to get one of these projects, where the goal is to make the artifact as beautiful as possible and it is not a rush so we can get every detail just right, and really show off the tactile qualities of nice paper and letterpress printing. (one thing the whole digital revolution will never be able to “touch”).

Randall really only wanted one copy to frame but I explained we should at least do a few dozen copies as set up is as much work as cranking the handle a few times.

I set the Italian in the swash cap italic version of Jenson and these lines were printed in a warm red (about halfway between pure red and burgundy), and the English translation was printed in the roman version of Jenson, and printed in a warm gold.

The titling, set in Bodoni all caps, was given a nice deep impression into the fibers of the paper. I was able to give it a double hit of ink and still have it register perfectly for a nice, solid, and opaque-as-hell rich black.

Then the colophon-like contextual info was printed in a warm very soft grey. Subtle with a capital B it sits in the background to let the reading of the poem be the main focus, but at the same time it is very clear and easy to read when you are ready for that information.

The following pictures give a hint at the result. (thanks Randall for making time to show me the framed copy!). The last image is a version of the design digitally so you can see the composition cleanly. Someday we’ll have a better camera in the studio but until then we suggest stopping by the studio on a Third Friday open house or during the upcoming Nov 21 & 22 artwalk to see the broadside in all its ink and paper glory. You can decide whether it looks best on pure white Somerset paper, or the laid lines of Hemp Heritage.

I’ve got another broadside project in the works. A buddhist poem which will be another gift project and given as a surprise present to the author of the poem for his fiftieth birthday. More on that in the near future.

Hands and broadside

Framed, straight onFramed, angle on wood table
digital image