We hope to have some copies of the deluxe edition of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible” to sell to customers once we ship out all of the copies that have already been sold and paid for.
We are not certain how many copies we’ll have left to sell, perhaps something between 60 and 100. We are going to sell these in the Lost Art Press store. Here’s how it will go down:
1. Once all of our existing customers for the book have received their copies and any damaged or missing ones have been replaced, we will count up what’s left.
2. We will announce here on the blog how many we have to sell and a date when they will go on sale in our store. There will be different instructions for domestic and international customers.
3. We will put them on sale in our store on that date. No phone orders. No mail orders. Note that we will hold a few copies back to ensure we can replace any damaged or lost copies.
4. Once those copies are gone, the deluxe edition will be finished. Forever.
5. There is no waiting list for this book. It is strictly first-come, first-served. No exceptions.
My apologies for the strict rules here. I hate rules. But we want to be as fair as possible to all of our customers. So this is how we are going to proceed. (This means that asking us to change our operating procedure is wasted breath/keystrokes on your part.)
When Chris gave me the design brief to work on the Lost Art Press edition of “L’art du menuisier,” I realized that I had the opportunity to design two editions for two distinct groups of readers. One for the hands-on user in the workshop, and the other would be for readers who might enjoy a book evocative of the time of its creation. These two designs, within the parlance of the Roubo translators group, became known as the Standard and Deluxe editions. As different readers, and different printing techniques, would bring different demands, separate typographic treatments would be used for each edition.
The design of the deluxe edition takes the ambiance of the 18th-century book for its design cues; early 20th-century book designers, most notably Bruce Rogers, termed this “allusive typography.” Hallmarks of the Rococo book include the substitution of type ornament for woodcuts, a rationalized system of titling (breaking the chapters into discrete parts, and giving them subheadings), and the use of Baroque typefaces. Each of these changes marks the progress toward the industrialized production techniques of the 19th-century: the change from hand-press platen to the cylinder press; rationalization of scientific inquiry; a narrowing of the letterforms, together with shorter descenders and a tendency towards a more brilliant style of cutting. This Baroque style in type design marks its beginning with Hungarian Miklós Kis in the 1690s, continues with the French founder Pierre Simon Fournier in the 1740s, and finds its nadir with Johann Michael Fleischmann’s work in the 1760s for the Enschédé Foundry. Furniture makers can find a similar stylistic transition from William & Mary through Federal.
Fleischmann types, finding themselves eclipsed by the modern styles, fell out of fashion and disappeared from use; but for an edition like “To Make as Perfectly as Possible,” his types are perfect. Happily in the early 1990s, the Dutch Type Library was able to find Erhard Kaiser in Leipzig to create the digital drawings using the original copy of Enschédé’s 1768 specimen book.
Types created during the 400 years of printing were entirely cut by hand, letter by letter, and each size was adjusted for its optical size. After the invention of the pantograph, most types were created using only one master set of drawings. This has continued to be largely the case with the current group of digital fonts. A few fonts have been designed with optical scaling in mind: a set of drawings for sizes 12 point and below, known as Text; a Display set for 14 point and above. DTL Fleischmann is one of these. In the deluxe edition of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible,” the footnotes, sidenotes and the editor’s comments on process have were set in the Text version; Roubo’s text and most of the headings were set using the Display set.
As part of the international support for the Roubo project we are grateful to Frank E. Blokland at Dutch Type Library in Amsterdam for loaning us a copy of DTL Fleischmann to use in the design of the Roubo volumes.