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Printers' Marks A Chapter in the History of Typography   By: (1862-1940)

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In "Printers' Marks: A Chapter in the History of Typography," William Roberts embarks on a comprehensive exploration of a lesser-known aspect of the printing world - the printers' mark. While the significance of these marks may have been overshadowed by the typographical gems they adorn, Roberts skillfully brings them into the spotlight, shedding light on their historical and artistic value.

Roberts commences his study with a detailed explanation of the purpose and evolution of printers' marks throughout history. From the early days of the printing press to the exponential expansion of the printing industry, Roberts traces their development, illustrating their remarkable adaptability and enduring appeal. His thorough research and meticulous attention to detail are evident as he delves into the diverse forms these marks took, highlighting their regional differences and stylistic evolution.

One of the most commendable aspects of Roberts' work is his ability to weave together the narrative of printing history with the aesthetics of printers' marks. He posits that these marks are a reflection of societal and cultural values, serving as a window into the world of their creators. By analyzing the visual elements - the symbolism, motifs, and patterns - Roberts unlocks the hidden messages contained within each mark, making a compelling case for their importance as historical artifacts.

While the encyclopedic nature of the book might overwhelm casual readers, it proves to be a treasure trove for typography enthusiasts and scholars alike. Roberts provides an extensive catalogue of printers' marks with detailed explanations of their origins and significance, offering an invaluable resource for researchers and collectors in the field.

However, where "Printers' Marks" truly shines is in its visual presentation. The book includes a generous collection of stunning illustrations, showcasing the incredible diversity and artistic quality of these marks. Roberts' keen eye for design and layout is evident as each mark is presented with precision, allowing readers to appreciate their intricacy and beauty.

In conclusion, "Printers' Marks: A Chapter in the History of Typography" by William Roberts is a meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated book that fills an important gap in the understanding of printing history. Roberts' expertise in the subject matter shines through, making this an invaluable resource for scholars, collectors, and anyone intrigued by the hidden stories behind printers' marks.

First Page:



Cum Priuilegio Venetiis Impressum Anno M D V

Petrus Liechtensteyn]

Printers' Marks

A Chapter in the History of Typography by W. Roberts

Editor of "The Bookworm"



London: George Bell & Sons, York Street, Covent Garden, & New York. Mdcccxciij.

Chiswick Press: C. Whittingham And Co., Tooks Court, Chancery Lane.



This Volume Is Respectfully Dedicated.



There are few phases of typography open to the charge of being neglected. An unquestionable exception occurs, however, in relation to Printers' Marks. This subject is in many respects one of the most interesting in connection with the early printers, who, using devices at first purely as trade marks for the protection of their books against the pirate, soon began to discern their ornamental value, and, consequently, employed the best available artists to design them. Many of these examples are of the greatest bibliographical and general interest, as well as of considerable value in supplementing an important class of illustrations to the printed books, and showing the origin of several typical classes of Book plates (Ex Libris)... Continue reading book >>

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