For the past few months I've been visiting and volunteering at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. It's a collection of over 30,000 lettering, typographic, calligraphic and graphic design related items. From stone artefacts and illuminated manuscripts through to digital type files, it's a full on treasure trove for any graphic designer or type fan. I found out about the archive after seeing some wonderful posts on their Instagram account. It's an incredible resource, run by a wonderful group of very knowledgeable people.
So with that said, I've decided to break with Paperpost tradition. Up until now everything on PaperPosts has been from my 'archive', but since I'm getting to see so many great items I'm going to start posting the things I find at the Letterform Archive. It's full of amazing pieces, including original copies of both the Depero Bolted book and the Futurist Tin book. Every time I visit I find beautiful and inspiring things that I simply can't help grabbing a pic of. Expect Letterform Archive posts to become a regular thing.
My first volunteering session was mostly spent book plating historical type specimen and printers' books from the Jan Tholenaar collection (which the book Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles by Taschen was based on). Here are a bunch of things that caught my eye. The dates and modernity of some of the type really shocked me as most of these are between 1760 and 1880. First up here are some pages from 1768:
Next up are these from 1855. The ink is so heavy on some of these that it's coming through on the reverse. And check out the massive E and the foldout - gorgeous.
Here are a bunch of other items that caught my eye, including this great colour guide from 'Mäser's Normal-farben für die graphischen Gewerbe':
And finally (for now at least) this beauty, 'Holzschriften':