Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Printing for Treasure Gems
Treasure Gems, a bound 4 ½ by 6 yearbook of printing contributions by members of the Amalgamated Printers Association (APA) began in 1971, the same year I joined the group. It took me a little while to get going though – my first Treasure Gems piece was a quote from Emerson printed in 1978:
Over the years my husband and I have printed several times for Treasure Gems. It’s a great opportunity to showcase printed pieces. And since people collect and save Treasure Gems booklets, it’s one way to insure that your printing will be preserved and appreciated for many years!
Some of our Treasure Gems pieces have been historical, illustrating the use of a particular typeface. For example, the “Murder She Wrote” piece below talks about Art Gothic, an 1884 typeface that was also used for titling on the former television program.
We’ve done Treasure Gems pieces that show off border, too. Two below are for Acme Border, an early 20th century geometric from the Inland Type Foundry; and for Floriated Border, an eccentric 1890 concoction of flowers, twigs, and bark, designed by the Central Type Foundry.
One of our Treasure Gems pieces used an article from an old printing magazine. "Odor of a Printshop" talked about how printers get attached to the smell of kerosene, oil, and ink. They say printing gets in your blood, but in this case it gets in your nostrils!
Sometimes we've gotten whimsical, too. “American Types” was a poem published in a 1912 printing bulletin by American Type Founders, a typecasting company. Designed to be sung to the tune of “America the Beautiful”, the poem’s multiple verses celebrated ATF’s product ― a sneaky way to advertise. We thought it was kind of fun to sing the song, despite its occasionally clunky rhymes.
On the serious side, when a printer friend of ours died suddenly, we printed “Promise to a Printer” as a memorial piece. My husband wrote a “printerly” poem and we published it in memory of our friend.
Humorous or serious, historical or not, Treasure Gems contains some of the best printing from the Amalgamated Printers Association, the letterpress group I joined 40 years ago. And what a joy to work with other printers to create a booklet that will continue to be read and enjoyed years later!