Josna Rege

Back in the Challenge Again: A Printer’s Alphabet

In Notes on March 31, 2015 at 9:34 pm

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0This is to let Tell Me Another’s regular readers know that, for the third year running, I’ve gone and signed up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, which involves writing a daily blog post throughout the month of April that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet in turn. It remains to be seen whether I’ll manage to finish, but I just couldn’t resist.

This time I’ve chosen the language of typography and printing, particularly letterpress printing, for my theme, which I shall follow loosely, and depart from when I feel like it. I’m no expert on the subject, but did work for a small publishing company in my teens and early twenties, and then shared in the running of an even smaller letterpress printing business for several years in my mid-to-late twenties. Ever since, I’ve appreciated typography, graphic design, and the feel of books printed on high-quality paper, and enjoyed using the specialized lingo of the trade. Although the experiences in this period of my life were formative ones for me, I’ve hardly mentioned them in Tell Me Another to date (with two exceptions, Gas-Station Shirts and Turning Towards the Light).

A whole new era—arguably, the modern era itself—began with the invention of movable type, so it is no wonder that hundreds of words, phrases, and idioms associated with printing have entered the language. Every day of the Challenge I’ll choose one or more of these to match the relevant letter of the alphabet. When time is short I may post just the term with a  definition, and on particularly hectic days an illustration may have to suffice. I dare bet that many book-loving readers will know more about printing and typography than I do, so your comments, additions, and anecdotes will be especially welcome.

atoz [2015] - BANNER - 910

  1. Sounds interesting! Glad you are doing the challenge again.

  2. Wish you well Josna.

  3. Great topic.
    Visiting from AtoZ

    • Thank you, Wendy. I just visited your blog and loved your entry about Alvin and Edyth Terwiliger. I will be returning over the coming month. All the best.

    • Thank you, Wendy. I like yours as well and look forward to returning to it over the course of the month. This is fun, but I’m falling behind already. Here’s to April!

  4. Looking forward to reading your posts. I was 15 when I saw the printing press at our local newspaper. I went all gaga over the letter tiles. I think if I had had the opportunity to work with them, I might’ve been more interested in that aspect of publication than writing.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder
    Take 25 to Hollister

    • Thank you for visiting. Yes, there is a fascination with the paraphernalia of printing–it’s a whole world of its own, one that I dearly hope won’t be dying out altogether anytime soon

    • Thank you for visiting, and apologies for my delay in responding. Yes, printing and typography are seductive arts. Quite a few writers also had their own small presses and laboriously typeset and printed their own work. Look at Leonard and Virginia Woolf. So you can do both. And in this digital age you can write, design, and publish your own book. I have visited your first blog (wow–you are doing two Challenges!) but couldn’t work out how to leave a comment; will definitely return to it. Enjoy the month!

  5. I’m so glad you are doing the A to Z again, and what an interesting theme! It’ll be good for us to connect to the roots of printing, and get a reminder of where we come (she said, tapping away on the iPad…) I’m seated for the rest of the month!

    • Thank you for visiting (I’m replying on an iPhone, which I thought I’s never succumb to). it’s good to hear from you and it reminded me to visit your blog, which Is like no other.

  6. love the way this will make us screen freaks remember The Letter. i know you will finish to z. xxx bine

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, bine! Of course you experienced my obsession firsthand this time last year. Thinking of you with love, J xo

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