In 1934, Steer wrote Printing Design and
Layout. The book is a masterpiece and has been referred to as “A Complete
Course in Typography" and as the “Typographer’s Bible”. The book is a
thing of beauty and I was lucky enough to see an original copy, whilst working
with one of my print partners in Cape Town.
As the creative director of a
branding and packaging studio, I get to sign off and QC many of the design work
that we produce for our retail clients. On this particular visit, whilst the
machine was being prepared for our second job, the print manager kindly walked
me through their magnificent collection of old Heildelberg printing machines
that I will feature in a later post. Feeding off of my obvious excitement and
enthusiasm, he asked me to follow him to his office, where on his desk was an
original 1934 pressing of Vincent Steers masterpiece. This particular copy was
originally owned by his late father, which made viewing this copy, that little
more special. As you can clearly see, the book, with it’s beautifully simple
print colours of black and red is an absolute treasure!
Three subsequent editions were published:
the second in 1945 (and reprinted 1947); the third in 1952; the fourth and
final in 1958 (and reprinted in 1960). To date, a total of 18,000 copies have
If you’re a typographer or designer and you
haven’t come across this book before, then give your eyes a feast. This book is
an absolute classic.
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