Vincent Steer (born 1888) was a compositor and is renown for being the founder of the British Typographers’ Guild.

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 been sold.

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.