Esther K. Smith and Dikko Faust at BookArtsLA - Sept. 8 at 7:30 pm

BookArtsLA Esther K. Smith

Please join BookArtsLA and Esther K. Smith for a special evening and book signing on Friday, September 8 beginning at 7:30 pm. This event is open to all and is presented admission-free. Light refreshments will be served.

We’ll be celebrating the publication of Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c.: The 1874 Masterpiece of Colorful Typography, Edited by Esther K. Smith, Foreword by Steven Heller, Contribution by Wayne White

cover and pages from chromatic type, Esther K. Smith

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. is a vintage volume with an established cultlike status within the bibliophile, typographic, and design worlds. Originally published as a catalogue for William H. Page’s Connecticut wood type foundry— considered one of the best in the world—this 1874 type specimen book features elaborate display typefaces meant to announce tent revivals and circuses. 

This edition reproduces all 102 pages of the original book. A charming gift or perfect addition to any serious art-book library, this volume will be loved by typographers, designers, artists, poets, DIYers, and anyone with a wicked sense of style. See more on the Rizzoli website 

In addition to the intricate typefaces, elaborate borders, and gorgeous ink colors, the original creator of this sample book selected sequences of words meant to show the typeface’s best qualities resulting in text can be read as wonderfully cryptic experimental poetry: Numerous Stolen Mind, reads one; Bleach Tides Most Red, another. This edition reproduces all 99 pages of the original book in a generously proportioned format that displays the plates to excellent advantage. 

Example of Chromatic wood type blocks, and the printed image

Esther K. Smith is the author of the best-selling How to Make Books (Potter Design, 2007) along with the award winning Making Books with Kids (2016, Quarry Books) and Magic Books and Paper Toys (E-Z Pop-Ups and Other Paper Playthings to Amaze and Delight) (Potter Craft, 2008), among many other books and collaborations.

The artistic director at Purgatory Pie Press in New York City, she makes books with printer Dikko Faust, who hand-sets antique wood and metal type, collaborating with other artists and writers. Their work is in many collections nationally and internationally, see more of their work on their website

purgatory pie press

BookArtsLA, 11720 Washington Place, Los Angeles, CA 90066, phone: 310-722-9004

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