I love type……and I love to write about it. Since the 1980s, I’ve been studying type, typography, printing and design, and telling stories about how it’s made and carried out, whether by hand or digitally, as well as designed books, posters, web sites, and other work, and occasionally tinkered with making type. I spent 2017 printing a book by letterpress while also intensively studying and writing about type and printing history. I interviewed designers like Erik Spiekermann (technically “retired,” actually busy) and Toshi Omagari (Monotype), traveled to Wisconsin to a massive wood-type museum, and went to London to meet people and tour collections to write a short book, London Kerning.
From my work in 2016 and 2017 in several different publications and via my blogs and publishing on Medium, I know I’m not alone in having a passionate interest in these subjects, whether it’s the origins of the words “stereotype” and “flong,” or telling the story of “font detectives,” who provide expert testimony on document forgery based on the typeface and printing telltales.
I want to write these stories directly for you!This Patreon will offer me the support to write and publish articles independently, continue my research, develop new books, and even start a podcast that covers this broad area.
With your support:
- I can produce a steady stream of short items, interviews, and reported stories about type, printing, design, language, and the associated history.
- Work on two short books for which I have plans, outlines and portions of written: one, about six centuries of printing; the other, an illustrated romp through printing and type terminology. And I have an idea for a mid-length book based on the remarkable histories behind the design of some typefaces.
- Create an edited video explaining six centuries of printing.
- Conduct audio and video interviews with type and graphic designers and letterpress printers.
- Travel to type-related events, like this summer’s TypeCon in Portland, Oregon, and this fall’s 10th anniversary “wayzgoose” (printer’s gathering) at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
- Start a podcast in which I look into interesting aspects of these subjects with expert guests.
- Collaborate with other artists to make work that combines media and technology, such as laser cutting and letterpress printing.
- Produce type-related items solo and via manufacturing partners.
Previous support from crowdfunding patrons here and elsewhere led to my 2017 book, Not To Put Too Fine a Point on It, which appears in a letterpress edition with six stories, and I produced as an ebook with 10. This ebook is a reward level for this campaign and available for separate purchase. I’d like to also release a offset printed version in 2018.
Some of what you’ll receive as a patron:
- A regular stream of short and long writing about the subject at hand. I have piles of research for stories and photo essays already completed, waiting for the time to put together.
- Invitations to events I stage (in person and live streamed, including Q&As and interviews).
- Links to podcasts, interviews, and videos I create, some of which will exclusively for backers or available first for backers.
- For higher-tier backers, ebooks, print books, collaborative art, and custom items.
If you’d like to review my recent writing about these subjects, here are several articles I wrote 2017:
- A six-part series at Medium about revolutions in printing and type
- Looking at the digitally driven elements in the revival of letterpress for Wired
- This piece on font detectives for Wired (a profession explained above)
- Erik Spiekermann has created a new kind of “digital” letterpress
- Long, short, and medium dashes (at my blog)
- Monotype’s revival of five Berthold Wolpe typefaces for CreativePro.com
Several Hours of Printing from Glenn Fleishman on Vimeo.
Who is this guy?I’ve been a journalist since the mid-1990s, writing for The New York Times, the Economist, Fast Company, Increment, Boing Boing, Macworld, the Atlantic, and many others. I've been podcasting since 2006 and a regular radio guest on local and national public radio programs. Trained as a typesetter, I managed to shift my career into technology and journalism. I love helping people tell their stories, and helping discover missing pieces of the past.
In 2017, I was the Designer in Residence at the School of Visual Concepts, during which I became proficient as a letterpress printer and produced a handmade book of a collection of reporting about type, printing, and language that was sold in a limited edition of 100 signed and numbered copies.
My podcast, The New Disruptors, ran for over 90 episodes, and previously occupied this Patreon slot. You can listen to back episodes for more of the kinds of stories I find fascinating. I also edited and (for most of its lifetime) owned The Magazine, an electronic fortnightly periodical that embodied all the kinds of things I find interesting. The archives are available free here.