Glenn Fleishmanis creating Articles & Books about Type, Printing, and Language
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Oh, you kid! Access to all my exclusive or exclusive-first patron content. Printer’s devils were youth who assisted in the print shop, melting down lead and learning the ropes en route to becoming apprentices. You devils support buoys all my work.
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 in a design residency 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.
In 2018, I wrote a short book, London Kerning, about my research and interviews and new friendships in London, and wrote many articles about this topic for patrons at Patreon and for publications, like the Economist. I gave three talks derived from my London book, and edited and uploaded a 90-minute version of the talk to YouTube.
In 2019, in collaboration with Anna Robinson, I developed the Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule, a tiny case of drawers combined with a book that includes genuine artifacts of printing and type—it’s a real, tiny museum. The project to make an edition of 100 was initially funded on Kickstarter in February 2019, and the first museums will be delivered in mid-2020. This project also includes a copy of a book I wrote, Six Centuries of Type & Printing, which was composed in hot-metal type and printed by letterpress.
From my work in in the last few years in several different publications, and via my blogs and publishing across many periodicals, 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,” the meaning of “chromatic type,” or 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 has given me the support to write and publish articles independently, continue my research, develop new books. I hope to 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. (Patrons’ support has helped me achieve some of that!)
- Work on books: a history of six centuries of printing (finished), created as part of the Tiny Type Museum project; an illustrated romp through printing and type terminology; one that collects the remarkable histories behind the design and recovery of some typefaces; and others not as well formulated.
- Create an edited video explaining six centuries of printing.
- Travel to type-related events. This Patreon so far has helped me travel to the 2018 TypeCon in Portland, Oregon (where I gave a talk), visit the London Transport Museum’s storage collection for a typographic tour, visit incredible type and printing resources in San Francisco in 2019, and attend the 2019 Hamilton Wayzgoose (also to deliver a talk). (The pandemic prevents travel at the moment, but it will resume.)
- Start a podcast in which I look into interesting aspects of these subjects with expert guests. The Tiny Typecast launched in early 2020, and has several episodes out, including a visit to Letterform Archive in San Francisco and an interview with David Sax, author of The Revenge of Analog.
- Collaborate with other artists to make work that combines media and technology, such as laser cutting and letterpress printing. The Tiny Type Museum project is an outgrowth of that support, where I’m working with several people to contract their art and expertise.
- 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 stories. This ebook is a reward level for this campaign and available for separate purchase, and I have a few author’s proofs available for sale. It also led to London Kerning, which is also available to patrons and separately, and to the Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule, which also has an associated ebook and upcoming print edition.
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.
- Links to podcasts, interviews, and videos I create, some of which will be 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’ve written from 2017 to 2020:
- An in-depth examination of flongs and stereotypes, a critical and forgotten stage in printing’s evolution (Patreon).
- The long history of technical documentation (Increment)
- 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
- The paper that poisoned its printers for the Economist
- The short fad of typesetting races in the late 1800s for the Economist
- For want of a typeface, about Unicode and the representation of less-spoken languages, for Increment
Who is this guy?I’ve been a journalist since the mid-1990s, writing for The New York Times, the Economist, Fortune, 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.
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Routinely write short articles and produce photo essays on tightly focused topics.
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