Saturday, November 1, 2008


another trip to the library, returning some recalled books and picking up some new ones. Actually pretty old ones. 1936. Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain & Perfect Pronunciation. The even older, original version was created in 1836. I'm surprised the fine arts library has a copy for take home use. The HRC houses a copy too. So, this book came into being through play and collaboration and willingness and funding. "The artists, designers and printers, whose delightfully diverse solutions to a common problem appear on preceding pages, were invited to redesign an allotted page in any manner they pleased. Each was furnished with a photostat of the original page, each was free to do the page without restriction in style or technique, and without hampering suggestions...That this was a labor of love—both for the delight of children and for the interest of those within the Graphic Arts—is patent by the result." (A Note on This Book, 74). (I must insert here that I adore their style of writing, which I sense, seems to possess an infinitely higher level class and intellect than the present day) None of the contributers knew what their fellow collaborator's designs looked like. In the end of the book, all 41 designers, printers, and illustrators involved are listed with a short biography. No one received pay. All remarked similarly that this opportunity temporarily freed them from their actual paid work which they were tired of. Since all the designers used linotype and black ink plus perhaps one other color, the book looks visually cohesive, but each solution has its own style and approach. Fasinating to see all together.

I like this one:
"Oliver Oglethorpe ogled an owl and oyster: Did Oliver Oglethorpe ogle an owl and oyster? If Oliver Oglethorpe ogled an owl and oyster, where are the owl and oyster Oliver Oglethorpe ogled?"

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