New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2001, 8vo., paperback. 1088 pages.
Third edition, reprinted with new introduction by Martin Hutner. This extraordinary work explores the art of typography from the dawn of printing to the twentieth century. By tracing the development of type design, Updike discusses the importance of each historic period and the lessons they contain for todays designers.
The original two volume set has been bound in paperback and containing the original 367 typographical illustrations selected from rare and beautiful books. Updikes well-written text constitutes a running commentary on the historical and artistic significance of these illustrations, which exemplify the best work of printers and type founders from Gutenberg to Bruce Rogers.
In Volume I, Mr. Updike discusses the Latin alphabet, the invention of printing, the cutting and casting of types, fifteenth-century types in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and England as well as German, Italian and French types of sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Volume II continues the discussion of types to the beginning of the nineteenth century and then describes American types and nineteenth-century types in general. The closing chapters on choice of type and the industrial conditions of the past and their relationship to problems printers face are very informative. This work is the third edition, reprinted with new introduction by Martin Hutner. Co-published with The British Library.