The new issue of NYFA Current features an article about Vernacular Typography. View it HERE.
I’m mildly obsessed with composition notebooks. There’s something about that familiar black and white marble pattern that is incredibly appealing. In the past year alone, I’ve somehow amassed over 40 marble notebooks, each with a distinct cover. It’s interesting to see the same base pattern being used–and distorted–by different brands.
While some companies create their own style of the pattern, others manipulate a particular version, first seen in the Roaring Spring books (they’ve been producing composition books since 1887), which early catalogues describe as “black agate marble with paper sides.” Their pattern has no copyright, and is considered public domain.
Companies even use multiple patterns within their own product line (perhaps to indicate a different paper style). The pattern is so recognizable that lately it’s been used on a range of things other than notebooks (shoes, socks, bags, hats, art objects, and other random stuff).
(I also think it would make a great jacket):
Ultimately, I think the most beautiful versions are the ones that are completely original and unique to one brand:
More images below…
My new favorite book, a 1964 guide to boating. Bodoni Extra Bold Italic even looks like it would float. Buoyancy is often a criterion in my font selection.
A new city added to the main site. Here are a few of my favorite shots, taken while wandering around Market Street in downtown Newark…
I love these little red guides by Ward, Lock & Co. In addition to nearly 200 pages of text, this thirteenth edition features six beautifully illustrated maps and several pages of great ads (“Northern Ireland is Worth Seeing!”).
Ebenezer Ward & George Lock opened their publishing business in 1854 on Fleet Street. In 1892, they began publishing their guide books in red cloth covers (originally they had been hard, green covers). Today, Ward, Lock & Co. is owned by Octopus Publishing Group.