It’s been a hot minute and the last few weeks have been busy with blogging and redesigning my website and doing interviews. Let’s take a look:
Besides that I spotted three lovely typographic things for your perusal. The first being Nicholas Rougeux’s gallery of Chicago train tickets—make sure to scroll all the way down to the 80s because that’s where the best stuff is. The second is Oculi, a typeface by the JTD type foundry, which was inspired by Roman lettering. (I especially love the italics of the regular text style.) And finally, thirdly, Doug Wilson’s newsletter about his book on the Linotype is a must-subscribe. So go do that right now.
Okay, that was the round up. What else was going on in my noggin’ this week?
So I’ve never seen myself as a designer or engineer or writer, but as a third thing. It’s sort of pompous and silly to call myself this word though, so I avoid it, but deep down it’s what I’m always thinking whenever someone asks what I do. But here, in this secret society of the newsletter, I will admit to you:
Sure, right now all I do is publish my own stuff but I don’t think that makes me any less of a publisher. But when I use that word I don’t have grand visions of being the chap that sits behind a desk in some fancy Manhattan office smoking cigars and saying no to prospective novelists all day long. Instead, I mean a person who sits in front of a browser, waiting in front of it in the same way that printers of yore would sit before the press.
It might be the part of the web that’s most exciting to me, even more than the writing and the design and the tinkering with HTML and CSS all day long. I love thinking about publishing models and the business behind all this stuff. In fact, when I went to the Book Club of California and spotted all these books that began with “Printed by the XYZ Press”, I couldn’t help but wonder why we ditched that language, that way of describing your shop as a ‘press’. I think it still works and it’s much, much better than ‘web design agency’, right?
As I’ve been doing freelance work over the last few weeks I’ve toyed with the idea of making it into a proper business. And calling this little freelance web design shop of mine “a press” makes me deeply happy. (The Pumpkin Press was one name I jotted down and I’ll sit with it for a while.) But I sort of like framing my little business in this way, as a print shop instead of an agency since I think it signals something important about my relationship with the work. There are no Linotype or Monotype machines, there are no woodcut engraving tools or Lithographic stones lying around this shop.
Instead, there are browsers and browsers and browsers.
Until next week,