Moscow: Kniga, 1965. Item #868
228 pp.: ill. 22x17.7 cm. In original cloth with the letterpress design and constructivist dust-wrapper by Solomon Telingater. Dust-wrapper with a couple of tears. Otherwise fine.
First edition. Rare.
Both a brief account of the book history and an extensive study of the origins and later development of job printing. Published in 1965, the book is written by one of the biggest names in Russian book art, Solomon Telingater (1903-1969) and the author of numerous typography studies, Lev Kaplan. The former, alongside El Lissitzky (1890-1941), Gustav Klutsis (1895-1938) and Alexander
Rodchenko (1891-1956), was a founding member of the October group - a collective of Constructivist artists responsible for revolutionizing standards of the 1930s Soviet typography and book design. Influenced by the avant-garde tendencies of the time, Telingater made a name for himself as a daring experimenter who applied the trends of the emerging film industry and the features of photographic technology to book art. Solomon stood out above the rest of the graphic artists not only because of his modernist inclinations, but because of his masterly knowledge of typography. He paid particular attention to the drawn types (prints), regarding them to increase the expressiveness of book design. His most famous works include: “Dvenadtsat’” [i.e.Twelve] (1923), “S meshkom za smert’yu” [i.e. With a Sack after Death] (1927), “Slovo predostavlyayetsya Kirsanovu” [i.e. The Word Belongs to Kirsanov] (1930), “Tragediynaya noch’” [i.e. Tragical Night] (1931), Govorit Il’ich [i.e. Lenin Speaking] (1932), etc. One of the most vocal theorists of constructivist book/poster design, Telingater infused his decades-long typographical experience into a book dedicated not to the craft, but to the art of job printing.
The book consists of two main sections: Job Printing by Solomon Telingater and The Techniques of Job Printing by Lev Kaplan. The first section of the edition elaborates upon the book and job printing history, since the author believed that the past contained typographic riches for the future. Telingater pays particular attention to the visual side of the job printing and focuses on the ways of avoiding tricks of optical illusion. The author thoroughly examines various sorts of fonts, typefaces, rules and ornaments and gives advice on their proper use. The first section of the book also deals with the topics of the compositional arrangement of the job printing elements (initials, headpieces, etc) in book design and different job printing types, such as forms, diplomas,
certificates, invitations, ads, etc. The author occasionally offers comparisons between the Soviet and foreign job printing specimens: “In socialist countries, advertising serves the interests of the consumer” while “in bourgeois press ads often have a blatant and ugly pattern”. While assessing contemporary state of this specific field of typography, Telingater states that the interest towards job printing decreased after a short revival period that was mirrored in the editions published between 1925-1930 and the 1st All-Union Printing Trade Exhibition in Moscow, 1927 (the exhibition, distinguished with its constructivist slant, was designed by El Lissitzky and was attended by Solomon Telingater, Gustav Klutsis, etc). The edition presents constructivist cover designs of “Kak izobreli telegraf” [i.e. How the Telegraph was Invented] (1928; written by P. Albychev; design by Telingater) and “Khorosho!” [i.e. Good!] (1927; written by Mayakovsky; design by El Lissitzky) as examples of proper job printing.
The second section of the book, in contrast to the first chapter, focuses on the technical side of the job printing. The author elaborates upon such topics as the typesetting techniques of various job printing elements and the equipment and instruments necessary for the procedure. Aside from the aforementioned, Kaplan provides information on the proper organization of the working space, storage conditions of the materials, and on the mechanisation of the job prints. The edition is densely illustrated and features an array of job printing specimens (ornaments, initials, headpieces, rules, title-pages, ex-libris and various compositions designed using the technology, etc), in most cases, accompanied by the comments of the author. The book also showcases schemes of properly organized working space and illustrations of different instruments. “The Art of Job Printing” can be considered to be one of the most significant Soviet studies of this special field of typography.
Worldcat locates a copy at Library of Congress.