An Introduction to Oliver Simon

His Introduction to Typography was first published in 1945 by Penguin in association with Faber & Faber. It was then put out by Pelican as a revised edition in 1954.

The cover and title page are shown here. In 1963 Faber & Faber brought out another revision, by which time Simon was dead (he died in 1956), so the text was edited by David Bland, himself a noted designer (he once had his own private press with Vivian Ridler – the Perpetua Press). The illustration below is from the reprint of 1969.

Some 15 years only separate the two yet a lot has changed. Compare and contrast.

Also included are some illustrations on design from the book.

Simon’s brother, Herbert, succeeded at the Curwen Press in 1956.

The two men were highly influential in improving typographic standards after the second war.

Elements of Lettering lettering printing

Curwen sanserif – forgettable

I recently posted about the Curwen Press (catch it here) and the same volume revealed this example of a sanserif of highly undistinguished characteristics. It was ‘designed’ by Harold Curwen, and issued in 1928.

curwen sanserif
Elements of Lettering lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework typography

Initials by J. Van Krimpen

These elegant initials were reproduced in Songs and Words, A History of the Curwen Press, by Herbert Simon. The initials were printed in Curwen Press Miscellany of 1931, designed and edited by Oliver Simon. Herbert Simon writes of them: “They have the authority of a master…” For more on Krimpen in this blog please click here.