I have repeatedly been caught saying that the position occupied by offset in today’s publishing environment is very similar to the position occupied by letterpress when I first started in the business — apparently the way to print all your books, but very soon to become redundant, and a little recherché, when overtaken by events. I do think this sort of story about The Letterpress Shakespeare, told by Alex Mutter in Shelf Awareness of 20 June, will be being told of offset books in a few years’ time. We are going to have to pay for the privilege of reading a p-book.

Image of the Day: The Letterpress Shakespeare


Guests gathered at the British Residence in New York City Wednesday night to celebrate the launch of the Folio Society’s The Letterpress Shakespeare. The collection brings together Shakespeare’s complete works in 39 large-format, artisanally made and letterpress-printed volumes. Joe Whitlock Blundell, production director of the Folio Society’s Limited Edition Programme, discussed the design goals and philosophy behind the project, and actor Richard Stern recited the famous “Queen Mab” speech from Romeo and Juliet. Each copy of The Letterpress Shakespeare is individually numbered and priced at $545.

This link to the Folio Society’s site tells you more about the Shakespeare series, and has a nice little video about letterpress printing.