Towards the end of the nineteenth century The Inland Printer ran competitions for printing and typesetting excellence.

IMG_0350In 1890 Fred B. Crewe of  The New York World submitted this stag’s head design, created entirely from bent brass rules and bits of metal from his typecase. Extravagance like this may typify over-mature industrial processes. There’s absolutely no reason for doing a stag’s head this way: a draughtsman and an engraver would have done it much more efficiently: but it’s just the fact that it can be done that makes it worth doing as an exuberant expression of skill by a master craftsman.

Illustration from Walker Rumble: The Swifts.