A title from The Old School Press 

Harry Carter, Typographer

A tribute to an unsung English typographer, by Martyn Thomas, John A Lane, and Anne Rogers 

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About the book

Out of print

Harry Carter was one of the foremost typographers of the twentieth century, and one of the least celebrated. Sir Francis Meynell described him as 'one of the least-known best-known men in the world of books. He has chosen nearly always to be an accompanist, rather than the soloist he could be.'

Carter was a meticulous scholar. Stanley Morison famously said of him 'The man's a pedant! The man's a pedant!', but Morison's great book John Fell carries the acknowledgement 'with the assistance of Harry Carter' on the title page, and in his preface Morison says that Carter 'carried unflinchingly the massive burden of editorial drudgery'. In reality, Morison would never have completed John Fell without Carter's deep knowledge of ancient types, his unerring eye for detail, and his passion for accuracy.

Carter's career spanned the Monotype Works, the Kynoch and Nonesuch Presses, H.M.S.O, and the University Press, Oxford. His designs ranged from a Curwen pattern paper, to the lettering for the route blinds on London buses, Monotype Russian Baskerville, a Hebrew type, and a new Bible face for O.U.P. His main legacy, however, lies in his many publications. Carter's breadth of work was remarkable. His translation of Fournier on Typefounding is the standard work, as is his translation of Herodotus for the Limited Editions Club. But it is his many books and articles on type design and type history that are especially valuable to typographers and lovers of fine printing today.

The book combines a 50pp biographical sketch by Martyn Thomas and Anne Rogers with a comprehensive bibliography of Carter's published work originally compiled by John Lane, including books, articles, reviews, and lectures, as well as reviews of his work by others. 240 copies have been printed letterpress, and bound uniformly with Stanley Morison & 'John Fell' and The Fell Revival. Each copy of the book contains a printed sample of his 'Emerald' Bible type, a sample of the pattern paper he designed for Curwen, and reproductions of eleven photographs of Carter through his lifetime, a self-portrait when aged 13, and a triple wood-engraving portrait of him by George Buday. 128pp. Here is the contents list:

List of illustrations and tip-ins
The early years
Book design and production
Wartime excursions
Further work for His Majesty: HMSO
The Oxford years: archives and typefounding

The book was published on 26 April 2005 at a talk entitled 'Harry Carter - Man of Type' given to the Friends of St Bride by co-author Martyn Thomas, at St Bride Library, London.

The de luxe copies straight from the binders


About the edition

There are two bindings:
BINDING A.  Fifty de luxe copies are quarter-bound in green goatskin with a Cockerell-style marbled paper by Ann Muir on the boards. Each copy also contains an additional volume of three hitherto unpublished essays by Carter: two sections he drafted for the putative second volume of his history of Oxford University Press, and an essay he wrote on Baskerville as a typeface. The additional volume is printed in Romulus, as the main volume, but here on a Van Gelder hand-made paper. The two volumes are presented in a slipcase. The price was £160 (€270, US$300). (ISBN 978 1 899933 19 8)
BINDING B. 170 standard copies are case-bound in green cloth, with a dust-jacket of green Hahnemühle Bugra Bütten carrying a line-drawing portrait of Carter by John Watts; the price was £80 (€135, US$160). Twenty copies have been reserved in sheets for binders ; £40 per set. (ISBN 978 1 899933 11 2)

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What others have said about the book

'a lovely piece of design' 'a properly and thoughtfully designed and fascinating history of a time of values which, sadly, have almost totally disappeared'

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