Barbarian Press: The Curwen Project

Let me start by stating unequivocately that I love this press. Not only are the books from the Barbarian Press a source of wonder to me but the proprietors, Jan and Crispin, are simply delightful people that embody the “love of craft” and respect for the word that shines through the best private press books. I’ve been a subscriber since Venus and Adonis, I’ve had the joy of having a tour of the press and a cup of tea in their kitchen, and the pleasure of their conversation at a couple of CODEX’s.

They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk; living predominantly on the earnings from their small edition runs (usually less that 150 copies). When big projects come up, the outlay for materials in advance can be a burden. So for one of their most ambitious projects, they are going the Indiegogo fundraising route. A couple of years ago, they acquired the Curwen Press archives of Monotype ornaments and borders. This in and of itself was a huge financial effort, not the least of which was shipping all of that heavy type over from the U.K. Since then, the plan for Bordering on the Sublime: Ornamental Typography at the Curwen Press have rumbled along. I can’t wait to see this book.

I encourage you to check out their fundraiser here. If you can participate, that would be wonderful. But regardless, you will will be enriched and enthralled by the time you spend with the Barbarians.

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