Illuminating Letters: Essays on Typography and Literary Interpretation

Paul Gutjahr
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Virtually from the beginning of his career in 1915, eminent American publisher Alfred A. Knopf placed a colophon on the last page of each book bearing his imprint. This statement informed readers about key elements of the book's making: where it was printed, the paper used, the designer, and particularly the name, origin, and brief characteristics of the type used to print its text. To this day, readers of Knopf books encounter this perhaps mysterious message; most probably pay it little attention or are puzzled by its presence. To many it seems superfluous and self-indulgent. Why then is it there?