A friend of mine asked if I would print a little broadside: she had in mind an old Finnish adage that she thought would work nicely as a gift to a Finnish relative. Now I know nothing about the Finnish language – nor does any of the type nestled in my print shop include any Finnish diacritics. But when she supplied the translation of the expression, I knew I was going to print it. Rough translation: If sauna, liquor and tar doesn’t help, the disease is fatal.
It’s a fun little project that will let me play with some of the gorgeous vintage wood type that I haven’t had an opportunity to use. Indeed, there are some typefaces in my print shop that I haven’t even identified yet – but they’re all so lovely. I pieced together a forme using some of these mystery types along with some very nice Caslon Old Style (72 point in lead). I was very pleased with the effect; the battered old wood type leaves evidence of its great age and service on each print. Delightful. I wasn’t sure if my friend shares the same taste in typefaces and layout, so I set both the funky multi-font broadside and then a more conventional version in Stymie Light.
Both feature the classic pointer fist. I have a number of these fists, and each one is wonderfully detailed. The large fist I used is actually an engraving, lush with texture and fine hatching. I often use them; indeed I probably over-use them, but I love the way they demand your attention: Look at this! Pay attention! And they’re so polite and shapely, you can’t help but acquiesce.
Once again, it’s a project with a very small audience and thus a very limited print run. Apparently one is planned as gift and is destined to hang in the change room of a sauna. Ten copies of each were printed today – and even if the accents are missing on some faces, the smiles are not.