Finn and games

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.



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