The current exhibit in Special Collections, “Parts and Wholes,” explores part/whole relationships, weaving together examples from the sciences and from print culture. In the latter category, one exhibit case highlights moveable type, and in particular, the work of Tracy Honn and holdings of the Silver Buckle Press.
As Ephraim Chambers wrote in his Cyclopaedia (published in London in 1728 and digitized as part of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection), printing is “the Art of taking Impressions with Ink, from Characters and Figures moveable, or immoveable, upon Paper, Velom [vellum], or the like Matter.” Taking off from the basic notion of moveable type comprising words, lines, paragraphs, and pages are borders composed of individual decorative sorts (composite ornaments), and chromatic type, in which one sort occupies the negative space of the other, often used in two-color printing. The exhibit case features a broadside deploying chromatic type
Complete Specimen of 10 line Van Lanen Type Designed by Matthew Carter and Produced by Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum. Design and printing by Tracy Honn for Silver Buckle Press in 2011,
along with with samples of Carter’s “W” and sets of composite type, all courtesy of the Silver Buckle Press.
Tracy Honn’s work with the Van Lanen font has also received praiseful notice in the blog Design Envy — congratulations, Tracy!