Publishing Group Annual 2017 - Punctuation

PG Annual 2017 Sample pages

A review of the Publishing Group Annual 2017 by Roderic Findlay

One’s first impression of the Publishing Group’s Annual is of amazing variety, artistry and remarkable skill. The cover is a clever combination of words and punctuation marks, skilfully printed in three colours by George Webb. The attractive title pages, printed by Alan Brignull, included some very well-inked wood letter, and the list of contributors, by Ron Rookes, had just the right combination of clarity and informality with a tasteful use of ornaments. A delightfully humorous page by Katherine Anteney set the ball rolling. It was printed in three colours, very nicely designed with a clever use of white space and shaded type. This was followed by another imaginative page printed by Win Armand Smith on an Adana 8 × 5 and a TP48, using acrylic type set in plaster of Paris.The Hedgehog Press produced an interesting, workmanlike page about the loss of time caused by having to alter punctuation. This was accompanied by a bold and pleasing vignette of a compositor at work. An attractive set of patterns, using different exclamation marks, with some very crisp printing came from the Ericius Press. John Easson printed an interesting piece on the extreme ease with which points can end up in the wrong case and the exasperation of failing to notice this until you see the result in print. This was followed by a long and very useful treatise on punctuation by Mike Elliston, which also demonstrated the remarkable legibility of Times New Roman in a small point size. A very nice arrangement of parentheses, brackets, and ornaments came next, symbolising the regrettable treatment of some women. This was originally printed in aid of the Orchid Project.

Dulcie Fulton created a refreshing page of assorted wiggles with a bewildered fish exclaiming. Paul Hatcher printed a page in two columns set in beautiful Verona, showing how lack of punctuation and proper word division can make nonsense of an otherwise masterly piece of type-setting. When is punctuation nearly always out of place? In display work. John Holmes demonstrated this with a tasteful display of horizontal and vertical type, using Impact and Impact Open. He also printed a forceful example of when to use a semi-colon, set in beautiful 12 and 22 point Caslon with a large, red, decorative semi-colon in the middle of the page. From the Hare in the Orchard Press came the unpunctuated sentence, “Woman without her man is nothing”. This could lead to trouble in certain quarters, but it is nicely printed with punctuation and ornaments used in display. Owen Legg’s page was a splendidly humorous piece by Catherine about what the punctuation marks themselves think of their use and abuse, handsomely printed, with two large exclamation marks in red on either side. A photograph of two punks by John Miller preceded a disc on which there was a display of the problems that punctuation can cause. Mike Perry printed a charming poem on punctuation written in 1925. The combination of well-set black type and a red title on rich cream paper is extremely attractive. Printed on cream paper in three colours with discrete use of ornaments is a very useful piece by Ron Prosser on the correct use of the name, full point, and the placing of quotation marks. As one would expect, the typesetting and printing is immaculate.

Bob Richardson produced an attractive and very interesting analysis of the composition of type metal from different foundries. This was competently set in two colours with an effective layout. Margaret Rookes printed a superb page in two colours on cream paper. The layout and typesetting were immaculate, and there was a charming vignette of a lady in the corner. Ron Rookes likewise printed a faultless and eye-catching page in two colours saying, “I like cooking my family and my pets. Use commas, do not be a psycho”. Another succinct demonstration came from Terry Shapland. “Let’s eat Ron!” “Let's eat, Ron.” It was also an object lesson in the use of different typefaces, colour and an effective layout. Jean Watson printed an entertaining page using two colours and some attractive wood type. She managed to make some convincing human faces out of punctuation marks. George Webb’s printing is perfect, and his layout is most imaginative. This time it is about whether or not to eat Grandpa, and a reminder that correct punctuation can save a person’s life. In George’s second piece of printing: The teacher wrote on the blackboard, “A woman without her man is nothing”. The boys wrote, “A woman, without her man, is nothing”. The girls wrote, “A woman: without her, man is nothing”. This was another immaculate piece of printing in two colours with an arresting layout and intelligent use of typefaces. A nice change was Peter White’s page, consisting entirely of dots and dashes arranged in different ways. There is message here for those who can read Morse code. Another page from George Webb used open type in a clear layout in two colours. Finally the roll of honour was printed by John Holmes in two colours with a tasteful use of ornaments, giving a certain amount of dignity to the page. The Publishing Group’s Annual for 2017 was a fine collection of interesting, original and extremely competent printing.

The Publishing Group Annual is the revised name for the earlier annual cooperative formerly known as Small Printing.

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