Chronicle Books (29 Oct 2010)
A stylish and reasonably diverse collection of contemporary private press's, including a few presses from beyond North America. The book is nicely produced and the cover is printed with a tactile emboss to it.
The author draws no distinction between fine art and or commercial presses and seems to be guided by an intuitive selection process. In a sense it is a quite egalitarian selection of presses.
I found it an enjoyable and interesting read, at a period where letterpress is picking up momentum amongst graphic designers, artists and students. It bares rereading happily and I would expect it to provide inspiration to many of those who pick it up. The number of print works and presses represented provides an interesting and diverse overview of contempoary letterpress printing.
I frequently enjoyed the images of the different printery's more than the actual work represented but that probably says more about my printery voyeurism than it says about the authors selection of print work.
Some of the works represented are produced from copyright free illustrations and in some instances the designers have done little more than apply a little colour and a deep emboss. At this point the technique has become a bit of a gimmick if not a tired cliché.
Overall a good book although I would enjoy more description of the presses and their raison d'être.