edward estlin

edward estlin

JP Williams


there was a time when my goal was to collect a book from all the great presses: aldine, aldus, bodoni. not sure where this idea originated, rather 19th-century, i think. i purchased a few but my enthusiasm waned and my goal with it. what i did continue to focus on was great title pages. here is one of my favorites, by edward estlin. you don't hear designers speak much of this, however. i remember it mostly from my english classes in college.

cummings was a master of understanding how to emphasize what he wanted to say. visually as well as when read out loud. i am no cummings scholar but have always liked his book the enormous room and loved how visual his poems are. i have never really appreciated poetry and i regret this.

this wonderful title page has a beautiful arrangement. it is just right. the designer as author. rather, the author as designer. i have never done any research to discover how involved cummings was with the typesetting of his works. yet another life path gone by and not taken.

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That's superb James. And you've managed to sum up what I've been thinking recently. Just the other week I was prompted to dig out my copy of cummings' 73 poems. Like you, I don't really get poetry. I want to, I just don't. But after reading a book about writing I'm giving it another go. Will be linking to this over the next few days.
Oh, straight to the heart!
[...] James on the amassblog has said, pretty much, everything I was going to say about ee. For me it was reading Dark Angels recently that made me think about my desire and failure to appreciate poetry. And in particular the orthographers favourite. James has a much more valuable volume on his shelf; mine is a modest Faber & Faber edition from the 60s. Nevertheless, it's letterpressed characters and pulpy paper are a pleasure to scrutinize even if the broken words are lost on my under-educated brain. (0/10 Must try harder). [...]
hi, great post... i came across it via acejet170's post mentioning you. im also a designer with a fondness of eecummings, and i couldnt help but notice the lack of capitals in your post... i've just subscribed to your rss and hope you read some more of your stuff. regards christopher
love ee cummings. i'd like to assume he would have active participation in the arrangement of typeset amongst other things. but, you never know, publishers will have their way. nice blog.