So we watched Helvetica again. It's a pretty fascinating documentary not only on the font itself, but what it means to use type and what that type carries with it.

Today, I am writing from the John Hay library at Brown University, where I am working on reading a book for Claire Donato's class. I am sitting in on Claire's undergraduate poetry workshop in preparation for my own teaching.

As Graham Foust told me, you can gauge a good library by whether or not they own Joseph Ceravolo's Transmigration Solo, a book which reader's of this blog and of the Ceravolo Project blog know I am well-acquainted with and in adoration of, so when I knew I was coming to look up one book, I naturally checked to see if they had TS.

Brown's copy is number 93 and is signed by Ceravolo himself. All the copies I've seen so far are signed and numbered. This is the highest I've seen, having seen #36 at Iowa. I cannot remember the number at UGA. I might ask someone to look that up for me.

Anyways, about typefaces: Transmigration Solo is set in Centaur, which was created by Bruce Rogers in the late 1920s.1 It's a serif font which has a lovely emotionality that comes with it and adds nicely to the text of TS. There's a level within the font that adds to the lush nature of Ceravolo's poems- like the layers of Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" production method. It's fuller with the font than a font that attempts to remove all emotionality.

1. Fonts.com piece on Rogers and Centaur.

1 comment:

mc said...

I think the very first metal type I set was Centaur. It's one of my favorite fonts: clean, but also decidedly human(e). I'm always happy when I find it!