Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type: The 1874 Masterpiece of Colorful Typography

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type: The 1874 Masterpiece of Colorful Typography



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"Oh my god this book is gorgeous" ~a satisfied Etsy customer.

Chromatic Wood Type is a reprint of a very rare Victorian type and ink catalog. I first saw it at the Newberry Library in Chicago and fell in love. The book has 100 pages of breathtaking typography in outrageous colors and strange phrases of found poetry--it felt like an opera--it made me want to sing.

As I paged through the book, I decided to republish it with a major publisher-- so that everyone could have one--including me. Rizzoli agreed to reprint it. 10" x 13", 120 full color pages.

At first I hoped to be listed as Impresario--because I felt like PT Barnum, saying SEE THE AMAZING COLOR AND TYPOGRAPHY-- but my official role is editor and designer of this reprint. Design critic Steven Heller wrote the foreword for the book. And painter (former Peewee's Playhouse designer) Wayne White wrote the preface. I wrote the intro and afterword.

Dikko Faust, founder of Purgatory Pie Press, hand set metal type that we reproduced for pages we designed. The other 100 pages are the original book.

We are including an original letterpress print that Dikko made from real hand set wood and metal type as your Free Gift with Purchase.

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Jul 13 - 15

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1–3 business days


New York, NY

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Meet your seller

Esther K Smith

Esther K Smith

Owner of PurgatoryPiePressINK

Message Esther K

75 shop reviews 5 out of 5 stars


Cecilia Escobar Jun 30, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
I have always admired this book. Checked it out several times from my local library and now I am a happy owner of this book. If you are a serious bookbinder or simply like to book bind for fun like me, add this one to your collection and follow the easy steps for a nice artistic book collection.

Purchased item:

Jonathan Jun 19, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
Speedy shipping, packaged well, great book.

Purchased item:

maxkblue Mar 12, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
On-time, easy to work with, and my mom loved the birthday gift.

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evemkahn Mar 5, 2020

5 out of 5 stars
They're beautifully made, no others like them are out there, and I get compliments on them wherever I go!

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