Monday 5 March 2012

Beatrice Warde and The Crystal Goblet

Beatrice Warde was an American typographer, editor and educator who spent much of her working life in England. Warde published her investigations on the origins of the Garamond typeface in The Fleuron (then edited by Stanley Morison) under the pen-name Paul Beaujon. She described 'Paul Beaujon' as 'a man of long grey beard, four grandchildren, a great interest in antique furniture and a rather vague address in Montparesse.' After publishing her discovery of Garamond's origin, "Paul Beaujon" was offered a part-time post in 1927 as editor of the Monotype Recorder, and Warde accepted—to the astonishment of Lanston Monotype Corporation executives in London, who were expecting a man. She was promoted to publicity manager in 1929, a post she retained until her retirement in 1960.

Her famous and influential essay on typography "The Crystal Goblet" was first delivered as a speech, called "Printing Should Be Invisible," given to the British Typographers' Guild at the St Bride Institute in London, on October 7, 1930. The essay calls for increased clarity in printing and typography. It has has since been reprinted many times and is a touchstone for the concept of "clear" typography and the straightforward presentation of content. Throughout the essay, Warde argues for the discipline and humility required to create quietly set, "transparent" book pages. Read more on Beatrice Warde here.

This Is a Printing Office, by Beatrice Warde, 1932.

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