North Bay Letterpress Arts

maia kobabe

maia kobabe

A to Z: An Iota Alphabet
June 2013
Artist Book: Strathmore Bristle paper, ink, other papers
1.5x 18.75 x .5 inches

This alphabet book was the largest project I ever undertook at Iota Press. I began designing the book in August of 2012 and did not finish printing and binding until June of 2013. Each page of this book features a different historical typeface, from a 72 point Della Robbia for A to a 16 point Poliphilus for Z. The type faces decrease in size over the length of the book. Each page of the book has one more letter of the alphabet than the previous page, and each page is slightly longer than the page previous page. When the cover and title page are lifted the whole alphabet can be read, with each letter showing in a different font. This book has 29 pages- the 26 alphabet pages, a title page, an index which lists all of the typefaces used in the book, and a colophon which includes the printing information.

The first half of the alphabet pages (A through M) were printed on a Chandler and Price platen press. After M, the pages became too long for the C&P so I moved over to the Vandercook press for the rest of the book. Printing on such long skinny pages was a continual challenge.

Once the printing was finished, I chose three different cover papers for the book. 6 of the books from the edition of 38 received red covers with black and gold accents near the spine. 16 of the books received black covers with gold accents, and 16 have gray covers with floral accents. 29 of the books were bound with a Japanese stab binding, while 9 were given Chicago screws centered in the spine instead of stitches (which allow the pages to be fanned out). The finished book is 1.5 inches tall, 18.75 inches long and half an inch thick at the spine.

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