|This font is called GoodCityModern, designed in 1991 but based on the print in the Gutenberg bible. The designer is Andrew S. Meit, a software tester at Altsys Corporation who found a reproduction of a Gutenberg page in a type book. I obtained a copy of this font from the Santa Barbara Macintosh Users Group, who in turn apparently found it some time ago on-line. Lombardic capitals were included with it.The name GoodCity is a translation of the name Gutenberg, and Modern refers to the digital version’s inclusion of all the characters in the modern alphabet.
Throughout the Renaissance, the appearance of the printed page had much in common with that of the pen-lettered page in fine books. You may be interested more in writing than in printing, however. So where do you find examples of writing besides the ones you’ve already seen in calligraphy books? In unexpected places, that’s where!
Here are some I found: A facsimile of some recipes from a fifteenth-century manuscript of The Forme of Cury, printed on the end papers of a modern cook book1. In a book of Scottish history2, a letter from James IV of Scotland to his “dearest brother” Henry VIII of England, and a letter from Edward VI of England, nine years old, to his uncle and Regent, the Duke of Somerset.
Actually, any book on a period subject, or a subject with historical traditions, is likely to have some interesting tidbits. For example, the font you are reading on this page, called Arrighi, was originally designed in 1925, but based on a font designed at Rome and Venice in the 1520s by the calligrapher Ludovico degli Arrighi. This information I found in a recent book on typography, written by a man who is both poet and book designer3.
How about the public library as a source of interesting used books? I paid $4 for a beautifully illustrated book on the work of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. Another time I got a Penguin book on Islamic art for $1, and a how-to book for making period-looking sand castles for forty cents. So, next time you’re in the public library, remember to have a look at the used books for sale!
As for the day-to-day stuff of the SCA, in April we had a fun Roman Holiday, thanks to our friends in Darach. Along with the fighting were workshops on belly dancing, bawdy drinking songs, Roman & Celtic mythology, and leather working, and more! I saw a number of folks happily sewing leather pouches. And in May, a visit from Queen Ceinwen at Isles Anniversary, Medieval May Faire, and the coronation of King Edric and Queen Albra.
June 7th to 16th will be the Society’s Thirty Year Celebration in Portland, Oregon. There will be classes, dancing, and bardic circles as well as the usual merchants, tournaments, and war scenarios.
It’s been suggested (I should’ve written down who suggested) that we put together an SCA bibliography based on books available in the library where we do our next demo – say, UCSB, or maybe City College. I think it’s a great idea, and there’s no need to put it off to the last minute. So, if you’d like to contribute to a bibliography project, here’s what we need:
We’ll be planning the project in the coming weeks at A & S meetings, which are on Sunday afternoons. Dance practices are again on Thursday nights. Hope to see you there!
1. To the King’s Taste, by Lorna J. Sass (1st ed.). 1975, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 0-87099-133-7.