Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Tiny pieces of decorative type called dingbats were assembled by a fanciful Dutch printer in 1761 to create these tail-pieces, both roughly heart-shaped.

This small book about European diplomacy published in Amsterdam was written anonymously by "une plume impartiale" as the title page tells us. The text appears to be pretty boring, but the typographic embellishments allow the whole production to maintain one foot in the land of amusement.

Then all through the day I kept seeing other forms of decoration out in the world at large on the foggy streets of San Francisco that reminded me of the swirls and furbelows I had admired inside the little book.