The first time I visited Florence I suffered from Stendahl syndrome. No, I am not kidding. I was in the my early twenties and had never seen so much beauty in one place. It was overwhelming. The syndrome itself can cause rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion – even hallucinations in some people who experience something of enormous significance, mostly pertaining to art. If you’ve been following P&P you know my love of paper, but when it comes to the craft of print, especially letterpress, I am truly awestruck. With a collection of 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles of sizes and patterns, The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. I’m fairly certain if I ever visit the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum I’d surely suffer a relapse. So when I received the final limited edition Hamilton Wood Type specimen sheets from Appleton Coated you can understand why I got a little dizzy.
In 2012, our friends at Appleton Coated, the maker and distributor of Utopia and the Curious Collection, became an official sponsor of the museum’s type specimens sheet archiving program and documentation of its type collection. If you’ve ever been to their mill in Wisconsin, you know that they are the perfect partner for this endeavor. The thing about this mill that I so appreciate is that you get all the benefits of a large coated manufacturer with the personality of a boutique paper maker. Appleton Coated has been around for 125 years and has seen a ton of Hamilton fonts printed on their papers, so it was a natural fit for them to be the exclusive sponsor of the project. “We began the series to celebrate Hamilton’s vast collection of classic typefaces, letterpress printing and the enduring power of printed communications demonstrated on Utopia coated and Curious Collection papers,” said Ferkó Goldinger, marketing manager for Appleton Coated.
During this time, the Museum’s visibility has gone way up. It recently moved into a brand new and significantly larger space and has become a destination. By taking a hands-on approach (it is letterpress after all) through programs such as the various workshops and annual Wayzgoose type conference, the Museum is attracting design and print professionals, historians and creatives of all types. A look at these specimen sheets and its easy to see why – from a modern American san serif to a mid nineteenth century typeface designed for wood, the range of type used is pretty impressive. As if that wasn’t enough, each typeface is paired perfectly with one of the mill’s paper – from the heavyweight, eco-friendly U2:XG to the extremely tactile Curious Skin to the upcycled potato waste paper Curious Matter. Each piece is a work of art on its own but as a collection it’s quite a stunner.
The final four specimen sheets were produced in a limited run of 500 – each one numbered and signed by the printer. The best part – our friends at Appleton Coated gave us three sets of the limited edition type specimen sheets to share with Parse & Parcel readers! Simply register here for a chance to win a set of these lovelies.