150 years of history, a life-long obsession, three years in the making, 900 images, 336 pages and—at long last!—The Typewriter is at the printer.
PROJECT UPDATE, MAY 2015
As the book hovered near completion these past few months, I didn't want to rush to the finish line. The longer I spent on creating the book, the more perfect I wanted it to be. I sent the files to the printer knowing that I put my utmost into all aspects of the book: from the design, variety of images, writing and captions and production standards. I've increased the page count, upgraded the paper quality, gone for a thicker board for the cover, created a surprise insert booklet, selected a gorgeous dark linen book cover wrap, decided on a beautiful two-toned headband, specified a gold foil stamping for the spine... In the end, all these decisions will result in the nicest quality book possible.
It will be completed by July 21, but with another 6 weeks by ocean freighter from China and then customs clearances and overland transportation to fulfillment centres, it will be mailing in early September.
When I began three years ago, I didn't know the project would take so long. But my intention is for this book has always been to create an encompassing and impressive tome of typewriter ephemera. So in the grand scheme of that larger history, I guess a few years of hard work isn't so much after all!
All my best,
With a timeline aligning with the birth of creative industries such as industrial design, “commercial art” (graphic design) and advertising, a study of the machine offers a snapshot into trends in industrial design and developments in manufacturing. A documentation of the ephemera of typewriting—ribbon tins, manuals, advertisements, promotions—is an informative and beautiful history of modern design.
The influence of the typewriter has been significant. Most notably, typewriters brought women into the workforce, contributing to emancipation. Great works of literature have been composed with them. The once ubiquitous office tool has had integral roles in film, art and popular culture, elevating it to iconic status. And of course, the vestigial qwerty arrangement remains the keyboard of choice for our computers. Though its heydey has passed, the legacy of the machine lives on. Now experiencing a resurgence of appreciation—curiously from the digital generation—the typewriter is coveted as a symbol of simpler times.
UPPERCASE books are known for their attention to detail, beautiful design and high production standards. The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine will be a large format (9" x 11"), full colour hardcover book with over 300 pages. The large page size will allow for many actual-size reproductions of artifacts and graphics, presenting this rich visual history is the best way possible.
ABOUT JANINE VANGOOL
Janine Vangool is the publisher / editor / designer of UPPERCASE, a quarterly magazine for the creative and curious. She has also developed and published many books (nine and counting) under the UPPERCASE name. Janine worked as a freelance graphic designer for a dozen years in the arts, culture and publishing sectors and has also taught typography and publication design at the college level.
Her obsession with typewriters had an early beginning: when elementary school had half days, she'd spend those free afternoons happily composing letters on the typewriter in her mother's workplace (yup, she was and still is, a nerd). In 2006, Janine became an avid collector of typewriter memorabilia when she discovered the graphic beauty of typewriter ribbon tins. Her favourite typewriter is the Royal Quiet DeLuxe circa 1956: she has this model in turquoise, pink, red, teal and grey.
Some examples of the project perks for those who supported the project prior to publication:
Thank you so much for your generous support of The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine.
A richly illustrated book full of never-before published typewriter memorabilia, intriguing historical documents and entertaining anecdotes, The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine is a beautiful ode to an all-but-obsolete creative companion.
The Typewriter book is 336 pages and a hefty size of 9 x 11 inches. There's a special uncoated section for a selection of ads from the 1880s-1890s plus an extra mini booklet insert on "How to be a Super Secretary" from the 1950s. Filled with images and advertising spanning over a century, the graphic story of The Typewriter is presented in a unique way. Through the vintage ephemera, readers will discover the history of not only the machine, but the progression of society through very interesting times. From the industrial revolution to women entering the workforce, from one World War to another, from the home to the office, from collegiate life to Hollywood and pop culture... The Typewriter has an entertaining and significant story.