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Oswald Cooper

The Book of Oz Cooper - inside page

The Book of Oz Cooper
Chicago: Society of Typographic Arts, 1949

This book is subtitled: “an appreciation of Oswald Bruce Cooper, with characteristic examples of his art in lettering, type designing & such of his writings as reveal the Cooperian typographic gospel.” Oswald Cooper was an internationally known designer of commercial display and advertising typefaces. Born in Ohio, he moved with his family to Coffeyville, Kansas, where he became an apprentice in a printing shop, a “printer’s devil,” at the age of 16. At the age of 21, he moved to Chicago as a student of Frederic W. Goudy, recognized as one America’s greatest type designers. He later was a partner in his own design firm, Bertsch & Cooper, Inc., Typographers.

The Book of Oz Cooper is set in his own Cooper Oldstyle typeface. The design and incidental calligraphy are by Raymond DaBoll. The colophon states the appropriateness of using Cooper’s own design, “an advertising type designed by an advertising typographer & letterer who never pretended to be anything else.”
The Skaggs Collection also includes this 1950 calendar, originally designed by Cooper in 1931 and brought up-to-date by Raymond F. DaBoll. It has been hailed as the most remarkable of the series of calendars designed by Cooper, and the style of lettering, as well as the numerals, is different for each month. The lettering for July is said to be “wilting.” Calendar - July
The Skaggs Collection also boasts this original artwork, identified by Skaggs as “Original Oswald Cooper lettering from Chicago Daily News. Designer of Cooper types."
Original Lettering by Cooper

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