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The Typophiles

The Typophiles is a loosely-organized group of individuals involved in the graphic arts who originally gathered in the early 1930s for a series of occasional, informal luncheon meetings in New York City. Paul A. Bennett, one of the founders of the Typophiles, became the behind-the-scenes coordinator of publications, including keepsakes for special occasions and chapbooks on typographic subjects. Bennett wrote numerous articles over the years and published Books and Printing in 1951.

Pamphlets are ephemeral by virtue of their size and the limited number of copies printed. The survival of pamphlets about books and printing and related subjects is testament to the interest in these subjects, since many small booklets are often discarded. The Skaggs Collection includes hundreds of pamphlets, many of them the chapbooks published by the Typophiles. A small selection of these from the 1940s are shown here. Chapbook number 9 (1942) includes an item “On Edward Johnston,” an appeal from Paul Standard for funds to aid the elderly and frail English calligrapher. More detail about Standard and Johnston is available here.

Three Chapbooks

Three Chapbooks

"On Edward Johnston"

Letter - Paul A. Bennett to Charles Skaggs

Paul A. Bennett, 1897-1966
Typed letter, signed. 21 April 1953

Paul A. Bennett was the director of typography for the Mergenthaler Linotype Company for thirty years until his retirement in 1962. This letter to Charles Skaggs discusses an unidentified design of Skaggs and suggests that he consult with Raymond DaBoll, another designer and letterer. Skaggs wrote that Bennett was one of four non-calligraphers who were “prime movers and astute afficionados of letters.” The three other men were George Macy at the Heritage Press and the Limited Editions Club, Sidney Jacobs at A.A. Knopf, and Arthur Rushmore at Harper’s.


Broadside Typophiles Broadsides

These two broadsides are part of a portfolio of tributes to Paul A. Bennett, feted in 1953 for his 30-year involvement with the Typophiles.

The purely typographic broadside was designed by Al Schiller. The illustrated one is the work of two noted German-born graphic artists, Fritz Kredel, artist and calligrapher, and George Salter, calligrapher and book designer. A selection of book jackets designed by Salter can be found here. Broadside

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