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Production Narrative

by J. Drucker

The technical feat of this book is apparent to any letterpress printer. THe justification of these pages became increasingly complicated, since the paragonnage (multiple point sizes in and across lines and words) demands complicated spacer arrangements if the lock-up is going to work at all.But the technical features had other implications for the composition of the text, since the alignment of words across lines by letters meant that sometimes a text had to be changed in order to find correspondences that could be locked into the spatial arrangement -- as in a crossword puzzle or jigsaw. I worked on galleys, from small units to larger ones, making up the pages as a whole, rather than using a composing stick. I left the sheets unbound, in an album type cover, as per inspiration from the work of Ilia Zdanevich, but it was a most inadequate solution. Later, in New York, I had the remaining 5 or 6 copies bound professionally so they could be sold.

Critical Analysis

by J. Drucker

Design Features

typographic: The typography begings with a fantastically clean, clear Caslon and proliferates into smaller and alrger type faces, including wood, italic fonts, and a range of letters that call out distinctive texts within the text.

graphical: The layouts are visually clean and striking.

development: Each typographic element introduced remains a working element as the text progresses.

Critical Discussion

"All our conversations were in language, and according to conventions..." so it begins. The text is figured, evocative, suggestive, abstract, and self-referential.

Detailed Analysis

The first page of the text shows only the Caslon type, and a single strain of language.

The final page of the text shows all of the many textual strands in play and graphically distinct, but interwoven.

Through Light and the Alphabet


Johanna Drucker

type: initiating


born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States

birth: 1952-05-30

Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Druckwerk

place: Berkeley and Oakland

publication: 1986-06-00

edition size: 50 copies, 25 of which were offered for sale.


horizontal: 13" inches closed

vertical: 13" inches closed

depth: .15" inches closed

Production Information

production means:
letterpress (local)

binding: other

bookBlock: paper
endsheets: paper

ink (local)


general description:

format: album (AAT)


color: yes


pagination: unpaginated

numbered?: unnumbered

signed?: signed


Printed at Berkeley, California, in an edition of 50 copies of which this is No[1-50] [signed].