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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2011 21:59:45 -0600
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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I tend to agree, and reading it induced eye-strain after just a dozen pages. 
I studied typography in my youth and operated a small handpress in the 
1970s, and do not claim expertise, but I don't think that the proportion of 
the type size/font to line-width were the best. The leading and 
letter-spacing were fine. For some examples of superb typography, I suggest 
close examination of some of the publications by my mentors, Carl Hertzog 
(El Paso, under his own imprint from the mid-1920s to the late 1970s) and 
Bill Holman (William R. Holman, under the Roger Beacham imprint in San 
Francisco and later Austin from the 1960s to about 1990).

Alas, there are no known pictures of me holding a typestick with NIVEK.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730
Member: ABAA, ILAB
You may browse our books at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Hoffman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:56 PM
Subject: Re: Typeface for Autobi

I'm no expert in typography, but the text of the
Autobio is such that it is very difficult to read
-- it's not only the text in the body but also the
extra-large size of the pages .... and as to the
font-size and legibility of the inserted material
(quoted passages), we're in the realm of

I am sorry to have to sound critical but this is
the case.

The page size, the font size, the inclusion of so
much introductory material before the reader even
gets to the autobio -- these all make this volume
very user-unfriendly.

-Steve Hoffman

On 11/16/2011 9:34 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
>> For a good contrast, use your computer's stock of typefaces to set the 
>> same
>> three or four lines of Roman (not italic or bold) in Garamond, Century
>> Schoolbook or Bookman Old Style, and Times Roman.
> That made an excellent demonstration. The Garamond does look like it's
> smaller than the others, so that explains why I've read and heard so often
> about the small type in the autobiography -- and why I believed it myself.
> -- Bob G.

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