A Scrapbook Made by John Fass in the 1920s
For his Collection of Bruce Rogers' Typography & Design:
Above: Bruce Rogers ephemera in John Fass' scrapbook
In the 1920s John Fass assembled a remarkable scrapbook. The scraps in this book were not run-of-the-mill paper scraps. The clippings were designs created by Bruce Rogers, along with clippings of other printed ephemera that caught John's fancy.
Bruce Rogers designs, above, surround the coat of arms of New York's Grolier Club, a private club of bibliophiles, book collectors, and other bookish types. John Fass would soon be actively involved in the workings of this club. He designed and printed many projects for the group, including the 1933 book The Study of Incunabula, which won that year's AIGA 50-books award.
Bruce Rogers' Dingbat Circus
Above: Proofs of a Bruce Rogers design for a 1924 Lanston Monotype pamphlet
Dingbat Circus: Rogers has frequently adopted a tongue-in-cheek attitude resulting in a 'dingbat circus', amusing to both designer and the reader, and particularly appreciated by printers tired of unimaginative thinking in the use of stereotyped ornament. (Inland Printer, 1956)
Above and below: Bruce Rogers' historiated initial I with a cat and moon
Above: Bruce Rogers' cat-and-moon initial I in a 1924 Monotype pamphlet
Bruce Rogers' cat-and-moon initial first appeared in a 1924 promotional pamphlet of the Lanston Monotype Company. The booklet was printed at the Rudge plant, where Bruce Rogers was master of the house. John Fass had been working there with Rogers for a year, so he may well have typeset this work, as he sometimes did with Rogers' designs.
The pamphlet was Monotype's official showing of Italian Old Style type, designed by Frederic Goudy. The text is a page from the 1817 Bibliographical Decameron, by British bibliophile Thomas Frognall Dibdin. One of those large, circular dingbat circuses also appears in that publication. John's collection of Bruce Rogers ephemera includes page proofs of this pamphlet.
Above: Ornaments designed by Bruce Rogers. First available from Lanston Monotype Company in 1923
In 1923 Lanston Monotype released these ornaments to accompany Lanston's release of Garamont fonts created by Frederic Goudy. These ornaments were based on 16th century designs and were an excellent fit with Garamond.
John Fass continued to use Bruce Rogers typographic ornaments with flair and elan throughout his lifetime.
Above: Not your average scrapbook clippings
Clippings on this page include: the double-shield emblem of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen. By 1931 John Fass was designing and printing this organization's journal Craftsmen's News.
Also included is a sailing-ship emblem of the Stowaways Club of New York, a group of graphic artists and bibliophiles. One of the organizers of this club was Frederic Goudy. John Fass also was a member of this group.
The Stowaways home was in Manhattan's Art Center, which also was headquarters of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (the AIGA) which awarded John Fass 10 book awards throughout the 1920s and 30s.