Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Typographic Clerihews

I promised Katherine Gillieson I'd write some typographic Clerihews so here they are. (Warning: not to be taken as serious biography.)

The alluring charm of Beatrice Warde
Made printers, who could ill afford,
Buy brand-new types from the Super Caster –
She drove men (panting) to financial disaster.



Ladislav Sutnar had a scheme,
To design sales brochures by machine;
A steady hand and a ruling pen
Defy that his grids are the works of men.



Beatrice Warde
Could call on the Lord
To approve of her posin’ for Eric’s engravin’
Wearing nothing more than a ‘Monotype’ hairpin.



Mrs Eaves kept house for John,
Whose many trades, not only one,
(japanner, writing-master, and printer)
Would keep him in business both summer and winter.


Beatrice Warde used blatant temptation,
To enrich the Lanston Corporation;
Her purple prose on the latest designs,
Drove time-served compositors out of their minds.



Stanley Morison
Performed his orison,
In the Catholic Church in Times New Roman:
It’s unlikely he rated the movie ‘The Omen’.



As a model for women, Beatrice Warde,
Is surely more than a little flawed,
Promoting the Monotype Corporation,
Was hardly a blow for liberation.



Walter Tracy grew
A beard and drew a font or two,
When asked what all type tyros should learn,
He replied, ‘Mono does, Lino doesn’t – kern.’

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