Andrew Hoyem ’57 keeps type tradition alive

The latest issue of Harvard Magazine highlights Andrew Hoyem ’57 and his San Francisco-based Arion Press  which, the article notes, is “now the only full-service letterpress left in the United States.”

Although facets of traditional bookmaking linger—some letterpress printing here, some hand-binding there—no other workshop houses the complete process, from the casting of type to the trimming of covers. … Contemporary publishing favors open access; recent advances in the technology of reading offer many text formats, not the perfection of a single one. Data suggest that Americans read more now than ever before, but how they read is increasingly unmoored from paper’s physical aspect.

And yet the book persists, with something of a second wind. Today, Arion Press leads a growing group of small Bay Area–based publishers placing a fresh emphasis on physical type and centuries-long tradition, revivifying the old arts at the heart of screen-age creativity. Users of the iPhone might forget that Apple’s early rise in design-based computing drew from the traditions of typography, but the press has not: it is among the leading custodians of that craft and one of the few remaining producers of cast type.

More about Hoyem: PCM archive article

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