I managed to get desperately lost on my way from Liverpool Street Station to Hand and Eye in Whitechapel yesterday. In desperation I flagged down a taxi but the driver, although very friendly and helpful, told me he could take me to Pinchin Street if he had the faintest idea where it was. He then looked it up on his satnav and told me he couldn't get there. I'm not sure if that was because of one-way streets or a reluctance to venture into the badlands of East London. Actually, although not the most attractive area of the capital, it seems quite friendly and I ascribe the frequent misdirections given to me by the natives not to malevolence but to the fact that no-one has ever heard of Pinchin Street!
Hobbling painfully on my recovering right foot, I eventually arrived at Hand and Eye, where I was immediately engulfed in the pleasant scent of printing ink. I was there for a launch party for Michael Harvey's Adventures with Letters. Anyone who has any interest in type design or lettering will find this book an irresistable purchase and (I don't say this very often) a bargain at £30.
Having studied under the great engraver and letter-cutter Reynolds Stone, Michael produced innumerable iconic book jackets for the Bodley Head, Jonathan Cape and Cambridge University Press. These and his many designs for type, including Mentor and Ellington, are lavishly illustrated in this wonderful book.
It is available here.
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