You'll have to excuse this highly personal post. It's not personal in an embarrassing kind of way; I'm not going to tell you anything gruesome that you'll wish I hadn't mentioned. It's just it's about stuff that means a lot to me but probably nothing to you. You see, I found this booklet recently. It was to do with maps and I haven't found anything really interesting map-wise for a while and that bit of Helvetica looked really good, tightly set and I liked the line. It's a recruitment booklet from 1968; the Civil Service were looking for cartographic professionals.
I didn't notice the details, just enough to make me buy it (it was on ebay...so all I saw was a thumbnail). Later though, when it arrived and I could look at it properly I was extremely surprised to see that the map used for the cover showed the village where we used to live: Rothley. That's where we lived just before moving to NI. On closer examination, the map, which as you can see wraps over to the back, prompted lots of strong and timely memories.
We lived at the northern edge of the village, just up that road there. Over to the western edge is the really great Great Central Railway (just past where we had our wedding reception). Into the centre of the village and that's where the chip shop is (great chips!) and there's the church we got married in. A little bit further across and that's where Pezza has his studio. A mile or so onto the back cover and that's Swithland, where we saw all those enormous vegetables (huge onions, the size of your head!). And Cropston is kind of south west of Rothley and where we would grab a pub lunch during our "courting" days (and where the crippled children used to go for their holidays). Then there's the woods that were ace for a Sunday afternoon walk and Woodhouse Eves, where the posh people live.
We're heading back there in a few weeks and are planning to hook up with old friends we haven't seen for years. It's going to be brilliant, can't wait and seeing all this has made it all the more vivid and exciting.
I'm not sure quite why this particular snippet of map was chosen for the cover. I thought that perhaps it was where their offices were but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case. Then I thought that perhaps Rothley was the most central point in England, but it's not. It's not far off but it's far enough off to dismiss that theory. Who knows?
It's incidental but inside was a folded slip of paper which outlines prospective salaries for the positions they were looking to fill. Makes interesting reading.
I am excessively delighted to announce that Nicolas Felton is talking in Belfast on April 2nd (venue to be confirmed). Put the date in your diary, iPhone, on the back of your hand and on your Good House Keeping calender. Tie a knot in your hanky, tattoo it inside your eyelids, ask your Mom to remind you, put a note on the dog, spell it out in alphabet spaghetti. Book your flight, check train times. Tell all your clients you can't work late that night, pack a quiet snack, bring a note book, shine your shoes and trim those nostril hairs. Blow your nose, sharpen your pencil, sit back. Sit up, pay attention, stop talking (you, at the back, be quiet). Clear your throat, ask questions. Clap.
David Sames has spare copies of Typographica for sale if anyone's interested. They fetch a tidy sum nowadays but David's dead on (as the locals say) so if you are interested, drop him a line before they disappear. Don't mean to do the hard sell, but it really is a rare chance to buy a bit of typo magic; if I had the cash, I'd snap 'em up.