Over the past few years I've been trying, extemely slowly, to catalogue highlights from my Penrose Annuals. Most of mine span from around 1958 up to 1970; a golden era for both typographic/graphic design and break-throughs in production technology. It's the period that straddled the move from letterpress to photocomposition and represents the heady rise of the industry.
If you're not up to speed, the Penrose Annual was first published in 1895. A review of the graphic arts, from a couple of years later it was issued by Lund Humphries every year until 1982. A weighty volume, each book was packed full of a multitude of articles recording techniques, styles, applications and technical advances.
Volume 61, for example, includes texts on:
• Designing Australia's decimal currency
• Typographic design and a new device called the "computer"
• The first "harmonised" type, Sabon (originally drawn by Tschichold)
• Print for poor-vision readers
• Programmed monochrome reproduction
• Advertising for a type foundry
• The abstracting process and the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books
• Types of the Sixties