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"The Ideal Book" – Lettered Vellum Edition

This is a facsimle letterpress edition of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson's seminal essay, The Ideal Book or Book Beautiful: A Tract on Calligraphy, Printing and Illustration, and on the Book Beautiful As a Whole. It features a natural vellum binding, making it nearly identical to the original Doves Press edition (albeit with two added pages of historical material and a colophon). The Vellum Edition is limited to no more than twenty-seven copies lettered copies (A-Z plus the ampersand).



  • This is a line-by-line recreation of the original essay as published by The Doves Press in 1900, utilizing the first edition's size, typeface, punctuation, and layout. This edition is letterpress printed on a Heidelberg Windmill press by Tristan Reader of Ampersand Book Studio, under the guidance of Eric Doyle of Betts Printing in Tucson, Arizona. Photopolymer plates were prepared by Boxcar Press of Syracuse, New York.
  • The paper is some of the last Zerkall Frankfurt 120gsm paper available. As noted in our Substack post on "The Paper Chase," it is the closest paper that we have found to that used in the Doves Press edition. Unfortunately, the Zerkall Mill ceased producton in 2021, making this one of the last publications to be printed on this lovely paper.The cover this edition is made of vellum produced by Pergamena, the only maker of this specialty leather product in the U.S. The Meyer family has been producing leather since 1550, first in Germany and, since 1830, in the U.S. 
  • The title is tooled on the spine using Baskerville 16pt brass type produced by Kevin Noakes of Bookbindesign in England.



Price includes shipping within the U.S. Please inquire for international shipping rates.


Learn more about the design and creation of the print on Substack
Our Substack followers get behind-the-scenes views of our creative process, including free essays on…

  • The Doves Typeface – Birth, Death & Rebirth
  • Creating a New 'Johnston' Heading for the Book Beautiful Art Print
  • The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Fine Press
  • Edward Johnston and the 'Especial Beauty of the Headings'

"The Ideal Book" – Lettered Vellum Edition

  • Free standard shipping within the U.S. included. For international rates, please contact us.

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