When books went bad: Charting the demise of the well made book

Dwiggins Book-Chart

 Graph accompanying  Extracts from an investigation into the physical properties of books, as they are at present published, undertaken by the Society of Calligraphers 


The pamphlet was printed and published by noted American type designer, calligrapher, and book designer W.A. Dwiggins and L.B. Siegfried in 1919 and decried the then current state of book production.

For the Society it was unanimous; “All Books of the Present Day are Badly Made”

Dwiggins Book-Chart cover

The reason were plenty “to wean mankind from the use of books. Automobiles, the motion-picture drama, professional athletics, the Saturday Evening Post” and the Society was resigned to the fact that “Books as an element vital to the welfare of the race have been eliminated.”

Thankfully,  it didn’t keep Dwiggins and company from producing beautiful books.

Funny stuff.

Read the pamphlet, 16pp.

Own a First Edition of the rare pamphlet

h/t Retronaut