Limited number of copies of my dissertation available

Posted on 23 January 2020 in:

My doctoral dissertation on late-19th and early-20th-century German typefoundry-collaboration with external designers is now available for publication. I’ll make the document available as a PDF on the website of the Braunschweig University of Art’s library. There, it will be downloadable for free. I’ll also upload the file to some other sites, like, etc.[*]

As part of this “publication,” I will soon produce the same document in a limited-run digitally-printed edition. My university gets a few free copies. Each German library I relied upon heavily in my research gets one, too. Those libraries might choose to make their complimentary copies of the book available to patrons.

Since several people over the last two years have asked me if they could also buy a printed copy of my dissertation, I’ve decided to increase the upcoming print run to allow me to sell them copies. Let me know if you would like to order one!

What is this?

Here, I’m hawking a not-yet printed edition of a 576-page book. One hundred of those pages include color imagery; a few more black and white images will be in the book, too. The pages are A4 in size. The book will have a soft cover, but the pages will be stitched into signatures so that the book will be able to be read and referenced without the glue-binding breaking and individual sheets falling out. The pages have generous margins, so even if the book cannot be cracked open and laid flat on a table without readers resorting to violence, no information will go lost in the binding. The book’s primary typeface is Messer, by Inga Plönnigs, with various weights from Darden Studio’s Halyard Text used as a secondary typeface. The title word “Schriftkünstler” is set in Eckmannpysch, from James Edmondson (I may be writing about the past, but I want to help ensure that the future is full of FutureFonts). The paper stock will be 90g/m² Munken Print White.

Pages will be realized in a pretty high-quality, for digital printing. The books will be printed and bound by a press in Berlin. It is important to me for this to be done locally; it makes the books more expensive, but what kind of environment do we want to live in?

If you want a copy

Printed copies of the book are available for €100.00. This includes tax and shipping within Germany. International shipping will cost a little extra. This fee is only slightly higher than the actual production costs for each copy of the book to be printed and bound, but the sales of all the books together will not cover the cost of the total print run.

Payment in advance is necessary, by bank transfer. Any buyers in the US (or in other countries where wire transfers are not standard) can pay with PayPal. Shipping will be in March 2020. All sales are final. Orders may be placed by emailing me at dan [at] typeoff [dot] de.

I’m not collecting funds for this project via a platform like Kickstarter or Startnext because I don’t think that this print run is big enough to warrant that. I’ll only have about fifteen thirty-eight books to sell. If you are still on the fence, I have some basic information about what my research is all about in this post from last year.

Why you should consider buying a copy

  1. It supports my research and gives me joy.
  2. I reproduce a number of original drawings that are difficult to see otherwise. For instance, the book includes almost all the surviving drawings related to the design of Otto Hupp’s typefaces. These are all held inside one state archive in Munich. Otto Eckmann and Peter Behrens’s drawings in the Klingspor Museum’s collections are comparatively more accessible, but to my knowledge they have never been published in color before. Certainly not this many of their drawings.
  3. Wherever possible, I have reproduced images at actual size (what’s the point of showing at 12pt metal typeface at 8pt or 6pt size?).
  4. The book has a lot of long footnotes, but several of these contain interesting tangents. There are even whole small wars waged in some of those footnotes. I think that is thrilling stuff.
  5. Copies will be numbered and can even be signed, I guess.

Why you should not buy a copy

  1. €100.00 is a lot of money. This isn’t a book like the kind you’d get from a design publisher or any kind of publisher.
  2. That means that this book has not been gone through by a professional editor. My sentences are often too long-winded (sorry). The text was written by me, sitting alone with my computer. I have spellchecked it in InDesign and run it through two different online text-checking services, but there will invariably be spelling and grammar errors that I did not catch, which are going to embarrass me for the rest of my life.
  3. The book is primarily in English, but if you don’t have any German you might be very unhappy. All German texts that I cite are not translated. This means that there are whole sentences and even paragraphs that are only in German; I do not translate them into English for the reader. I also use a lot of German-language terminology in otherwise English sentences. I do this to be more precise, and those words are all offset in italics, but I still think that this is something that might annoy readers who aren’t Florian Hardwig or Indra Kupferschmid.
  4. There is a lot of academic furniture in the book’s 572 555 pages, and you might not enjoy reading that. Most pages do not have images.
  5. There are a lot of footnotes.
  6. You will be able to download a PDF for free anyway.

If I haven’t scared you off yet, send me an e-mail at dan [at] typeoff [dot] de.


* 16 February 2020: As my dissertation was at the printer, the university library instituted a temporary stop to the addition of new electronic publications to its website. My dissertation will not be available as an open-access publication via that source, as I had initially planned. Nevertheless, I will still make PDFs of my dissertation available via other channels, as I have mentioned above. Several dozen people also purchased advance copies of my dissertation [thank you!]. In the future, I may print more copies.