Although somewhat obscure, I have been aware of Albert Schiller and his “type pictures” or “typosignets” for some time. Recently I have noticed an increased interest in his work, with some examples being showcased on RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection website, as well as mentioned at a number of recent lectures.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to come across this carefully saved New York Times clipping from Tuesday, April 7th, 1959. This article gives some very interesting insight into Schiller’s work. According to the article, Schiller would painstakingly set the ornaments only to have the final pieces reproduced by plates. Surely plates are more easily printed, but this makes me wonder if the arrangements were modified beyond what could be readily done with type alone. I do not think such processes detract from the work, indeed Bruce Rogers is known to have produced arrangements that were not actually achievable in metal type, but it is all quite intriguing.
Large view here: NY Times Large.