Shakespeare sonnet project

In a cycle of 154 short, 14-line poems first published in 1609, William Shakespeare meditated on themes of love, death, and desire. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries asked for contributions from hand-press printers across the world to pick and print one of Shakespeare’s sonnets for selection to be exhibited and added to their collection.

I selected sonnet number 4, and designed a print incorporating arabesque borders based upon the Fell types collection of the Oxford university. The text is 18pt Caslon Roman with a 60pt illustrated capital. The sonnet was printed onto 210GSM French BFK Rives printmakers paper on the Albion handpress.

An unexpected bonus of my involvement in this exhibition, was an invitation to join other participating letterpress printers, at the Oxford University Bodleian Library to review other submitted works, and then work alongside New York type designer and printer Russell Maret at the Old Bodleian Library print workshop.