Comprehending a Cube: Eighteen Months of Living with Euclid

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
4:00 pm

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

Clark Quarterly Lecture

—Russell Maret, Type Designer and Letterpress Printer

clarkquarterlyRussell Maret discusses his recent book, Interstices & Intersections or, An Autodidact Comprehends a Cube. For this book Maret began by working through the proofs of all the propositions in the thirteen books of Euclid, choosing one proposition from each book that resonated in some way with his life. He then wrote a companion text to accompany each proposition and illustrated both texts using elaborate chromotypographic printing, often requiring twelve or more passes through the press for a single spread. Russell began working seriously with geometry in his alphabetical manuscripts in 1996. As part of his talk he reviews his geometric and alphabetical books (many of which are in the Clark Library’s collection) that have led up to the current project.

Russell Maret is a type designer and private press printer working in New York City. He began printing in San Francisco as a teenager before apprenticing with Peter Koch in Berkeley and Firefly Press in Somerville, Massachusetts. He set up his own press at the Center for Book Arts, New York in 1993 and has been printing and publishing ever since. In 1996 Russell began teaching himself how to design typefaces, a beginning that lead to a twelve-year study of letter forms before he completed his first typeface in 2008. The next year Russell was awarded the Rome Prize in Design from the American Academy in Rome. In 2011 he began working with the Dale Guild Type Foundry to convert some of his designs into new metal typefaces. He is the current North American chair of the Fine Press Book Association and a past trustee of the American Printing History Association. Russell’s books and manuscripts are in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Library of Congress, which also houses his archive.