The Complete Engraver: A Guide to Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and the Etiquette and History of Social Stationery

Author(s): Nancy Sharon Collins


The Complete Engraver is a guide to the history and etiquette of engraved social stationery in America. It is the first trade book to explore engraving as a craft and venerable art form, its aesthetic traditions, and its new visual possibilities. The book is illustrated with gorgeous, original specimens of social stationery, calling cards, and monograms, and includes an instructional section that walks the reader through the engraving process and the steps required to commission engraving work today. Introductory contributions by Ellen Lupton, graphic designer, educator, and author, and Marjorie B. Cohn, internationally recognized print history expert and Curator of Prints, Emerita, Harvard University Art Museums, round out the book. Additional bonus: Two digital fonts created by the well known font company Monotype and based on engraver's style typefaces will be available for free readers of the book (through a web link or similar).


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There has been a resurgence of interest in printing techniques among graphic designers and although there are books that focus on letterpress in the marketplace, The Complete Engraver will be the first trade book to focus on the history of engraving and how it relates to etiquette and social stationery; The Complete Engraver will be filled with gorgeous specimens of engraved stationery, calling cards, monograms, etc.; The subjects of social stationery and etiquette have been the focus of a number of articles recently in the New York Times, Vogue, and shelter magazines Blurb from Ellen Lupton, who will be writing a foreword to the book: "There is a resurgence of interest in printing techniques right now among graphic designers, who are eager to engage with the physicality of print. Although a lot of attention has been paid to letterpress, I haven't seen any books about engraving. The key to this book's success is its ability to explore engraving as a process as well as to show what kind of aesthetic traditions and new visual possibilities are linked to it. The idea of social stationery is also popular right now, with more people involved with creating their own brands as well as shaping the look of their own wedding invitations and other personal communications."

Nancy Sharon Collins is a typographer, print history scholar, partner in Collins, LLC, AIGA New Orleans director of special projects and a member of adjunct faculty at Loyola University, New Orleans. She maintains three blogs and her own website. Collins owned and operated the graphic design studio Nancy Feldman in New York City from 1978 to 2004. Clients included Williams Sonoma, Waterford, Wedgwood, Clinique, Prescriptives, Revlon, Charles of the Ritz, Curve fragrance, the Metropolitan Opera Shop and the Museum of Modern Art.

Foreword [tk]; By Ellen Lupton; Marjorie B. Cohn [short opening piece, title/essay tk]; Introduction; A Timeline of Engraving; Engraving and Social Stationery; A Brief History of Stationery Paper and the Mail; Components and Etiquette of Social Stationery; Business Correspondence; Ciphers and Monograms, Family Crests and Seals; A How-to of Engraving; Afterword; Gallery; Appendix:; Masterplate Styles; New Engraver's Fonts by Monotype Imaging; Glossary; Notes; Resources and Bibliography; Acknowledgments; Image Credits; Index [TK].

General Fields

  • : 9781616890674
  • : Princeton Architectural Press
  • : Princeton Architectural Press
  • : August 2012
  • : 216mm X 152mm X 25mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Nancy Sharon Collins
  • : Hardback
  • : 812
  • : 769.5
  • : 208
  • : Illustrations (chiefly col.)