Only on Saturday: The Wood Type Prints of Jack Stauffacher
Created in his off-hours on the weekend and in part inspired by the modern artists of his day, Jack Stauffacher’s exquisite prints demonstrate what wood type can do when released from its role in traditional communication and instead used to explore letters as pure form. In the resulting abstract, dynamically composed, often lushly layered prints, Stauffacher reclaims typography as a subject fit for the gallery wall.
Featuring 500 images (most of which have never appeared in a publication before) and essays by collaborators from the worlds of art and typography, Only on Saturday is the first trade book to document the work of one of the past century’s great typographers and printers—and offer the compelling backstory behind its creation.
Born in 1920 in San Mateo, California, Jack Stauffacher was a printer, typographer and fine-book publisher whose delicate yet graphic sensibility landed his work first in library rare book collections and then in museums such as SFMOMA and LACMA, who sought out his typographic prints. A printer of exceptional skill who began his apprenticeship at the age of 16, Stauffacher created books for his Greenwood Press off and on for eight decades. He taught typography at Carnegie Mellon and the San Francisco Art Institute, and served as typographic director at Stanford University Press. But it was his later wood type prints that ushered his career into the realm of fine art. Stauffacher created these innovative and elegant prints from 1966 until his death in 2017 at the age of 96. In recognition of his contributions to typography and design, he was awarded an AIGA Medal in 2004.
With texts by Kristina Bell, John D. Berry, Chuck Bigelow, Matthew Carter, Stephen Coles, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Jim Faris, Nathan Garland, Dennis Letbetter, Staci Steinberger, Michael Taylor, and Pino Trogu.
Edited and designed by Chuck Byrne
Published by Letterform Archive, 2023
Hardcover, 224 pages, 425 color and 40 b&w images, 10 × 14 inches