Technical Terms of the Printing Industry (1963)


Termes techniques des industries graphiques
Fachwörter der graphischen Industrie
Termini tecnici delle industrie grafiche
Vaktermen voor de grafische industrie

Commonly known as The Printer's Terms, this pocket-sized multilingual dictionary by Swiss typographer Rudolf Hostettler is a treasure trove of terms related to typography and printing at the time of its production in 1963. 

The book is comprised of three sections: a preface describing how to use the book; a picture section in three languages (English, French and German) that sets out some 250 annotated visual explanations relating to composition, reproduction, press work, paper, bookbinding and comparative measurement tables; and a five-language index (as previously, with Italian and Dutch) of some 1200 technical terms. The illustrated dictionary includes translations for typographic terms, type families, the names of letters and signs, printer's ornaments, rules, letter spacing, typesetting terms, and reader's marks.

A historic publication still relevant for printers and print enthusiasts, this volume would also be a valuable addition to collections and libraries focused on printing history, typography, and graphic design history.

Hostettler’s distillation of ‘trade’ knowledge into a simple, accessible volume facilitated circulation of its technical content to new audiences... Copies are now much treasured. The content may be dated but the object quality of the book remains.”
—Catherine Dixon in “Terms of Reference” (Eye no. 68 vol. 17, 2008)

Published by Rudolf Hostettler, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Fourth revised edition, 1963

In German, English, French, Italian, and Dutch

Signed by Alvin Eisenman. This volume was previously owned by Alvin Eisenman, the founder of the Yale School of Art's graduate program in graphic design and a 1990 AIGA Medalist. Acquired from a sale of his estate's library, this volume is used, with some pencil markings and no dust jacket.

Hardcover, 198 pages, black and white, 4 × 6 inches