A volume of this great bound annual devoted to printing, typography and the graphic arts. Full of amazing printed inserts, examples of printing and wrappings (see photographs). Eric Gill. Graphic art in Belgium. Company magazines. Ex-library markings.
Penrose began in 1895 as Process Work Yearbook – Penrose's Annual. Lund Humphries has printed the publication since 1897 and has been responsible for its content since 1906 until selling Penrose to Northwood Publications Limited, part of the Thompson Corporation, in 1974. It was edited by William Gamble from 1895 to 1933 then Richard Bertram Fishenden from 1934 to 1957. Fishenden's ('Fish'to colleagues)friend Allan Delafons then took over as editor from the delayed 1958 volume number 52 until the 1962 volume number 56. There was no Penrose annual for 1963 and it re-appeared in 1964 with a new editor, Herbert Spencer, who continued until the 66th volume in 1973, when the title was sold to Northwood. Bryan Smith then edited two volumes before handing over to Penrose's final editor, Clive Goodacre (initially assisted by Stanley Greenwood). Goodacre edited Penrose until Northwood closed the publication down in 1982 - the last volume is number 74. James Moran compiled a special: 'Printing in the 20th Century - a Penrose Anthology' for Northwood in 1974, citing 34 previously published articles and their impact on the progression of print media technologies. Penrose Annuals remain the quintessential record for the development of mass media, advertising, photography, design and typography throughout the 20th century; from the earliest incursions by radio, through to television and, in the latter volumes, references to electronic transmission of information that has given us the internet.
Allan Delafons edited Penrose from 1958 through 1962. Lund Humphries then had Typographica editor Herbert Spencer edit the annual from 1964 through 1973. Spencer's modernist impact on the Penrose was immediate: his first cover is printed with a stark gothic sans serif at roughly a 40° angle to the spine. Penrose's content was significant in bridging technical aspects of printing and artistic aspects of design. According to St Bride librarian Nigel Roche, “Its importance then was largely as a link between disparate areas of the trade. Its importance today is in the seminal articles that it published that still have reference value: monographs on individuals; articles on various matters of typesetting.”
The publication was most substantial (in size and influence) in the 1950s and 1960s.