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Tar Baby by Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Aug 6th, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Tar Baby by Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf) 1
    Source: https://www.abebooks.com Fireproof Books. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Tar Baby is the fourth novel by Toni Morrison. The jacket of the first trade edition (preceded only by a private publication by Franklin Library) was designed by R.D. Scudellari, who already provided the jacket for Song of Solomon. It obviously draws inspiration from the cut-outs by Henri Matisse, in particular his Icarus from 1946.

    For the typography, Scudellari used bold and tightly spaced capitals, set on curves. While the yellow lines are in ITC Serif Gothic Black, the typeface used for the title is Chwast Buffalo. This obese semi-slab with rounded serifs was designed by Seymour Chwast, on the invitation of Mergenthaler Linotype. Linotype offers a condensed version, but never bothered to bring the original wide style to the digital age, too. In 2006, Nick Curtis made Lackawanna Weed NF, which is an outlined and shaded freebie interpretation of Chwast’s design. The golden letters on the cover and the spine are from Metropolis.

    Tar Baby by Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf) 2
    Source: https://www.abebooks.com 1st Editions and Antiquarian Books. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Tar Baby by Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf) 3
    Source: https://www.abebooks.com 1st Editions and Antiquarian Books. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Typefaces

    • Chwast Buffalo
    • ITC Serif Gothic
    • Metropolis

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