Marketplace - sell/trade specimen books and other type-related ephemera

Has there been been a dedicated section here to trade or sell specimen book etc? I look on eBay and other places but I suspect that many here have copies they want to move on at different times, and still more who are looking for copies to acquire. 

Comments

  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    I have found many a nicely-priced specimen book here…

  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    @Nick Curtis it seems eBay Australia has different categories, I tend to just do specific searches or look in the antiques section 
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    On eBay USA, searching for “type specimen catalog” would often  return collections of biological slides…
  • That’s a good idea.
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 587
    edited June 28
    For eBay, this search string will get the best results for specimen books:
    "type specimen" -(mineral) -(plant)
    Also, the following places are good sources:
    https://www.oakknoll.com (home of Oak Knoll Press, publisher, and Oak Knoll Books, rare and out-of print bookseller; online store is currently closed to the public for some unknown reason)
    https://www.abe.com (worldwide selection, new and used books; owned by Amazon)
    https://www.veatchs.com (everything about books, including specimen books)
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,786
    Search eBay for the name of the book you want instead of looking through “type specimen” searches. This will bring up auctions by book dealers who don’t know what type specimens are or what their books are worth. And you don’t have to bid against people who only search for “type specimen”.
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    @James Puckett I don't know the names of enough book so do very specific searches haha I'm quite ignorant honestly for many foundries. 
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    @George Thomas here is the first page using that string haha after this it's all fonts though! Almost all of them are over $200 AUD though, I assume that is pretty typical these days? It's been while since I bought one. 

  • DrawcardDrawcard Posts: 38
    @Eris Alar sadly it seems our currency is taking a nose dive which isn't helping the pricetag on things overseas :) I'd also say shipping is also a big factor in the prices you're seeing, sometimes the cost is hidden in rarer or unique items found in other countries.

    Not sure what part of Oz you're in but in most cities, there's a good op shop or 2nd hand book store that has some hidden gems. I will sometimes find a lot of good Letraset samples & lettering books from days gone by in a Salvos or Vinnies warehouse. Country op shops are underrated sources too.

    If you don't mind looking through digital-only specimens, there is a goldmine on Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/texts?query=type+specimens&sin=

    For some of those you may need a free account to borrow the book, like a digital library, but there are some nice hi-res scans of collections, one of my favourites being this one https://archive.org/details/photodisplaycata0000card
  • DrawcardDrawcard Posts: 38
    @Eris Alar So I just clicked on a "Purchase" link on a type specimen book at Archive.org and it took me to this site - Better World Books

    You might find something nice here and the prices look decent: https://www.betterworldbooks.com/search/results?q=type specimen
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 587
    @Eris Alar The reason must be because in the sidebar under Category, it doesn't list Printing & Graphic Arts like it does in the US.
  • Here is another one for used (and new) books:
    https://www.zvab.com/
    Don't know, if they provide an English version of the website, or if they ship outside Germany & Austria. But you can use the German search term "Schriftmuster" or English "Type specimen" and get long listings. Then search the title, author, year via Google.

    In any case you can start at Wikipedia at entries for a font or a famous type designer, foundry etc. Scroll down and look into the references.

    Depending on your goal there are digitised versions on archive.org, collections, libraries, universities etc.

    Also, the best specimen are the fonts themselves. Download free fonts. They are often low quality, but made with love by amateurs. The shapes of the letters are usable.

    My aim is automatic identification of historic fonts to improve OCR results. I need them as font or scanned. Thus I prefer scanned specimen books. Scanning needs too much time. I have a collection of ~200 specimen books and ~3000 historic fonts.
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    For me, I mostly enjoy specimens as objects themselves. Yes sometimes they serve as useful tools to help me find a typeface for a job, but most of the time the printed books and leaflets are just enjoyable on their own. I especially like pre-digitial type specimens for the history aspect too. 
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    When I said I found "nicely-pried" specimen books on eBay, I meant things like the HUGE 1923 ATF catalog for $125 USD and the amazing Barnhard Brothers and Spindler Catalog No. 25 for $85 USD, both in Very Fine condition.
    The latter features Oswald Cooper's large-size cuts (60 and 72 pt) for his eponymous line, which are truly trippy.
  • Two of the best places to check out for type and typography books—and old books of all kinds—are the sites for the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ilab.org, and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, abaa.org. Both have searchable listings for all of the members’ current holdings and may be searched by title, author, subject, pub. date, etc. And there are links to all of the member websites.

  • Another excellent place for seeing type specimens online is the letterformarchive.org. On the homepage now is a link to its collection of Portuguese type specimens.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
    Thanks for the mention, @Scott-Martin Kosofsky! In addition to our blog posts about the Archive’s specimen collection, you can see most of those we have digitized so far in the Online Archive. You can filter that search by country, decade, or firm, for example.
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    I have to admit I had not looked at Letterform Archive for a long time, and did not really know what it is/did until @Scott-Martin Kosofsky mentioned it again. Thanks as well. 
    I still feel a TD market could work, nothing too fancy but similar to buy-sell Facebook groups just a place where members can post things for sale or thing they are looking for. All sales would be between the members as private individuals.
  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 186
    A musical instrument forum that I frequent has an active classifieds section. The transactions are between individuals, but the forum requires sellers to upgrade to a "Supporting Membership" for $30/year. A similar approach (at a lower price point) could provide Typedrawers with revenue to support maintenance, upgrades and compensation to moderators.
  • I like the idea of a sell/trade section. Given we have so many international members, nice things could pop up from unexpected countries. :-)
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    International shipping of books has gotten very pricey unless you can fill an M-bag.

  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 587
    International shipping of books has gotten very pricey unless you can fill an M-bag.

    There is also the issue of Customs fees to consider in some countries.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,786
    International shipping of books has gotten very pricey unless you can fill an M-bag.


    Sometimes I pay more for shipping than I do for the book!
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    I live in Australia, I am use to expensive shipping and just factor it into the price equation :-) 
  • International shipping of books has gotten very pricey unless you can fill an M-bag.

    It chiefly depends on the origin country. France, for example, has very advantageous  rates for shipping books and magazines abroad. Also from the USA, from what I recall from a few years ago in my comics purchases, there were different routes you could go, especially with First Class and custom-done packaging.
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    Several years ago, I did an ISAL (International Surface Airlift) mass mailing of 20,000 25g letters from the US to France for 37¢ apiece.
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