Shakespeare sonnet for Bodleian Library
University of Oxford, England
Click on the image to see it double sized.
Paper: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm
Ink runs: 4 (The Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford in England, one of the world's great libraries, proposed a project to celebrate the 400th anniversary of death of William Shakespeare. They invited printers from across the globe to reprint one of Shakespeare's sonnets to produce a single portfolio for the Bodleian collection. We chose Sonnet #112 because it had the word "impression" in the first line.
We wanted to include the image of Shakespeare in a ghostly, light color overlooking things. We figured most printers would likely take the Bodleian's interest in the sonnet at their word and few would actually include images. We also wanted to do Lead Graffiti handrolling on the type which we thought might offend some purists. So while we did our version our way, we also took a very accurate photo of the first 1609 printing of the sonnet and printed that also, including all of the printing inconsistencies. So, you can have it both ways.
We blind-debossed (printing without ink) the dates of the two versions to the left of the text blocks. A bit hard to see blind-debossing in a digital file, but it is there. You can click the image to see it double-sized and you can see the visual details a lot better.
Your love and pity doth the impression fill
Which vulgar scandal stamp’d upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o’er-green my bad, my good allow?
You are my all the world, and I must strive
To know my shames and praises from your tongue:
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steel’d sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of others’ voices, that my adder’s sense
To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
You are so strongly in my purpose bred
That all the world besides methinks are dead.
The text in the lower right reads:
Printed slowly & patiently via letterpress by Lead Graffiti, Newark, Delaware, for the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford, celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare and his 154 sonnets.