Caslon Type Specimen
This is a typographic specimen book created to display the typeface Caslon. This was a student project that was conceptualized around the poem Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver. This project, seemingly daunting and ambiguous initially, became one of my favorites. Prior to the fall semester of our senior year in Graphic Design, we were assigned to purchase a copy of the book titled 'A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry', by Czeslaw Milosz. Next, we were to read through the book of poems and select one that particularly resonated with us. I had never been introduced to this depth of poetry, and my adoration for it came to me by surprise. I chose the poem Wild Geese because it gave me a reassuring sense of the beautiful simplicity of nature. [Wow! What a feeling.. This poem remains of my favorites to this day.]
After choosing our poem, we then had to choose a typeface that we felt embodied it appropriately, and create a book to display the typeface. To take things even a little bit further, we were to then come up with a creative and functional way for our typeface to come to life. Everyone took a different approach to this, which was pretty remarkable to see, and one of my favorite things about this class.
Given the naturalistic and humble essence of my poem, I chose the typeface Caslon to accompany it. I decided, then, that designing a brand of natural products would be an appropriate way to give this typeface context. The name of the brand would be Onatah, meaning “of the earth.” As a classic serif type, Caslon has a simplicity to it that I felt mirrored the simplicity of nature. This book contains both the type specimen and the contextual examples of the typeface being used.
By Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.