It all began in 1997, when I opened Nancy Sharon Collins, Stationer in my graphic design studio in Soho, New York. A big part of being a bespoke hand engraved social stationer is knowing the subject matter: stationery engraving, paper, typography, graphic design, and a smattering of etiquette. Ask anyone, I was then, and am still, obsessed with the entire subject.
2004, I began teaching graphic design and typography at the university level in Thibodaux, Louisiana (a little different from NYC) and began researching, and writing about, engraved stationery in earnest.
Early 2009…Lissi Irwin recommended I submit a book proposal to Princeton Architectural Press (PAP) where her good friend, Deb Wood, was then art director. So, in June of that year, I submitted my initial idea.
They like the idea and assign me an acquisitions editor who helps me flesh-out the proposal!
August, 2009, I approach Steve Matteson, then type design director, Ascender Corporation, about creating two digital fonts from original engraver’s lettering styles. He presents the idea to his cronies and they say, “yes”.
That September, my official proposal was submitted (to the big team at PAP). It had grown from a couple of pages, to many (including marketing and sales ideas, comparable books already on the bookshelves, table of contents, writing samples, illustration samples…)
Early January, 2010 a contract was submitted to me from PAP.
March 23, 2010, the contract was signed.
August, 2010, Terrance Weinzierl is brought on board the font project at Ascender.
Dec 8, 2010, Ascender acquired by Monotype Imaging.
January 13-24, 2010 I write a production outline (see Timeline Info-graphics).
Oops…life throws me a whopper of a curve ball, the book is postponed.
Nevertheless, I submit proposals about my research to TypeCon (Los Angeles conference), American Printing History Association (Washington, D.C. conference) and ATypeI (Dublin conference). All are accepted.
July 12, 2011 the first draft of the manuscript (25,000+ words) and approximately 250 digital images are submitted to PAP. There were very specific file formatting guidelines (yikes!) Kyle Petrozza, New Orleans’ only professional commercial photo-assistant, was recruited to help.
Jan 23, 2012 I receive the first galleys (in .pdf form.)
April 1, 2012 I approve all galleys, the book goes into production.
May 4-6 I present the research from the book at Type Americana in Seattle.
I realize that I need to get organized about an official book tour! (I decide to try not going broke on this and start a Kickstarter project to help stop the money hemorrhage—over $1,500 was spent on historic imagery from institutional collections and libraries alone.)
August 22, actual book publication date, here are the specs:
6 x 8.5 inches (15.2 x 21.6 cm), Hardcover
224 pages, 170 color illustrations, 10 b/w illustrations
September, 2012, the The Complete Engraver lands in book stores nation wide, and the Engraving for Nerds East Coast Book Tour officially begins!
December, 2012, the The Complete Engraver hosted by Garden District Books in New Orleans, and is available to order through them as well.