Question re: Buckram bindings

Jay Satterfield jsatterf at
Mon Nov 4 13:06:05 EST 2002

You might want to look at Geoffrey Glaister's _The Encyclopedia of the 
Book_ (New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 1996).  The term colophon originally 
referred to the concluding statement of a manuscript, and then came to mean 
an identifying device for trade publishers.  The change in definition in 
the United Sates happened in the 1920s.  There is a terrific piece in 
Publishers' Weekly from August 1927 called the "Cult of the Colophon" which 
discusses how publishers are using "Colophons" (meaning trademarks) to 
employ modern marketing techniques for selling their books. The publishing 
industry uses the term primarily to describe trademarks, and the Oxford 
English Dictionary has both meanings as acceptable and correct.

In the late 19th Century, the fine-press movement helped to reinvent the 
colophon as a statement at the end of the book as a kind of homage to the 
manuscript tradition.  Knopf started using it for his Borzoi Books to point 
out their distinctive designs in the 1930s.  Interestingly, Borzoi books 
have two colophons, the Borzoi dog as a trade mark and the statement at the 
end about the type and designer.

Jay Satterfield

At 09:45 AM 11/3/02, you wrote:
> > I took this time because I am a neophyte who is learning the hobby and
> > associated terminology.  I have been using colophon to describe the
> > torchbearer no matter where it is located.  Am I incorrectly using the 
> term?
>Technically the colophon is the info usually given at the end of the book
>that gives the printer's name and info as well as describing the font used.
>It usually is accompanied by a graphic emblem such as our beloved ML
>torchbearer. Words evolve in living languages; this one has evolved to refer
>to the publisher's emblem itself.
>In other words, historically you are technically incorrect but in terms of
>real current usge you are fine.
>Scot Kamins
>Portland's Newest Real Estate Agent
>"I Listen - I'm Too New Not To!"
>+1 (503) 997-0199      cell
>+1 (503) 731-5899      home

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