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Autonomy: the cover designs of Anarchy, 1961–1970

Daniel Poyner (editor)

Anarchy was a journal of ideas published in London in the 1960s. Although its contributors were many and diverse, Anarchy was essentially the creation of one person, Colin Ward (1924–2010). With this journal, and throughout his work as a writer, editor, and activist, Ward proposed the idea that anarchist principles of mutual aid and autonomous organization outside a centralized state can be achieved here and now. This book gives attention for the first time to the covers of Anarchy, designed mostly by Rufus Segar. These little-known works provided the enticing entry to the plain text pages of the journal. The book reproduces all of the covers in a sequence that suggests, incidentally, something of the history of graphic design in Britain in those years. And it goes beyond the images, with an array of supporting texts that give a full picture of Anarchy and its context.

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Entries

The cover of ‘Fellow readers’

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Robin Kinross / 2012.04.26

This is the cover of the pamphlet Fellow readers: notes on multiplied language, which Hyphen Press put out in 1994. The piece was prompted by the debates over typography that had been published in the pages of Emigre and Eye magazines, and elsewhere. A participant in this discussion, I saw the chance to make a more extended contribution when my book Modern typography was coming up for a reprint. This was in 1994, just as the wind was beginning to go out of this little Anglo-American storm. I gave the publication the format of Modern typography (in its first edition of 1992), using the same typeface, and page construction, and wrote to fill 32 pages – which would be just enough to give it a spine with the author and title on it. The margins carried quite a few notes: I was conscious that Modern typography’s margins had been underused. I imagined that the printers might make the book and the pamphlet in the same production process, which they almost did. Fellow readers seemed to serve its purpose. Though slender, as a free-standing publication it made more of a mark than any magazine article could. Read more

‘Autonomy’ arrived

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2012.10.26

Some finished copies of our next book, Autonomy: the cover designs of ‘Anarchy’ 1961–1970 were delivered to the office this morning. This is the culmination of several years of work by the book’s editor Daniel Poyner; he was joined by designer Peter Brawne and sub-editor Robin Kinross to form a group of three people who made the final book. The result feels like a very solid (820 gm) and well-manufactured contribution to graphic and political culture. It has been printed by Die Keure in Bruges and bound by Hexspoor at Boxtel in the Netherlands, using the Otabind process with cold glue. The book stays flat at every opening: essential for the central sections of the book in which we show back-and-front covers of all 118 issues of the journal as double-page spreads. Autonomy will be published formally on 15 November. It should put in its first public appearance tomorrow at the Anarchist Bookfair in London (go to the stands of Housmans Bookshop and Freedom Press). Read more

Remembering Robin Fior

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Robin Kinross / 2012.11.20

Robin Fior died on 29 September, in hospital at Mafra, outside Lisbon. This is not an obituary (his friend Richard Hollis has written a good one), but merely a set of memories of someone I knew, off and on, over twenty or so years. He was part of a certain network of designers in Britain, whose work has provided a main impetus for Hyphen Press. Read more

Talking about Colin Ward and ‘Anarchy’: an event at Housmans

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2013.01.07

On Saturday 9 February (6.30 pm), our book Autonomy is the subject of an event at Housmans Bookshop in London. Daniel Poyner will introduce the book and Richard Hollis will talk about the cover designs of Anarchy. Ken Worpole will talk about this book and also about the recent collection of Colin Ward’s writings Talking green, from Five Leaves. Anything to do with Colin Ward seems to pull in a crowd these days, so if you want to come, be sure to reserve a seat by writing to Nik @ housmans.com.

Autonomy at Housmans

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2013.02.10

We were part of a successful and good-spirited event at Housmans bookshop in London last night. The occasion was the publication of our book Autonomy, and the posthumous collection of Colin Ward’s writings on ecological themes: Talking green. Someone from the shop had warned that Colin Ward – who died in 2010, after a very full life as architect, writer, editor, disseminator, doer – always brings the crowds in. The shop was packed out, with all seats taken, and people standing and sitting on the floor. As our introducer for the event remarked, this crowd, more than any crowd, ought to be able to self-organize the seating problem, and they did. Read more

Bread and Roses Award 2013 shortlist

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2013.03.06

We are delighted that Autonomy, edited by Daniel Poyner, is among the books shortlisted for this year’s Bread and Roses Award. The book finally chosen for the award, by a panel of three, will be announced on 11 May at the London Radical Bookfair in the good old Conway Hall.

Net and book: an interview with Roland Reuß

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2015.11.30

The interview that follows was recorded on 20 August 2015 in Roland Reuß’s office at the University of Heidelberg. The text has been lightly edited for ease of reading, but otherwise follows closely what was spoken. Read more

Title casing

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Robin Kinross / 2016.03.25

A detail of Hyphen Press style has sometimes caused puzzlement. We give the title of a book with initial capitalization only in the first word.1 Thus: The arrow of gold, rather than The Arrow of Gold. We have used this style in the text of most of the Hyphen books, and in their display typography too, in catalogues, and on this website. It is the style that I learned from Michael Twyman, who set up and then ran for years the Department of Typography at the University of Reading, where I was a student in the 1970s. It is still used at Reading, and I believe that Michael has used it in all the books he has had published. One finds it also used by other British writers on printing history – Philip Gaskell, David McKitterick – who trained as librarians. One sees it used in the catalogues of the great American and British national libraries (Library of Congress, British Library). It seems to be the norm now in science publishing – see the references to books in any science journal. But outside these spheres, in British and American (and indeed ‘world’) English-language publishing, capitalization of ‘important words’ (differently defined) is employed. Read more