Sherwin Beach Press ~ Illinois
(Robert McCamant)

Established in 1984, Sherwin Beach Press is a small fine press specializing in nonfiction prose.
Searching for Morris Fuller Benton
Discovering the designer through his typefaces
By Juliet Shen
Chicago: Sherwin Beach Press, 2011 . Edition of 75.

7.5 x 10.25"; 58 pages. Set in Cloister Oldstyle cast by the Dale Guild Type Foundry from ATF matrices. Typeset by Art Larson and Rose Wisotzky at Horton Tank Graphics. Printed on Mohawk Superfine. Letterpress illustrations and captions by Capitol Offset. Includes typographic specimens. Bound in black cloth boards with illustrated vertical paper title band and exposed spine binding. Foreword by Roger Black. Frontispiece wood engraving by Carl Montford. Designed by Robert McCamant.

Sherwin Beach Press: "Benton is the most prolific type designer of the hot metal era, but unlike Frederic Goudy, Bruce Rogers, or William Dwiggins -- whose ideas about type design are well documented -- Benton wrote nothing about his own work, nor was it the subject of analysis by others.

"Juliet Shen has made a meticulous study of his work, including a new enumeration of designs appropriately attributed to him. She gained access to papers from the ATF library, now housed at Columbia University. Shen places Benton in the context of American life at the turn of the 20th Century, when branding, advertising, and marketing were first becoming major factors in the economy. She compares his typefaces to similar ones from the same period, discovering the elements which he found important.

"As Roger Black says in the introduction, 'Benton's lean, driving, consistent style took over American printing in the pre-war area, and remains the bedrock of American typography.'"

Shen Design: "Since 1989 Shen Design has created affordable client-centered design solutions for businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits to individual entrepreneurs. In 2005 Juliet suspended business to earn a masters degree in typeface design from the University of Reading in England. Since then her work has centered on designing typefaces, on print collateral with a high typographic component, and on arts or education projects. Juliet teaches typography at the School of Visual Concepts (SVC) in Seattle, is a printmaker, and works to further the educational use of letterpress printing. She conceived and directs the programming for the Type Americana conference sponsored by SVC in Seattle."

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Saving His Life
By Lee Sandlin
Chicago, Illinois: Sherwin Beach Press, 2008. Edition of 50.

9.5 x 11"; 100 pages. Designed by Martha Chiplis. Set in Monotype Ehrhardt by Winifred and Michael Bixler. Printed by Martha Chiplis on handmade Twinrocker Taupe. Photoetchings from family photographs printed on Hosho, inset into the book in debossed panels. Crossed-structure binding in Nigerian goatskin with endpapers of Japanese silk, housed in a silk drawstring bag. Bound and designed by Trisha Hammer.

Sherwin Beach Press: "Sandlin tells the story of the extraordinary life and bewildering illness of his father-in-law, Russian immigrant Nick Cherniavsky.

"The defining event of Nick’s life happened before he was born. The Russian Revolution was one of those vast historical calamities that most Americans have been spared: it was a time when people who never thought of themselves as political, who never thought they’d have to choose sides about anything, were forced to make political choices that could easily cost them their homes, their families, and their lives. This was how it was for Nick’s parents."

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Within the Context of No Context
By George W.S. Trow
Illustrations by Howard Coale
1992. Edition of 200.

6 x 9.5"; 110 pages. Black Japanese rayon cloth boards. Paper title label. Set in Centaur and Arrighi and printed on Rives Johannot by Jennifer Hughes. Illustrations by Howard Coale printed from photopolymer plates made from his original pen & ink drawings. Binding by Trisha Hammer. End papers of Fabriano del Sarto with a television-shaped deboss on the cover which holds a miniature print of a fedora.

Published originally in the New Yorker in 1978, explores the role of television in American life, proffering a bleak vision that seems more and more accurate with the passage of time; a new introduction has been added by the author for this edition. In style the text is unusual—some might say poetic. It concludes with a reminiscence of the author’s days as an aide in the office of protocol at the New York World’s Fair of 1964/65. The author, George W. S. Trow, was for many years a staff writer at the New Yorker. Little, Brown published Context as a trade book in 1981 [including an additional essay about Ahmet Ertegun, which is not reprinted here]. This edition adds four interpretive drawings by artist Howard Coale.


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The Essence of Beeing
By Michael Lenehan
1992. Edition of 200.

9.25 x 12”; 45 pages. Hand set in Cooper Oldstyle. The book has a dust jacket of blind-embossed (in a honeycomb pattern) Roma Raffaello.

This is an account of two beekeepers: one who has hives on the roof of his apartment building in the city, and one who keeps bees on his farm in the country. In the process of describing the beekeepers and their work, the book tells a great deal of what is known about bees and honey. Alice Brown-Wagner has illustrated the text with drawings of the tools of beekeeping. Small drawings of bees by Albert Richardson are scattered throughout the text pages.


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The Innocents Abroad
By Mark Twain
1998. Edition of 200.

7.75 x 11.25”; 445 pages. Letterpress from Monotype Bell on Johannot paper. Twenty pages of illustrations. The two-volume set is handbound between red cloth covered boards with exposed spine sewing and housed in a black and white linen-covered case wrapper with black leather straps and brass studs, intended to suggest a portmanteau.

"Being an Account of the Steamship Quaker City's 1867 Pleasure Excursion to Europe and the Holy Land; with Descriptions of Countries, Nations, Incidents and Adventures, as They Appeared to the Author." With cartoon illustrations by Heather McAdams who was sent by the publisher in the Summer of 1995 to retrace the authors steps and "report on the present state of tourism." In one of his most exuberant nonfiction works, Twain wrote, "The people of those foreign countries are very, very ignorant. They looked curiously at the costumes we had brought from the wilds of America. They observed that we talked loudly at table sometimes. They noticed that we looked out for expenses and got what we conveniently could out of a franc, and wondered where in the mischief we came from. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language." The companion themes which fill these pages — the shallowness of the sites to be visited and the visitors — are as well revealed in McAdams' new cartoons as in the master satirist's words. Text follows a first edition copy in the possession of Northwestern University Library.

One of the books featured in the Binding section of the New York Public Library's exhibit Ninety from the Nineties. Trisha Hammer designed a traveling case for this modern illustrated edition of Mark Twain's travel saga.




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Sherwin Beach Press Out of Print Title:
Ballet for Opening Day 2002


Poisonous Plants at Table
By Audrey Niffenegger
Chicago, Illinois: 2006. Edition of 75.

5.375 x 9.25 x 2"; 104 pages. Set in Monotype Gill Sans and Joanna by Michael Bixler. Letterpress printed in two colors by Martha Chiplis on Mohawk Superfine and Twinrocker handmade papers. Four-color illustrations by Niffenegger giclée printed on specially coated handmade paper developed by Twinrocker. A case covered with Japanese fabric drops away to expose the sewing and non -adhesive binding. A back pocket houses the text block while a front pocket houses a plant-collection sleeve containing pressed Colchicum blossoms. Plant illustrations are taken mostly from Bentham's Handbook of British Flora, from blocks by Walter Hood Fitch. Contained in a box covered in the same fabric. Designed by Trisha Hammer.

Sherwin Beach Press: "This most unusual book incorporates selections from Poisonous Plants In Field and Garden by the Reverend Professor G. Henslow (first published in 1901), with "Poisonous Plants at Table" (selected menus and recommendations) by Dr. E. Coffin; and features "Prudence: The Cautionary Tale of a Picky Eater," a short story written and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger.

"It's really three books in one: first is the serious field guide, with illustrations of plants discussed, taken mostly from Bentham’s Handbook of British Flora, which used blocks by Walter Hood Fitch. Second is the set of four tongue-in-cheek seasonal party menus, each dish including a poisonous plant and giving a cross-reference to Henslow. Last, but hardly least, is the original short story of Prudence. Niffenegger wrote the story and illustrated it with both ink drawings and watercolors. The four watercolors appear on 3-panel foldouts. Each of the four sections with story and menu is set off from the field guide by a wraparound of green Kosu Momi paper."

In the words of Bob McCamant: “Bon appétit.”
$1,200 (SOLD)

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Page last update: 08.29.13


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