In the late 1950s and early 1960s, printer, typographer and teacher Anthony Froshaug was a hugely inspirational figure for a new generation of designers.
I met Froshaug in 1964 at Watford College of Technology, in a corridor of the School of Art, as he was carrying a stack of slim, black A4 books – his celebrated Typographic Norms – which had just been delivered.
From black-on-black cover through visually arresting spreads, I was mightily impressed by what he had achieved within the then new A4-size constraint imposed by publisher the Kynoch Press.
Here was a designer who, besides being of great intellect, could set type, print and was capable of interpreting the Anglo-American and Didot typographic point systems – the essence of his book – in such an elegant, explicit and exciting way.
Froshaug left Watford in 1967, but working as his assistant in the Experimental Printing Workshop had changed my design thinking and I had come to know the man too. His appetite for life could be excessive, but his work was restrained.
It was this aspect, stunningly demonstrated in Typographic Norms, which inspired my 1970 Typography Manual, showing all the sorts and sizes of metal type held in the school.