Fable of the Gnomon
by John Oliver Cramer
14.75 x 9.5 inches
105 pages
Digitally printed on Mohawk Superfine paper
Standard binding: 20 numbered copies ($500)
Deluxe binding: 5 lettered copies ($1500)
Binder's copies: 2 unnumbered copies (NFS)

John Cramer's Fable of the Gnomon: Intimations of Image Geometry required calculations based on the Golden Ratio for the layout of the pages and for all the elements thereon. An interrelated series of scales was used to determine page size, line length, type sizes, and folio placement. Cramer’s original drawings were scanned and resized digitally to fit the confines of the 9.425 × 8.5 inch page. The diagrams and figures were created digitally by Rutherford Witthus and Douglas Reitmeyer based on John Cramer’s earlier renderings. For John O. Cramer's earlier work with the Phi factor, see his United States patent Game assembly based on the Phi factor.

Fable of the Gnomon standard edition

Standard edition

Bound by Linda Lembke at Green River Bindery, Guilford, Vermont; slipcases by Mary Richardson

Fable of the Gnomon deluxe edition

Deluxe edition

Bound & boxed by Peter Geraty and associates at Praxis Bindery, Easthampton, Massachusetts

Fable of the Gnomon pages 20-21

Fable of the Gnomon
Pages 20-21

Fable of the Gnomon page detail

Fable of the Gnomon
Page detail

The proto-format of the fabulous text was first written on a 1930s Royal Signet typewriter with italic font. Because the vertical alignment of the type was as significant as the horizontal and hoping to keep some of the original construction of the piece visible, a monospaced typeface resembling the typewriter had to be found. After trying out a number of faces, Die Monospaced Hubbuch Light Italic by Patrick Hubbuch of the Volcano Foundry in Karlsruhe, Germany, was chosen. Robert Slimbach’s extensive Minion Pro font family seemed an appropriate choice for the remainder of the book that included text, captions, and mathematical symbols in various sizes.

Page spreads from the book:


Fable of the Gnomon pages 2-3

Joshua Pincoske of the R.C. Brayshaw Company in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, understood the subtleties required to print pages for hand bookbinding. Linda Lembke of the Green River Bindery in Guilford, Vermont, constructed the standard slipcased edition using papers from Twinrocker Handmade Paper in Indiana for the covers and endpapers; Peter Garety and his associates at Praxis Bindery in Easthampton, Massachusetts, fashioned the deluxe & boxed edition with Chieftan Goat skins from J. Hewit & Sons, Ltd. in Scotland. The edition is limited to twenty standard copies, numbered 1-20, and five deluxe copies, lettered A-E. All copies are signed by the author and the publisher.
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