New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2017,
First Edition. octavo, cloth in dust jacket. 208 pp. Oak Knoll Press, New. Item #26470
In the Service of Scholarship is a history of one of the leading printing firms of the twentieth century. It is also a character study and biography of Harold Hugo (1910-1985), whose career at Meriden Gravure began at the age of fourteen and continued until his retirement as president in 1975. During his tenure, Hugo brought the company to standards of excellence that earned worldwide recognition for art reproduction of the highest quality. The distinguished graphic designer and educator Alvin Eisenmann said of Harold in 1978, "there has never been anyone who held the position that Harold does in American scholarly printing." This book records the practices that were employed to advance illustration printing during the era of film-based printing technology, from collotype and letterpress to offset lithography. Many of the groundbreaking procedures that Hugo pioneered were subsequently made obsolete by digital technology, but his refusal to compromise on quality and his attention to detail stand as a model in any age. This publication is the first full account of the hundred-year history of the company and of the man who guided it to, and during, the period of its greatest success. As such, it fills a significant gap in the history of printing and of scholarly publishing during the twentieth century. The book, with design and typography by Scott Vile, is richly illustrated with 112 pictures, many in full color. New.