Did you know?
At first books carried no date, no title page, nothing that would indicate when or by whom the work was done. Then following the custom of many of the scribes, printers began putting at the end of the work, the name of the producer, the date and the place of production and sometimes other information about the type and method of work. This late to be called a “Colophon”, from the greek word meaning a “finishing stroke”. It was not until after 1520 that the custom of putting such information on a title page became common.
Colophon: an overview
The first edition was published in December 1980 with Ethna Gallacher as Editor, Volume Number One of Colophon became the Official News Letter of the Australian Society of Calligraphers. Colophon remains as originally intended to be published four times a year in September, December, March and June.
1981: Volume 1 Number 2 of Colophon was published in Autumn 1981, establishing its mark. The society now became identified by a red, white and black logo designed by Margo Snape. In December of that year, a Christmas Bulletin replaced the December Colophon.
1982: Another bulletin was published, following this, the production of Colophon resumed and was now established.
1989: Colophon changes its stripes. The cover, which for many years had been black, white and red (initiated by Nicole Ballingali, Editor) would henceforth be full colour. The paper and printing quality went up and photographs become the rule rather than the exception.
1992: Colophon had highs and lows. A high was the spectacular cover reproducing Geoff Ford’s large illuminated calligraphy commissioned as the Queen’s gift and presented by her for the “”Sesquicentenary (150th birthday) of the City of Sydney. A low was the Colophon numbering. It had no issue one; two issue threes and one issue five.
1996: The June edition of Colophon was the largest ever at 28 pages and now the first with colour pages inside.
1997: In May 1997, ASC organised a Celtic Exhibition, held in conjunction with the touring Riverdance group that took Australia by storm. One of the gilded pieces, the Letter B, by ‘Martha Lett, featured on the June Colophon cover, and due to a miscalculation on numbers, this edition became the scarcest in the history of the ASC. 1997 also marked Mike Francis standing down as Editor after seven years.
2000: The first Colophon cover incorporating digitally manipulated calligraphic images was released.
2001: Colophon dedicated an issue to ‘Calligraphy and the Computer’
Early Colophon Covers
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Volume 1 / No. 1
Cover: Oliva Roberts
Cover: Margo Snape
Cover: Geoff Ford
Cover: Marta Lett
Editors of Colophon
1980 – 1982: Ethna Gallacher
1983 – 1987: Nicole Balingall
1988: Elaine Witton
1989 – 1990: Sue Habgood / Dave Wood
Dec 1990: Jill Osborne / Dave Wood (Dec issue)
March 1991: Dave Wood
Dec 1991 – 1997: Mike Francis
Dec 1997 – 2002: Penny Farrant & Antoine de Paauw
2002 – 2006: Linda Upfold, Heather Courtis, Meg Dunworth
Sept 2006 – 2011: Linda Upfold & Meg Dunworth
Dec 2011 – Sept 2012: Meg Dunworth
Dec 2012 – Sept 2016: Liz Firth
Would you like to submit an article?
Articles of calligraphic and lettering content are always welcome. If you would like to submit an article to Colophon, or have thoughts on content to include in an edition of Colophon, please feel free to contact the editor: email@example.com
Our Current Issue
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Front and back cover art
Front cover art: Ravens Gnawing by Denis Brown
Materials: Layers of calligraphy between painted glazes of oil-based paint.
Back cover art: as above
In our December issue …
Report from the acting Editor
Report from the President
Article on Denis Brown
Global Scribes: Lorraine Brady
Colours in manuscripts of the Medieval Period
Workshop Review: Brush It
Workshops Booking Policy
Join the ASC
One of the benefits of being an ASC member is receiving our members only quarterly magazine, Colophon. Keep up to date with calligraphic happenings, tips, workshops and be inspired by others.
Please contact: memberships for further information on joining the society: firstname.lastname@example.org