… for Books that Never Were

… for Books that Never Were by Bert Isaac (The Old Stile Press, 2005)

Introduced by Nicolas McDowell

We, at The Old Stile Press, were thrilled to be shown a rediscovered collection of book designs made in the 1940s by our good friend, the artist Bert Isaac, largely for his own pleasure as if he were fulfilling commissions such as he might have been given by publishers.


Immediately we began to wonder how these delightful works might be shared with others. Our final plan involved publishing a large format book in which more than twenty items are reproduced in colour and at full size.


Nicolas McDowall has written a Preface about this fascinating period of book design that Bert Isaac was ‘adding to’.


The works are inkjet printed on separate sheets and tipped into the hardback book.



Octavian type, with Klang for display, printed on Hahnemuhle Bugra Butten paper. 25 plates ink-jet printed in full colour on sheets of Dulcet Smooth and tipped in; six tail-pieces printed from photopolymer blocks. Casebound in full green cloth with printed paper label by the artist; printed label on spine; brick red endpapers. Bound by Salisbury Bookbinders, Pembrokeshire.

stack-of-paper-png-stack_of_books-2555px (1)

Frances and Nicolas McDowall are The Old Stile Press based in the Wye Valley, two miles upstream from Tintern Abbey.

“We look back to the great private presses of the past with respect and for inspiration, but we do not seek to replicate their style or, very often, even their methods. Rather we are trying to carry their standards and their creative spirit forward into this new century.”



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