Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/153

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117
FINISHING.

was used, it was impressed with heat upon the side in a small lying press in use at the period. This press was known then as an arming press, because used commonly for impressing armorial bearings and monograms on the sides. The term arming press is still used for the lighter kinds of blocking presses.

Hand-finishing, as before stated, is really an art. The finisher should be able to draw, or at least have some knowledge of composition, and also know something about the harmony of colours. The workman not having any knowledge of drawing cannot expect to be a good finisher; because he cannot possibly produce any good designs, or by a combination of the small tools form a perfect and correct pattern. Taste has no small influence in the success of the workman in this branch of the art. It is better to finish books plainly, rather than put on the least portion of gold more than is necessary. If the intentions of the books’ owner is to put some special style or design into his bookcase, it will be well to think over the various styles before deciding upon any particular one. Before going thoroughly into the working details a few preliminary words may be permitted.

Let the tools be always in keeping with the book, both in size and character. Large ones should be used only on a large book, and those of less size for smaller works. A book on Natural History should have a bird, insect, shell, or other tool indicative of the contents. A flower should be used on works on Botany, and all other works be treated in the same emblematical manner; so that the nature of the book may be understood by a glance at the back. In lettering, see that the letters are of a size proportionate to the book—legible, but not too bold. They should neither be so large as to prevent the whole of the title being read at one view, nor so small as to present a difficulty in ascertaining the subject of a book when on the shelf.