Thursday, January 14, 2010

Antioch Bookplate Company V

The catalog of 1959 also illustrated four of eight designs (printed in brown) created in the 1950s by a new artist Benton Ferguson; in 2001 the series was labeled ‘The Young Moderns’ and had been expanded ten designs, each with stick-figure people whose faces are obscured by their open books. Another artist, Mark Kelley contributed three designs for a series of eight color bookplates for children, William Pringle provided four designs, and Carl S. Junge was credited with a single design for bookplates that were otherwise plain labels. Dorothy Burrage Chandor’s cat on a stack of books, John Hucthhausen’s leprechaun, and Cullen Rapp’s ornamented label, all introduced in the 1950s, were designated ‘old favorites’ by 2002.

Among the new offerings in the 1966 catalog of 29 pages were Raymond Da Boll’s calligraphic design created for himself [see Bookplates in the News, #15, January 1974] that was printed originally by Antioch and later adapted as a stock plate with minor changes; and even later republished using only Da Boll’s calligraphic lettering; a reproduction of Katsushika Hokusai’s Wave now designated an ‘old favorite’ and (also without identifying the artist) a contemporary design.

By 1968 sales had reached $350,000 annually. That year Lee Morgan, Ernest’s youngest son, joined the company, and during the next two decades the product line expanded into new book-related items such as bookmarks and journals.

In the 1980s the company was renamed Antioch Publishing Company and eventually established operations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico and has continued to expand. From a two-person operation utilizing a borrowed press in 1926, Antioch Publishing grew to have 600 employee-owners by the 1990s. For seven decades the company has continued the community-oriented spirit and human-centered values of its founder through its recycling programs, its charitable foundation, and its employee profit-sharing plans.”

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