Specimen Types: Suitable for Both Book and Display Printing. Issued by Jarrold & Sons Limited, The Empire Press, Norwich & London. Hardcover book published by Jarrold & Sons (no date,probably 1940s or 1950s), approx 39 pages with examples of type (fonts etc) in black and red and with a few tipped in colour illustrations.
“This little book is intended to supplant the vast and bulky portfolio of 'specimens' that so many printers are forced to carry around with them; and to give in the space of a few pages a synopsis of the more important types stocked by Messrs. Jarrold & Sons Ltd., and some idea of the manner in which these types can be handled. The frontispiece and illustrations at the end of the book show the various subsidiary processes which can be handled at Norwich—colour, half-tone, offset, and so on.”
Before the computer and way before the interwebs, people would look at hard copy printed examples of fonts/type. Yep, it's hard to believe that there was once a need for a book of type such as this, but there was. This was an era when there was no font option in a box at the top of a computer screen and there were no font websites where you could download as many crazy fonts as your hard drive could store. It was a different world back then and printers (… these were people who printed things) would actually print examples to demonstrate their fonty dexterity.
Recently i've found a few of these catalogues (?) and I do like the look and overall ambiance that these pages create. It's sort of like printing on it's best behaviour as generally speaking these specimen catalogues tend to show off a printers outstanding abilities with type, ink, layout and paper. The people at Jarrold & Sons are no exception to this generalisation and they did manage to put out this lovely catalogue.