Easily the most ambitious book project by Ray Nichols & Jill Cypher of Lead Graffiti, The Multifaceted Mr. Morris is the catalogue of the William Morris exhibition mounted in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection for the “Useful & Beautiful” conference held in October 2010 at the University of Delaware. More than thirty books, manuscripts, drawings, and other works are described and an introduction tells the story of how the collector came to collect Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites. The author, Jane Marguerite Tippett, is a PhD student in Art History at the University of Delaware.
As Lead Graffiti approaches printing via letterpress as designers, they wanted to find an interesting way to incorporate visual elements into the project. Many of the pieces included in the book are fabulous, often either one-of-a-kind or ones with an important provenance. The designers took each entry and looked for some visual element they found interesting. Often it was typographic, in the instance of a photo or a drawing it might just be a small area or a word from a letter. These images were printed in a light tone to complement the main text. It will be interesting for someone who visits the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection to look through some of the pieces and see if they can find the image. Sometimes it will be obvious and sometimes obscure.
The July 2012 edition of Fine Books & Collections included an article on the book that included some additional information about Lead Graffiti.
Printed via letterpress in Caslon type in two colors with eight color plates, The Multifaceted Mr. Morris is issued in an edition of 150 copies, all bound by hand: 100 in wrappers and 50 hardbound in parchment backed boards, each signed by the relevant participants. The book is available from Lead Graffiti and from Oak Knoll Books.