Heavy Ink

Starting in publishing at a well-known house (not my current one) where a single fax machine ruled a small office (I remember when external email was “activated”), it was not unusual to see communiqués come through from some big names. The most memorable one was the shortest – a request from one of our authors to print his next book in four colors, rather than two. (Memory has the fax – impossibly – in color, with a jaunty signature, accompanied by an effortless, cocktail-napkin-of-a-doodle.)

“History will prove that this is the correct decision.”

It was from Frank Gehry. I remember the unexpected importance of production values. The judgment of History himself was needed in order to negotiate them. He was like some kind of cartoonish Olympian muse, a cross between Atlas and the Grim Reaper, who was hovering over the print quotation kept in one of my colleague’s files.

History also must have weighed in when Mr. Gehry’s jacket was laminated on the wrong side. Both of them liked it, apparently. In fact, it looked much better than what they originally decided.


One thought on “Heavy Ink

  1. Pamela Horn

    Some of the best discoveries have been made by mistake. Inspiring story (albeit frightening at moments.) Moral–no matter where you are on the continuum you are likely working in unexplored territory, especially if you push limits and take risks. That is how we create.
    Looking forward to more heavy ink.


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