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The Aliquando Century: The First One Hundred Books from The Aliquando Press of William Rueter

Library Exhibit, 13 February - 31 March 2009

Illustrated Talk by Will Rueter, Wednesday, 11 March 2009, 7:30-8:30pm
W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library, 2nd Floor, Douglas Library

[Will Rueter]

The Aliquando Press was established by William Rueter in Toronto early in 1963. His aim was to personally explore all aspects of the hand-produced book.

One essential aspect of a private press is that the proprietor chooses his own texts. Will's interests are reflected in the wide range of literature he has printed, by European, Canadian, American and Asian writers, in their original languages and in translation. In the presentation of each of these texts, he tries to keep faith with the author. Every aspect of the book or broadside is designed to maximize the effective presentation of the text.

Will's press has allowed him to develop his skills in book design, calligraphy, hand-setting of type, printing and book-binding. Because he controls all aspects of production, he has been able to experiment freely with letterforms, printers' ornaments, formats, coloured ink, and decorative papers. Some of his books and broadsides also contain his own initial letters and illustrations, done as linocuts and wood engravings. For others, he has commissioned wood-engraved illustrations from Canadian and Dutch artists.

Will worked as a graphic designer for thirty-three years, chiefly as Senior Designer at University of Toronto Press, where he won many awards for book design. At the same time, he taught at various universities and colleges, and wrote numerous articles on book design and printing. In 1980, he co-founded The Devil's Artisan, a magazine that continues to promote fine printing, typographic design and book arts in Canada. In 1998, he retired to Dundas, where he has installed his press and bindery in a former dairy beside his house.

So far, The Aliquando Press has published one hundred books, plus eighty-seven broadsides. This exhibition celebrates the achievement of Ontario's oldest and most accomplished private press.

An illustrated bibliography of The Aliquando Press was published in 2008. This paperback is available for $20 at the W.D. Jordan Library Information Desk.

[book from the Aliquando Press] [book from the Aliquando Press] [book from the Aliquando Press]

(Click on images to enlarge)

The exhibit was curated by Margaret Lock

Last Updated: 14 March 2012

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Kingston, Ontario, Canada.