¶ IN 1980 RONALD HAGLER, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia, escorted Tanya and Hans Schmoller on their visit to Cobblestone Press in Cambie Street. Some of you will have known Hans, or at least of his work. For those that don't, Hans was the book designer at Penguin Books after Jan Tschichold.
I was surprised by the intensity of Hans Schmoller's interest in my work. Although I knew nothing of Tanya's lifetime hobby at that time, Hans's reputation for extremely rigid book design specifications were widely known. Apparently Hans Schmoller evolved even further Jan Tschichold rules of composition forcing authors to conform to page lengths, subtitle lengths, and so forth. Hans meticulously drew his book designs in formal layouts expressing very exacting details that included even minutia. Nothing was left to chance, common sense or second judgment. Certainly, that is not how I ever tackled typographical problems. So his interest in my work puzzled me.
But I greatly admired Hans' work and if I had not known his approach would never have guessed his methods. To me his work seemed meticulous, distinct and refreshing. Hans had created some formidable designs with typographical ornaments and borders himself so his compliments were even more gratifying. He was particularly impressed by my work shown on the right.
Still, more surprising was his wife's intense interest in my suites of fleuron arrangements when we were all dining late in the evening. She explained she was a collector of ornamental papers. I had thought I was a typographer and it turns out, I was in the paper business. That was a lesson I never forgot.
PENGUIN BOOKS 1949-76