At Etaoin & Shrdlu we believe great books

Etaoin & Shrdlu made a promise. We will devote our existence to the propagation of great books. You may ask what defines a great book and it’s a reasonable question. After much swaying and scalp scratching, we have compiled our list.

Great books are clothbound.

Great books must endure as well as the tales they carry. To this end, they will be clothbound or leather-bound special editions and each will sport a decorative head and tail bands.
They will contain fine blocking and the cloth colour and texture will match the carefully selected illustrations. These are books to treasure and what better way to honour the timeless prose within than to allow them to linger through the years.

Great books are crafted from the finest paper.

Thick, weighty acid-neutral paper will greet you on every page, either Moiré, silk endpapers or illustrated endpapers. Our chosen inks are designed to adapt to our paper type, pale, but not too white. Our paper is designed to feel playful, yet flexible enough to turn well. Paper born for texture and shading, and formed to the highest quality by renowned European mills. All made to FSC certification and with sustainability at its core.

Great books are illustrated.

Great books deserve great art. Illustrations by the finest contemporary artists and emerging illustrators should adorn their pages and draw us still deeper into their web. Etaoin & Shrdlu will commission the finest hands to conjure scenes and moods to heighten the senses. Not just illustrations, but added value to the text. Wood engravings, paintings, collages, pen and ink and all with the latest digital decorative glassine sheets to protect the artistry.

Great books are protected by a slipcase.

Great books deserve to last. Etaoin & Shrdlu books will ship with unique protective slipcases. The cases will keep the books in pristine condition, significantly prolonging their shelf-life. These covers will be made of linen or durable thick cardboard with a silk finish. After much deliberation we concluded that while admirable in their own way, dust-jackets weren't quite up to the job.

Great books are imbued with thoughtful typography.

We want Etaoin & Shrdlu books to be a pleasure to read. Reading itself is such a joy, we reasoned there was no reason to rush the process. Our book then will boast large lush, vivid fonts. Big, bold and brazen the words from an Etaoin & Shrdlu book will ascend from the pages and make reading even in the poorest light, easy and enjoyable. To this end we have created large type fonts and are committed to creating our own fonts, based on famous classic fonts as Bembo, Sabon, and Baskerville.

Great books are hand sewn.

Great books are designed to be read. To this end they will be sewn in 16-page signatures. This will ensure that the book can open flat with minimal damage. Books should be loved and we spend time with those that we love.

Great books have ribbon markers.

Reading a masterpiece need not be rushed, therefore to retain your place and uphold our values Etaoin & Shrdlu books will carry multiple SILK or SATIN ribbon markers. Each luxuriant strand will be cut from a different colour and matched in length. To read, reflect and reread.

Great books are gilded.

For no other reason than the glint from the sun as dawn hits your shelves, we intent to gild the pages of our books. Perhaps just the top edge or perhaps all the edges gilded or coloured. We shall spare no expense in our mission to return excellence to printing.

Great books are annotated.

Annotations do not soil a book, they are part of its recipe. Not to everyone's taste perhaps, but for those with a preference Etaoin & Shrdlu books will each contain a specially commissioned introduction and wide margins for those with the will to add their own personal annotations. Our paper is specifically chosen to allow annotations without imprint of the pencil and will allow for easy impression-free removal.