Notes From Robin

Shakespearean words that didn’t make it

Posted by Robin Williams on May 24, 2008

The third issue of The Shakespeare Papers has come back from the press and will go out in the mail the first week in June. This issue is on the words that Shakespeare invented that didn’t make it into our vocabulary, the Discarded Words. Each issue comes with a little Post-it note pad so you can write a word on a note and post it in a place where you’ll see it every day. Then use that word! These are terrific words!

The images in this issue may appear to be random, but there is a definite underlying theme behind them. It might not be obvious at first, but see if you can figure out why we chose these kinds of images.

Which reminds me, I’m in the process of building a section of the site to explain our design choices for each issue. Web site work is never done.

Second issue on the press

Posted by Robin Williams on April 15, 2008

The first issue has been going out in the mail to pre-announcement subscribers, and the second issue is on the press, so we’re almost caught up. The second issue was a lot of fun to create. Because I’m speaking at a ChicaGourmet dinner in Chicago in May, I decided to focus this issue on food mentioned in the plays. But there are so many references that I limited this issue to just the meat and fowl dishes. It includes not only quotes from the plays, but recipes as well. For instance, Mr. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor says, “Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.” And on the page is a Tudor recipe for a hot venison pasty, just in case you’ve got a haunch of venison in your refrigerator.

The May/June issue is in the research and design process right now, so after you receive your first two issues, your subscriptions will start appearing regularly every two months. We’re having too much fun over here.

Launching the Shakespeare Papers

Posted by Robin Williams on March 25, 2008

At last! I’ve been thinking about and planning and organizing and collecting information for The Shakespeare Papers for more than a year now, and the project is finally up and ready to launch. The first issue (January’s!) is ready to mail and the second issue (March) is almost ready for the press, so your booklets will soon be right on schedule. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is for me to combine three loves of my life—Shakespeare, design/typography, and learning.

I’ve noticed that having the pressure to create a new issue every two months makes me look even more closely at the Shakespearean works. I see more connections, more threads, more poetry, more imagery, more of everything, than ever before. And getting to write and design more than computer books (which is how I make a living) opens my eyes even wider to the trends and influences in graphic design. And I learn so much in the process of creating each issue. What more could I ask?

I hope you enjoy reading and studying your Shakespeare Papers as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. Please email if you have suggestions or complaints or ideas or just want to say hi.