Be Here Now by Ram Dass
5 Comments on “Be Here Now by Ram Dass”
Incidentally, my family had a set of rubber type in a very similar style when I was growing up that probably had some influence on my eventual interest in typography.
I’ve seen this book (paperback edition) in bookstores often over the years, but it seemed a bit to out there to interest me that much.
It strikes me in looking at it here that it must have influenced some other authors whose books I own. Two guys, Don Koberg and Jim Bragnall, did a series of books, starting in 1972 with The Universal Traveler, which even used DeVinne rubber stamps in a superficially similar way. The layout is more conventional and is mostly set in typewriter type, with the rubber stamps used for display purposes.
The books are about problem solving and creativity rather than spirituality. The later two books they did in the same vein were Values Tech and Design Yourself, which were increasingly less hand-made looking.
The other thing it may have influenced was Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib/Dream Machines, from 1974. It doesn’t use rubber stamps, but the hand-made aesthetic feels similar to me. Or maybe it’s just how self-published books looked back then.
(This was the book that got me interested in computers when I saw it around 1980.)
Those samples are cool, Mark! I’ve also noticed this type style as stamps a lot. This whole era of DIY publishing had a very particular look to it, most of which seems almost incidental from the technology, perhaps more than it was a conscious stylistic choice. The Ted Nelson book you showed also reminds me of some of Victor Papanek’s books that were hand-written in his cool handwriting style (the inspiration for a typeface I made a while back), with elaborate diagrams about society, culture, etc.
Did you see the Hippie Modernism show at the Walker when it was there? I unfortunately didn’t get to see it, but I imagine there may have been some similar-looking publications in the show.
Here’s The Universal Traveler first edition cover:
Jeff Levine’s Hand Stamped is based on these stamp sets.