Will Bradley, an illustrator, printer, and type designer, was one of the most prominent followers of Arts & Crafts ideas in the US. This self-published magazine was a sort of portfolio piece featuring his work by himself and friends, and helped promote the products and services of his clients: makers of paper, ink, and type.
In January 1896, Will Bradley formed the small Wayside Press in Springfield, Massachusetts. One of his most ambitious projects was the publication of Bradley: His Book. In the prospectus, Bradley describes it as: “a little magazine of interesting reading, interspersed with various bits of art, and privately printed at the Wayside Press[,] Springfield, Mass.”
When Will Bradley began to seek out new clients after relocating to Springfield, Massachusetts, he discovered an abundance of paper mills. Bradley used the Mittineague Paper Company’s Strathmore Deckle-Edge Book Paper in the first issue of Bradley: His Book, along with the products of two other paper companies that had commissioned advertisements for the issue. Mittineague was the first client of the Wayside Press in 1895 and continued the relationship even after merging with the Woronoco Paper Company and reincorporating as the Strathmore Paper Company in 1911. The company’s sample books often featured reprints of Bradley designs. — Alexander Johnston and Jaime Margalotti
Like other Arts & Crafts printers, Bradley favored dense pages and dark printing, with Gothic ornamentation though in a more naturalistic mode. The type (Jenson Old Style from ATF) is a typical turn-of-the-20th-century Jenson: heavy with exaggerated features. The book also features Bradley’s namesake typeface, released by ATF at about the same time, and another revival of Gothic styles.