My name is Charles Foster and I live in Dublin. I have worked as a writer, editor and designer for many years. My life in the trade started at my school, where I became the manager of the printing society. This was well equipped with two treadle-operated printing presses and then later an electric-powered Heidelberg. It was here that I first learnt how to set and handle metal type in a composing stick.
Over the decades since my skills have kept pace with time. I started by cutting up repro with a scalpel, and have since rubbed down letters from Letraset, learnt desktop publishing using the first generation of Aldus PageMaker and taught several generations of students in three different educational institutions. I have designed and laid out countless books, magazines and other more ephemeral printed material. I have written three books of my own, and am now working on a fourth. I also write and edit the only regular blog about the Dambusters.
In the 1970s, my boss was Tim Wilkinson, then the production director of the book publisher, The Folio Society. He was a talented typographer with firm views of what was correct and what was not. I learnt a lot from him and I’m still grateful for the licence he gave me, an enthusiastic but inexperienced beginner. His own design preferences were restrained and austere, but commercial pressures from other directors and the society’s members often pushed him into taking a more gaudy approach. When you then showed him a proof or a piece of artwork there would be a slight sigh and a shake of the head: ‘Plenty of taste, and all of it bad’.
If you want to make contact, here’s my email address.