Carl Hertzog (cont.)
In 1948, Carl Hertzog began teaching a course in book design and typography at what is today The University of Texas at El Paso and also started building a college print shop which grew into the Texas Western Press. The first title from that press, The Spanish Heritage of the Southwest (1952), occupies a special niche in regional booklore. A type-setting project for “Bookology,” a course in book design at Texas Western College, the book was printed from the original type by students at the college press.
The José Cisneros drawings in The Spanish Heritage of the Southwest first appeared as division pages in the 1951 Flowsheet, the annual publication of Texas Western College at El Paso. This issue of the Flowsheet, titled “Our Spanish Heritage,” may have been the first college annual to be reviewed on a nationally-known book page. The Spanish Heritage of the Southwest, which grew out of this interest in Spanish influence, emphasizes the impact the Spaniards have had on Southwestern life –language, architecture, religion, history, and even ethnological origins.
A basic Hertzog axiom states that both design and materials are always at the service of the subject matter. Accordingly, the design on the cover papers of the hardbound edition was obtained by making prints from an adobe brick, a traditional building material of the Southwest, which created an interesting and appropriate texture. When a piece of the brick broke off – revealing an unmistakable dollop of dried horse manure – Hertzog speculated that it was the first time in literary history that “crap” had been found on the outside of the book.
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