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William D. Wittliff Broadsides

William D. Wittliff (cont)

William D. Wittliff has also produced some memorable programs, broadsides, Christmas greetings, and letterheads. Especially notable is the 1968 program of the Texas Folklore Society, a beautiful yet muted example of design enhanced with a Tom Lea cover drawing. Two Christmas booklets – one for Ambassador Ed Clark, the other for Senator Ralph Yarborough – are also outstanding. The first is a reprinting of William Seale’s essay on San Augustine in the Texas Republic (Encino Press, 1969) and the second is Yarborough’s appraisal of Sam Houston, Sam Houston and Christmas (Encino Press, 1971). These pamphlets reflect sensitivity and a good choice of paper, illustration, type, and color combination. The letterhead for the Collector’s Institute succeeds admirably in handling many names without being obvious.

William D. Wittliff also designed a masterful broadside for the Texas Library Association. The broadside features a contemporary photograph of Mexican vaqueros plying their ancient skill framed above and below by a Larry McMurtry quotation. On the first copies from the press, decorative printers’ flowers were used to fill out short lines at the conclusion of the two paragraphs. Wittliff quickly decided that these ornaments were superfluous and had them removed. The result is a lean, spare, exciting broadside that conveys its message with economy, clarity, and telling effect.

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