The Definitive Dwiggins no. 9—Reform of the Currency

Michael Russem of Kat Ran Press has just announced  that his new edition of Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency by W.A. Dwiggins is ready. Here is his description of the book:

Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency is a passionate and lively little rant with lots of good design ideas for the improvement of banknotes and stamps—and just about anything else. First published in 1932 by the Limited Editions Club in an edition of 452 copies, this new edition is also printed in an edition of 452 copies—potentially doubling the number of copies in the world. In truth, the original edition is now one of WAD’s less seen and more expensive books and is often selling for one hundred or more times its original publication price of $5.84. Our edition is more modestly priced—and produced with the tools and methods of our time in history (as Dwiggins would have wanted it)—and comes with a new introduction by Dwiggins biographer Bruce Kennett.

This new edition features reproductions of banknotes and stamps issued by the Treasury of Antipodes which Dwiggins found to be exceptional and a potential model for the redesign of U.S. currency. Also included are reproductions of the U.S. banknotes and stamps in circulation at the time of the original publication so that readers can see what Dwiggins found so offensive.

Kat Ran Press is offering the book in two editions, regular and deluxe. (The notion of a special hand-bound edition goes against much of what Dwiggins stood for in book design, but is a necessary component apparently in today’s world of “fine printing”.) Here are the details of both:

The Regular Edition
5.875 x 9 inches. 60 pages. With full-color illustrations. Jacket pattern designed by Cyrus Highsmith. $44 postpaid within the US. (Shipping late-November) Pre-order.

The Deluxe Edition
Forty-five copies will be hand-bound by Sarah Creighton. Shipping in Spring 2015. $180. Pre-order.

International Orders
$60 postpaid for orders outside the United States. Pre-order.

For more details about Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency, visit the Kat Ran Press website: or stay tuned for another Definitive Dwiggins post.