Russell Maret: "The type specimen is a curious hybrid in the history of the book. Born of a base necessity—the need to sell type—the specimen quickly took on a life of its own and fulﬁlled a parallel need to delight and entertain. Part portfolio, part brag sheet, the type specimen allows the designer to present the best-case scenario for a speciﬁc typeface, to show off its ﬁner aspects while presenting an ideal method of use. In this way, the type specimen is flight of fancy and style manual combined, an exercise in utility heightened and illuminated by extravagance. Some of the more elaborate type specimens, like those of William H. Page and Co., are suffused with a playful futility, a special knowledge that, once sold, the types displayed will never be treated with the same reverence or care. But all type specimens, to some degree, are conceived in that rare instance in which commerce plays second ﬁddle to imagination, when the demands of industry and utility enhance, rather than diminish, the expression of a creative impulse."