Legibility in the Irregular Bulletin

Pages from the Irregular Bulletin #50

A great (albeit small) collection of late 50s/early 60s proto-zines from the Art Department at the Immaculate Heart College has recently been uploaded to the Internet Archive. The Gloria issue (no. 50), clocking in at over 400 pages, is particularly spectacular, and opens with a note from the editor:

“The Irregular Bulletin is an informal public-relation sort of thing…never intended to be great and probably isn’t…continues to receive recognition from cultural sources, private and public…considered avant-garde…is actually rather Victorian…The Library of Congress asked for all back issues…….perhaps is partially successful in slowing down the ‘take-it-for-granted’ school…and, to the same degree, in speeding up growth in ability to contact the REAL-ness of things, on the level where they cannot be taken for granite…..perhaps suggests to a few people the need to re-evaluate their criteria for passing judgement on what is Proper…or…appropriate……perhaps reminds people (a few) that beauty has many more faces than custom is willing to accept …that knowledge of the nature of things in themselves is the only path to wisdom and fulfillment. …or…rather…all this is what its editor wishes it to become…in fact…she hopes it is ‘escape literature’…not escape from….but escape to the path along which the REAL may be daily encountered…so that life itself may be a little less daily…..”

It also addresses the topic of legibility and their approach to typography:

“If you find it difficult to read the Irregular Bulletin…be grateful….Skimming has become a bad habit…It may help you collect information but it prevents your enjoyment of the fruit between the lines that deserves to be savored…we mean in other collections of printed words
These 464 pages (count them…don’t look at the last page) have nothing between the lines. They exist simply as an exercise in non-skimming to prepare you for the poets”