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John DePol

The Franklin Keepsakes Library

The Printing Week Library of Benjamin Franklin Keepsakes was a cooperative project of members of the New York area printing industry honoring the memory of Benjamin Franklin and the celebration of Printing Week in New York. John DePol was art director and sole illustrator of the entire Franklin keepsake series. The first fourteen of these (pre-1969) were printed letterpress; the remainder of the books were printed offset. Between 1953 and the final keepsake in 1988, DePol contributed 401 engravings. The first keepsake was one of his earliest illustrated books, made while Depol was working at the L. F. White Company in New York City learning the book trade as a production assistant. DePol continued to produce charming small-scale images for the series, even including his own face as one of Franklin's associates in the 1960 edition.

Franklin-Inventor B. Franklin, Innovator The Dream
B. Frankin--Inventor, 1960
B. Franklin, Innovator, 1961
The Dream...1976

Christmas Cards

For nearly fifty years, John DePol designed Christmas cards for his family as well as for business commissions. Many of the images have been reused over the years, appearing in both commercial and personal works. The cards present a view of his evolving style as the early, more formal images give way to more personal, loosely drawn designs. Many of the images from the 1980s show DePol's rural New Jersey neighborhood.

Christmas card

Bird feeder with trees.
Christmas card, 1983.
Christmas card
"The Railroad Station, Park Ridge,
New Jersey." Christmas card, 1980.

Christmas card

Snowy road. Christmas card, 1987.
Christmas card
Ice skaters. Christmas card, 1992.

Press Marks

Press marks or printer's devices are small designs or logos that identify works coming from a press. John DePol has designed dozens of press marks for printers and publishers. Many of the designs show DePol's sense of humor. He had so many ideas for variations of the marks that he was known to produce and send additional marks as an idea occurred to him. Among his most well-known are the fifteen variations of the "glad hands" for Robert M. Jones' Glad Hand Press. These were so popular that they were reproduced as keepsakes.

Glad hand Press Yellow Barn Press Red Ozier Press
Glad Hand Press
Yellow Barn Press
Red Ozier Press

Introduction | Essay | New York | Ireland | Private Press
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Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Last modified: 12/21/10

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