Tarshish Books was founded by Moshe Spitzer (1900–1982) in Jerusalem after he had fled Germany in 1939. Over the next forty years, Spitzer designed and published more than 100 books — classics of European and modern Hebrew literature as well as medieval Jewish texts — that were rare in their beauty, both in content and form. In 1942, in order to improve the quality of the printing and to better control the layout and typography of his books, Spitzer set up his own typesetting studio which was also used by other publishers. In 1954, together with Heinz van Cleef, Spitzer established the Jerusalem Type Foundry, the first Israeli type foundry, and helped to create modern Hebrew typefaces like Hatzvi and David. — Sources: Haaretz, Goethe-Institut, DLA Marbach. See also Ada Wardi (ed.): The Graphic Design of Moshe Spitzer, Franzisca Baruch, and Henri Friedlaender: New Types Three Pioneers of Hebrew Graphic Design. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 2016. (Hebrew edition: 2015). A monograph of Spitzer’s works initiated by Ariel and Ada Wardi was published in 2016 (in Hebrew only).
The publisher’s logo shown here was designed by Avigdor Arikha.