The first edition of Ulysses by Odyssey Press was published in December 1932. Printed in Germany, it comes in two volumes bound in paper wrappers. The author’s name on the cover and the text on the spine is set in capitals from Naudin. For the title, the accompanying open face, Le Champlevé, was used.
Naudin was drawn by French painter, draftsman, caricaturist, and engraver Bernard Naudin (1876–1946). Design started in 1912, following a request by Georges Peignot (1872–1915). In 1924, shortly after Peignot & Fils had merged with Deberny & Cie, the foundry then known as Deberny & Peignot had completed the series comprised of roman, italic, and the open all-caps style. For a typeface with Art Nouveau influences, Naudin is very late, cf. Grasset from 1898. The decision to eventually produce it might have been made following the success of faces like Cochin and Nicolas Cochin as well as the open Moreau-le-jeune and Mercure.
The Odyssey Press edition was the first to appear after Sylvia Beach gave up her exclusive right to publish Ulysses. It contained many corrections and by its fourth edition in April 1939 it was considered the most correct text of Ulysses even though it still contained errors.
Odyssey Press was an imprint of Albatross Press and was set up in 1932 specially to publish Joyce’s Ulysses. Albatross had been established in 1931 by John Holroyd-Reece, a publisher of art books at Pegasus Press, and Max Christian Wenger, who had worked for the renowned Tauchnitz publishers. The first book published in the Albatross Modern Continental Library in 1932 was Joyce’s Dubliners, and Holroyd-Reece and Wenger began to bombard Joyce with requests to bring out an edition of Ulysses.