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The Chinese Secret Service by Richard Deacon

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Oct 27th, 2022. Artwork published in .
The Chinese Secret Service by Richard Deacon 1
Source: Rare Book Cellar. License: All Rights Reserved.

In 1973, the International Typeface Corporation presented ITC Tiffany in the inaugural issue of their promotional U&lc magazine and advertised it as early as March that year. According to the info stated in a later issue (vol. 8 no. 2 from June 1981), ITC offered the typeface in 1974, which is also the date given by most contemporary sources.

Irrespective of one’s definition what exactly constitutes a release, this dust jacket is an early use of ITC Tiffany. The book by Donald McCormick (written as Richard Deacon) was published by Taplinger in 1974.

Ed Benguiat designed Tiffany as “a merge of two typefaces, Caxton and Ronaldson”, both of which originated in the 1880s. This ancestry is visible in the long angled serifs and the R’s leg that pierces through the counter. What these 19th-century typefaces didn’t have is a wide range of weights. The uncredited jacket designer contrasted Tiffany’s two extreme weights, Heavy and Light, both used in all caps. With a typeface so strong and full of flavor, they needed nothing else.

Today, Ed Benguiat would have turned 95 – happy birthday!

From the inner flap:

In this book, which will particularly interest readers of John Barron’s KGB, Richard Deacon successfully attempts the almost impossible, for the Chinese Secret Service is so secret there are some who do not believe it exists. It seldom surfaces and there are very few defectors and very few captured agents. Accordingly, the author established his own private intelligence network, called Operation Jackdaw. Using reports from his many ‘spies’, much thoro research, and interviews with defectors and many other Chinese, Mr. Deacon has pieced together an absorbing picture of the tremendous ramifications of the Chinese Intelligence – little of which has ever appeared in print before.

Side note: it’s disturbing to show this book (which looks a lot like a Cold War product) and at the same time to read about China being accused of operating secret “police stations” in Europe.

The Chinese Secret Service by Richard Deacon 2
Source: Barbarossa Books (edited). License: All Rights Reserved.


  • ITC Tiffany




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