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The Elements of Typographic Style

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Diamond Sutra, Cave 17, Dunhuang

The image above is a piece of a 5 m long, wood-block printed scroll found in a cave in northwest China in 1907. It is a copy of the Diamond Sutra. It is also the world's earliest dated printed book. A colophon at the end of the scroll reads "Reverently made for universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the 15th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong [11 May 868]. This is almost 600 years before the Gutenberg Bible was printed. A complete version of the scroll can be viewed here. [NOTE: The Diamond Sutra is one of 40,000 books and manuscripts sealed in a cave near the city of Dunhuang around the year 1000 CE.]

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