TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Aug 6 16:51:21 EDT 2020






Warren Chappell

Born in Richmond, VA, 1904, d. Charlottesville, VA, 1991. Typographer, illustrator, letterer, and type designer. He made two type families:

  • Trajanus (1939-1940, for Stempel). McGrew on Trajanus: Trajanus was designed by Warren Chappell, New York illustrator and 1 letterer, in 1939, and cast by Stempel in Germany. It has the basic form of classic Venetian letters, but with a nervous, pen-drawn, contemporary quality. Ascenders are fairly long but descenders are short. The narrow italic lowercase shows a calligraphic quality in particular. There is an extra little flick of the pen at the end of crossbars off and t,. caps M and N have no serifs on their apexes; and cap U is lowercase in form. Trajanus is named for the Roman emperor whose accomplishments are immortalized in classic letters on the Trajan column. The three versions are also made by German Linotype, but have not received much attention in America. For revivals, see Tribunus SG by Jim Spiece and Linotype Trajanus (probably close to the original design as Linotype absorbed Stempel).
  • Lydian (1938, for ATF, available at Bitstream; Lydian Cursive is from 1940). Image of Lydian Bold Condensed, 1946. McGrew writes: The Lydian series is a brilliant and popular calligraphic style designed by Warren Chappell for ATF. The lighter weight and italic were designed in 1938; bold and italic in 1939. They have the appearance of being lettered with a broad pen held at a 45-degree angle, but the ends of vertical strokes are square, improving legibility and stability. This is probably the most popular thick-and-thin serifless letter of American origin, though the concept is more popular in Europe. Oldstyle figures were made for these four Lydians, but were fonted separately and very rarely used. These four typefaces were copied by Intertype in an unusually large range of sizes for a slug machine, and from these matrices some suppliers cast fonts of type for handsetting. Lydian is named for the designer's wife, Lydia. Compare Czarin, Stellar, Radiant, Optima, Samson, Valiant. Lydian Cursive was drawn by the same designer in 1940. Although it gives the appearance of having been drawn with the same sort of pen as the regular series, it is much freer and more calligraphic, with a style unmatched by any other American script or cursive face. Lydian Bold Condensed was designed in 1946, also by Chappell, but not marketed until 1949. It has the general character of the earlier typefaces, but with much more emphasis on the vertical strokes. This gives the lowercase a suggestion of the effect of a simplified German blackletter. Revivals include Lydian Cursive (Bitstream) and Lydian (Bitstream), both part of their big font heist, and Monotype Lydian (+Cursive). For a free family, see Libris ADF. See also Benjamin Critton's 2013 typeface Lydia Bold Condensed, and MPI's MPI Sardis (2013).
Chappell studied under Koch in 1931-1932 and worked briefly for him afterwards. This page states that he designed a font called Eichenauer (for Gustav Eichenauer, who cut the type in lead) in 1955, but it was never manufactured and released. This face, tentatively named Eichenauer, was shown in Chappell's book A Short History of the Printed Word.

Klingspor file on him (PDF). FontShop link.

View Warren Chappell's typefaces.

Warren Chappell
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Type designers ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Type scene in Virginia ⦿ Type scene in New York ⦿ German type scene ⦿ Typefaces inspired by the Trajan column in Rome ⦿ Books on type design ⦿ Venetian or antiqua typefaces ⦿ Calligraphic typefaces ⦿

file name: eichenauer

file name: Warren Chappell Lydian Bold Condensed 1946

file name: Bitstream Lydian after Warren Chappell Lydian 1938

file name: Monotype Lydian Cursive after Warren Chappell Lydian 1938

file name: M Press Interactive M P I Sardis 2013 after Warren Chappell Lydian 1938

file name: M Press Interactive M P I Sardis 2013 after Warren Chappell Lydian 1938b

file name: M Press Interactive M P I Sardis 2013 after Warren Chappell Lydian 1938c

file name: Linotype Trajanus Com Bold after Warren Chappell Trajanus 1939 1940

file name: Linotype Trajanus Com Bold Italic after Warren Chappell Trajanus 1939 1940

file name: Jim Spiece Tribunus S G after Warren Chappell Trajanus 1939 1940

file name: Jim Spiece Tribunus S G after Warren Chappell Trajanus 1939 1940b

file name: Stempel Trajanus 1939

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