TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sun Feb 23 19:13:00 EST 2020






Joseph Warren Phinney

American type designer, 1848-1934. He worked in Boston, first at the Dickinson foundry, and later at ATF, where he was vice-president. He designed these typefaces:

  • Aesthetic (1882, Dickinson). This Victorian typeface was revived by Aridi as Spring.
  • Cloister Black (Kinsley/ATF, 1904, available from Bitstream). According to McGrew, Cloister Black (or Cloister Text) was introduced by ATF in 1904. Its design is generally credited to Joseph W. Phinney, of ATF's Boston foundry, but some authorities give some or all of the credit to Morris Benton. It is an adaptation of Priory Text, an 1870s version of Caslon Text (q.v.), modernizing and eliminating the irregularities of that historic face, and making it one of the most popular versions of Old English. Flemish Black (q.v.), introduced at the same time, has the same lowercase and figures but a different set of capitals. Note the alternate V and W, and tied ct. ATF also makes a double lowercase l, while Monotype makes f-ligatures and diphthongs. Compare Goudy Text, Engravers Old English.
  • Italian Old Style (1896, cut the punches; note--this is the Stephenson Blake name, who bought the typeface from ATF; the original name was ATF Jenson, and it in turn was modelled after Morris's Golden Type, according to Eason). Tom Wallace explains the origins of his own Phinney Jenson in 2007: In 1890 a leader of the Arts & Crafts movement in England named William Morris founded Kelmscott Press. He was an admirer of Jenson's Roman and drew his own somewhat darker version called Golden, which he used for the hand-printing of limited editions on homemade paper, initiating the revival of fine printing in England. Morris' efforts came to the attention of Joseph Warren Phinney, manager of the Dickinson Type Foundry of Boston. Phinney requested permission to issue a commercial version, but Morris was philosophically opposed and flatly refused. So Phinney designed a commercial variation of Golden type and released it in 1893 as Jenson Oldstyle. Phinney Jenson is our version of Phinney's version of Morris' version of Nicolas Jenson's Roman.
  • Abbott Oldstyle (1901). According to McGrew: Abbott Oldstyle is an eccentric novelty typeface designed in 1901 by Joseph W. Phinney for ATF. Upright stems taper inward slightly near the ends, while most other strokes are curved. Like many other typefaces of the day, each font contains several alternate characters, logotypes, and ornaments as shown. Some early specimens call it Abbot Oldstyle, without the doubled t. It bears ATF's serial number 1 because it headed the alphabetical list when the numbering system was introduced about 1930, rather than being their oldest face. Walter Long, who supplied the specimen, writes: All the fonts (sizes) are the same as to content and every item is shown on the specimen proof. So this may be the first complete font proof published, as the typeface was obsolete before founders and printers began showing all characters, and advertising typographers were still far in the future. However, a few characters in the specimen are worn or broken. Compare Bizarre Bold. For a digital version, see Abbott Old Style (2010, by SoftMaker). See also Brendel's Monsignore (1994), Alan Prescott's New Abbott Old Style APT (1995), Opti/Castcraft's Abbess Opti (1990-1993), FontBank/Novel's Abbess (1990), SSI's Mandrita Display (1994), and Nick Curtis's Abbey Road NF.
  • Bradley. McGrew's comments: Bradley (or Bradley Text) was designed by Herman Ihlenburg---some sources credit it to Joseph W. Phinney---from lettering by Will H. Bradley for the Christmas cover of an Inland Printer magazine. It was produced by ATF in 1895, with Italic, Extended, and Outline versions appearing about three] years later. It is a very heavy form of black-letter, based on ancient manuscripts, but with novel forms of many letters. Bradley and Bradley Outline, which were cut to register for two-color work, have the peculiarity of lower alignment for the caps than for the lowercase and figures, as may be seen in the specimens; Italic and Extended align normally. The same typeface with the addition of German characters (some of which are shown in the specimen of Bradley Extended) was sold as Ihlenburg, regular and Extended. Similar types, based on the same source and issued about the saUte time, were St. John by Inland Type Foundry, and Abbey Text by A. D. Farmer&Son. They were not as enduring as Bradley, which was resurrected fora while in 1954 by ATF. Also compare Washington Text. For a free digital revival, see Bradley Gratis (2005, Justin Callaghan).
  • Camelot (1896). McGrew states: Camelot or Camelot Oldstyle was the first typeface designed by Frederic W. Goudy. He offered it to Dickinson Type Foundry (part of ATF) in Boston, which accepted it and sent him $10, twice what he had modestly asked for it. This was in 1896; it was apparently cut and released the following year as drawn, without lowercase. In February 1900 a design patent was issued in the names of Goudy and Joseph W. Phinney, and assigned to ATF. Phinney was a well-known designer for Dickinson-ATF, and apparently it was he who added the lowercase alphabet. Its success encouraged Goudy to make a distinguished career of type designing, and this typeface was included in ATF specimen books as late as 1941. Compare Canterbury.
  • Cheltenham Old Style&Italic. McGrew's historical comments: The design of Cheltenham Oldstyle and Italic is credited to Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, an architect who had previously designed Merrymount, a private press type. For Cheltenham he had the assistance of Ingalls Kimball, director of the Cheltenham Press in New York City, who suggested and supervised the face. Original drawings were made about 14 ' inches high, and were subjected to much experimentation and revision. Further modification of the design was done by the manufacturers. Some historians credit this modification or refinement to Morris F. Benton; another source says it was done at the Boston branch of ATF, which suggests that the work may have been done by Joseph W. Phinney. In fact, Steve Watts says the typeface was first known as Boston Oldstyle. Mergenthaler Linotype also claims credit for developing the face, but it was first marketed by ATF. Trial cuttings were made as early as 1899, but it was not completed until about 1902, and patented in 1904 by Kimball. It was one of the first scientifically designed typefaces.
  • Engravers Old English (McGrew writes: a plain, sturdy rendition of the Blackletter style, commonly known as Old English. It was designed in 1901 by Morris Benton and another person identified by ATF only as Cowan, but has also been ascribed to Joseph W. Phinney.).
  • Flemish Black (1902) (McGrew: It has the same lowercase as Cloister Black, which was introduced at the same time, but a distinctly different set of capitals. Cloister Black attained much greater popularity and longer life.).
  • Globe Gothic (McGrew: a refinement of Taylor Gothic, designed about 1897 by ATF at the suggestion of Charles H. Taylor of the Boston Globe, and used extensively by that paper).
  • Jenson Oldstyle&Italic, about which McGrew expounds: Jenson Oldstyle, though a comparatively crude typeface in itself, did, much to start the late nineteenth-century move toward better types and typography. Designed by J. W. Phinney of the Dickinson Type Foundry (ATF) and cut by John F. Cumming in 1893, it was based on the Golden Type of William Morris for the Kelmscott Press in 1890; that in turn was based on the 1470-76 types of Nicolas Jenson. Morris had established standards for fine printing, in spite of the fact that he did not design really fine types. Serifs in particular are clumsy, but the Jenson types quickly became popular. BB&S introduced Mazarin in 1895-96, as a revival of the Golden type, redesigned by our artist. But it was a poor copy, and was replaced by Morris Jensonian. Inland's Kelmscott, shown in 1897, was acquired by BB&S and renamed Morris Jensonian in 1912; Keystone had Ancient Roman (q. v.); Crescent Type Foundry had Morris Old Style. Hansen had Hansen Old Style (q. v.); and other founders had several other typefaces, all nearly like Jenson. It is hard to realize that Jenson was inspired by the same historic type as the later and more refined Centaur, Cloister, and Eusebius. ATF spelled the name "Jensen" in some early specimens, and added "No. 2" to the series, the latter presumably when it was adapted to standard alignment or when minor changes were made in the design. A 5-style family that includes LTC Jenson Heavyface and LTC Jenson Regular was published in 2006 at P22/Lanston. HiH produced its own typeface in 2007, called Phinney Jenson.
  • Jenson Oldstyle Heavyface, introduced at the same time as the roman. McGrew: "ATF advertised Phinney's Jenson Heavyface in 1899 as "new and novel-should have been here long ago." Jenson Condensed and Bold Condensed were introduced in 1901."
  • Satanick (McGrew: [..] issued by ATF in 1896, was called "the invention of John F. Cumming of Worcester, Massachusetts." It has also been credited to Joseph W. Phinney of ATF; probably Cumming cut it from Phinney's drawings. However, it was a close copy, though perhaps a little heavier, of the Troy and Chaucer types of William Morris. De Vinne called it "a crude amalgamation of Roman with Blackletter, which is said to have been modeled by Morris upon the style made by Mentel of Strasburg in or near the year 1470." See Morris Romanized Black.).
  • Taylor Gothic (McGrew: ATF's Central Type Foundry branch in St. Louis claims to have originated Quentell in 1895 or earlier. The conversion to Taylor Gothic was designed by Joseph W. Phinney, while the redesign as Globe Gothic in about 1900 is credited to Morris Benton).
  • Vertical Writing (McGrew: Vertical Script is a simple-almost childish-monotone upright script design, produced by Hansen in 1897. Although letters connect, they are widely spaced. The Boston foundry of ATF introduced a similar Vertical Writing, shown in 1897 and patented in 1898 by Joseph W. Phinney. Both are oversize for the body, with kerned descenders.).

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Joseph Warren Phinney
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Type designers ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Type scene in Massachusetts ⦿ Venetian or antiqua typefaces ⦿ Caslon ⦿ Frederic William Goudy ⦿ Cheltenham ⦿ Morris Fuller Benton ⦿

file name: Tom Wallace Phinney Jenson 2007 after Joseph W Phinney 1893

file name: Tom Wallace Phinney Jenson 2007 after Joseph W Phinney 1893

file name: Tom Wallace Phinney Jenson 2007 after Joseph W Phinney 1893b

file name: J W Phinney John F Cumming Jenson Oldstyle No2 1893

file name: J W Phinney John F Cumming Jenson Oldstyle No2 1893b

file name: Bitstream Cloister Black after Joseph W Phinney 1904

file name: Bitstream Cloister Black

file name: A T F Cloister Black

file name: A T F Cloister Italic

file name: Cloister Black A T F Joseph W Phinney Morris Fuller Benton 1904

file name: Joseph W Phinney or Morris Fuller Benton Cloister Black 1904

file name: Joseph W Phinney or Morris Fuller Benton Cloister Black 1904b

file name: Joseph W Phinney or Morris Fuller Benton Cloister Black 1904c

file name: Joseph W Phinney Morris Fuller Benton Cloister Black 1904 Poster by Gabriel Bulhoes 2015

file name: Joseph W Phinney Abbott Old Style 1901 version by Softmaker

file name: Joseph W Phinney Abbott Old Style 1901 version by Softmaker

file name: Joseph W Phinney Abbott Old Style A T F 1906

file name: Soft Maker Abbott Old Style after Joseph Phinney Abbott Old Style 1901

file name: Soft Maker Abbott Old Style after Joseph Phinney Abbott Old Style 1901b

file name: Soft Maker Abbott Old Style after Joseph Phinney Abbott Old Style 1901c

file name: Alan Prescott New Abbott Old Style 1995

file name: J W Phinney Aesthetic 1882 Boston Type Foundry

file name: J W Phinney Aesthetic 1882 Boston Type Foundry

file name: Justin Callaghan Bradley Gratis

file name: Justin Callaghan Bradley Gratis 2005

file name: Monotype Engravers Old English

file name: Frederic W Goudy Camelot Oldstyle 1896

file name: Frederic W Goudy Camelot Oldstyle 1896b

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