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LUC DEVROYE


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Edmund Fry

British typefounder, d. 1835. Son of Joseph Fry, the founder of the Fry Letter Foundry in Bristol. Quoted from MyFonts: In 1784 he introduced a raised roman letter for the blind, and was awarded a prize by the Edinburgh Society of Arts. Louis Braille's system of lines and dots ultimately proved better. In 1787, he and his brother Henry took over the Fry Letter Foundry from their father. Credited with many great typefaces, including Fry's Baskerville (1768) and Fry Moxon (or Graisberry), a Gaelic typeface, Fry A Gothic Capitals (ca. 1819), an angular transitional Gaelic face, and Fry B Gaelic Capitals, a transitional Gaelic typeface (Everson mentions the date 1836, but that would be one year after his death...) and Priory Text.

Mac McGrew writes: Priory Text was the blackletter of the Fry Foundry in England, with some sizes dating back to about 1600, and most sizes shown in 1785. It was revived by Talbot Baines Reed for his History of the Old English Letterfoundries in 1887, and DeVinne used it for his edition of Philobiblon in 1889. The Dickinson foundry, a forerunner of ATF, issued it as Priory Text about that time. It is very similar to Caslon Text (q.v.). BB&S made a near-duplicate type, originally called Reed Text, but later shown as Priory Black Text. Although the latter was shown as late as 1925, these typefaces had generally been replaced earlier by Cloister Black (q. v.) and other Old English typefaces with more refined draftsmanship.

About the Gaelic types, Brendan Leen writes: In 1819, Edmund Fry cut a type once again commissioned by the British and Foreign Bible Society. The design of the Fry type signifies a departure from the angular minuscule toward the more rounded form of the half-uncial, a characteristic of Irish typography in the nineteenth century. Sample of Fry Irish type from The Two First Books of the Pentateuch.

Author of Pantographia (1799, Cooper&Wilson, London), a work that shows the scripts of many languages [a careful digitization of some can be found in the font family Pantographia (2010) by Intellecta Design]. The full title is Pantographia; Containing Accurate Copies of All the Known Alphabets in the World; Together with an English Explanation of the Peculiar Force or Power of Each Letter: To Which Are Added, Specimens of All Well-Authenticated Oral Languages; Forming a Comprehensive Digest of Phonology. Examples from that book: Bastard, Bengallee and Berryan, Bulgarian and Bullantic, Chaldean.

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file name: Fry Pantographia Bastarda


file name: Pantographia


file name: Edmund Fry Twelve Line Pica 1816


file name: Fry Bastard Bangallee Berryan 1799


file name: Fry Bulgarian Bullantic 1799


file name: Fry Chaldean 1799







Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html