TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Tue Nov 21 09:38:18 EST 2017

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ATF: Bookman Oldstyle

A classical typeface with different names. The name Bookman Oldstyle was coined by ATF. Thew history was told by Mac McGrew. The notes below are based on his discussion.

  • The genesis: Bookman Old Style has become a lastingly popular "workhorse" design for plain easy-to-read text, and to some extent for display as well. It is derived from an oldstyle antique typeface designed by A. C. Phemister about 1860 for the Scottish foundry of Miller&Richard, by thickening the strokes of an oldstyle series. This typeface was copied by Bruce Type Foundry in this country as Antique No. 310, by MacKellar, Keystone and others as Oldstyle Antique (q.v.), and by Hansen as Stratford Old Style (q.v.). In 1901 Bruce brought out Bartlett Oldstyle, based on the small sizes of their older face, refitted and otherwise improved. In that year Bruce was taken over by ATF, which thought well of Bartlett but changed the name to Bookman Oldstyle; it was cast at the Bruce foundry under both names until the plants were actually combined in 1906.
  • McGrew: Few roman typefaces have swash letters. In our specimen, the first group of swash letters for both roman and italic was drawn by Wadsworth A. Parker for ATF, the second group, somewhat different, is by Ludlow. For printers who preferred type without the swash characters, Oldstyle Antique No. 560 was introduced; it is identical to Bookman and Bartlett except for those characters. In fact, some of the original matrices for Bruce Antique No. 310 were used for many years for casting Bookman after the other names had vanished.
  • The period 1909-1930, by McGrew: Bookman was adapted to the Monotype in 1909. Compositors are only slightly modified to fit mechanical requirements, but display sizes are virtually exact copies of the ATF face, including roman swash letters other than M and The, which are too wide for Monotype molds in the larger sizes. Intertype issued its Bookface, a close copy of Bookman including all swash letters and with alternate oldstyle figures, about 1920. Ludlow Bookman and Italic are close copies of the ATF typefaces, but with redesigned swash characters as shown.
  • From 1930 on, by McGrew: C. H. Griffith redesigned Bookman in 1936 for Linotype, staying close to the feeling of Bookman but omitting swash and alternates. A further modifi- cation isNew Bookman, designed by Sol Hess for Monotype in 1927; it departs more than the others in such details as serifs, but maintains the general feeling of the original face. Bookman Old Style Condensed was designed for Monotype by Sol Hess in 1916-figures are the same as Bookman and there is no lowercase. Antique No.1 (q. v.) is quite similar to Bookman, and in fact is often but erroneously called Bookman by Linotype and Intertype users.
  • About equivalences between various metal Bookman oldstyle typefaces: BB&S Bookman Oldstyle appears to be an exact copy of the ATF typeface but lacks swash letters other than The and of; matrices undoubtedly came from Western Type Foundry when BB&S acquired it in 1918. Other BB&S Book- mans were renamed in 1925 from Western typefaces originally issued under other names. Bookman Lightface was Western's Custer, in turn a copy of ATF's Cushing No. 2; Bookman Bold was Western's Custer Bold, similar to Cushing Oldstyle. Bookman Bold Condensed was formerly BB&S's Monitor No.5, first shown in 1895. Inland's Faust is the equivalent of Bookman.
  • The latest digital implementation:
  • Bookmania (2011) is a revival of Bookman Oldstyle (1901) and the Bookmans of the 1960s, but with all the features you would expect in a modern digital font family. Especially, Simonson's Bookmania story is worth reading.

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file name: Mark Simonson Bookmania 2011h


file name: Mark Simonson Bookmania 2011i


file name: Mark Simonson Bookmania 2011


file name: Mark Simonson Bookmania Semi Bold 2011


file name: Mark Simonson Bookmania Semi Bold 2011b


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle b


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle c


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle d


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle e


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle f


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle g


file name: A T F1923 Bookman Oldstyle







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