TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat Jul 20 13:32:13 EDT 2024






History of type

[Headline set in Sobriquet (2012, David Kerkhoff)]


[Ben Archer]

Educational and reference site run by Ben Archer, a designer, educator and type enthusiast located in England (who was in Auckland, New Zealand, before that). Glossary. Timeline. Type categories. Paul Shaw's list of the 100 most significant typefaces of all times were recategorized by Archer:

  • Religious/Devotional: Gutenbergs B-42 type, Gebetbuch type, Wolfgang Hoppyl's Textura, Breitkopf Fraktur, Ehrhard Ratdolt's Rotunda, Hammer Uncial, Zapf Chancery, Peter Jessenschrift, Cancellaresca Bastarda, Poetica.
  • Book Publishing&General Purpose Text Setting: Nicolas Jenson's roman, Francesco Griffo's italic, Claude Garamond's roman, Firmin Didot's roman, Cheltenham family, Aldus Manutius' roman, William Caslon's roman, Pierre-Simon Fournier's italic, Ludovico Arrighi da Vicenza's italic, Johann Michael Fleischmann's roman, ATF Garamond, Giambattista Bodoni's roman, Nicolas Kis' roman, Minion multiple master, Unger Fraktur, John Baskerville's roman, Lucida, Optima, Bauer Bodoni, Adobe Garamond, Scotch Roman, Romanée, ITC Stone family, Trinité, ITC Garamond, Sabon, ITC Novarese, Charter, Joanna, Marconi, PMN Caecilia, Souvenir, Apollo, Melior, ITC Flora, Digi-Grotesk Series S.
  • Business/Corporate: Akzidenz Grotesk, Helvetica, Univers, Syntax, Courier, Meta, Rotis, Thesis, Antique Olive.
  • Newspaper Publishing: Times Roman, Bell, Clarendon, Century Old Style, Ionic, Imprint.
  • Advertising and Display: Futura, Robert Thorne's fat typeface roman, Vincent Figgins' antique roman (Egyptian), Memphis, Fette Fraktur, Avant-Garde Gothic, Deutschschrift, Peignot, Erbar, Stadia/Insignia, Penumbra, Compacta, Bodoni 26, WTC Our Bodoni.
  • Prestige and Private Press: Romain du Roi, Golden Type, Johnston's Railway Sans, Doves Type, Walker.
  • Signage: William Caslon IV's sans serif, Trajan.
  • Historical Script: Snell Roundhand, Robert Granjon's civilité, Excelsior Script.
  • Experimental/expressive: Mistral, Beowolf, Dead History, Behrensschrift, Eckmannschrift, Neuland, Element, Remedy, Template Gothic.
  • Onscreen/multimedia: Chicago, Oakland, OCR-A, Base Nine and Base Twelve, Evans and Epps Alphabet.
  • Telephone Directory publishing: Bell Gothic.

Link to Archer Design Work. [Google] [More]  ⦿

16th century writing masters

Italian and other writing masters of the 16th century include

  • Giovannantonio Tagliente, who wrote Lo presente libro (1524).
  • Ludovico Vincentino degli Arrighi aka Vincentino, who wrote La Operina (1524), and Il modo de Temperare le Penne (1525).
  • Giovambattista Palatino, who penned Libro nuovo d'imparare a scrivere (1540, 1545) and Compendio del gran volume (1566).
  • Giovan Francesco Cresci, who published Essemplare (1560) and Il Perfetto Scrittore (1570).
  • Francisco Lucas from Spain, who wrote Arte de Escrevir (1571).
  • Gerardus Mercator, who is known for his maps as well as his Literarum Latinarum, quas Italicas cursoriasque vocant, scribendarum ratio (1540).
  • Jean de Beauchesne who published Le Tresor d' Escriture in Lyon in 1580.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

A type family story

Essay by Sumner Stone on the history of combining serif and sans serif in one font. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Aaron Burns

Aaron Burns, designer/typographer, was President of Lubalin, Burns & Co., Inc., New York City. In 1970, Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and Edward Rondthaler (from Photo-Lettering Inc.) founded the International Typeface Corporation (ITC), and Aaron Burns became its President. In 1959 he founded the International Center for the Typographic Arts (ICTA), and was a founding member of the International Center for the Communication Arts and Sciences (ICCAS). He is the author of "Typography," published in 1961 by Reinhold Publishers, Inc. From 1955 to 1960 he taught Advanced and Experimental Typographic Design at Pratt Institute, New York.

He set up a type division at Rapid Typographers. There he helped promote the Typositor, or Photo Typositor (invented in Miami by Murray Friedel in 1959), which improved over the first photo type machine, the Rutherford. Rapid Typographers organized the Visual Graphics Corporation (or VGC) to make the best use of this new technology. Peter Bain writes: The owners of Rapid Typographers were impressed enough by Friedels invention to organize the new Visual Graphics Corporation. Initially the endeavor split its headquarters between the existing typographers address in midtown Manhattan and sunny South Florida. The Photo Typositor allowed an operator to see composition letter-by-letter as it was exposed, unlike the Rutherford. It also offered many of Photo-Letterings capabilities at a reduced price. The Typositor, as it became known, ingeniously used the same 2-inch film font format as the Filmotype. It speeded fashionably tight letter and word spacing, achievable in metal only with a razor blade after proofing, and had none of the size limitations of foundry type. VGC and its backers proceeded to convert metal typefaces to film, and pursued licensing with typefounders. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

ABC Typographie Musée virtuel typographique

About 40 famous type families are shown, with links and a brief history. Pages (in french) by Jean-Christophe Loubet del Bayle. [Google] [More]  ⦿

ABC Typography

A virtual museum of typography. Classical typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Adam Rot

Roman printer, d. 1475. Some think he is the same as Adam(o) de Ambergau, a contemporary printer in Venice, but others refute that. Rot used a proto-roman typeface in Rome to print Dominicus de Sancto Geminiano's Lecturae super secunda parte sexti Decretalium in 1471 and used it until 1474. A digital revival was undertaken by Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas in 2016 at a type design workshop at HBK Saar and Bibliothèque municipale de Metz, Sarrebrücken. That typeface is Rot 102R by Faudot and Ribas. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Adolph Rusch

Or Adolf Rusch von Ingweiler, who was active in Strasbourg from 1460 until 1489. The first roman antiqua north of the Alps is ascribed to him in 1464. The consensus is that this was not as pretty as the later types by Griffo et al.

Nevertheless, Shane Brandes did a large digital revival of his antiqua in 2013 and called it Rusch.

Revivals by Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas in 2018 during a type design workshop at ESAL Metz and Bibliothèque municipale de Metz, France:

  • Rusch Bizarre 103R. A Proto-Roman first used in Strasbourg by Adolf Rusch for Raban Maur's De universo between 1467-74 (exact date unknown) and used until 1475.
  • Rusch 100G, Gotico-Antiqua first used in Strasbourg by Adolf Rusch for Balbus' Catholicon, between 1470-75 (exact date unknown) and used until 1478.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Adrian Frutiger: The Ricola story

Ricola AG is the Laufen, Switzerland-based manufacturer (est. 1930) of popular herb-based cough drops. One of Adrian's friends told us one evening during the ATypI meeting in Sao Paulo that Ricola had asked Adrian to redo the script logo, to which Adrian agreed. When asked about remuneration, he declined any form of payment. A few days later, a truck arrived at Adrian's house and delivered 20,000 boxes containing Ricola cough drops. In one of the pictrures below, note the omnipresent of the box of Ricola drops (in red). [Google] [More]  ⦿

A.F. Johnson

Type specialist, and author of numerous books on type. A very nice historical account of the development of type can be found in Type Designs. Their History and Development (1934, Grafton and co., Coptic House, London; the 2nd edition appeared in 1959). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Afiszuj Sie! Free fonts & illustrations

"Flaunt yourself!" is a Polish website devoted to the history of interwar Polish advertising, which appeared mainly in printed form---a project by Sonia Jaszczynska and Ania Wielunska. The site has three parts:

  • In the gallery, there are over 250 advertisement posters, leaflets and illustrations.
  • In the study section, we find three texts. Aleksandra Maria Lewandowska-Ferenc writes about various forms of advertising. Andrzej Tomaszewski deals with typography and printing methods. Lastly, Michal Warda writes about an advertising poster of the interwar period.
  • One can download three typefaces digitized in 2020 on the basis of interwar posters---Kolombia, Renaissance and Makkabi. Included are also illustrations from classified ads, instructions for creating an advertising poster, sample posters and graphic elements from posters by Igor Kubik. Everything is available under an open license, absolutely free.

Borys Kosmynka and Ania Wielunska designed Kolumbia and Renesans, while Filip Tofil created Makkabi. Kolumbia is based on E.J. Kitson's Post Oldstyle Roman (aka Columbia. Buffalo, and Kolonel), while Renesans is a revival based on Jan Idzkowski's version of Berthold's Secession typeface. [Google] [More]  ⦿


The original sans typeface Akzidenz-Grotesk, the most influential grotesque, was first released by the Berthold type foundry in 1896 (as Accidenz-Grotesk). Quoting a Berthold press release: The design originates from Royal Grotesk light by Ferdinand Theinhardt who also supplied the regular, medium and bold weights. In Berthold's specimen booklet (Schriftprobe) number 444 released in December of 1957, Akzidenz-Grotesk mager (light) was referenced as Royal-Grotesk in parenthesis.

Karl Gerstner said of Akzidenz-Grotesk, It is the work of anonymous typecutters: craftsmen, specialists, whose professional background and experience meant they were familiar with the finest subtleties and principles, and not just those of Grotesque. They gave Akzidenz-Grotesk the ultimate accolade a typeface can have: a functional, formal rightness, transcending the whims of fashion.

Erik Spiekermann on the origins: Accidenz (sic) Grotesk was acquired by Berthold in Berlin when they bought another foundry, Pöpplbaum in Vienna. That was 1896 or 1898, depending whether one takes the date of the sale or the release of AG. The original weight was quite light, and Berthold kept adding weights, some of them from other typefaces, acquired from other foundries. Every foundry had a version of that type of face, more often than not available in a few sizes only. The original series remained quite diverse, individual weights showing not much resemblance but name. It was mainly a marketing and naming success. That only changed when they cut (I'm talking foundry type, with some sizes and weights also available on Intertype slug casters) Series 57, and then Series 58, named for the years of release. These had some sizes (but not all) recut under the direction of Günter Gerhard Lange, who was their (freelance) artistic director at the time. Throughout the years, Berthold has expanded this extremely popular and versatile family. AG ExtraBold (1966) and AG Super (1968) were developed by Guenter Gerhard Lange and are excellent choices for headlines. Guenter Gerhard Lange added more weights for Berthold including Super Italic (2001) and ExtraBold Italic (2001). In 2006, Berthold first released Akzidenz-Grotesk in OpenType.

In 2007, Berthold announces the release of Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro+ with Cyrillic and Greek support for all 30 fonts in the collection as well as language support for Central European, Baltic and Turkish. Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro+ is available in CFF PostScript flavored OpenType. Also added in 2007 was Akzidenz-Grotesk Next in 14 styles. Akzidenz-Grotesk Probe Nr. 473 (1966, H. Berthold AG) is a specimen book. Ulrich Stiehl dociuments the Linotype clones from 1958. In 1992, H. Berthold made 22 PostScript fonts of Akzidenz Grotesk, shown here.

Images of Akzidenz Grotesk, courtesy of Gabriel Perdomo Motta: i, ii, iii.

Credit for some images below: Danielle West. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alain Hurtig
[Sarah Eaves]

[More]  ⦿

Alastair Johnston

Noted type historian in Berkeley, CA. Alastair Johnston is a partner in Poltroon Press, Berkeley. He taught college level courses in typography for over 30 years. He has published scores of books and won the Award of Excellence in the AIGA Just Type Show. His published works include bibliographies and discographies, as well as Alphabets to Order: The Literature of Nineteenth-Century Typefounders' Specimens (New Castle, 2000), Nineteenth-century American designers & engravers of type by William E. Loy (co-editor/designer; Oak Knoll Press, 2009), Hanging Quotes (Cuneiform Press/University of Houston, Texas, 2011), Typographical Tourists: Tales of tramping printers (Poltroon Press, 2012) and Transitional Faces: The Lives and Work of Richard Austin, type-cutter, & Richard Turner Austin, wood-engraver (Poltroon Press, 2013). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Albert Corbeto

Type historian at Reial Academia de Bones Lletres in Barcelona, who has a PhD in art history from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). Born in Barcelona in 1971, Corbeto is responsible for all the publishing activities of the Real Academia de Buenas Letras de Barcelona and the Asociación de Bibliófilos de Barcelona. His field of investigation is the history of printing types and, in particular, the work of Spanish punchcutters throughout the second half of the eighteenth century. At ATypI 2006 in Lisbon, he spoke about the efforts around 1750-1770 to set up the Royal Library type foundry by Juan de Santander and Gerónimo A. Gil. Speaker at ATypI 2009 in Mexico City, where he talked about the punches from the Spanish Royal Printing House. Soon he will publish a specimen and text book on all this.

Interview by Unostiposduros.

His books: Muses de la impremta. La dona i les arts del llibre (segles XVI-XIX) (ed., with M. Garone) (Associació de Bibliòfils de Barcelona, 2009); Especímenes tipográficos españoles. Catalogación y estudio de las muestras de letras impresas hasta el año 1833 (Calambur, Madrid, 2010); Daniel B. Updike, impresor e historiador de la tipografía (Campgrafic, Valencia, 2011); Tipos de imprenta en España (Campgrafic, Valencia, 2011), Las letras de la Ilustración. Edición, imprenta y fundición de tipos en la Real Biblioteca (Catálogo de la exposición en la Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, 2012) e Història de la tipografia. L'evolució de la lletra des de Gutenberg fins a les foneries digitals (coauthor with M. Garone, Pagès Editors, Lérida, 2012). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Albrecht Dürer

Born and died in Nuremberg, Germany, 1471-1528. Painter, wood carver and copper engraver extraordinaire, famous for many great geometrical and structured capitals and proportioned designs, carried out with compass and ruler. Example from 1524. Another example, ca. 1500. Best known for the books on the geometry of letters, Unterweysung der Messung [A Course on the Art of Measurement] [or: Of the Just Shaping of Letters], published in 1525. See here.

Images of his work: his famous set of German Renaissance Capitals (1525), Gothic Capitals, German Minuscule, his famous rhinoceros (1515) and his blackletter type Dürerfraktur (1519).

Digital typefaces based on Duerer's work:

  • Terry Wüdenbachs at P22: P22 Durer Caps (2004).
  • MichelM at URW++: Hands on Albrecht (2005).
  • Amy E. Conger: Duerer (2006).
  • SoftMaker: Albrecht Duerer Fraktur Pro (2016). A revival of Duerer's ornamental blackletter.
  • Christopher Adams: Just Letters (2012, blackletter). This was based on Albrecht Duerer's Of the Just Shaping of Letters (1525).
  • Alan Hoenig: The Computer Duerer fonts (1990). A set of Metafont typefaces.
  • Dieter Steffmann: Duerer Gotisch (2001).
  • Jeff Jackson: JGJDurerGothic (1997).
  • Gilles Le Corre: 1525 Durer Initials (2010).
  • David nalle: Albrecht Durer Gothic.
  • Martin Lorenz and Joan Pastor: VLNL TpDuro (2019). A blackletter.
  • Manfred Klein. The geometrical overlays reminiscent of Duerer are another recurrent theme in Manfred Klein's work. Fonts directly or indirectly related to Duerer's compass-and-ruler constructions made by Manfred Klein include DancingVampyrish, GrafBoldBold, GrafCirculum, GrafCirculumBricks, GrafObliqueItalic, GrafRoundishMedium, GridConcreteDue, GridConcreteLogoable, OldConstructedCaps, RodauButtons, RodauButtonsInverse, RodgauHeads, RodgauerFisheyes, RodgauerOne, RodgauerOneRoundMedium, RodgauerThree, RodgauerThreeRoundedMedium, RodgauerTwo, RodgauerTwoRounded-Medium, RomanGridCaps, SketchesByDuerer-Inverse, SketchesByDuerer, TheRoots, XPCrazy-Light, XPFourTwoContourMedium, XperimentypoFS, XperimentypoFSBlack, XperimentypoFSWhite, XperimentypoFourBRound, XperimentypoFourCRoundInvers, XperimentypoFourRound, XperimentypoNr1, XperimentypoNr1Oblique, XperimentypoStripes-One, XperimentypoStripes-Two, XperimentypoThree-B-Square, XperimentypoThree-C-Square, XperimentypoThree-Crazy, XperimentypoThreeSquares, XperimentypoTwo, XperimentypoTwoCrazy, XperimentypoTwoStripes. Download page. Download all these fonts in onze zip file.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Albrecht Seemann

Author of Handbuch der Schriftarten (Leipzig, 1926), a nearly comprehensive listing of all types at all German type foundries at that time. Just the name index of the types takes 38 pages. Download at Klingspor of the original volume from 1926, and the addenda published in 1927. 1929, 1930, 1933/1935, 1936/1937, und 1938/1939 under the name Nachträge. Emil Wetzig (Leipzig) helped with the production.

Local download. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Aldus Manutius

Late 15-th century Venetian scholar and printer, b. 1449, Bassiano, d. 1515, Venice. He founded the Aldine Press in 1495. His typefaces were all designed and cut by the brilliant Francesco Griffo, a punchcutter who created the first roman type cut from study of classical Roman capitals. Bembo, Cloister Italic and Poliphilus [aka Aldus Manutius' Roman] can be traced back to him. Example of his Italian Antiqua, 1499.

Kevin Steele explains in 1996: Some sources cite the publication of Cardinal Bembo's De Aetna as 1493 or 1495. And in fact, the design continued to evolve until the 1499 publishing of the spectacular Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Let's not split hairs. Let's celebrate 500 years of Bembo! In the mid fifteenth century printing quickly spread to Italy from Germany, and by the 1470's Venice had became the center of the printing industry, home to over 100 printing companies. Pioneers such as Erhard Ratdolt and Nicolas Jenson had already begun working on adapting the roman alphabet for metal type by the time Aldus Manutius established his press in 1494, with the intention of publishing all the Greek classics. Aldus Manutius (1450-1515) was a printer, entrepreneur, a great ego, and publisher of over 1200 titles. Among the many contributions of Aldus was the popularization of small, portable books. His expensive beautiful books were far from today's paperbacks, mind you. One of the many great talents working for Aldus was Francesco Griffo, a gifted type designer. Griffo created many innovative type designs that are still admired for their beauty and readability. Their collaboration broke up over a copyright dispute, primarily over the ownership of the cursive type typeface that Griffo developed under the direction of Aldus. Although Aldus even had a papal decree to protect this style of alphabet, it was as difficult then as it is now to protect a typeface design. The alphabet was widely copied, and the style is known as italic, after its country of origin.

Digital typefaces derived from his work: 1501 Manutius (2001) by Klaus-Peter Schäffel.

Selection of fonts based on Manutius's work. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Alexander Kay

Type designer and punchcutter, b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1827, d. Philadelphia, 1905. Born Alexander Thompson MacKaye, he apprenticed with a bookbinding tools manufacturer, and went to London in 1850, where he worked for punch-cutting expert John Skirving. He cut typefaces for English typefounders such as Henry Caslon, Vincent Figgins, and the Stephenson Blake company. After that, he joined L. Johnson&Co. in Philadelphia in 1854, where he changed his surname from MacKaye to Kay. He stayed with L. Johnson&Co (later Binny&Ronaldson, then MacKellar, Smith&Jordan) for 40 years, until he lost much of his sight to cataract. His most famous typefaces are Binny Old Style and Ronaldson Old Style (1884, MacKellar, Smith&Jordan). Ronaldson Old Style, which is characterized by beaks on the top serifs, is generally considered to be the first typeface designed in North America.

Berry, Johnson and Jaspert write: Ronaldson Old Style (Monotype, 1903) is an old face practically identical with Old Style. Originally cut in 1884 by the American founders, MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan, and no doubt named after one of the original founders of their house, James Ronaldson. It is easily distinguished by the beak-like serifs on the capitals and lower case and by the squared-up shoulders of m and n. The type can be converted to Old Style No. 1 by changing a few characters. In the italic the serifs are more normal and the design becomes very like Old Style italic. The Monotype Corporation's version has short ascenders and descenders and capitals not rising above the ascenders.

Mac McGrew: Ronaldson Old Style was designed and cut by MS&J in 1884, and subsequently copied by various other foundries. It was notable for the exaggerated serifs on a number of letters, and the name is now associated with these peculiarities, which were also applied to various other typefaces in the nineteenth century. Monotype cut a reasonably good copy of the foundry face, although modified to fit mechanical requirements, while Linotype cut a set of conversion characters which could be substituted for the regular characters of Old Style No.7. A similar set of conversion characters was cut for Linotype and Intertype Old Style No.1 (q.v.), which is a somewhat lighter face. Keystone called its version Keystone Old Style. Other versions of Ronaldson did not last long into the twentieth century.

Digital revivals of Ronaldson Old Style:

  • Ronaldson Regular (2006-2008). By Patrick Griffin at Canada Type.
  • Ronaldson Pro (2021). A revision and extension of Griffin's 2006 font, Ronaldson Old Style. It now has four weights and two variable fonts.
  • Fitzronald (2013) by Lars Törnqvist.

Digital revivals of Binny Old Style include Monotype's as Binny Old Style MT. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Alexander Phemister

Punchcutter. From MyFonts: Scottish punchcutter (b. Edinburgh, 1829, d. Chelsea, MA, 1894) active in the revival of oldstyle designs at Miller&Richard in the 1850s. He went to America in 1861, working at the Bruce type foundry for two years, and then for the Dickinson foundry. In 1872 this foundry was ravaged by fire; Phemister was made a partner by its founder Samuel Nelson Dickinson and worked there until retirement in 1891. MyFonts missed the boat on this one! Phemister was the first man to design the famous Bookman. His typefaces include these:

  • Bookman. McGrew states: 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. From there on, his design was copied and refined over and over again, starting with the Bruce Type Foundry (Antique No. 310), MacKellar (Oldstyle Antique), Keystone (Oldstyle Antique), Hansen (Stratford Old Style). His design of Bookman was refined at Kinsley/ATF in 1934-1936 by Chauncey H. Griffith. The Bookman story does not end there, but at least, Phemister started it! Numerous implementations of Bookman exist, such as the free URW Bookman L family, and the free extension of the latter family in the TeX-Gyre project, called Bonum (2007).
  • Franklin Old Style. McGrew writes: Franklin Old Style was intended to be a modernization of Caslon, cut in 1863 by Alexander Phemister, once of Edinburgh, later of Boston, for Phelps, Dalton&Company. Being more regularized, it has lost the individuality and most of the charm of Caslon, but is a clear, legible typeface that has had considerable popularity. It was one of the early typefaces cut by Linotype for book work; the italic has an extreme slant for a slug-machine face, but composes remarkably well. Compare Binny, Clearcut Oldstyle.

Some images below by Alex Delgado. FontShop link. Klingspor link.

View and compare Bookman-style commercial typefaces. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Alexander S. Lawson

Author, educator, historian and type personality who taught at Rochester Institute of Technology from 1947-1977. He wrote Anatomy of a Typeface (1990, David R. Godine). He died in 2002 in Sun City, FL. Obituary. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Alexander Thom

Dublin-based creator of the roman Gaelic typeface Hogan (1891). He also made the Gaelic Modern round typeface Petrie C (also known as Thom) ca. 1856. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alexander Wilson

Scottish typefounder, b. St. Andrews, 1714, d. Edinburgh, 1784. Educated in London, he started the Wilson foundry in 1742 at St. Andrew's in a partnership with John Baine, and set up shop in Glasgow in 1744, where he began work with Glasgow University Printers, Robert and Andrew Foulis. William Miller (who later started Miller&Richard), Richard Austin and Johann Christian Bauer all worked for Wilson. Wilson's first known specimen sheet was issued in 1772. However, William Rind seems to be using these types as early as February, 1770 in his Virginia Gazette. The business was left to his son Andrew and later to his grandson Alexander. Under Alexander's tenure, it went bankrupt in 1845.

Several specimen books exist, including A specimen of printing types by Alexander Wilson&Sons, dated 1783. Life and Letters of Alexander Wilson (by Alexander Wilson) was reprinted in 1983 by Diane Publishing Company, and is freely viewable at Google.

Wikipedia link.

They are credited with the first British modern face, Scotch Roman, whch became very popular in the United States. Mac McGrew: Scotch Roman is derived from a typeface cut and cast by the Scotch foundry of Alexander Wilson&Son at Glasgow before 1833, when it was considered a novelty letter. The modern adaptation of the typeface was first made in 1903 by the foundry of A. D. Farmer&Sons, later part of ATF. It is a modern face, but less mechanical than Bodoni, and has long been popular. Capitals, though, appear heavier than lowercase letters and tend to make a spotty page. Hansen's National Roman is virtually the same face, with the added feature of an alternate r with raised arm in the manner of Cheltenham Oldstyle. When Monotype copied Scotch Roman in 1908, display sizes were cut to match the foundry face, but in keyboard sizes, necessarily modified to fit mechanical requirements, the caps were lightened and the entire typeface was somewhat regularized. Scotch Open Shaded Italic, a partial set of swash initials, was designed by Sol Hess in 1924. Similar swash letters, but not shaded, were also drawn by Hess and made by Monotype for regular Scotch Roman Italic. Linotype had adapted Scotch Roman to its system in 1903, retaining the heavier capitals, but in 1931, by special permission of Lanston Monotype, brought out Scotch No.2 to match the Monotype version. Compare Atlantic, Bell, Caledonia, Original Old Style. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Alfonso Fernández Córdoba

Spanish type founder and printer, who worked in Valencia around 1477-1478, where he published the Valancian Bible. He left for Murcia, where in 1484, he printed the Breviarium Cathaginense. [Google] [More]  ⦿

All Good Things Typography
[Kevin Woodward]

Dead link. Archive (FontPool), history of type, type classification (by Matthias Neuber and Morton K. Pedersen), page layout guide, type choice guide, logo type guide, mixing type guide, Windows software guide, Mac type software guide, glossary. By Kevin Woodward. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alois Ritter Auer von Welsbach

Alois Ritter Auer von Welsbach (b. Wels, Austria, 1813, d. Vienna, 1869) was a typographer and printer for the state. He was famous for special techniques for "nature printing". Michael Everson Conjectures that he made the Gaelic typefaces Vienna A (also called Altirisch A, Altkeltisch) ca. 1845 and Vienna B (also called Altirisch B or Neukeltisch) ca. 1845. The former typeface is a manuscript face, while the latter is Gaelic uncial round. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alpha Beta

A 320-page book about the origins of the Latin alphabet, by John Man. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alphabets and Writing Systems

A bit of history on writing systems. Links to many ancient scripts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Juan-José Marcos García]

Juan-José Marcos García (b. Salamanca, Spain, 1963) is a professor of classics at the University of Plasencia in Spain. He has developed one of the most complete Unicode fonts named ALPHABETUM Unicode for linguistics and classical languages (classical&medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberic, Celtiberic, Gothic, Runic, Modern Greek, Cyrillic, Devanagari-based languages, Old&Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, IPA, Ogham, Ugaritic, Old Persian, Old Church Slavonic, Brahmi, Glagolitic, Ogham, ancient Greek Avestan, Kharoshti, Old Norse, Old Icelandic, Old Danish and Old Nordic in general, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Phoenician, Cypriot, Linear B with plans for Glagolitic). This font has over 5000 glyphs, and contains most characters that concern classicists (rare symbols, signs for metrics, epigraphical symbols, "Saxon" typeface for Old English, etcetera). A demo font can be downloaded [see also Lucius Hartmann's place]. His Greek font Grammata (2002) is now called Ellenike.

He also created a package of fonts for Latin paleography (medieval handwriting on parchments): Capitalis Elegans, Capitalis Rustica, Capitalis Monumentalis, Antiqua Cursiva Romana, Nova Cursiva Romana (2014), Uncialis, Semiuncialis, Beneventana Minuscula, Visigothica Minuscula, Luxoviensis Minuscula, Insularis Minuscula, Insularis Majuscula, Carolingia Minuscula, Gothica Textura Quadrata, Gothica Textura Prescissa, Gothica Rotunda, Gothica Bastarda, Gothica Cursiva, Bastarda Anglicana (2014) and Humanistica Antiqua. PDF entitled Fonts For Latin Palaeography (2008-2014), in which Marcos gives an enjoyable historic overview.

Alphabetum is not Marcos's only excursion into type design. In 2011, he created two simulation fonts called Sefarad and Al Andalus which imitate Hebrew and Arabic calligraphy, respectively.

Cyrillic OCS (2012) is a pair of Latin fonts that emulate Old Church Slavonic (old Cyrillic).

In 2013, he created Cuneus, a cuneiform simulation typeface.

Paleographic fonts for Greek (2014) has ten fonts designed by Marcos: Angular Uncial, Biblical Uncial, Coptic Uncial, Papyrus Uncial, Round Uncial, Slavonic Uncial, Sloping Uncial, Minuscule IX, Minuscule XI and Minuscule XV. These fonts are representative of the main styles of Greek handwriting used during the Classical World and Middle Ages on papyrus and parchments. There is also a short manual of Greek Paleography (71 pages) which explains the development of Greek handwriting from the fourth century B.C. to the invention of printing with movable type in the middle of the fifteenth A.D. He wrote a text book entitled History of Greek Typography: From the Invention of Printing to the Digital Age (in Spanish; second edition, 2018). See also here and here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alphonse Mucha

Born in Ivancice, Moravia (Czechia), in 1860, died in Prague in 1939. Famous for his sleek posters of women at the height of the art nouveau movement. In 1885 he studied at the Munich Academy of Art and then moved to the Academie Julian in Paris. In Paris, he took commissions for illustrations, portraits and decorative projects, but became most famous for his poster designs for plays, especially under the patronage of Sarah Bernhardt in the 1890s. The success of his posters led to a commercial career in decorative design for commercial and advertising products. Mucha also created jewelry designs, and briefly taught art in New York. In 1910, Mucha returned to Prague to work on nationalistic art, including murals, postage stamps, stained glass and bank notes.

Digital fonts that were inspired by Mucha:

CV. One of his alphabets. Viennese Secession link.

View commercial fonts that descend from Mucha's work. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

American Amateur Press Association (AAPA)
[Dave Tribby]

Organization with many type pages related to letterpress, and run mostly by Dave Tribby. I quote Tribby: From its formation in 1892 (from the merger of 23 leading foundries) to its demise in the late twentieth century, American Type Founders was the dominant force in foundry type. Throughout its existence, ATF produced some of the most beautiful printing fonts. During its first half century, those typefaces were displayed in a series of substantial catalogs.

Chicago's Barnhart Brothers & Spindler foundry chose not to join the ATF combine in the 1890s. It finally became part of ATF in 1911, but continued to operate under its own name until it was closed in 1933.

Based upon Mac McGrew's American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Maurice Annenberg's Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs, and a review of ATF type catalogs published in 1897, 1899, 1900, 1903, 1906, 1909, 1912, 1923, 1934, 1941, 1960, and 1971 (plus BB&S catalog No. 25), Tribby has compiled a spreadsheet of ATF typefaces, their identification numbers, and which page numbers they appeared on in those catalogs. He put together a similar spreadsheet for BB&S catalogs that were published in 1897, 1909, and 1925.

Excel spreadsheet.

The following PDF files were prepared from the individual worksheets in the spreadsheet file.

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Ancient Scripts of the World

Lists and explanations of all ancient languages and scripts. No fonts. Page by Lawrence K. Lo. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Andrea Brugiotti

Publisher of "Spécimen des caractères de l'imprimerie du Vatican" (Stampa Vaticana e camerale, 1628). Republished as The type specimen of Vatican Press with an introduction and notes by H.D.L. Vervliet at Menho Hertzberger, Amsterdam, in 1967. See also here for this 49-page book. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Andrea Mantegna

Italian painter and engraver (b. Vicenza or Padova, 1431, d. Mantua, 1506).

Fonts named after him include Mantegna (Philip Bouwsma at ITC) and Mantinia (1993, Matthew Carter). Typedia link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Anglo-Saxon Capitals

A primitive uncial style of capitals prevalent in the eighth and ninth centuries. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Annex Galleries

Great resources on fine printing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Antiqua (or: Venetian) typefaces

In the late 1400s, blackletter was replaced by a type style that mimicked handwriting. It was of uniform thickness, and thus appeared quite dark on paper. The humanist writing of Italian scholars of the Renaissance served as a model for what is now known as the Antiqua style.

Several such types came out Nicolas Jenson's printing workshop set up by nicolas Jenson in 1468. That first antiqua typeface was used in De Evangelica Praeparatione in 1470. Jenson died in 1480 at the age of 60, but many would take up that style between 1470 and 1600. The Venice connection led quite naturally to the other name for the type style, Venetian. Occasionally, the name old style is also used but that refers to a later style, the aldine or garalde.

Well-known Venetian typefaces include ITC Berkeley Oldstyle, Brioso Pro, Centaur, (Adobe) Jenson, Hightower, Kennerly, Schneidler, Nicolas Jenson SG, Phinney Jenson, Stempel Schneidler, Verona, Abrams Venetian, Lutetia, Jersey, Lynton, Spira.

It is easy to recognize Venetian types, not just from the uniform thickness and semi-calligraphic look, but also by the small x-height, small counters, tall ascenders, overly wide HMN, sloped cross-bar on the "e", negative axis on the "o", and two roof serifs on the M.

Additional literature: Martin Silvertant's history of type, from which the analytic image is borrowed. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Antique (McGrew's definition)

Mac McGrew writes: Antique in general is a generic nineteenth-century term applied to a variety of old type styles. A few that were given a new lease on life by Monotype and the slug machines are listed here; others were similar to the older Clarendons, Dorics, Ionics, etc. Also see Bold Antique and Bold Condensed Antique, Modern Antique and Modern Antique Condensed, and Old Style Antique, also Cushing Antique, Latin Antique, etc. Antique No.1 is similar to Bookman. Antique No.2 (Lino) is equivalent to Antique No.6 (Mono) and comes from BB&S, where it was later known as Antique Bold. Antique No.3 is equivalent to Modern Antique. Antique No. 525 (ATF) is very similar to Antique [No. 53] (BB&S) and Antique No.1 (Inland); also to Consort Light, the 1950s English revival (see Clarendon). Hansen's Antique No.1 was slightly lighter than the others. Antique Condensed comes from BB&S. Antique Extra Condensed was shown as Skeleton Antique by Marder, Luse in 1886 or earlier and by BB&S somewhat later, with many sources producing the same or very similar designs. Antique Shaded was designed by Morris F. Benton in 1910 but not introduced until 1913, when it was described as "the first of a series of shaded typefaces." It was later promoted as part of "the new gray typography." This typeface was the first one cut on a new shading machine invented by the designer's father, Linn B. Benton. When Monotype copied it, the typeface was named Rockwell Antique Shaded, to tie it in with that company's Rockwell series (q. v.), but since Rockwell is often confused with Stymie, it is perhaps natural that Antique Shaded is sometimes though incorrectly called Stymie Shaded. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Antoine Augereau

French type designer and punchcutter, ca. 1490-1534, and teacher of Claude Garamond in Paris. He was one of the first French to engrave roman letters, when other French printers were mostly using blackletter. He began to work for Robert Estienne, one the first Parisian printers to use this type. Influential in creating a French typographical look, he was hanged for printing a poem without permission. George Abrams' rendering of Garamond, called Augereau [digitized by Charles Nix], is a wonderful text family! Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Anton Koberger

Nürnberg-based printer who created many interesting typefaces in the late 15th century, as narrated by Christoph Reske in Eine neue Entdeckung zur Druckgeschichte der Schedelschen Weltchronik (note: Schedelschen Weltchronik (1492) is a book by Hartmann Schedel). These include a gorgeous Rotunda and Schwabacher (1492), a Druckbastarda, and other original Fraktur typefaces, called No. 9 and No. 11 by Reske. Koberger was first and foremost a printer, who made the first illustrated bible in 1475, and printed, as hinted to above, Schedelschen Weltchronik (1492). He died in 1515. MyFonts page. Modern digital types based on Koberger abound:

  • Manfred Klein created the blackletter typeface FF Koberger for Fontfont.
  • Ernst H. Wulfert created a blackletter typeface called Koberger.
  • Paulo W created ScotoKobergerFrakturN11 (2007) and ScotoKobergerFrakturN9 (2007). He chose the name because of Ottaviano Scotus, whose blackletter types were similar to Koberger's. Paulo W writes: Ottaviano Scotus headed a distinguished family of Venetian printers. Born of a noble family of Monza, he came to Venice at the age of 35 and operated a press there between 1479 and 1484. He continued as an editor until 1499 whereupon his heirs, including his brothers and nephews, undertook their own activity (1499-1532).
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Anton Oderlitzky

Printer from the late 18th century. Type specimen from 1790. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Antonio Blado

Italian printer working in Rome from 1515 to 1567. He got the italic type by Arrighi, the revival of which is Monotype Blado, by Stanley Morison (1923). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Antonio de Espinosa

Spanish typefounder based in Sevilla, who emigrated to Mexico and is thought to be the first Spanish typographer in North America. He created a large number of Gothic, roman and cursive typefaces. He printed mainly religious oeuvres, from about 1560 until about 1571. Cristóbal Henestrosa, who wrote Espinosa. Rescate de una tipografía novohispana (México, Designio, 2005), writes: He worked with Juan Pablos (first printer on the American continent) since 1551 and he began his independent job in 1559, with Maturino Gilberti's Grammatica Maturini and finalized with the second edition of Graduale Dominicale in 1576, the year he died. It is not completely clear that he cut [types], although there is a contract (1550) in which he promises to cut type for Juan Pablos, but he is the second printer in all of America and the first one who preferred roman and cursive type over the gothic. [Google] [More]  ⦿


History of type (in Italian). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Archive.org: Type and Typefounding

Copyright-free type and typefounding books. Several type specimen books from the University of California Library Collection have been scanned in by Microsoft. Other libraries are participating as well. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Arina Stoenescu

Arina Stoenescu (b. 1969, Bucharest) is a doctoral student at Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences at Lund University, Book history. Her doctoral thesis is entitled Typography and Politics. The political impact of typography in newspapers from Romania during the communist time (1948-1989). She lives in Stockholm since 1989. In 2010 she started the first independent type design and typography courses in Swedish universities. Speaker at ATypI 2017 Montreal: An atypical history of type in Romania 1508-1989. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Arnold Pannartz

German printer (b. Köln, d. 1476), who left Mainz with Conrad Sweynheym to establish Italy's first printing press, in the monastery of St. Scholastica at Subiaco. There, they published three books, Cicero's De Oratore, the Opera of Lactantius, and St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei. In 1467, they set up a press in the De Massimi palace in Rome, from where they published 50 more books.

Nicholas Fabian on Pannartz. Catholic Encyclopedia. Literature: Burger: The Printers and Publishers of the XV Century (London, 1902); Fumagalli: Dictionnaire géogrique d'Italie pour servir à l'histoire de l'imprimerie dans ce pays (Florence, 1905); Löffler: Sweinheim und Pannartz in Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, IX (Bielefeld, 1905), and Die ersten deutschen Drucker in Italien in Historisch-politische Blätter, CXLIII (Munich, 1909).

Revivals of their typefaces, blends between humanist and blackletter, include:

[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Arnold ter Hoernen

German printer, based in Köln, active from 1470 until 1483. Aka Arnold Therhoernen, Arnold ter Humen and Arnold Horn. Aka Arnold Therhoernen, Arnold ter Humen and Arnold Horn. Born in Hoorn (Zuidersee), he died in Köln in 1483 or 1484.

In 2013, Shane Brandes created a typeface, Therhoernen, named after him. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Art of the Printed Book, 1455-1955: Masterpieces of Typography Through Five Centuries

This book is based on the collections of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, and comes with an essay by Joseph Blumenthal. It was published in 1973 by Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, and David R. Godine, Boston. Second printing, 1974. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Arthur Rackham

Born in London in 1867, Rackham became a famous illustrator, and was noted for hand lettered titles, decorative marginalia, hand-drwan headers and borders, and color plates. Scriptorium made a font family called Rackham based on his lettering. Rackham died in Limpsfield, Surrey, in 1939. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

ATF: Railroad Gothic

This ATF classic headline sans was first introduced in 1906. Mac McGrew writes: Railroad Gothic is a plain, traditional form of heavy, condensed gothic, first shown by ATF early in the century, although it has the appearance of a nineteenth-century face, as some characters seem disproportionate to the others. There is no lowercase. It has long been popular for newspaper headlines, especially in the very large sizes, some of which continue to be shown in recent ATF lists. Ludlow makes the same design in some large sizes as Gothic Bold Condensed Title. Compare Headline Gothic (ATF). ATF Type adds: Railroad Gothic was the quintessential typographic expression of turn-of-the-century industrial spirit---bold and brash in tone, and a little rough around the edges. A favorite for the plain speak of big headlines, Railroad Gothic quickly gained popularity among printers. Its condensed but robust forms were likely a source of inspiration for later families of industrial sans serifs.

For revivals and extensions:

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Aurora Grotesk

The original Aurora Grotesk dates back to the Johannes Wagner Foundry (1912), but Paul Barnes points out that the same typeface appears under multiple names in the Handbuch der Schriftarten, 1926:

  • Akzidenz-Grotesk, Breite fette, Haas'sche Schriftgießerei
  • Aurora Grotesk, C.E. Weber (12 styles; scan by Ulrich Stiehl)
  • Edel-Grotesk, Fette, Ludwig Wagner
  • Favorit-Grotesk, Otto Weisert
  • Klassische Grotesk, Breite fette, J. D. Trennert&Sohn
  • Koloß, Breite, J. John Söhne, Hamburg
  • Krupp-Hallo, Wagner&Schmidt and then Ludwig&Mayer
  • Progreß-Grotesk, C. E. Weber
  • Siegfried-Grotesk, D. Stempel
  • Venus-Grotesk, Breite fette, Bauersche Gießerei

On the digital side, in chronological order:

Dead link by the Typophiles on this subject. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Baegun Gyeonghan

Buddhist monk. Korean printer of the first book that used movable metal type, in 1372 during the Goryeo Dynasty. He lived from 1298 until 1374. Jikji is the abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document, Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Barlow type
[John Barlow]

Early transitional Gaelic typeface prepared by the Gaelic Society of Dublin in 1808-1821, which, just as the very early Queen Elizabeth type, used some roman characters, in part to draw in people to study the Irish language. Sample from a grammar book published by John Barlow in 1808. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Barnhart Bros. Spindler Type Founders: Book of Type Specimens, 1907

Trying to fit this 1000-page book into one web page, with discussion of many types. It's impossible, but I tried it. Download link for Book of type specimens: Comprising a large variety of superior copper-mixed types, rules, borders, galleys, printing presses, electric-welded chases, paper and card cutters, wood goods, book binding machinery etc., together with valuable information to the craft. Specimen book no.9. Another download link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bartholomaeus Ghotan

Bartholomäus Ghotan was the foremost authority on printing liturgical texts in his era. He had previously worked as a priest at Magdeburg (Germany) where he learned about book printing and decided to start a new career. His clerical training made him an expert on the subject of liturgical books and he printed the very first missal, Missale Praemonstratense there in 1479. Ghotan moved to Lübeck and continued to make liturgical books. In 1486 he was invited to Stockholm where he printed several books for Swedish dioceses, including Missale Strengnense. In 1487 he had a disagreement with the government led by regent Sten Sture and returned to Lübeck where he printed Missale Aboense in 1488. Ghotan continued printing books in Lübeck for several years before deciding to open a printing shop at Novgorod in 1493. He probably died in Novgorod in 1494. Some suspect that he was killed in the disturbances caused by the conflict between the Hanseatic League and Czar Ivan the Great but the real cause of death is unknown.

The letterforms of the digital font Missaali (2016, Tommi Syrjänen) are based on Missale Aboense. Ghotan followed the standard practice of the time and set the missal using textura, a type based on textualis formata that was the prevalent late-medieval script in Germany for the most valuable manuscripts. Thirty years earlier Gutenberg had used the same script for his famous bibles. Missale also has a number of large initials that are mostly set in the Lombardic style. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bartolomeo Sanvito

Bartolomeo Sanvito (1435-1518) was a scribe from Padua, Italy, who was trained in Rome. A master of the humanist italic script, his style is characterized by wquare capital letters alternating colored and gold.

Books on Sanvito include Bartolomeo Sanvito: the Life and Work of a Renaissance Scribe (A.C. de la Mare and Laura Nuvoloni, Paris: Association internationala de Bibliophilie, 2009) and The Script of Humanism: Some Aspects of Humanistic Script 1460---1560 (James Wardrop: Oxford University Press, 1963).

Many digital typefaces were modeled or named after Sanvito. These include

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Baskerville: metal type

Typophiles with opinions on metal versions of Baskerville, giving a nod to Monotype Baskeville, and voicing concern that the digital Baskervilles are too anemic. Wikipedia: Interest in Baskerville seems to have revived in the early 20th century, with Bruce Rogers among others taking an interest in him. [...] Not surprisingly, therefore, the type was revived for mechanical composition in the 20th century. ATF was first, followed by English Monotype in 1923, and thereafter other manufacturers (notably Linotype) followed suit. Monotype Baskerville (Series 169), perhaps the best-known of these revivals was a commercially successful type despite (or perhaps because) it was heavily "cleaned up" by the Monotype drawing office Monotype's was based on a font designed for use at a fairly large size in an edition of Terence's comedies published in 1772. ATF and Linotype used strikes from genuine punches of a smaller size type; it is not therefore surprising that different versions of Baskerville look noticeably different: they are (or may) still be 'authentic'.

Mac McGrew's discussion, mainly regarding metal Baskervilles in America: There are two distinct varieties of Baskerville in America. Both based on the types of John Baskerville, distinguished eighteenth-century English printer and typefounder, who was noted for his quest for perfection. His types are based on Caslon and other popular typefaces of the day, but are more precise and have a little more contrast, with stress more nearly vertical, making them the first transitional designs between oldstyles typified by Caslon and moderns typified by Bodoni. A consistently noticeable characteristic is the lowercase g, with its lower loop not completely closed. All versions have rather long ascenders, and present an appearance of dignity and refinement.

On ATF's Baskerville, he writes: The ATF version, which is called Baskerville Roman in foundry specimens but which most typesetters call American Baskerville, is produced from strikes (unfinished matrices) brought from Stephenson Blake, English typefounders, in 1915. In England it is known as the Fry Foundry version, and is said to have been cast from original matrices cut about 1795 by Isaac Moore as a close copy of Baskerville's own types. Small sizes to 14-point tend to be rather light and narrow, while sizes from 3D-point up have more weight and vigor. Production was discontinued about 1950, perhaps because most specimens didn't show the handsome larger sizes in sufficient detail; it was reinstated in 1957 without the sizes below 18-point. ATF Baskerville Italic was designed in 1915 by Morris F. Benton. It is a handsome typeface in itself, but has little in common with its roman mate other than adjustment to the narrowness of small sizes. It is not made above 18- point, nor-since it was reinstated-below small 18-point. Compare Century Catalogue Italic.

About Linotype Baskerville: Linotype Baskerville, said to be based on original punches which are still in existence, is much like the ATF face, but differs in details of capitals C, Q, W, and lowercase w, y, and &. It was cut in 1926 under the direction of George W. Jones, British typographer. The italic was recut in 1936 under Linotype's program of typographic refinements. Lanston Monotype Baskerville is virtually a duplicate of the English Monotype face, which is based on original letters but is more regularized and has somewhat less contrast between thick and thin strokes than the Fry and Linotype versions. It was cut in 1923 under the direction of Stanley Morison, being derived from the great primer (18-point) size of Baskerville's type, and copied by Lanston in 1931. The Intertype roman typeface is substantially the same as Monotype except for adaptation to mechanical requirements. But while the Monotype italic is considerably narrower than the roman, on Intertype the two typefaces are necessarily the same width.

Finally, McGrew evaluates Monotype Baskerville: Monotype Baskerville Italic has only the swash-like capitals JKNTYZ of the original, while both Linotype and Intertype have replaced these letters with regular characters in standard fonts, but offer a variety of swashes as alternates. Linotype, Monotype, and Intertype each provide their own versions of Baskerville Bold. All are similar, but the Monotype version is slightly heavier over all; this version was designed by Sol Hess, and is claimed to have been adapted from an original heavy typeface created by John Baskerville about 1757 and not generally known. Linotype and Intertype also have bold italics, the former designed by C. H. Griffith in 1939. (Latin Condensed was called "Baskerville" in ATF's 1898 book.) [Google] [More]  ⦿


Greg Flores (University of California at Santa Cruz) explains about the Bauhaus movement. He tells about Herbert Bayer's dislike for serifs (which he though useless) and about the introduction of the single case alphabets. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bauhaus School
[Walter Gropius]

The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius. It was based in Weimar (1919 to 1925), and then in Dessau (1925 to 1932), and finally in Berlin (1932 to 1933), before it was closed by the Nazi regime. Its directors were Walter Gropius (1919-1928), H. Meyer (1928-1930) and Mies Van der Rohe (1930-1933).

The Bauhaus movement, which cut almost everything to its bare minimum and naked essentials, influenced art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography. Its typographical masters included Josef Albers (who made Kombinationsschrift in the 1920s), Herbert Bayer (famous for his Universal), Joost Schmidt and Kurt Schwitters. Bauhaus-style typefaces emerged everywhere---Futura (Paul Renner), Super Grotesk (Arno Drescher), and the types of Moholy-Nagy.

Among the digital representatives, we note ITC Bauhaus (1975, Ed Benguiat and Victor Caruso), BH Geometric 572 (Bitstream), P22 Bayer, R790 (Softmaker), and Dessau (by Gábor Kóthay).

Penela's pages on Bauhaus. Jürgen Siebert on Bauhaus.

Brief bio of Walter Gropius, the founder: Born to a family of architects, he himself studied architecture in Munich from 1903-1904 and in Berlin from 1905-1907, and worked for Peter Behrens until 1910. In 1919, he founded the Bauhaus School. In Programm des Staatlichen Bauhauses Weimar (1919), he describes a utopian craft guild combining architecture, sculpture, and painting into a single creative expression [Gesamtkunstwerk].

Wikipedia page. Bauhaus Museum Dessau. Bauhaus Museum Weimar. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ben Archer

[More]  ⦿

Ben Archer
[Type timeline by Ben Archer]

[More]  ⦿

Bengt Bengtsson

Swedish art historian whose 1956 PhD dissertation was entitled Svenskt stilgjuteri före âr 1700 (Typefounding in Sweden before 1700). In 1950 he published an 18-page booklet entitled Det äldsta Svenska Stilprovet Tryckt at Skolan for Bokhant verk. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, Typefounder (1925, Douglas C. McMurtie, New York) describes Benjamin Franklin as typefounder. McGrew writes about Franklin: Prior to 1722 English typefounding was at a low ebb, and most printers in that country used Dutch types. But in that year William Caslon completed the first sizes of his new style, which quickly gained dominance over the Dutch types. This new English style was also extensively exported to other countries, including the American Colonies, where it was popular before the Revolution. In fact, the Declaration of Independence of the new United States was first printed in Caslon's types. Benjamin Franklin met Caslon in London, admired and recommended his types, and used them extensively in his printshop. F. Kerdijk penned the Dutch book Benjamin Franklin. Drukker - Postmeester - Uitvinder en Gezant, 1706-1790 (1956, Drukkerij Trio, 's-Gravenhage), a 16-page booklet that further explains Franklin's multidimensional persona. Further books on Franklin's sideline include Typophiles Chapbook: B. Franklin, 1706-1790. Franklin's interests in typography and as a printer have caused a number of typefaces to be named after him, such as the famous Franklin Gothic, but also Ben Franklin, Ben Franklin Condensed and Ben Franklin Open (metal types at Keystone Type Foundry. 1919), Franklin's Caslon (2006, P22), Poor Richard RR (named after Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard Almanack"), Poor Richard (1994, Projective Solutions: a free font), and Benjamin Franklin Antique (free font by Dieter Steffmann). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bi Sheng

Chinese inventor of the first (clay type) movable type system for printing in 1040 during https://www.behance.net/JoshPriceDesign. He lived from 990-1051. Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien (1985) writes: During the reign of Chingli, [1041-1048] Bi Sheng, a man of unofficial position, made movable type. His method was as follows: he took sticky clay and cut in it characters as thin as the edge of a coin. Each character formed, as it were, a single type. He baked them in the fire to make them hard. He had previously prepared an iron plate and he had covered his plate with a mixture of pine resin, wax, and paper ashes. When he wished to print, he took an iron frame and set it on the iron plate. In this he placed the types, set close together. When the frame was full, the whole made one solid block of type. He then placed it near the fire to warm it. When the paste [at the back] was slightly melted, he took a smooth board and pressed it over the surface, so that the block of type became as even as a whetstone.

The technology spread to Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1234, when the metal movable-type system for printing was introduced. This led to the printing of the Jikji in 1377, the oldest movable metal print book. [Google] [More]  ⦿


List of well-known typographers, with biographies of people such as Nicolas Jenson, Aldus Manutius, William Caslon, John Day, Johann Froben, William Caxton, and Christophe Plantin. Plus a list of typography books. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Birgit Stehno

Nice page on the history of blackletter fonts. By Austrian Birgit Stehno. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bodoni (Dave Farey)

Dave Farey's great essay on the history and implementations of Bodoni. All Bodoni typefaces published today have genetic material from Giambattista Bodoni's original. Below are various implementations:

  • ATF/Monotype Bodoni, originally designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1907, and used by Monotype in the 1930s. Linotype's version. Adobe's version. Ultra weights sold by URW as Bodoni No 2. Libre Bodoni (2014, a free font family by Pablo Impallari and Rodrigo Fuenzalida) is based on Benton's Bodoni.
  • Bodoni Modern (R.H. Middleton, 1930s, for the American Ludlow foundry). See his 1936 Bodoni Campanile, sold by Bitstream as Modern 735. URW offers Black and Stencil weights.
  • Bauer Bodoni (Heinrich Jost, 1926). Dave Farey argues for its delicacy but still calls it a bastard. Neufville has the original design, with Linotype, Bitstream, Adobe and URW offering derivatives.
  • Berthold Bodoni Antiqua (1935), a descendant of ATF Bodoni, resurrected in the 1970s by Günter Gerhard Lange. This was continued by Karl Gerstner in the 1980s and is available as IBM Bodoni from URW. See also the URW version of Bodoni Antiqua.
  • Berthold Bodoni Old Face was designed in 1983 by Günter Gerhard Lange
  • WTC Our Bodoni designed by Massimo Vignelli in 1989 for the World Typeface Corporation. For display only. Related to the ATF version.
  • FF Bodoni Classic (FontShop, 1994). Designed in a two-year period by Gerd Wiescher, this is the first Bodoni version that tried to stick closely to Bodoni's original drawings. Farey complains that the italics are not tilted enough though. Check also Wiescher's FF Bodoni Classic Handdrawn (1997).
  • ITC Bodoni is another faithful interpretation developed by Sumner Stone, Holly Goldsmith and Jim Parkinson. These come in 6, 12 and 72 point ranges and form an extensive extremely useful family. Versions sold by URW and Linotype.
  • Bodoni Old Fashion by URW.
  • Bodoni Classico, designed by Franko Luin at Omnibus.
  • FB Bodoni: just two digitizations based on Benton's 1933 Ultra Bodoni Extra Condensed, by Richard Lipton in 1992. Clearly, for display only.
  • URW Bodoni.
  • Linotype Gianotten: Created by Antonio Pace in 2000, this typeface is said to go back directly to the Bodoni Museum in Parma.
  • Ambroise, Ambroise Firmin (condensed) and Ambroise François (2001, extra condensed), 30 fonts in all, are splendid fonts named after Ambroise Didot by their creator, Jean-François Porchez. Many say that they are closer to Bodoni than to Didot--just look at the question mark, but Porchez based his work on late style Didot's published around 1830.

View various Bodoni Antiqua / Bodoni Old Face typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bradbury Thompson

Born in Topeka, KS, 1911-1995. Head of Mademoiselle magazine, and a general master of design. He served on the faculty of the Yale School of Art for over thirty years. Typographically, he is best known for his proposal, published in Westvaco Inspirations 180 in 1950, to have a unicase alphabet, tentatively called Alphabet 26. We cite from that page: Alphabet 26 is Bradbury Thompson's radical proposal for the redesign of the alphabet. We present excerpts from an essay that he wrote to accompany a printed piece that he planned to have published at the beginning of 1996. Brad Thompson died before its completion. Much of the material here first appeared in Thompson's The Art of Graphic Design (Yale, 1988). The text has been edited for presentation here. Paul Baker, with feedback from Thompson, has produced the new digital version of Alphabet 26 which is used in this presentation. Note: Paul Baker's version uses Baskerville for the mix. Paul Baker's grandmother and Thompson's mother were sisters. Here is a quote from the inside flap of The Art of Graphic Design, slightly repetitive: The art director of Mademoiselle and design director of Art News and Art News Annual in the decades after World War II, he also designed the formats for some three dozen other magazines, including Smithsonian. Thompson is in addition a distinguished designer of limited edition books, postage stamps, rationalized alphabets, corporate identification programs, trademarks, and sacred works (most notable, the Washburn College Bible, in which the words are set in the cadence of speech). His hallmark has ever been the adaptation of classic typography to the modern world. Thompson is perhaps most well known as the designer of more than sixty issues of Westvaco Inspirations, a magazine published by the Westvaco Corporation.... Bradbury Thompson has served on the faculty of the Yale School of Art for over thirty years.... His profession has honored him with all of its highest awards, including those of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the National Society of Art Directors, the Art Directors Club, the Type Directors Club, [now the American Center for Design], and the Society of Publication Designers. Digital versions based on his ideas have been made by Manfred Klein (see his KLBradbury family, 2007). Biography. Picture. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

British Letter Foundry
[John Bell]

John Bell (1746-1831) was a London-based publisher of several periodicals and newspapers. He founded the British Letter Foundry in 1788, with Richard Austin as punchcutter. The foundry closed in 1798.

John Tranter tells the story: John Bell, an English publisher and bookseller, advertised a book called The Way to Keep Him in The World newspaper in London in June 1787, saying: 'J. Bell flatters himself that he will be able to render this the most perfect and in every respect the most beautiful book, that was ever printed in any country.' That was a tall order. In his quest for perfection he set up a type foundry, and hired a young punchcutter named Richard Austin to cut a new typeface for him. The face, named after Bell, was based on a typeface designed some thirty years before by John Baskerville, another perfectionist. Baskerville had said 'Having been an early admirer of the beauty of Letters, I became insensibly desirous of contributing to the perfection of them.' Though Baskerville went broke eventually, his typeface was indeed very close to perfection, and went on to become one of the most popular typefaces of all time. John Bell's type foundry didn't do well. He closed down his shop within two years and went on to other things, and his typeface sank almost without trace in England. Newer trends in typefaces (Didot in France, and Bodoni in Italy) eclipsed the modest elegance of Richard Austin's design. The Americans, though, took a shine to it. It was copied as early as 1792, and always remained popular there. A complete set of type cast from Bell's original matrices was purchased by the American Henry Houghton in 1864 and installed at his Riverside Press. He thoughtlessly labelled it 'English Copperplate'. Later, the distinguished American book designer Bruce Rogers used the typeface frequently, naming it 'Brimmer', after the author of a book he'd seen the typeface used for when he worked as a young man at the Riverside Press. The designer Daniel Updike also worked at Riverside, and also used the 'English Copperplate' type extensively in later years, naming his version of it 'Mountjoye'. Bell's type would have remained obscured by these disguises perhaps forever, but for the alert eye of Stanley Morison. He was doing research at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in 1926 when he came across a copy of the first specimen sheet of type samples issued from John Bell's foundry in 1788. No copy of it existed in England at that time, and Morison recognised the typeface immediately as the original of the 'Brimmer' and 'Mountjoye' fonts used in America. He researched the matter and in 1931 published an important monograph which, as the type scholar Alexander Lawson says, 'returned the name of John Bell to its proper place in the pantheon of English printers'. The typeface was unique in another way. Until Richard Austin cut the typeface in 1788, all numerals were traditionally written like lower-case letters -- small, with some numerals hanging below the line. Bell is the first typeface to break with that tradition cleanly: Austin's numerals are larger than lower-case letters (at two-thirds the height of the capitals) and sit evenly along the line. The trend was taken up. These days the numerals in most printed matter are (unfortunately) the full size of the capital letter, and are called titling figures, ranging figures, or lining figures.

See also here. FontShop link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Bruce Rogers
[Bruce Rogers: Italian Printers in Venice]

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Bruce Rogers: Italian Printers in Venice
[Bruce Rogers]

An essay by Bruce Rogers on Italian printers in Venice in the renaissance period. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bund für Deutsche Schrift und Sprache

Magazine dealing with Fraktur (history, font-designers) and German language, est. 1927. Written in German and typed in blackletter. Currently edited by Harald Rösler. Gerda Delbanco of Delbanco Frakturschriften is the wife of Helmut Delbanco, who is the chairman of the Bund. Alternate URL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

California Historical Society
[Jaime Henderson]

Archivist at the California Historical Society in San Francisco, who reproduced, highlighted and commented on many nice images of classical typefaces. Jaime writes: All the materials I select for Type Tuesdays come from the Kemble Collection, which features type founders' specimen books, printing and graphic design periodicals, ephemera and much more. Behance link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Cameron Moll

Cameron Moll is a type specialist. He writes extensively on type design and typography. He sells EPS format glyphs based on the work of master Italian calligrapher M. Giovambattista Palatino (ca. 1515–1575), as featured in Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino Cittadino Romano, published in Rome around 1550 AD. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Camillo Baldi

Professor at the University of Bologna (b. Bologna, 1550) since 1576. Camillo Baldi wrote about How, from a "missive" letter, we can know the nature and quality of the writer (1622: Trattato como de una lettera missiva si conoscano la natura, e qualita dello scrittore). The link shows writing samples from the period of 1522 to 1650. Camillo's own handwriting. He died in 1637. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Candace Uhlmeyer
[DH Type Visionaries]

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Caractères d'imprimerie, 1853
[Paul Dupont]

Essay bu Paul Dupont on the history of typography, in French. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Carl Faulmann

Johann Christoph Carl Faulmann or Karl Faulmann, b. Halle an der Saale, Germany, 1835, d. Vienna, Austria, 1894. In his Geschichte der Schrift: Von den Hieroglyphen bis heute (2002), Harald Haarmann describes Faulmann as a pioneer in the study of writing in the 19th century. He writes that when Carl Faulmann published his Illustrierte Geschichte der Schrift in 1880, his work was the first universal history on the subject and stood alone on the academic landscape of the day.

Carl Faulmann initially trained to be a typesetter. His travels led him to Munich, where in 1854 he saw shorthand types from the Royal Court and State Printers in Vienna. Faulmann was inspired by the experience to develop similar versions for Franz Xaver Gabelsberger's stenography system which was popular in the southern part of Germany. In 1855 he became typesetter for foreign languages at the court in Vienna. After four years he resigned from state service and worked as a stenography teacher and typesetter. On the side he continued to augment his language skills auto-didactically, learning Hebrew, Persian and Sanskrit, among others. He wrote various works on linguistic fundamentals that were re-issued for decades. In 1884, Carl Faulmann was named professor of stenography at the University of Vienna. A complete compendium of his work can be found in this German wikipedia page. His books include

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Carl Purington Rollins

American type specialist (1880-1960). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Cary Graphic Arts Collection

The Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, a library on printing history located at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. Check out the 18th century collection. The original collection of 2,300 volumes was assembled by the New York City businessman Melbert B. Cary, Jr. during the 1920s and 1930s. Cary was director of Continental Type Founders Association, a former president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and proprietor of the private Press of the Woolly Whale. Today the library houses some 20,000 volumes and a growing number of manuscripts and correspondence collections. Also included are impressive holdings on bookbinding, papermaking, type design, calligraphy and book illustration. The goal of developing the digital image database is to enable users all over the world to sample the wealth of rich materials housed in the collection. [Google] [More]  ⦿


An essay on Caslon, the font used to typeset both The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States of America. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Caslon: A brief history

A brief history of the Caslon family, as summarized by Dave Forster in 2012 while he was a student at KABK [the text below quotes verbatim passages from his document entitled Another Bloody caslon].

  • Introduction. The lineage of the Caslon family is complicated because they all shared similar names, even their wives. Unless initials are present, it should be assumed that the first name is William. If no roman numerals are present afterwards, that person was the first with that name.
  • Main influences on Caslon. For many reasons, The Crown of England enforced regulations on the printing presses from the mid-16th century until the beginning of the 18th-century. This dampened efforts to establish type founding in England. Consequently, type was imported, mainly from Holland. Dr. John Fell bought punches and matrices for the Oxford University Press in 1670. Seven years later, Cambridge University Press also imported type from Holland. These were the works of Dirk Voskens and Christoffel van Dijck respectively, who were major influences on Caslon as noted by Morison, Johnson and Lane. Miklos Totfalusi Kis, a Hungarian who had been Voskens' apprentice and who later cut Janson, was also influential. Updike explains the fame and excellence of Caslon's types: While he modelled his letters on Dutch types, they were much better; for he introduced into his fonts a quality of interest, a variety of design, and a delicacy of modelling, which few Dutch types possessed. Dutch fonts were monotonous, but Caslon's fonts were not so. His letters when analyzed, especially in the smaller sizes, are not perfect individually; but in their mass their e ect is agreeable. That is, I think, their secret: a perfection of the whole, derived from harmonious but not necessarily perfect individual letterforms.
  • Establishing the foundry. In 1692, William Caslon was born in Cradley, England. After serving an apprenticeship with a metal-worker, he left and began engraving ornamental gun-locks, gun-barrels as well as silver-chasing and making book binding tools, presumably ones used to place lettering on spines and covers. It was only later he became involved with type when two separate strangers noticed his lettering on books found in Mr. Browne's bookshop. The first was Bowyer, the second was John Watts. Both printers recognised Caslon's potential to repair the standard of printing since its decline from the days of Caxton: the elder Mr. Bowyer, [...] accidentally observed in a bookseller's ship a bound book, the lettering on the back of which seem to him to be executed with more than common neatness; and on inquiry nding Mr. Caslon to be the artist by whom the letters had been cut, he was induced to seek an acquaintance with him. Bowyer took Caslon to James's Foundry. Caslon had never been exposed to type founding before. He was asked whether he could undertake the cutting of types, Caslon requested one day to consider. When one day passed he replied that he had no doubt that he could. Bowyer, Watts and Bettenham (another printer) then lent him 500 pounds to establish the Caslon Foundry.
  • The growth of the foundry. His first commission was in 1720, an Arabic fount to set the New Testament and Psalters (completed 1727 and 1725 respectively) for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. For the bottom of the specimen he cut the letters of his name in Pica Roman. Mr. Palmer, the author of Psalmanazar's History of Printing encouraged him to complete the whole fount. Caslon's Pica Roman exceeded the quality of many other founders at the time, many of whom Palmer's circumstances as an author relied on. He promptly withdrew his advice and discouraged Caslon from further development. The fame of the Caslon foundry developed through further commissions, including Coptic, Armenian, Gothic and Black letter. His son, Caslon II developed Etruscan and Ethiopic. The foundry became less reliant on its patrons. In 1730, he had the custom of the King's printers, excluding all others. In 1734, after fourteen years of work, the Caslon foundry published a specimen that included thirty-eight founts. Excluding three, all are Caslon's work. Reeds says It placed Caslon absolutely without rival at the head of his profession. One of these specimens resides in the Meermanno Museum.
  • William Caslon II, Caslon & Son. By 1742 and 1748, Caslon printed his specimens showing founts created by his son, Caslon II, who was now partner and the firm changed names. The young Caslon proved to be as able as his father. Under his watch, the specimens of 1763 and 1764 displayed twice the amount of founts since the first specimen. Caslon dies two years later in 1766 at Bethnal Green. From here onwards, the history becomes complex. An attempt has been made to simplify it with the aid of a timeline and family tree.
  • William Caslon III. When Caslon II died in 1778, the foundry was split between three people. His brother (Henry Caslon I), Wife (Mrs Caslon II) and their son (Caslon III). One specimen appeared in 1785 but nothing else was released until 1800. In 1788, Henry Caslon died, leaving his share to his two-year-old son, H. Caslon II. A major change happened in 1792 when Caslon III sold his shares to his mother, Mrs Caslon II and sister-in-law, Mrs H. Caslon for 3000 pounds. He then purchased Joseph Jackson's foundry and renamed it to Caslon & Co.
  • Mrs Henry Caslon---Caslon & Catherwood. Three years after Caslon III left, Mrs Caslon II died without a will. Mrs Henry Caslon was required to purchase the foundry for 520 pounds (a fraction of the price Caslon III had received seven years before). The Caslon name was no longer enough to sell type and the foundry was fading. She commissioned John Drury to cut new types. She also took on Nathaniel Catherwood (a distant relation) as partner and she was able to restore the foundry's reputation by 1808. In 1805, they released an important specimen containing new romans of Caslon and Catherwood. Most cuts were completed between 1802 and 1804. Another specimen was released in 1808 with Stower's Printers Grammar. The original founts of Caslon had been put away and forgotten. According Jane Smith (2010), All the once admired founts of the originator of the foundry have been discarded, and between the specimen of 1785 and 1808 there is absolutely no feature in common. In 1809, Mrs H. Caslon and N. Catherwood both died. Control passed to her son Henry Caslon II.
  • Henry Caslon II. H. Caslon II took Nathaniel's brother, John Catherwood as a partner. Together they looked after the business well. Hansard says, the additions and varieties made to the stock of the foundry have been immense. John Catherwood leaves in 1821. One year later, Martin Livermore, a trusted employee is promoted as partner. They built the stock of the foundry towards advertising types like fat faces and Egyptians.
  • Henry William Caslon and The Chiswick Press. In 1839, a specimen is released under the name Caslon, Son and Livermore. This signalled Henry William Caslon, the son of Henry Caslon II, joining the firm. In 1844, Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press requested the original Caslon, known as Old Face, in Great Primer to print The Diary of Lady Willoughby as the type was appropriate to the story's history. The Caslon foundry had the original matrices in storage and recast Whittingham a small amount of Great Primer. The Chiswick Press continued to use the type for further books and in 1958 used electrotyped matrices to cast type by hand. S. Peterson [The Kelmscott Press: a history of Morris's typographical adventure, University of California Press, 1991, page 22] writes: Unlike modern printers in search of historic designs, the proprietor of the Chiswick Press, was not compelled to have the Caslon type recut; he simply went to the fi rm run by Caslon and discovered that the original matrices were still in storage. 1846 saw an attempted sale of the foundry under the name Caslon & Son (apparently Livermore had left). But no acceptable offer was made. Henry Caslon dies 4 years later. Old Face returned to popular use later in the 1850s when a historicist movement in ne printing adopted the typeface. The foundry then began displaying Old Face in specimens again. The term Old Face refers to the original founts of Caslon, owned by foundry. The first reference appeared in 1854. The name Old Style stems from two events. One in the 1850s when predecessors of the ATF published identical type, most likely from electrotyped matrices with the permission of the Caslon Foundry. The second occurred in Edinburgh at Miller & Richard. Their punchcutter, Phemister made an Old Style in which they have endeavoured to avoid the objectionable peculiarities, whilst retaining the distinctive characteristics of the medieval letters [reference: J. Southward, Modern Printing, 1924, vol. 1 page 106]. This induced the Caslon Foundry into cutting their version too. Reed says, In spite of the vogue for Caslon Old Face, they found it expedient to cut their own copy of Old Style, which was first shown in 1877 and the full range completed in 1880.
  • H.W. Caslon & Co. With H. Caslon II dead, H.W. Caslon was the sole proprietor. Thomas White Smith, a trusted employee of the firm since 1857, describes H.W. Caslon as a man of generous impulse but of little wisdom in business matters. The firm then purchased Glasgow Letter Foundry. Alexander and Patrick, the grandsons of the founder joined Caslon & Son and it was renamed to H.W Caslon & Co. In 1865 there was an 8-month-long strike and lockout. Smith and the two Wilson partners left. In 1872, H.W. Caslon became ill and asked Smith to return as manager. He returned and H.W. Caslon died two years later at Medmenham. He was the last male in the Caslon lineage and left the whole foundry to Smith.
  • Thomas White Smith. Smith made immeasurable improvements to the business. In 1875 he sets up Caslon's Circular, an important publication regularly issued by the foundry. In 1878-1879 it published articles by De Vinne about the point system for measuring type. Smith was a leading campaigner for its introduction. In 1886 he made a formal proposal that was only accepted by the other founders later, in 1898. It took until 1905 before the transition was complete, according to Southward. They also used Caslon's Circular to vocally oppose the piracy of type using electrotyping and defend themselves against trade publications that criticised them for obstructing the progress of mechanical invention. This was untrue; Smith was an early pioneer of combing matrices in a line, a precursor to the linotype machine. In 1878 there was an article stating an increased demand for Old Face. But there were complaints about irregularity and rough edges then uncommon in modern faces. Smith published the following in The Circular: We are taking steps to improve them [the original founts] so far as smoothness of face is concerned, and to produce them by the machine-casting process, without altering their shapes in the least degree. In the specimen of 1884, it is possible to see the progress of this, a small amount of founts are smoothed out, others are not. Justin Howes (1963-2005), a scholar of Caslon, placed the recutting of Old Face from around 1893. The first size was the Great Primer, equivalent to 18-point. Emile Bertaut and George Hammond were the punchcutters responsible for the work that took place between October 1894 and 1908. In 1896, Smith's three sons joined and changed their name to Caslon-Smith and later to Caslon. In 1900, he retired, the year a newly equipped foundry at Hackney Wick was established. In 1907 he died. Twenty years later in 1937, the Caslon Foundry to Stephenson, Blake & Co.
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Caslon: Mac McGrew's take

Mac McGrew describes the situation of Caslon in the era of metal type. All text below is quoted. Caslon is "the oldest living typeface," having survived in almost exactly its original form since every character was hand-cut by William Caslon more than 250 years ago. Virtually the same design is still available, along with a myriad of imitations, derivatives, and attempts at improvement. Altogether, they form a number of families, for there is little or no compatibility between many typefaces which now bear the name Caslon. In fact, Caslon is perhaps the hardest set of types to group into reasonable categories; therefore some of the following classifications are arbitrary.

  • The original Caslon. Prior to 1722 English typefounding was at a low ebb. and most printers in that country used Dutch types. But in that year William Caslon completed the first sizes of his new style, which quickly gained dominance over the Dutch types. This new English style was also extensively exported to other countries, including the American Colonies, where it was popular before the Revolution. In fact, the Declaration of Independence of the new United States was first printed in Caslon's types. Benjamin Franklin met Caslon in London, admired and recommended his types, and used them extensively in his printshop. Caslon's types have gone through several periods of decline and revival. In America they died out by about 1800, and had little or no further use for nearly sixty years. In 1858, Laurence Johnson, a prominent Philadelphia typefounder, visited London and arranged with the successors to William Caslon to duplicate the Caslon types. There are several accounts of how this was done; some say Johnson had fonts specially cast, from which he made electrotype matrices. Another account says he had strikes--unfinished matrices--made from the original punches, while a third account says he obtained the original matrices. The latter account is most unlikely, but the other two possibilities are interestingly credible. Many of the mats still available at ATF, successors to Johnson, are electrotypes-but then, mats wear out anyway, and are commonly replaced by electrotyping existing virgin cast type when patterns or punches are not available. If strikes were finished in this country-the usual process of accurately fitting them for width and position on the type body--this would allow for the fact that some sizes, especially in the 14- to 24-point range, are more loosely fitted here than in England. Otherwise there is virtually no difference between the American and English versions, except for later additions such as dollar mark and various swash letters--the latter are discussed later. Johnson simply called the typeface Old Style, as family names were a later development. When Johnson's foundry merged with MacKellar Smiths&Jordan foundry, the typeface was designated Original Old Style, to distinguish it from other typefaces in the same category. MS&J was part of the great merger that formed ATF in 1892, and the typeface became Old Style No. 71. When ATF's first specimen book was being prepared in 1897, the advertising manager. Henry Lewis Bullen, renamed the series Caslon Old Style. Later "No. 471" was added, the "4" designating typefaces obtained from MS&J. Meanwhile, a prominent New York printer, Walter Gilliss, had promoted the adoption of Caslon for setting Vogue magazine, a fashion and art journal which was started in 1892, and the typeface quickly returned to popularity. A. D. Farmer&Son copied the typeface under the name Knickerbocker Old Style. But this was the time when standard alignment was being heavily pro- moted, necessitating the shortening of descenders. Inland Type Foundry, St. Louis, advertised its own version of Caslon Old Style in 1901, with the claim. "We have obtained the sole right from the originating house to manufacture this series in the United States. Inland is the only type foundry which casts this typeface on standard line. ..." This meant that they had considerably shortened the descending letters; they had also redesigned the italic extensively. ATF countered with CaslonNo. 540, with similarly shortened descenders but essentially the original roman and italic designs otherwise. Several other foundries, including BB&S, Hansen, and Keystone, produced similar Caslons. One of the most noticeable features of Caslon is its lack of uniformity from one size to another. This is due to the fact that all the original characters were cut by hand, before the invention of precise mechanical systems for enlarging and reducing drawings. In Caslon 540, each size is the equivalent of the next larger size of 471, including some obsolete odd sizes. Thus 14-point 540 is equivalent to 18-point 471,18 to 22, 20 to 24, etc. The difference is primarily in the descenders, very unattractively shortened in some sizes of 540; lining figures replace the hanging style, and a few other slight changes have been made. The additional large sizes are an attractive generalized design. To overcome objections to the wide fitting of some sizes of Caslon Oldstyle No. 471, ATF brought out Caslon Oldstyle No. 472 in 1932; the design is identical but it is fitted more closely. It is made only in 18-, 22- and 24-point sizes. In the specimens shown here, notice the small caps shown with Caslon OldstyleNo. 471, for which they are made up to 36-point-one of the very few typefaces to include such letters above 14- or 18-point. Most of these appear to be cut separately, rather than being regular caps of a smaller size. Long-s characters and combinations have also been made for Caslon Oldstyle roman and italic by ATF and Monotype, and for Caslon No. 540 roman by ATF; they are called Quaint Characters.
  • Swash versions of the Caslon Oldstyle Italic capitals J, Q, T, and Y, also lowercase h with the final stroke turned inward, were the only forms shown in Caslon's original specimen sheet, although other similar swash letters were made for Dutch types at least a century earlier. Later, plain versions of these letters were added, and both forms are included in some fonts. About 1920, Thomas M. Cleland designed a dozen swash letters to be used with Caslon Oldstyle Italic No. 471, and a dozen more were designed in 1923 for Curtis Publishing Company, perhaps by another designer. These were cast in regular molds, with some letters having long, delicate kerns. By 1927 most of these letters, plus a few others, were being made for Caslon Italic No. 540. These were cast with mortises where necessary, greatly reducing the problem of breakage. Thereafter the larger sizes of Caslon No. 471 Italic were also adapted to mortise molds. Lowercase swash letters e, k, v, w, andz are part of the swash font for both 471 and 540 italics. Vowels are also cast on smaller bodies to fit within the mortises. Compare Scotch Open Shaded Italic. About 1927 an ATF specimen said, "The five largest sizes of CaslonItalic No. 540 are the equivalent of 60-, 72-, 84-, 96-, and 120-point Caslon Oldstyle Italic No. 471. Some of the Swash Capitals are cast on these bodies and long descenders cast on these larger bodies will be ready shortly, which will give the full effect of the popular No.4 71 Italic." No evidence has been found that this was ever completed. In the specimen of Caslon Oldstyle Italic No. 471 Swash shown here, these characters are shown on the first line; these are made in all sizes of the face. Caslon Italic No. 540 includes-only in sizes from 36-point up-many of these letters plus the I and U shown separately; fullface letters in this series are cast on the next larger body and thus are identical to 471. Incidentally. the swash J in these fonts is identical when inverted to the pound sterling mark furnished with English fonts. Ludlow True-Cut Caslon Italic also includes many of the 471 swash letters. Monotype Caslon Old Style Italic No. 3371 includes some of the same, plus the W shown separately. Monotype Caslon Old Style Italic No. 4371, which was copied from Stephenson Blake's Caslon Old Face in the 42- to 72-point sizes, has a different set of swash letters as shown on the latter part of the second line. Linotype Caslon Old Face Italic has a similar set of swash letters, only some of which are shown in the specimen. Linotype Caslon Italic (not Old Face) has no swash letters but the otherwise identical Intertype typeface does, as shown, including the peculiarly reversed T, which was later corrected. Also note the swash letters shown with some following Caslon italics. Caslon Italic Specials are swash letters of a completely different sort, designed by Carl S. Junge in 1924 for BB&S, for use with that foundry's Caslon Italic and various similar typefaces.
  • Monotype produced an adaptation of Caslon to its mechanical restrictions as early as 1903, when Sol Hess drew English Caslon Old Style No. 37 at the request of the Gilliss Press in Boston. (Two years later Monotype adopted a new set of matrix and other mechanical improvements which required redesigning nearly all its typefaces.) Display sizes of this typeface were also drawn by Hess, presumably adapted from the original English face, as the italic has several swash letters similar to the English version. Otherwise display sizes of this roman and italic are very similar to Inland Type Foundry's short-descender adaptation of the original Caslon. On Linotype and Intertype. Caslon No.4 is essentially the same. Monotype also has Inland Caslon Old Style No. 137, presumably adapted from the Inland typeface mentioned above, but the italic seems identical to that of No. 37. Linotype has a copy of Caslon No. 137 under that name. About 1915 Monotype cut yet another version of Caslon Old Style-No. 337, designated "MacKellar Caslon" in some early literature because it is closer to the original typeface associated with that foundry. Display sizes are virtually an exact copy of No. 471. Composition sizes are well adapted, though necessarily modified to fit the standard arrangement; they are made with short descenders on standard alignment, but were the first Monotype typeface with alternate long descenders. Oddly, all three Monotype Caslons---37, 137, and 337---are the same set width---letter for letter---in all keyboard sizes made, which means that any given character is precisely the same width from one typeface to another in any composition size. In addition, 12-point No. 337, which with long descenders must be cast on 13- or 14-point body, is essentiallythe same size and width as 14-point of the same face. Sizes of this typeface above 36-point were later copied from Stephenson Blake's Caslon Old Face and called Caslon Old Style No. 437, as previously noted. Linotype and Intertype have Caslon and Italic, similar to Caslon No. 540 and cut about 1903; long descenders are available in place of the regular short descenders, making a fair approximation of Caslon Oldstyle No. 471; this Caslon Italic in 18- to 30-point sizes is more regularized as shown, similar to Caslon Light Italic. Linotype also has Caslon No.2, a copy of Monotype Caslon No. 37, also with alternate long descenders; and the previously mentioned Caslon No. 137, cut in 1936. For greatest authenticity, Linotype went back to the English original in 1923 for its Caslon Old Face; the roman is almost indistinguishable, but the italic is necessarily modified considerably. Most smaller sizes have both long and short alternate descenders avail- able. Intertype offers the same face, roman only, in 18- to 30-point. Ludlow's True-Cut Caslon and Italic, cut in 1922 and 1928 respectively, are close copies of Caslon Oldstyle No. 471 and Italic.
  • Several attempts have been made to regularize Caslon and improve its so-called faults, but these have generally lost much of the character of the face. and have seldom achieved widespread use. They include
    • Recut Caslon (Inland 1907).
    • Caslon Lightface (Keystone 1910-12).
    • Clearface Caslon (Robert Wiebking for Western 1913), etc., all with italics and some with condensed versions; Caslon Lightface Italic is non-kerning.
    • New Caslon, introduced in 1905 by Inland, was the most successful of these attempts. In addition to eliminating irregularities, the aim of this typeface was to strengthen the design so that under modern printing conditions it would more closely resemble the effect of the original Caslon when printed heavily on dampened rough paper, as was commonly done in the eighteenth century. The italic followed in 1906. In 1919 ATF (successor to Inland) reversed the descender-shortening trend with the design by Morris Benton of long descenders, oldstyle figures, and italic swash characters as American Caslon; otherwise this typeface and New Caslon are identical. New Caslon was adapted to Linotype and Intertype as Caslon No.3, which some users call Caslon Bold, although it was not intended to be a bold face. However, in 18-point and larger, Caslon No.3 and Italic are copies of Caslon Bold rather than New Caslon.
    • Condensed Caslon is a modification of New Caslon, by Inland in 1907; it was inherited by ATF and copied by Monotype, both of which gave it the same series number (the only such incidence); printers often but incorrectly call it Caslon Bold Condensed.
    • Caslon Extra Condensed is also derived from New Caslon, sometime between 1912 and 1917.
    • Caslon Catalog, with heavied hairlines, was designed by Robert Wiebking for his Advance Type Foundry in 1913 under the name of Caslon Antique (not to be confused with a later use of this name); it was also shown by Laclede, and was renamed when BB&S acquired it.
    • Caslon Medium and Italic, as the name implies, are somewhat heavier versions, offered by BB&S as Modern Caslon and Italic about 1924---the roman at least was shown by Western Type Foundry in the mid-teens. However, the italic appears to be identical to Ludlow's Caslon Light Italic, also credited to Wiebking but advertised as early as 1922; it was the first typeface cut for Ludlow's development of italic matrices which permitted kerning designs without the fragility of the kerns on single types. Strangely, though, Ludlow Caslon Light (roman) matches Caslon Clearface.
    • The newest Caslon was designed in 1965, when ATF commissioned a "beefed up" version of Caslon No. 540, by Frank Bartuska. The result was Caslon No. 641, an arbitrary number. It is a handsome face, reflecting the best of 540, but without the latter's variations from one size to another. It also includes all the ancillary characters of ATF's later creations as shown, including percent and pound marks, a variety of quotation marks, and center dot, hyphen, and dash in two positions to center on caps or lowercase. An italic was started but never completed. This typeface has considerable similarity to Caslon Medium, for which ATF still had mats when the new typeface was commissioned.
  • Boldface Caslons have been made by several sources.
    • The most popular Caslon Bold was introduced by Keystone Type Foundry in 1905, followed by Italic in 1906 and Condensed and Extended versions about 1911; this is the version made by ATF and in regular widths by Monotype. Monotype keyboard sizes (including large composition to 18-point) are modified considerably to fit standard arrangements, but the only apparent difference in display sizes is the redrawn T and g shown separately in the specimen alphabet and the addition of ligatures and diphthongs on Linotype and Intertype.
    • Caslon No.3 matches ATF Caslon Bold from 18-point up, although smaller sizes match New Caslon.
    • Hansen's Caslon Fullface and Caslon Fullface Condensed were close copies of Caslon Bold and Caslon Bold Condensed, differing most apparently in the characters shown (A Gas, condensed AG), but Hansen's Caslon Fullface Italic matches New Caslon Italic.
    • A somewhat different Caslon Bold series is made by Ludlow.
    • A Caslon Black series by BB&S, from Western Type Foundry in the mid-teens.
    • Caslon Adbold, originating with Keystone in 1913, is characterized by heavier strokes throughout; Extended and Extra Condensed versions followed in 1915 to 1917; all were patented and presumably designed by R. F. Burfeind.
    • Heavy Caslon was issued by Inland in 1906 or earlier; Ludlow copied it as Caslon Old Face Heavy in 1925 and Intertype in 1937. Ludlow has a companion italic, while Intertype's italic is a sloped roman design. See Caslon Shaded.
  • Caslon Openface was originated by BB&S in 1915, where it was first called College Oldstyle. It started out as a reproduction of a delicate 18th-century French typeface known as Le Moreau le Jeune, by the foundry of G. Peignot&Son, but in the American version some strokes are heavier. In a later ad, BB&S said, "Placing it in the Caslon group of types is taking a liberty, but it assuredly 'belongs.' " Actually it has somewhat more affinity for the Cochin types.
  • Caslon Shaded was adapted by ATF from Heavy Caslon in 1917, by W. F. Capitaine. Caslon Shadow Title was adapted from Caslon Bold by Monotype about 1928. Compare Cameo, Cochin Open, Gravure, Narciss.
  • Caslons in name only.
    • Caslon Antique and Italic were designed by Berne Nadall and brought out by BB&S in 1896-98 as Fifteenth Century (XV Century in one early announcement) and Italic. Although they aren't really representative of types of that time, being a poor copy of a crude early typeface cut about 1475 in Venice, they have become popular for the simulation of supposedly quaint American types of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Disregarding the usual practice of increasing the proportionate width of a typeface as the size decreases, Caslon Antique maintains uniform proportions in all sizes, and thus appears narrow and cramped in small sizes. Caslon Antique is also the original (1913) name of Advance Type Foundry's Caslon Catalog, mentioned earlier, while in the early 1920s Laclede Type Foundry applied that name to "a brand-new, entirely machine-cut typeface of Old Style Antique," a duplicate of the Advance face.
    • Caslon Old Roman is discussed later under its original name, Old Roman.
    • Caslon Text originated with William Caslon in 1734. Inland Type brought out a reproduction of it in 1899 as part of their agreement with the Caslon Type Foundry in England. It later became the property of ATF, and was copied by Linotype. Being handcut originally, it shows the expected varia- tions from one size to another, but some characters show decidedly different forms in some sizes. See Cloister Black and Engravers Old English, which are derived from this face.
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Caslon wiki

The Caslon wiki states: William Caslon's types of the early eighteenth-century were extremely popular then, and strongly revived in the late nineteenth century, producing many versions. Since the Caslon Foundry was in business for a long time, there are many Caslon typefaces. Caslon's designs were markedly different at different sizes (for instance, some of his uppercase Cs had serifs at top and bottom, some only at the top); variation in design is not therefore necessarily a sign of "inauthenticity". Caslon's type was popular in every sense. It was popular in the eighteenth century (until it was eased out by modern typefaces in the early 19th). When the fashion of "old face" revived in the 19th, many in England and America looked to Caslon's type as the model. And, at a time when lay people probably knew less about font-names than they do now, "Caslon" was a name quite a few people did know. George Bernard Shaw, for example, absolutely insisted that his work be set in Caslon. This vast popularity of Caslon's types led to a practically endless range of copies, among them Caslon 540 from American Type Founders in 1902, and Caslon 3, a slightly bolder typeface also from ATF in 1905, which was later modified for use on Intertype and Linotype technologies. Both designs have the warm, solid, straightforward style that has made Caslon popular for over 200 years; these Caslons, however, have shorter descenders, and higher contrast, features that enable them to hold up better with the faster presses and the new varieties of paper introduced at the turn-of-the-century. As with Garamond, there are not only typefaces which use the Caslon name, but typefaces which are Caslon-inspired. Of some importance historically is Imprint, which was designed by (English) Monotype in 1913 for use in the (short-lived) Imprint journal. Because the journal was interested in the "improvement" of typography, it chose to release its typeface for general use. It took the "cleaning up" of Caslon's type for modern use a stage further, deliberately increasing x-height, reducing the notoriously loose fit of some of Caslon's type, and removing some of its archaic character. Wikipedia. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Caslon: Wikipedia

Excerpts from the wiki page on Caslon: Caslon refers to a number of serif typefaces designed by William Caslon I (1692-1766), and various revivals thereof. Caslon shares the irregularity characteristic of Dutch Baroque types. It is characterized by short ascenders and descenders, bracketed serifs, moderately-high contrast, robust texture, and moderate modulation of stroke. The A has a concave hollow at the apex, the G is without a spur. Caslon's italics have a rhythmic calligraphic stoke. Characters A, V, and W have an acute slant. The lowercase italic p, q, v, w, and z all have a suggestion of a swash. [...] Caslon's earliest design dates to 1722. Caslon is cited as the first original typeface of English origin, but type historians like Stanley Morison and Alfred F. Johnson, a scientist who worked at the British Museum, did point out the close similarity of Caslon's design to the Dutch Fell types cut by Voskens and other type cut by the Dutchman Van Dyck. [...] Nicols writes: "he (Caslon) cut the beautiful fount of English which is used in printing Selden's Works 1726. Nicols describes this character as far superior over comtemporary Dutch founts used in English books at this period. Rowe More does not give any comment on this. Dutch founts were in use by several printers in England at that time. The Oxford University Press used the "Fell-types", character cut by the Dutch typefounder Voskens. The Cambridge University Press had received in January 1698 some 52 series of alphabets from Holland, all cut by Van Dyck. But even before that in 1697 thay used the Text-sized roman and italic of Van Dyck in an edition of Gratulatio Cantabrigiences. Character of Van Dyck and Voskens is found also in: William Harison, Woodstock Park, Tonson, 1706. Although Nicols attributes this character to Caslon, the fount used in Seldens Works is actually cut by Van Dyck. The italic is identical to the Van Dycks Augustijn Cursijf fount in specimen sheets issued in 1681 by the widow Daniel Elzevir. This woman had bought the type foundry of Van Dyck after Van Dyck died. The roman in this book, is a Garamond. This fount is used in the first volume and in the greater part of the second volume, It is found in a specimen sheet of the Amsterdam printer Johannes Kannewet, in accompagny with Van Dyck's Augustijn Cursijf. The only thing known about this Kannewet is that he was a printer, not a typefounder. This specimen-sheet is preserved in the Bagford-collection in the British Museum, and can be dated 1715 or earlier because Bagford died in 1716. There is no reason to suppose anything is added on a later date to this collection. The roman is named: Groote Mediaan Romyn. This fount is also found on a specimen sheet of the widow of Voskens. Therefore it can be assumed to be the work of Voskens. The earliest use of it at Amsterdam is 1684. The earliest use of a roman and italic cut by Caslon can be identified in books printed William Bowyer in 1725, 1726 and 1730. The founts cut by Caslon and his son, were close copies of the Dutch Old typeface cut by Van Dyck. These founts were rather fasionable at that time. The alternative founts they cut for text were a smaller, rather than a condensed letter. The Caslon types were distributed throughout the British Empire, including British North America. Much of the decayed appearance of early American printing is thought to be due to oxidation caused by long exposure to seawater during transport from England to the Americas. Caslon's types were immediately successful and used in many historic documents, including the U.S. Declaration of Independence. After William Caslon I's death, the use of his types diminished, but saw a revival between 1840-1880 as a part of the British Arts and Crafts movement. The Caslon design is still widely used today. For many years a common rule of thumb of printers and typesetters was When in doubt, use Caslon. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Caspar Schleupner

German teacher of mathematics and writing, b. Nürnberg, 1535, d. Breslau, 1598. Example of his lettering. [Google] [More]  ⦿

C.E. Fetzer

In 1871-1872, C.E. Fetzer proposed a mathematically defined (raster-based) grotesk called Runde Groteskschrift. It was not a complete alphabet, but according to Albert-Jan Pool, it was the ancient ancestor of FF DIN. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Mac McGrew tells the story of the development of Century. Quoted verbatim, with only minor editorial changes.

  • 1894: Century Roman was designed by Linn Boyd Benton at the request of Theodore L. De Vinne, publisher of Century Magazine at his De Vinne Press in New York City. Benton was the mechanical genius of the young American Type Founders Company. DeVinne was regarded as an outstanding printing craftsman, who was dissatisfied with the types then available for magazine and book work. As he wrote later, Readers of failing eyesight rightfully ask for types that are plain and unequivocal, that reveal, the entire character at a glance, and are not discerned with difficulty by body marks joined to hairlines and serifs that are but half seen or not seen at all. Century Roman was planned to get as many characters per line as the typeface previously used for the magazine, but because the x-height was increased, it appeared to be condensed. Hairlines were thickened for greater clearness. It was made only as foundry type, handset for several years for Century Magazine and for numerous books. Although shown in ATF specimen books, it was not used to any great extent by other printers because it was considered a little too narrow. A wider version, called Century Broad-Face or Century Roman No.2, was thereafter designed by Benton, but little used except by De Vinne.
  • L. B. Benton's principal interest was the mechanical end of the typecasting industry, and he turned his attention back to this. About this time his son, Morris Fuller Benton, joined ATF after graduation from Cornell, and was assigned the task of unifying and updating the numerous styles of type the company had inherited from its many predecessors. One of the younger Benton's early assignments was redesigning Century Roman, extending it slightly to meet the Typographical Union standards of the day, on which rates for typesetting were based. The result was named Century Expanded, issued in 1900 [Image by Heather Leonhardt]. DeVinne, showing it in his company specimen book, said, The expansion is upward, enabling one to get much matter in small space---essentially what he had said of the earlier face. But it is obviously expanded in width also, compared with the original face. (Note: Some sources, including a publication by ATF itself and De Vinne's own specimen book, credit the elder Benton with designing Century Expanded. But study reveals that the typeface shown by De Vinne is not quite as wide as that later shown by ATF. Apparently the elder Benton designed an early version, cut it in one trial size, then turned the task over to his son. Undoubtedly, though, he collaborated in the redesign.). Century Expanded and Italic were made in an unusual number of sizes, including 4-, 41/2-, 5-, 51/2-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-point, and all the usual sizes to 72-point. The two smallest sizes were identical as to typeface except for length of descenders, likewise 51/2- and 6-point.
  • 1904: Century Bold and Italic were designed by Morris Benton and released by ATF in 1905. Although the name doesn't include "Expanded," they are obviously the companion boldfaces.
  • Century Bold Condensed and Extended were both designed in 1906 but not released until 1909 and 1910 respectively; both were also by Benton.
  • 1938: Century Bold Condensed Italic was designed by Sol Hess for Monotype. Linotype cut Century Bold Extra Condensed as a newspaper headline typeface to fit the limits of its standard magazines.
  • Meanwhile, the development of the Century family took a different turn when Benton designed Century Oldstyle in 1906. Released in 1908-09, this typeface is much like Century Expanded in weight and height, but with old-style serifs. An ATF ad in 1909 called it the newest and by far the best old-style ever designed. Century Oldstyle Bold was designed and cut in 1909 and Bold Italic in 1910, while Bold Condensed was designed in 1911 but not released until 1915. Although closely related, the Century Oldstyle family is not really a part of the Century Expanded family. Another related typeface is Schoolbook Oldstyle (q.v.). Also see University Old Style.
  • Retreating, perhaps, from the large x-height of Century Oldstyle, a modified oldstyle named Century Catalogue was brought out by Benton in 1917 with longer ascenders but essentially the same general design. Curiously, Century Catalogue Italic was cut from the patterns for Baskerville Italic. Except for the caps A, V, and W and the omission of swash letters, the typefaces are almost identical in the 18-point size; in smaller sizes the Century typeface is wider, as modified by pantagraph during the cutting of mats.
  • A third family of Century followed when Ginn&Company, publishers of schoolbooks, asked ATF to develop a typeface for maximum legibility. After many studies of eyesight and reading factors dating from 1912, Century Schoolbook and Italic were designed by Morris Benton in 1917-19 and released in 1918-1921. Century Schoolbook Bold was designed in 1919 and cut in 1923.
  • The only Century design by an "outsider" during Benton's life, other than modifications for the composing machines, was Century Bold Condensed Italic by Sol Hess in 1938, mentioned above.
  • 1964: Long after the end of Morris Benton's distinguished career, the immortal family was enriched with another member---Century Nova and Italic---designed by Charles E. Hughes, who had been commissioned by ATF for the project. This is a condensed face, following the spirit of Century Expanded. Unknowingly, Hughes brought Century back to just about the same proportions it had started with some 70 years earlier.
  • Century Expanded and its variations have been copied extensively by Monotype, Linotype, Intertype, and Ludlow, under the same names. Century Schoolbook is also offered by Monotype and Intertype, while Ludlow calls its version Century Modern, offered in 1964. Some of these typefaces suffer a bit from adaptation to the mechanical restrictions of the various machines, but they are essentially the same. Intertype's Century Schoolbook Bold, though, while necessarily much narrower than the original, is a handsome typeface in its own right. Century Oldstyle is also made by Monotype, but its version differs substantially from the original; capitals are wider and fitting is looser throughout. This modification was required for keyboard sizes but was carried into display sizes as well. Linotype offered a faithful copy of Century Oldstyle in 24-point only-originally under the same name; later it was renamed Old Style No.7, although it is not at all the same typeface as smaller sizes shown under that name. Intertype offered Century Oldstyle only in 36-point, but copied the Monotype version in some small sizes under the name Old Style No.9. Monotype Century Oldstyle has another distinction. Quite a number of typefaces have alternate long descenders, but this typeface also has alternate long ascenders in the 12-point size. With these, it is suggestive of Century Catalogue. Western Type Foundry and its successor, BB&S, offered Century Roman; however, this was a copy of Century Expanded rather than the original Century Roman of ATF. Three mystery names turned up in the preparation of this section of the book. An Intertype list includes "Cent. Schoolbook Bd. with Italic," but if this means Bold Italic, no other trace of it has been found. A Monotype list includes "Century Mono-Photo, No. 520," and "Century Text, No. 618," both indicated as being made as matrices for metal typesetting, but it has been impossible to identify them otherwise.
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Century: A timeline

A timeline on the development of Century, with bits and pieces taken from The Century family (Paul Shaw, for Fine Print magazine), which in turn was based on material from Mac McGrew. Also check these typophile opinions. I have added personal comments and items to complete the picture.

  • Theodore Low DeVinne (1829-1914), printer of The Century magazine, designed a stronger, bolder and more readable typeface for the magazine and commissioned Linn Boyd Benton (1844-1932) of ATF to cut it.
  • L.B. Benton cut it on the newly invented Benton punch-cutting machine and in 1895 was christened Century Roman. Afterwards, a companion typeface was created for ATF by L.B. Benton: Century no. 2, later called Century Broad-face. This typeface became the basis for Century Expanded, designed by L.B.'s son, Morris Fuller Benton in 1902 [Image by Heather Leonhardt]. Over the course of three more years, the italic, bold and bold italics were developed.
  • Then after a few more years, Morris Fuller Benton developed Century Oldstyle. Paul Shaw writes While the essential appearance of Century Roman and Century Expanded derived from Bodoni and Didot, that of Century Oldstyle seems to have been based on Caslon.
  • 1915: Century Book, a redevelopment of Century Oldstyle.
  • Soon after, ATF was approached by Ginn&Co., the textbook publisher, with a request for a new typeface for schoolbooks. M.F. Benton began review of research done at Clark University on the relationship between the legibility of type and the eyesight of children. Consequently, Benton increased the space between letters, the x-height of each letter, and the weight of each stroke, and balanced the color of the type by opening up the counters. The result was Century Schoolbook, completed in 1919.
  • In 1964, ATF commissioned Charles E. Hughes to design a new proportion for Century Expanded... the result, Century Nova, was more condensed.
  • Under license from ATF, Tony Stan designed the sixteen-weight ITC Century family between 1975 and 1980 for International Typeface Corporation. [ITC Century Light and Ultra were released in 1975 while the other styles appeared only in 1980]. It has the large x-height that is characteristic of many typefaces of ITC in that time period. Nick Shinn: The color of ITC Century is not good at smaller text sizes.
  • David Berlow: New Century Schoolbook was designed from 1979 until 1981 in the New York Lettering office of Merganthaler Linotype based on Century Schoolbook, long after the Bentons had passed on. It was the second face, after New Baskerville, that was digitized and expanded using Ikarus (digital technology). The Bitstream version [Century Schoolbook] is a near exact copy, only being moved from a 54 unit to a 2000 or so unit design. Matthew Carter did a lot of the work on New Century Schoolbook.
  • Grad (Phil Martin, 2004, Mark Simonson Studio) was a redesign of the classic Century Schoolbook for Martin's personal use in the early '90s.
  • See also Modern Century by SoftMaker. In addition, Centrum is an old Bitstream name for ITC Century back when they were in the cloning business.

View various commercial digital versions of Century Schoolbook. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Century and Valencia

Herminio Javier Fernandez tells the story of the rip-off typeface Valencia from its roots. Here is the timeline:

  • 1884-1906: Linn Boyd Benton and his son Morris Fuller Benton design Century and its variants including Expanded and Old Style. These types are very legible at small sizes.
  • 1909: Heinrich Hoffmeister (1857-1921) creates Amts Antiqua at his small Leipzig foundry. It looks very much like Century.
  • 1965: A Century clone, Madison BQ (Berthold), is created and becomes popular in newsprint. Until the 1980s, the Boston Globe uses it.
  • 1980s: Bitstream renames Madison Century 725. Under this name, it continues its popularity as a newsprint type, e.g., at the Spanish La Nación.
  • 1980s: Walter Florenz Brendel (1930-1992) produces hundreds of knock-offs of existing fonts in his Brendel Collection, and this includes a Madison copy named Valencia. In 14 styles, this typeface is now available from TypeShop/Elsner+Flake.
  • 1980s: SG Madame (Scangraphic) is another clone of Madison and Century.
  • 2002: Martin Kotulla adds Madison-like fonts called Madeira and Magazine to his SoftMaker MegaFont XXL CD.
In 2007, Uli Stiehl mentions that both Century and Amts Antiqua may have been rooted in types dating back to ca. 1840. Also, he decries FontShop's decision, in their popular Fontbooks, to remove Madison BQ and replace it and any mention of Hoffmeister by Madame SG. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Charles Creesy

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Charles Enschedé

Dutch author (1855-1919) who wrote the following books or book chapters:

  • Die Hochdeutschen Schriften aus dem 15ten bis zum 19ten Jahrhundert der Schriftgiesserei und Druckerei (1919, Enschedé en Zonen, Haarlem), a publication which has four articles:
    • Gustav Mori: Christian Egenolff, der erste ständige Buchdrucker in Frankfurt a/M
    • Christian Münden: Von den ersten Franckfurter Bruchdruckern
    • Gustav Mori: Geschichte und Entwicklung des Schriftgiesserei-Gewerbes in Frankfurt a/M
    • Charles Enschedé: Die Druckerei der Elsevier und ihre Bezichung zu der Lutherschen Schriftgiesserei
    This book is mainly about the development and history of blackletter types. Open Library link.
  • Fonderies de caractères et leur matériel dans les Pays-Bas du XVe au XIXe siècle (1908: Haarlem, De erven F. Bohn).
  • Technisch onderzoek naar de uitvinding van de boekdrukkunst, door Mr. Ch. Enschedé (1901).
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Charles Jongejans

Dutch printer and graphic designer, 1918-1995. He was at odds with the conservatism of Jan van Krimpen. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Charles Malin

French punchcutter, b. Paris, 1883, d. Paris, 1955. He hand-cut Dante Titling, for example. [Scan of metal Dante, 10pt.] [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Charles Nicholas Cochin

Parisian copperplate engraver, b. Paris, 1715, d. Paris, 1790. His work influenced the letter shapes of Baskerville, Didot and Bodoni. His engraved tall-ascendered letters have been preserved in many fonts bearing the Cochin name. One of the best revivals is by Georges Peignot in 1913. The irregularities of the metal are well preserved in the digital typeface Nicolas Cochin (+Italic) (P22/Lanston). Monotype made a Cochin Open face.

In 1977, Matthew Carter expanded Peignot's revival into the three style family Cochin---the digital versions are sold, e.g., by Linotype. Another family by Linotype is Nicolas Cochin LT (2004)---it is a variation that is taller, rounder, and less archaic than Cochin. Finally, we find a digital version by URW simply called Nicolas Cochin.

For an Arabic extension, see Badr (1970, Osman Husseini, Linotype).

Cochin is now one of the standard Apple fonts---it is in the basic font set on the iPad and elsewhere on Apple computers.

View and compare various digital typefaces related to Cochin. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Charles Paillasson

French engraver, penman and calligrapher, 1718-1789. Author of Notice historique sur les hommes célèbres de toutes les nations de l'Europe, qui depuis la renaissance des sciences et des arts, se sont distingués dans la configuration des caractères qui composent les diverses Ecritures, which appeared in J. H. P. Pouget, Dictionnaire des chiffres et de lettres ornées à l'usage de tous les artistes (Paris, 1767).

In 1796, Charles Paillasson wrote L'arte di scrivere: tratta dal Dizionario d'arti e mestieri dell' Enciclopedia metodica (Padova, Appresso Niccolo Bettinelli). The date, 1796, is a bit puzzling, but The Getty Research Institute writes: The text is a separate publication of the section on handwriting from an Italian edition of the Encyclopédie méthodique, originally published in Geneva by C.J. Panckoucke, 1783-1790. The 15 leaves are copies of those first published in: Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Recueil des planches, v. 2. Paris, Chez Briasson, David, Le Breton, Durand, 1763. The engraved leaves consist of 2 leaves showing position of the hand and writing posture, and 13 writing samples, engraved by Pasquali. Local download. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Charles Reed

Dublin-based typographer, and creator of the modern angular Gaelic typeface Reed (ca. 1874), modeled after Newman. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Christian Paput

From MyFonts: Punchcutter for the Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, where he works with Nelly Gable. Author of La Lettre - La Gravure du Poinçon typographique / The Punchcutting (Wissous, 1998). He works at the Cabinet des poinçons. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Christophe Plantin

Born in Saint-Avertin, near Tours, in 1514, died in Antwerp in 1589. He left France in 1555 and settled and worked in Antwerp, where he published many books that drew attention because of their beautiful typography. He often used types by Claude Garamond and Robert Granjon. He was the main catholic publisher of the counter-reformation, but he also published material for the protestants. One of his main achievements was the Biblia polyglotta (1569-1573), the eight-volume polyglot Bible in Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Syrica, with text in parallel columns. For two years, from 1583-1585, he was the official typographer at the newly erected University of Leiden. After his death in 1589, his son, Jan Moretus (1543-1610), carried on his work. Successors after that include Jean Moretus II, and Balthasar Moretus I, II III and IV. Plantin's press, Officina Plantiniana, survives in its entirety as the Plantin-Moretus Museum, sold to the City of Antwerp in 1876. This collection of 16th century typefaces (punches, matrices, the works) is a unique historical treasure.

The Plantin typeface was created in the 1570s. The modern day version at Bitstream is called Aldine 721.

Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp. Britannica entry. Biography. The Golden Compasses The History of the House of Plantin-Moretus (Leon Voet, 1969, 1972) is freely downloadable. Books on Christoffel Plantijn (in Dutch). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Christopher Saur

Christopher Saur (1695-1758) began a successful German-American printing business in the American Colonies in 1738, from Pennsylvania to Georgia. He printed the first bible in America (in German, in Germantown (!), 1743), using a Fraktur font from Frankfurt's Luther Foundry. He is credited with the first type specimen printed in America, ca. 1740, Philadelphia. Check also his almanac from 1754. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Christopher Sower

Author of "Ein Geistliches Magazien, oder: Aus den Schätzen der Schrifftgelehrten zum Himmelreich gelehrt, dargereichtes Altes und Neues" (1770-1772), Germantown. I cite a blurb from an exhibit at Columbia University: "Christopher Sower (1721-1784) was one of the most prosperous printers and businessmen in the North American colonies. Around 1740 he imported type from the Egenolff-Luther foundry in Frankfurt and used it to print many books, including the 1743 German Bible, the first to be printed in any European language in America. By 1770 he had imported matrices as well, and by 1772 his son Christopher Sower II began what may be considered the first successful American type foundry, although he still used European equipment. The legend at the bottom of page 136 of this religious periodical, published in late 1771 or early 1772, reads "Printed with the first types that have been cast in America." When the younger Sower died in 1778, his estate contained not only letter molds but also a large quantity of antimony, the critical ingredient of type metal, which at that time had to be imported to America." [Google] [More]  ⦿

Chronology of Typeface Designs

A time line for type design, until about 1992. By Chicago's Larry Wiklund. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Civilité, a French cursive

A brief explanation and discussion of Civilité, the script typeface made by Robert Granjon in 1556 as a typical "French cursive". It was imitated and extended by Aimé Tavernier (1559), Hendrik van den Keere (1575), Richard Breton (1597), Philippe Danfrie (1597), Jean de Tournes (1598), Fleury Bourriquant (early 17th century: his type was called Civilité honneste), Pierre-Simon Fournier (1766), Matthias Rosart (1777, the Gros Romain Civilité), and Morris Fuller Benton (1922). Many have since created their own versions. We cite a few of the contemporary type designers: Klaus Burkhardt, Manfred Klein, Stephen Moye (CiviRegular), Ingo Zimmermann (almost a copy of Moye's version), Richard Beatty, Hans J. Zinken (civi4, 1996), Hermann Zapf (1984: Zapf Civilité), George Thomas (CivilitéMJ), and Tim Ryan (CivilitéTR). [Google] [More]  ⦿


A discussion on Typophile regarding the history of Clarendon and good versions. This site provides additional information. A summary:

  • The original Clarendon is due to Robert Besley (1845). Robert Bringhurst writes: Clarendon is the name of a whole genus of Victorian typefaces, spawned by a font cut by Benjamin Fox for Robert Besley at the Fann Street Foundry, London, in 1845. These typefaces reflect the hearty, stolid, bland, unstoppable aspects of the British Empire. They lack cultivation, but they also lack menace and guile. They squint and stand their ground, but they do not glare. In other words, they consist of thick strokes melding into thick slab serifs, fat ball terminals, vertical axis, large eye, low contrast and tiny aperture. The original had no italic, as the typeface had nothing of the fluent hand or sculpted nib left in its pedigree.
  • Robert Bringhurst: Herman Eidenbenz drew a revival Clarendon for Haas Foundry in Münchenstein, Switzerland, in 1951, and in 1962 the foundry finally added the light weight that transformed the series, paring it down from premodern ponderousness to postmodern insubstantiality. Clarendon LT (Linotype) is the digital version of this typeface (Linotype says that the typeface was created in 1953, contradicting Bringhurst).
  • Freeman "Jerry" Craw designed the Craw Clarendon (Book and Condensed) at ATF in 1955-1960. It is available, e.g., as Craw Clarendon EF, OPTI Craw Clarendon, and Craw Clarendon (2013, Jordan Davies).
  • Contemporary Clarendons include Font Bureau's Giza, Storm's Farao and Hoefler's Proteus.

Poster by Elizabeth West. [Google] [More]  ⦿


The original Clarendon is due to Robert Besley (1845). Robert Bringhurst writes: Clarendon is the name of a whole genus of Victorian typefaces, spawned by a font cut by Benjamin Fox for Robert Besley at the Fann Street Foundry, London, in 1845. These typefaces reflect the hearty, stolid, bland, unstoppable aspects of the British Empire. They lack cultivation, but they also lack menace and guile. They squint and stand their ground, but they do not glare. In other words, they consist of thick strokes melding into thick slab serifs, fat ball terminals, vertical axis, large eye, low contrast and tiny aperture. The original had no italic, as the typeface had nothing of the fluent hand or sculpted nib left in its pedigree.

Mac McGrew adds: Clarendon is a traditional English style of typeface, dating from the 1840s, the name coming from the Clarendon Press at Oxford, or, according to some sources, from Britain's Earl of Clarendon and his interest in that country's Egyptian policies. (Such typefaces were classified as Egyptians, and inspired such later designs as Cairo, Karnak, Memphis, and Stymie.) Early Clarendons were used primarily as titles and display typefaces, for which their strong and sturdy nature was well suited. They have the general structure of romans, but lack the hairlines typical of those typefaces. Being heavier, the traditional Clarendons were often used as boldfaces with romans, before the family idea provided matching boldface designs.

McGrew continues his discussion by pointing out various revivals and typefaces with strong similarities: Similar typefaces were known as Doric or Ionic, before more individualized type names became common; in fact, all three names were sometimes used interchangeably. Most foundries had versions of Clarendon, and sometimes Doric and Ionic, in the nineteenth century, but most of these typefaces were obsolescent by the turn of the century. However, a few were copied by Linotype, Intertype and Monotype, and thus given a renewed lease on life. Clarendon Medium of BB&S was formerly known as Caledonian. ATF had a similar typeface known as Ionic No. 522. Keystone showed Clarendon Condensed in 1890. Clarendon [No. 51 of BB&S was called Winchendon by Hansen, and extended to 48-point. Like many pre-point-system typefaces, some foundries adapted them to point-system standards by casting them on oversize bodies, others on undersize bodies with overhanging descenders. In the later 1950s Stephenson Blake in England revived several of these early Clarendons under the new name of Consort, which became a popular import (and the source of some of our specimens). Consort Bold Condensed is said to be the first Clarendon, of 1845. (Some added members of the Consort family are noted under Popular Imports in the Appendix.) In 1953 a new version of Clarendon was developed by Hermann Eidenbenz for the Haas Type foundry in Switzerland and later acquired by Stempel in Germany. The Haas Clarendon was copied by Linotype in 1966, in light and bold weights, and about the same time Ludlow brought out three weights of essentially the same face. This was created primarily to set the newspaper ads of a large department store, but it was a good addition to the resources of Ludlow. ATF commissioned a modernized rendition of Clarendon from Freeman Craw, and this was brought out in 1955 as Craw Clarendon (q.v.). About 1961 Monotype brought out Clarendon Bold Extended, similar to Craw Clarendon but heavier. Also see Ionic, News with Clarendon, Manila.

Poster by Elizabeth West. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Claude Garamond

Text of an essay by Allan Haley for U&LC vol. 12, no. 2, 1986. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Claude Garamond

One of the fathers of typography.

  • 1480: Born in Paris.
  • 1510: trains as a punch cutter with Simon de Colines in Paris.
  • 1520: trains with Geoffroy Tory.
  • 1530: Garamond's first type is used in an edition of the book "Paraphrasis in Elegantiarum Libros Laurentii Vallae" by Erasmus. It is based on Aldus Manutius' type De Aetna, cut in 1455.
  • 1540: King Francis I commissions Garamond to cut a Greek type. Garamond's ensuing Grec du Roi is used by Robert Estienne in three sizes exclusively for the printing of Greek books.
  • 1545 onwards: Garamond also works as a publisher, first with Pierre Gaultier and later with Jean Barbe. The first book he published is "Pia et Religiosa Meditatio" by David Chambellan. The books are set using typefaces designed by Garamond.
  • 1561: Dies in Paris.
  • After Garamond's death, Christophe Plantin from Antwerp, the Le Bé type foundry and the Frankfurt foundry Egenolff-Bermer acquire a large proportion of Garamond's original punches and matrices.
  • Garamond (or: Garamont) typefaces used nowadays should in many cases be attributed to Jean Jannon (1580-1635).
111 Garamond typefaces are sold by Linotype alone, including the Stempel, Adobe, EF, #3, IC and BE families. Shown is Garamond BE Bold OsF, 1975, by Guenther Gerhard Lange. Other implementations include Garamont Amsterdam by Scangraphic, and the URW Garamond family (1983).

Klingspor link. FontShop link. Linotype link. Bio by Nicholas Fabian.

Portrait. Another portrait. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Claude Lamesle

Parisian printer, whose 1742 book Épreuves générales des caractères qui se trouvent chez Lamesle is at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A facsimile was published by A.F. Johnston in 1965 at Menno Hertzberger&Co, Holland: The Type specimens of Claude Lamesle, a facsimile of the 1st edition printed at Paris in 1742. Free Google Books download.

Among many other types, Lamesle's 1742 text book shows a Civilité. Revivals:

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Claude-Louis Thiboust

Type cutter, type designer and printer (1667-1737). Published the poem "Typographiae excellentia" and offered it to king Louis XV. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Clemens De Wolf

Coauthor with John Lane in 1993 of "Proef van Letteren, welke gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery van J.Enschedé 1768". An Enschedé specimen book with a companion volume with notes by John Lane. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Columbia, Buffalo, Kolonial, Post Oldstyle Roman

Andrzej Tomaszewski tells sketches the history of the Columbia typeface in this Polish site.

E.J. Kitson, the graphic designer of the weekly magazine Saturday Evening Post in Philadelphia, designed a characteristic typeface with wavy edges, representing the fashionable Arts & Crafts movement. The typeface rapidly gained popularity and was produced by several typefoundries in the USA and Europe. Originally used in the Saturday Evening Post vignette and later in the weekly titles, it was cast at American Type Founders in the form of two variants---Post Oldstyle Roman No. 1 and No. 2. Then the typeface went to Boston, where the Hansen Type Foundry (founded by Norwegian H.C. Hansen, previously an employee of Dickinson's typefoundry in the same city) introduced a font called Buffalo in 1902 or slightly earlier. The typeface family also had a poster variation, Buffalo Poster. In the early 1970s, Buffalo found its way to the New York-based Photo-Lettering Inc.

The typeface was cast in the first decade of the 20th century under various names, e.g., at Renault as Cleveland, by Societa Augusta as Franklin, and by Stevens as Nelson Old Style. In 1904, Lettergieterij Amsterdam (formerly Nicolaas Tetterode) made its own version of Buffalo and offered it under the name Columbia. About the same time, the German adaptation of the typeface was created under the name of Kolonial. The fonts were produced by Wilhelm Woellmer's Schriftgiesserei in Berlin. This version of the typeface was cast in Warsaw: under the original name of Kolonial by Stanislaw Jeaynski and as Columbia (Columbia) by Jan Idzkowski. Even in the catalog from 1954, Odlewnia Fontek PP (the nationalized company of J. Idzkowski i S-ka) offered printing houses with fonts from Colombia.

A large part of the matrices from both Polish foundries has been preserved in the collection of the Book Art Museum in Lodz: Columbia in seventeen sizes (degrees of writing of a given type) and one set of the Kolonial typeface from Jezynski's typefoundry. [Google] [More]  ⦿

comp.fonts: History of type

Page by Norman Walsh. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Conrad Berner

Type founder who succeeded Jacques Sabon in 1580. He was the son-in-law of Christian Egenolff and his successor at the Egenolff print office. His catalog of type specimens is dated 1592. The "Berner specimen" of 1592 formed the basis of the free Google Web Font family EB Garamond (or: Egelnoff-Berner Garamond) developed by Georg Duffner. In 1626, his foundry passed into the hands of Johann Luther. At the time, he was the main type supplier for Germany, the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands. [Google] [More]  ⦿


This 20s-30s movement, with lettering and alphabets done by people such as Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Josef Albers, Kurt Schwitters, Jan Tschichold or Herbert Bayer has no decorations, and uses horizontal and vertical edges and arcs of circles make up the shapes. Fonts in this style include ITC Avant Garde, Avenir, Futura, Industria, Insignia, ITC Kabel and some stencil designs. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Contrafonts (or: Frutitype; was: Sindicato de la Imagen, or: Cooperativa de Fundicion Tipografica)
[Joaquín (jko) Contreras]

Or Joaquin Contreras Soto. Santiago, Chili-based type cooperative where some free fonts have been produced: CNI (2004, a scary pixel typeface named after the Central Nacional de Información, the notorious Chilean intelligence bureau), CFT Maestro Rosamel, Masapunk (grunge, available from Latinotype), Jara (pixel face, Latinotype), Themo.

Contreras won awards at Tipos Latinos 2008 for Romances (an exquisite calligraphic family) and Epístola. Other typefaces: LTT Jara, LTT Ferretería.

He wrote a thesis at the Faculty of Architecture of the University in Chile in 2007 entitled Diseño de fuentes tipográficas, basadas en los libros integramente caligrafiados por Mauricio Amster en Chile.

In 2011, he cofounded Los Andes Type, and published the octagonal typeface Fierro (2011) there.

Typefaces not mentioned above include TCL Suma (2011), La Chimba (2010) and Nomono (2011, after an alphabet designed by Chilean illustrator Cristobal Schmal).

He founded Contrafonts. Promptly, the medieval / uncial wedge serif all caps typeface CF Santiago won an award at Tipos Latinos 2018.

In 2020, Joaquin Contreras and Miguel Hernandez Montoya set up Archetypo.xyz from their new base in Germany. They co-designed AA Actual Mono (2020: monospaced, in 10 styles).

In 2021, Contreras set up Frutitype in Germany. At Frutitype, he released Cobre (a sans) in 2021.

Old URL. Navajo.org site. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Cooper Black versus Robur
[Patrick Griffin]

An excellent piece written by Patrick Griffin in 2010 when he and Kevin King published Robur at Canada Type, in which they explain the chronology of the machine age ad typefaces starting with Peignot. Reproduced here without Patrick's permission.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that these letter shapes are familiar. They have the unmistakable color and weight of Cooper Black, Oswald Cooper's most famous typeface from 1921. What should be a surprise is that these letters are actually from Georges Auriol's Robur Noir (or Robur Black), published in France circa 1909 by the Peignot foundry as a bolder, solid counterpart to its popular Auriol typeface (1901). This typeface precedes Cooper Black by a dozen of years and a whole Great War.

Cooper Black has always been a bit of a strange typographical apparition to anyone who tried to explain its original purpose, instant popularity in the 1920s, and major revival in the late 1960s. BB&S and Oswald Cooper PR aside, it is quite evident that the majority of Cooper Black's forms did not evolve from Cooper Old Style, as its originators claimed. And the claim that it collected various Art Nouveau elements is of course too ambiguous to be questioned. But when compared with Robur Noir, the "elements" in question can hardly be debated.

The chronology of this "machine age" ad typeface in metal is amusing and stands as somewhat of a general index of post-Great War global industrial competition:

  • 1901: Peignot releases Auriol, based on the handwriting of Georges Auriol (the "quintessential Art Nouveau designer," according to Steven Heller and Louise Fili), and it becomes very popular.
  • 1909-1912: Peignot releases the Robur family of typefaces. The eight styles released are Robur Noir and its italic, a condensed version called Robur Noir Allongée (Elongated) and its italic, an outline version called Clair De Lune and its condensed/elongated, a lined/striped version called Robur Tigre, and its condensed/elongated counterpart.
  • 1914 to 1918: World War One uses up economies on both sides of the Atlantic, claims Georges Peignot with a bullet to the forehead, and non-war industry stalls for 4 years.
  • 1921: BB&S releases Cooper Black with a lot of hype to hungry publishing, manufacturing and advertising industries.
  • 1924: Robert Middleton releases Ludlow Black.
  • 1924: The Stevens Shanks foundry, the British successor to the Figgins legacy, releases its own exact copies of Robur Noir and Robur Noir Allongée, alongside a lined version called Royal Lining.
  • 1925: Oswald Cooper releases his Cooper Black Condensed, with similar math to Robur Noir Allongé (20% reduction in width and vectical stroke).
  • 1925: Monotype releases Frederick Goudy's Goudy Heavy, an "answer to Cooper Black". Type historians gravely note it as the "teacher steals from his student" scandal. Goudy Heavy Condensed follows a few years later.
  • 1928: Linotype releases Chauncey Griffith's Pabst Extra Bold. The condensed counterpart is released in 1931.
When type production technologies changed and it was time to retool the old typefaces for the Typositor age, Cooper Black was a frontrunning candidate, while Robur Noir was all but erased from history. This was mostly due to its commercial revival by flourishing and media-driven music and advertising industries. By the late 1960s variations and spinoffs of Cooper Black were in every typesetting catalog. In the early- to mid-1970s, VGC, wanting to capitalize on the Art Nouveau onslaught, published an uncredited exact copy of Robur Black under the name Skylark. But that also went with the dust of history and PR when digital tech came around, and Cooper Black was once again a prime retooling candidate. The "old fellows stole all of our best ideas" indeed.

So almost a hundred years after its initial fizz, Robur is here in digital form, to reclaim its rightful position as the inspiration for, and the best alternative to, Cooper Black. Given that its forms date back to the turn of the century, a time when foundry output had a closer relationship to calligraphic and humanist craft, its shapes are truer to brush strokes and much more idiosyncratic than Cooper Black in their totality's construct. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Corpus Typographique Français

A collection of information-packed pages aboiut the history of French type, maintained by the Musée de l'imprimerie de Lyon. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Site about typography. Despite the slow loading, worthwhile information on type, including a glossary and a type history timeline. Incredible-flashy design, yet the authors forgot to mention their own names. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Craig Eliason
[Teeline Fonts]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Cultures France

French pages on French typography. Links, a bit of recent history, and a list of French typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Cyndi's List - Handwriting and script

Cyndi Howells's great list of links related to handwriting and handwriting history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dave Tribby
[American Amateur Press Association (AAPA)]

[More]  ⦿

David Bruce

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, David Bruce was the brother of George Bruce. Together, they ran the Bruce Type Foundry in New York from 1818 onwards. George gave his attention to the enlargement and development of the type-founding business, while David concentrated on stereotyping, a process he was the first to introduce in North America. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

David Bruce Jr.

Nephew of George Bruce and son of David Bruce, the founders of the Bruce Type Foundry in New York. Inventor of the Pivotal Typecasting machine in 1838. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

David Kettlewell
[New Renaissance Fonts (was: New Fontografia, or: David's Fontografia 2006)]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

David McMillan
[Foundry Specimens and Typefoundries]

[More]  ⦿

David Stempel

German founder of the D. Stempel AG (Frankfurt, 1895). Born in 1869, died in 1927. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

De Stijl

Influential Dutch magazine founded in 1917 by Theo van Doesburg in cooperation with Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, Anthony Kok, Vilmos Huszar and J.J.P. Oud. It became the catalyst for the De Stijl movement. Ninety numbers were published in 8 volumes, the last one in 1932. All have been scanned in. The De Stijl movement lived and died with the magazine. [Google] [More]  ⦿

De Vinne types

Below is a verbatim reproduction of what Mac McGrew writes about the De Vinne types.

De Vinne types were designed and named for Theodore L. De Vinne, one of the most prominent American printers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His De Vinne Press pioneered in various methods of producing high-quality books and magazines, and De Vinne himself had considerable influence on typeface design as well as printing methods and other aspects of the business, and was the author of several books on the subject; however, he was not the actual designer of these typefaces.

DeVinne, as produced by Linotype in 1902, is a legible but plain version of modern roman, with long, thin serifs and considerable contrast. It does not appear in the 1907 book, Types of the DeVinnePress, although there are other very similar types. Other typefaces bearing the De Vinne name, described below, are more distinctive and much better known. They might be considered the first large type family, although they developed helter-skelter from several sources rather than being created as a unified family. DeVinne, the display face, is credited with bringing an end to the period of overly ornate and fanciful display typefaces of the nineteenth century, and with restoring the dignity of plain roman types. It is derived from typefaces generally known as Elzevir or French Oldstyle (q.v.). DeVinne says of it, This typeface is the outcome of correspondence (1888-90) between the senior of the De Vinne Press (meaning himself) and Mr. J. A. St. John of the Central Type Foundry of St. Louis, concerning the need of plainer types of display, to replace the profusely ornamented types in fashion, of which the printers of that time had a surfeit. The DeVinne Press suggested a return to the simplicity of the true old-style character, but with the added features of thicker lines and adjusted proportion in shapes of letters. Mr. St. John approved, but insisted on grotesques to some capital letters in the belief that they would meet a general desire for more quaintness. Mr. Werner of the Central Type Foundry was instructed to draw and cut the proposed typeface in all sizes from 6- to 72-point, which task he executed with great ability. The name given to this typeface by Mr. St. John is purely complimentary, for no member of the DeVinne Press has any claim on the style as inventor or designer. Its merits are largely due to Mr. Werner; its few faults of uncouth capitals show a desire to please eccentric tastes and to conform to old usage. The new typeface found welcome here and abroad; no advertising typeface of recent production had a greater sale.

Thus De Vinne himself credits the typeface to Central Type Foundry and its design to Nicholas J. Werner, but Werner says, To correct the general impression that Theodore L. De Vinne was the designer of the typeface named after him, I would state that it was the creation of my partner, Mr. (Gustav) Schroeder. The design was patented under Schroeder's name in 1893. Central was part of the merger that formed American Type Founders Company in 1892, but continued to operate somewhat independently for a few more years. Meanwhile, DeVinne was copied by Dickinson, BB&S, Hansen, and Keystone foundries, and perhaps others-in fact, Keystone advertised that it patented the design in 1893, Connecticut Type Foundry copied it as Saunders, and Linotype as Title No.2. Dickinson called it "a companion series to Howland" (q.v.).

When Monotype developed an attachment in 1903 to cast display sizes, DeVinne was the first type shown in their first announcement. Later ATF specimens showed this typeface and several derivatives as DeVinne No.2, probably because of adjustments to conform with standard alignment. DeVinne Italic and DeVinne Condensed were drawn by Werner and produced by Central in 1892 and copied by some other sources. Howland, shown by Dickinson in 1892, is essentially the same as DeVinne Condensed No.3, later shown by Keystone. ATF introduced DeVinne Extended in 1896, while BB&S showed DeVinne Compressed, Extra Compressed, and Rold in 1898-99. Keystone's DeVinne Title is another version of bold, not as wide as that of BB&S.

In 1898 Frederic W. Goudy was asked to take the famous display type and make a book typeface of it. The resulting DeVinne Roman, Goudy's second type design, was cut the following year by the Central branch of ATF. DeVinne Slope, essentially the same design but sloped rather than a true italic, was cut by the foundry about the same time, perhaps from the same patterns as the roman.

DeVinne Open or Outline and Italic also originated with Central. In the roman and smaller sizes of italic only the heavy strokes are outlined; in larger sizes of italic, certain thin strokes are also outlined. Monotype cut the open typefaces in 1913. DeVinne Shaded is another form of the outline, created by Dickinson in 1893; parts of the outline are much thicker than others. DeVinne Recut and Recut Outline, shown by BB&S, are not true members of this family, but are a revival of Woodward and Woodward Outline, designed by William A. Schraubstadter for Inland Type Foundry in 1894; there were also condensed, extra condensed, and extended versions, all "original" by Inland. DeVinneRecutItalic was a rename of Courts, by Werner about 1900, also from Inland. Compare McNally. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Denis Diderot et Jean le Rond d'Alembert

Authors in 1751 of Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751-1772), a wonderful 17-volume encyclopedia (in French), in which one can find lots of historical tidbits about early typography in France. The book is entirely on the web. Cover page. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Denis Potschien

Denis Potschien (Iserlohn, Germany) showed the history of type classification. In German. Link gone. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Depression Press
[K. James]

K. James is an aficionado of old lettering and type. Based in Chicago, he posts many useful photographs on Flickr. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Design is History

Great pages about the milestones in design history, which often coincided with the key moments in typographic history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Devroye, Imprimeur du roi

Thanks to Google books, I learned that Devroye, possibly one of my Belgian ancestors, was the king's printer (imprimeur du roi) in Brussels in 1858. Other books from that printer date from the period 1844-1859. [Google] [More]  ⦿

DH Type Visionaries
[Candace Uhlmeyer]

Candace Uhlmeyer provided a bit of type history through the work of Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468), William Caxton (1422-1491), Aldus Manutius (1450-1515), William Caslon (1692-1766), John Baskerville (1706-1775), Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813), William Morris (1834-1896), Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947), Eric Gill (1882-1940), and Jan Tschichold (1902-1974). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dicionário de Tipógrafos e Litógrafos Famosos

Rui Canaveira's 2002 PDF list of typographers, printers and lithographers from 1500 until about 1900. In Portuguese. About 150 pages long! [Google] [More]  ⦿


Bios of the main members of the Didot family: François Didot (1689-1757), François-Ambroise Didot (1730-1804), his son, Pierre-François Didot (1731-1795), the second son, Pierre Didot (1761-1853), the oldest son of François-Ambroise, and Firmin Didot (1764-1836), the second oldest son of François-Ambroise. Belgians may be interested in Pierre, who used the fonts of his brother Firmin and had them improved by Vibert. Pierre Didot published Specimen des caractères and Specimen des nouveaux caractères in 1819. His son Jules (1794-1871), who succeeded him in 1822 in the Didot foundry, moves the foundry to Brussels in 1830 and sells it to the Belgian government to start its "imprimerie nationale". Jules returns to Paris, sets up a new printing shop, loses his mind in 1838, and sells all his material. The Didot family: extracted from the forthcoming "Bibliography of printing" (Bigmore, E. C. (Edward Clements), 1838?-1899; Wyman, C. W. H. (Charles William Henry), 1832-1909; book published by Wyman&Sons in 1878). Scan of the original Didot typeface. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Didot family
[François Didot]

A wiki page on the Didot dynasty in France, started by François Didot (son of Denis Didot), a merchant born in Paris in 1689. He died there in 1757. In 1713 he opened a bookstore called La Bible d'or ("The Golden Bible") on the Quai des Grands-Augustins. François Didot was a learned man, and held by his colleagues in great esteem. His most famous sons were François-Ambroise Didot (1730-1804) and Pierre-François Didot (1732-1795). But it was only the third and fourth generations of Didot heirs that made an impact on type design by the creation and commercialization of the modern high-contrast and ultra-rational typefaces now known as didones. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Diepold Lauber

[More]  ⦿

Dmitriy Horoshkin's Library

Dmitriy Horoshkin's library of Rusian books on type and typography include these downloadable texts:

  • Album of written and printed fonts, M.A. Netyksa, 1906
  • Font album of Zemsky typography, Simferopol, 1904-1910
  • Bibliography of Russian typographic fonts, V.Ya. Adaryukov, 1924
  • Bibliography of Russian typographic fonts, V.Ya. Adaryukov, 1924 (electronic book) Rab-book
  • The Art of the Book, A.A. Sidorov, 1922
  • The history of Russian ornament. Museum of the Stroganov School, 1868
  • Font file according to GOST-1947, VNITO Polygraphy and Publishing.
  • Book Proof, N.N. Filippov, 1929
  • Book font, M.V. Bolshakov, 1964
  • Brief information on printing business, P. Kolomnin, 1899
  • Typeface, T.I. Kutsyn, 1950
  • New Russian font V.Mashin, 1906
  • Model fonts of the Military Printing House, 1821
  • Samples of the writings of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1862
  • Samples of Slavic-Russian printing from 1491, 1891
  • Samples of the foundry of I. Shcherbakov in St. Petersburg, 1881
  • Samples of text machine fonts of the linotype, Leningrad, 1938
  • Samples of artistic fonts and frames, A.A. Kotlyarov, 1929
  • Piusa Bauer in Warsaw, 1888
  • Font samples (Printing and Bookbinding) Yu.A. Mansfeld, 1904
  • Font samples of the 4th printing house named after E. Sokolova, 1956
  • Font samples, General Staff of the Red Army, 1937
  • Font Samples, Graphic Workshops at Academic Publishing House, 1923
  • Samples of fonts and frames for drawings and plans, A.D. Demkin, 1924
  • Types of fonts and decorations of the printing house of I. Wilborg, B.G.
  • Samples of IAN fonts - "Our Father" and other texts in 325 languages and dialects, 1870
  • Font samples of the St. Petersburg Synodal Printing House, 1902
  • Types of typographic lithography fonts of the Siberian T-v Printing, bg
  • Samples of fonts of A.Transhel's printing house, 1876
  • Samples of fonts of the printing house of the Astrakhan provincial government, 1886
  • Samples of fonts of the printing house of the Moscow Union of Mozhaisk PEC, 1926
  • Samples of fonts of the Printing house of the Central Union, bg
  • Book Design - A Guide to the Preparation of a Manuscript for Printing, L.I. Hessen, 1935
  • Design of the Soviet book, G.G. Guillo, D.V. Konstantinov, 1939
  • Printing ornament B.1, Glagol, 1991
  • Printing ornament B.2, Verb, 1991
  • Font construction, Ya.G. Chernikhov N.A. Sobolev, 2005
  • Guide to the study of ribbon (Rondo) font, A.I. Pechinsky, 1917
  • Russian typographic font. Issues of history and application practice, A.G. Shitsgal, 1974
  • Tutorial of calligraphy and cursive writing, S. Volchenka, 1902
  • Collection of old Russian and Slavic letters, K.D. Dalmatov, 1895
  • Slovolitni O. I. Leman in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Font Catalog, 1915 (?) G. Moscow.
  • Slovolitnya O.O. Gerbek. Fonts and ornaments, 19 ?? g.
  • Collection of fonts. Compiled and published by Mikhail Maimistov, 1912
  • Modern Font, W. Toots, 1966
  • Art fonts, A.M. Jerusalem, 1930
  • Font, B.V. Voronetsky E.D. Kuznetsov, 1967
  • Font in visual agitation, S. I. Smirnov, Third Edition, 1990
  • Fonts and Alphabets, O.V. Snarsky, 1979
  • Fonts for inscriptions on drawings, M.D. Mikeladze, 1961
  • Fonts for projects, plans and maps, A.S. Shuleykin, 1987
  • Fonts and their construction, D.A. Pisarevsky, 1927
  • Fonts and type works, V.V. Grachev, B.G.
  • Typographic fonts, ONSH, ed. A.N. Strelkova, 1974
  • Fonts Development and use, G.M.Baryshnikov, 1997
  • Fonts The educational-methodical manual for cadets of LVTKU, N.A. Shashurin, 1981
  • Aesthetics of the art of font, A. Kapr, 1979

Local download (with Horoshkin's permission). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dmitry Kirsanov

Type designer Dmitry Kirsanov (b. Orenburg, Russia, 1965) graduated from the Orenburg Art School in 1987. He worked freelance for Yuzhnyi Ural publishing company in Orenburg. After attending the Moscow State University of Printing (1996), he joined its Department of Print Design in 1997 as an instructor of typographic design and computer graphics. From 1996 on he worked at ParaGraph International, designing typefaces. Since April 1998 Kirsanov works for ParaType. His page has essays on the history of serif and sans serif, and on font matching. Would be great for an introductory course. He designed a Cyrillic version of ITC Bodoni 72 (2000, called PT ITC Bodoni, Paratype) and ITC Bodoni 72 Swash (2001). PT Mas d'Azil (Paratype, 2002) and PT Mas d'Azil Symbols are prehistoric lettering and pictorial fonrs based on images discovered in a prehistoric cave of Mas-d'Azil, France. He created Magistral (1997, based on a clean look sans display typeface of Andrey Kryukov), Venetian 301 (2003, Paratype; a Cyrillic version of Bitstream's Venetian 301, which in turn was based on Bruce Rogers' Centaur, which in turn goes back to the 1470s alphabets of Nicolas Jenson), News Gothic (2005, a Cyrillic family based on the perennial News Gothic sans family), and Mag Mixer (2005, an industrial-look mechanical typeface based on Magistral).

In 2018, Albert Kapitonov and Dmitry Kirsanov revived the early 20th-century typeface Lehmann Egyptian from the Berthold and Lehmann type foundries in St. Petersburg, and published it at Paratype.

His talk at ATypI 2008 in St. Petersburg is on the first didones in Russia.

Paratype page. FontShop link. Klingspor link.

View Dmitry Kirsanov's typefaces. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Dmitry Kirsanov: The World of Fonts

Web designer in Halifax who writes about fontography and type history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Doug Clouse

Author of Mackellar, Smiths&Jordan: Typographic Tastemakers of the Late Nineteenth Century (Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE, 2008). Description by Oak Knoll Press: This is the first full-length study of the leading American type foundry of the nineteenth century. It is an interesting history of the foundry from both a business and a design point of view. The emphasis is on the design of the hundreds of typefaces that were produced by the foundry, from its inception in the 1860s until its merger with most other American foundries at the end of the century. The author describes (with many detailed photographic illustrations) how changing business conditions and technical improvements in typefounding interacted with changes in public taste to modify, over the decades, the appearance of the typefaces that Americans found in their publications. While this is a study of only one of many American foundries, in many ways MacKellar, Smiths&Jordan can stand as an exemplar of all the rest. It was the descendant of the first successful American type foundry, Binny and Ronaldson, started in Philadelphia in 1796. Extensive business records of the firm exist, as do scores of type specimen books and promotional publications of the foundry. All of these have been used extensively by the author. The scores of typefaces illustrated and described are considered as the ever-changing output of a corporation, with lesser emphasis on the individual creators of each typeface. At the turn of the twentieth century, taste turned away from the florid, ornamented style of the earlier decades. Mr. Clouse has shown in this well-written study that the earlier styles were very successful in their own time and should be judged on that basis. A completely illustrated appendix showing MS&J's patented typefaces is extremely helpful. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Douglas Crawford McMurtrie

Author (1888-1944) of over 400 books on printing and typography. His life story is told by Scott Bruntjen and Melissa L. Young in Douglas C. McMurtrie, bibliographer and historian of printing (Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1979). A partial list of his books, limited to the history of typography:

His typefaces include McMurtrie Title, Ultra-Modern&Italic (1928, an art deco typeface published at Ludlow), and Vanity Fair Capitals. Jim Spiece's UltraModernClassicSG is based on Ultra-Modern. And so is Steve Jackaman's Ultra Modern RR (Red Rooster).

FontShop link. Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Dr. Maurits Sabbe

Curator of the Plantin-Moretus Museum in the early part of the 20th century, and author of Antwerpsche Druckerye (Brussel, N. V. Standaard-Boekhandel, and Amsterdam, P. N. Van Kampen en Zoon, and Antwerpen, J. E. Buschmann, s. a.), a 153-page book on foundries and printers in Antwerp. Coauthor with Marius Audin of Die Civilité-Schriften des Robert Granjon in Lyon und die flämischen Drucker des 16 / Jahrhunderts (Wien, Bibliotheca Typographica, Herbert Reichner, 1929). That last book is a German version of Les caractères de civilité de Robert Granjon et les imprimeurs flamands (1921). Some of the findings in that beautiful book are reported here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Duncan Glen

Author of Printing Type Designs - A New History from Gutenberg to 2000 (Akros Publications, Fife, Scotland, 2000). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Eamon Dyas
[Times New Roman]

[More]  ⦿

Ecriture parisienne

A metal script typeface published by Fonderie Typographique Française in the interbellum era. This ronde inspired by the renaissance penmanship of Gianfrancesco Cresci (1560-1588) is characterized by inky terminals. [Google] [More]  ⦿

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. Local download.

Author of Specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry, letter founder to the King, and Prince Regent, Type street, London (1816). Local download.

FontShop link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Edna Lucia Cunha Lima

Edna Lucia Cunha Lima (b. Sao Paulo, Brazil) studied at PUC-Rio and has a Ph.D. from ECO-UFRJ in Rio de Janeiro. She practices as a graphic designer since 1970 and since 1998 she is a professor in the department of Arts & Design of PUC-Rio. She researches the history of type design in Brazil, and published the survey article Fundido tipos moveis no Rio de Janeiro, no seculo dezenove (Tupigrafia 11, 2015). Speaker at ATypI 2018 in Antwerp. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Edward Catich

The late Father Edward Catich was a talented and productive calligrapher who has published several fine books on the making of Roman inscriptions. He researched the Trajan inscriptions on the Trajan column in Rome, and is known for his clear and classy calligraphic "Petrarch Script". [Google] [More]  ⦿

Edward Johnston
[Johnston's Underground Type]

[More]  ⦿

Edward Rondthaler

New Yorker, b. Bethlehem, PA, 1905. In 1928, Rondthaler and Harold Horman cofounded Photo-Lettering Inc in New York City---it started for real in 1936. An excellent typographer, he cofounded ITC in 1970 with with Herb Lubalin and Aaron Burns.

Editor/author of Life with Letters--As They Turned Photogenic, and Alphabet thesaurus; a treasury of letter designs (1960, Reinhold, NY). Volume 3 was published in 1971.

In 1975 he was awarded the TDC Medal, the main prize of the Type Directors Club. In 2007, House Industries made this funny clip. Sadly, Ed died in August 2009. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Ein Reiseführer für Typografen

Richard Felsner (Mainz, Germany) has some info on the history of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

El Arte de la Tipografia

Luis Misa's pages on typography (in Spanish), with a bit of history, lots of quotes and wisdom, and a bit of calligraphy thrown in as well. History of handwriting. Links. [Google] [More]  ⦿

El Lissitzky

Full name: Lazar Markovich Lissitzky. An early 20th century Russian constructivist artist (1890-1941) whose books revolutionized graphic design. Sample of his work. See also here. He published From Two Quadrants (1921), about which one critic writes: "Typography is a game that leads to communication, and it all began with Lissitzky's tale of two squares." Cover of "Union der Sozialistischen Sowjet-Republiken" (1928). Cover of Broom (1923). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Elaine Guidero

Elaine Guidero earned an M.S. in geography from Penn State, with a thesis on spatial cognition. As a graduate student in geography at the Pennsylvania State University, Elaine Guidero brings together cartography and typography. Her dissertation in 2013-2014 concerns timelessness and legibility in cartographic typography, with an emphasis on national mapping. Her other academic interests include cartographic design, the sociocultural aspects of authoritarian states, and geographies of consumption.

Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: Typography and nationalism: the typographic landscape through a century of official cartography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Elzevir Press

The story of Elzevir Press. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Jon Melton]

Emfoundry is the micro font foundry of type designer Jon Melton, whose first degree in art dates back to 1984. It was created originally as part of his MA in Typographic Design postgraduate studies at the Cambridge School of Art within Anglia Ruskin University in 2007. Jon Melton is course leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design at the CSA. His academic research as a senior lecturer at this university informs his work that focuses upon key moments in type design evolution.

His typefaces are not commercially available, They inclde:

  • Fount Sans 1756 (2018), a revival typeface of the 18th century, the legacy for all the countless sans serif fonts today. Speaker at ATypI 2018 in Antwerp, where he explains that revival: The search for the origin of today's commercial sans serif typography has become something of a holy grail for type historians. The earliest known example of a deliberately geometrical serifless letterform was confirmed back in the late 1990s, on a plan-drawing title block for a new parliamentary building. It was produced whilst on the grand tour by the architect John Soane. Duly exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779, it marked the start of Soane's utilising this then-radical letterform on his design drawings and for inscriptions on buildings. Prior to Soane's exhibited "Design for a British Senate House," there is a void. Scholars are aware that the sans serif originates within the letterforms of Greece and the informal inscriptions of the Roman Empire. But what inspired Sir John Soane to use it, for what appears to be the very first time?
  • Cuban Revolt. Cuban Revolt was inspired by a plantation sugar sack from the 1960s, which utilised a sans serif letterform with modeling curves and counters created during a traditional hand-cut stencil process in silk screen printing. It has a constructivist feel.
  • Russian Revolt. Russian Revolt was created via a regularization of the modeling of its comrade font Cuban Revolt. It is a faux-Russian display face with a range of contextually (Cyrillic) inspired alternate glyphs that reflect the experimental typography of dadaism, suprematism and constructivism.
  • Cuba Libre & Cubana.
  • English Open, or "Georgian English Open Initials & Titling". English Open was derived from the letterforms of metal engravers, and examples of these are readily found on armorial silver and maps produced over one hundred years earlier than the first available open typeface specimens. Its character follows the steel and copper plate engravers of the 18th century, and is ultimately informed by the open types of the period such as Cocaine, Moreau-Le-Jeune, Fournier, Fournier Le Jeune and Rosart.
  • Empire Initials, Empire Initials mark the end of informed neoclassical and revivalist ornamentation, and the beginnings of ostentation and the over-adornment so representative of Victorian eclecticism. White-out decorated fat types were produced within a very short Late Regency period, from the 1820s-40s, of fevered expression within the decorative arts.
  • English Vernacular. The letter is informed by generations of 17th and 18th century armorial silver and goldsmiths, glass engravers, topographic and political print gravurists, signwriters and our provincial stone carvers who developed English vernacular, the Georgian artisan letter.
  • Bifurcated Bodoni. EM Bifurcated Bodoni represents a missing piece of the typographic evolutionary puzzle, with its Archaic and Deviant alternates exhibiting tentative and restrained characters and ornamentation, such as median decoration, internal tracery cusping and Romanesque letter formations. [...] The transition has been increased and the proportions expanded pointing towards the predominant display Fat Faces of the period; while the serif bifurcates subtly to represent early tentative experiments within what became known as the Tuscan form.
  • Classic Soane: Classic Soane is created in homage to the Regency architect Sir John Soane and his refined classical vernacular.
  • Pure Soane Sans. Melton explains this inscriptional sans:,i>Pure Soane Sans forms part of a reappraisal of the Regency architects intensions for inscriptional letterforms following a recent discovery of an overlooked early Sans serif letter on a pair of gate houses in Norfolk. These buildings were recorded as erected between 1790-92 with two Greyhound statues including inscriptional motos on stone plynths contemporary to the building. The letters have distinctive widths and features, particularly the 'G' and 'J' which shares an idiosyncratic partial serif that is also seen on Soane's titling on the better known drawings for his proposed Norwich (Castle) Gaol. These features have provided the clues to a new Sans Serif Typeface firmly based upon the 18thC origin of the seref-less letter.
  • Ogilby's Britannia (Britannia Regular, Britannia Italics, Britannia Swashes): Ogilby's Britannia reflects the engraved letterforms published in Britain's first Road Atlas published in 1675. John Ogilby employed numerous Surveyors, Weywisers (measuring wheel), Cartographers, Plate Engravers and Printers in the production of his revolutionary book. This typeface seeks to capture the engraver's vernacular of the 17th century, utilising the ichnographic ornaments and cartographic letterforms used on Ogilby's post roads strip maps, which applied a standardised unit mile for the very first time.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

English handwriting 1500-1700

On-line course notes by Andrew Zurcher based on Martin Billingsley's The pens excellencie or the secretaries delighte (1818). In particular he categorizes hands as follows (table borrowed from his pages):
Book hands the hands found in books produced by scriptoria prior to the spread of printing; such hands are more accommodating of attempts at codification

Court hands general business/literary hands, including stylised hands in particular offices/professions which survive alongside Secretary (e.g., chancery hand, exchequer hand, etc.)

Secretary an offshoot of the court hands of the beginning of the C16 (early-, mid-, late-Tudor, Jacobean)

Italic created in Italy c. 1400 and popular with English Humanists from the early C16 on; only once the hand becomes widespread does it start to infect secretary and produce...

Mixed or hybrid/transitional hands, the next stage of the Italic conquest, leading to

Round hand mid-late C17 Italic: the hand we have inherited
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Erasmus Luther
[Luthersche Fraktur]

[More]  ⦿

Erhardt Ratdolt

Augsburg-born printer (1447-1527). A master printer and type designer, he worked from ca. 1474 until ca. 1486 in Venice, where he printed many fine books. Ratdolt returned home and produced the first printer's type specimens sheet with a beautiful decorative initial and 15 different fonts to announce the occasion. He had the first type specimens sheet in the world, showing rotunda, roman and Greek typefaces in various sizes (date: 1486). Ratdolt specialized in missals, liturgical works, calendars, astronomical, astrological, and mathematical subjects, and often included masterful diagrams to illustrate the text. In 1482, he printed Euclid's Elements of Geometry, which became William Morris's reference source for his "while-wine" decorative borders. Erhard Ratdolt died in 1527 or 1528. See DS Ratdolt-Rotunda (Delbanco), a digital version based on a 1989 design by Wolfgang Hendlmeier in 1989. Type sample. Bio by Nicholas Fabian. See also here. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Eszet ligature

Dr. Herbert E. Brekle from the Universität Regensburgexplains the history of the German ligature symbol ß. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Printer in Venice of books such as De Praepartione Evangelico (1470). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Evertype (was: Everson Typography)
[Michael Everson]

Michael Everson's (b. Norristown, PA, 1963) brilliant pages on Celtic and other languages and on font standards, featuring the following sub-pages:

  • CeltScript describes Michael's contributions to unicode in general and to Celtic typography in particular. He created (commercial) Celtic fonts such as Gaillimh (1989, bitmap font), Ceanannas (1993), Duibhlinn (1993, after Monotype Series 24), Everson Mono Gaelic (1995, hybrid sans), Acaill (1997, based on the Watts type, an early 19th century transitional angular form of Gaelic type; it was renamed and further developed into a unicode-compliant typeface called Dumha Goirt in 2011), Corcaigh (1997), Darmhagh Underwood (1993, a "rough" monowidth font based on the typeface used on the old Underwood manual typewriter), and Loch Garman (1999, after Baoithin, Colm Ó Lochlainn). He is working on Cluain (Gaelic modern grotesque), Cois Life (his take on the hybrid Queen Elizabeth type), Darmhagh (Underwood), Doolish (Gaelic modern round, after Biggs), Lóbháin (after Louvain), Páras (after the Paris type).
  • Everson Mono is a huge free monospaced font family started in 1994, but still being adjusted in 2010. As Michael puts it, Everson Mono is a simple, elegant, monowidth font. I designed it primarily to make glyphs available in support of all the non-Han characters in the Basic Multilingual Plane of ISO/IEC 10646-1 (BMP = Unicode, if you prefer), though I hope that users may find it a pleasant alternative to Courier and Monaco for general purposes, e-mail, and so forth. I have found it quite legible at sizes as small as 4 points. It is lighter and a bit looser than Courier.
  • Ogham fonts created by Michael Everson (and free for download): Beith-Luis-Nion, Pollach, Maigh Nuad, Craobh Ruadh, Everson Mono Ogham, Cog, Crosta. Mac and PC. This page also has TITUS Ogham by Jost Gippert, and Ragnarok Ogham by David F. Nalle from Scriptorium.
  • Inuktitut fonts designed by Everson include Allatuq (1998, hand-printed glyphs), Everson Mono Inuktitut, Jiniiva Maanaku, Naamajuttaaqqauq, Sikaagu.
  • The Sutton signwriting fingerspelling fonts created by Everson are free.
  • List of language lists.
  • Fonts for the Sami language of the Barents region.
  • Gaelic Typefaces: History and Classification.
  • Armenian encoding on the web.

Elsewhere, one can find rare Everson creations such as Musgrave (1994).

MyFonts sells these typefaces:

  • Allatuq.
  • Ceanannas.
  • Duibhlinn.
  • Timenhor.
  • Loch Garman. Everson: : Loch Garman is based on Baoithmn, designed by Viktor Hammer and Colm Ó Lochlainn; Baoithmn was based on Hammerschrift, which was related to Hammer's American Uncial -- though Loch Garman is more authentic Gaelic font than American Uncial. He continues: American Uncial sucks. It is inauthentic and it's not even attractive. It has a "dot" on the i (which it shouldn't) which makes it look like an í (which it doubly shouldn't). Hammer Uncial isn't much better. In my own view, the only one of Hammer's Uncials that I have seen that was any good was Pindar, and then only in its reworking as Baoithín (with Colm ÓÓ Lochlainn).
  • Teamhair (1993). A monowidth font based on the typeface used on the old Sears Tower Gaelic manual typewriter.
  • Teamhair Tower (1999). The rough version of Teamhair.
  • Dumha Goirt.
  • Corcaigh.
  • Doire (1993). A monowidth font based on the typeface used on the old Royal Gaelic manual typewriter.
  • Doire Royal (1999). A rough version of Doire.
  • Darmhagh Underwood.

His bio, in his own words: Michael Everson, based in Westport, Co. Mayo, is an expert in the writing systems of the world. He is active in supporting minority-language communities, especially in the fields of character standardization and internationalization. He is one of the co-authors of the Unicode Standard, and is a Contributing Editor and Irish National Representative to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, the committee responsible for the development and maintenance of the Universal Character Set. He is a linguist, typesetter, and font designer who has contributed to the encoding in of many scripts and characters. In 2005 and 2006 his work to encode the Balinese and N'Ko scripts was supported by UNESCO's Initiative B@bel programme. Michael received the Unicode "Bulldog" Award in 2000 for his technical contributions to the development and promotion of the Unicode Standard. Active in the area of practical implementations, Michael has created locale and language information for many languages, from support for Irish and the other Celtic langauges to the minority languages of Finland. In 2003 he was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to prepare a report on the computer locale requirements for Afghanistan, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Communications of the Afghan Transitional Islamic Administration. He prepared a number of fonts and keyboard layouts for Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). Michael moved to Tucson, Arizona at the age of 12. He studied German, Spanish, and French for his B.A. at the University of Arizona (1985), and the History of Religions and Indo-European Linguistics for his M.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles (1988). He moved to Ireland in 1989, and was a Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Celtic Studies, University College Dublin (1991). In 2010, he made Timenhor, a Latin-script font whose glyphs are based on the uncial letterforms of Coptic manuscripts. Speaker at ATypI 2010 in Dublin. Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik.

Dafont link. View Michel Everson's commercial typefaces. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Evolution of Alphabets

At the University of Maryland, Professor Robert Fradkin's page on the origins of the alphabet. Great applets. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Evolution of the Alphabet
[Matt Baker]

A great chart by Matt Baker that shows the evolution of the Latin alphabet from 1750 BC until today. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fabrica / Basel Roman
[Johann Froben]

The roman pre-Garamond font used by Jacob Herbst (a.k.a. Oporinus) to publish Andreas Vesalius's On the Fabric of the Human Body [De humani corporis fabrica] in Basel in 1543. It has strong affinities with the type used by Swiss printer Johann Froben in Basel in 1526. Stanley Morrsion wrote in 1924 about this typeface: Johannes Froben (1460-1527) was Erasmus's host in Basel for several years and published a number of his books. Updike describes this Roman as "massive and monumental." However, Updike describes the 1543 Fabrica as "a volume not at all of the Froben order, but reminiscent rather of Plantin or some Italian printer. Its noble old style type and delicate italic, delightful initial letters and the careful anatomical engravings . . . make up a remarkable volume." Warren Chappell added in 1970: Johann Froben, the printer, had as his scholar-editor Erasmus, and as his illustrator-decorator the young Hans Holbein. Froben was one of the most renowned publisher of humanist literature, and in the pre-Tory days managed to exert significant influence on European printing, including that of Paris and Lyons... Among the important books printed in Basel was Froben's own New Testament in Greek, with a Latin translation by Erasmus. It appeared in 1516. From the printing office of Michael Isengrim, also of Basel, a large botanical work by Leonhard Fuchs was issued in 1543...An outstanding work on anatomy was brought out by Oporinus in 1568. The author was Andreas Vesalius and the Title De Humani Corporiu Fabrica."

Metal font revivals include one by Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press called Basle roman. It was cut by William Howard of Great Queen Street, London, soon after the middle of the 19th century. A.F. Johnson writes in 1934: his type was much too exotic to appeal to printers in general, but its antique flavour attracted William Morris. In 1889 he had his prose romance, A Tale of the House of the Wolfigs, set in Basle roman. In another romance, The Roots of the Mountains, 1890 (the book actually appeared in 1889), Morris used the type again, but had a different e cut, one with the bar nearly, but not quite, horizontal.

For digital revivals, one should look at P22 Basel by P22, developed bewteen 2008 and 2015, with various type designers, including Colin Kahn and Paul Hunt, contributing to the final set of fonts. The old in-house version of P22 Basel was called P22 Fabrika. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Ole T. Ystenes]

Norwegian printer Fabritius and Sønner in Oslo worked on its own version of Munthe's letterforms. In 1962, it published the blackletter typeface Fabritius-skriften, but this typeface is only available in matrix form at the company, and is hardly ever used today. See also here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fabulous Fonts Knowledge Cards

For 10 USD, a set of 48 cards with font specimen and the history of the typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fat Faces: origins
[Sebastien Morlighem]

On February 22, 2021, Sebastien Morlighem gave a great Zoom talk in a seminar series hosted by The Cooper Union in New York. In it, he described the beginnings of fat types from around 1780 until their zenith of fatness and development around 1825, all in London. Here is a summary of the exposition for those who have no access to the video at The Cooper Union.

Sebastien started with quotes from famous type experts and type historians:

  • Paul Barnes, upon publishing Isambard in 2019: The fat face is the joyful expression of an idea---to make something as bold as can be---executed with real vigour and the utmost conviction. (Not really a definition)
  • Talbot Baines Reed, in "Old and new fashions in typography", Journal of the Society of Arts, 1890, p. 534: The new Roman was barely established as the prevailing fashion, when a vulgar taste for fatter faces asserted itself. The demand was promptly responded to by the founders of the day, Robert Thorne leading the way. Others outstripped him in the race; and about 1820, or rather before, a face like that before you was both fashionable and popular for certain works. (A condescending view)
  • Joseph Moxon, in "Mechanick Exercises Volume 2", 1683: A fat face is a broad stemmed letter.

Without a good definition, but eager to tell us the story, Sebastien showed examples of gradual thickening of the stems and increase of contrast from bold to fat, starting in Thomas Cottrell's foundry, where Robert Thorne (1754-1820) was employed. After Cottrell's death, Robert Thorne bought his foundry in 1794 and replaced the types by his own. Already in 1774, Thomas Cottrell had shown big fat letters in his A Specimen of Printing Types, very much related in shape to the Caslon types, as Cottrell had previously worked for the Caslon foundry. Similar large letters were also shown in broadsides by William Caslon in 1785. This was the time that a need arose for advertizing via posting bills and large lettering on buildings and coaches. Not to be outdone, Edmund Fry showed a very bold Ten Lines Pica in 1787 and S&C Stephenson had a sixteen lines pica in 1796. Thorne in his 1794 book, A Specimen of Printing Types, shows for the first time lower case versions of the letters. Still, serious mechanical challenges remained, as the early types of posting bills were often sand cast. Sometimes printers would use wood types, and in rare instances, even fill in the fat letters by hand.

The period from 1805 until 1810 saw the rise of the fat face; Sebastien showed us examples, in particular, of great use by the Liverpool-based printer G.F. Harris. Type historian Daniel Berkeley Updike (Printing Types: Their History, Forms and Use, Harvard University Press, 1922, vol. 2, p. 196) wrote: Thorne [...] is responsible for the vilest form of type invented up to that time. Thorne's specimen book of "Improved (!) Types" of 1803 should be looked at as a warning of what fashion can make men do. Stanley Morison, for whom Sebastien showed little respect, even wrote Thorne's "fat grotesque" [sic] was the first original English design to make an impression abroad. [...] With Thorne was produced a letter during 1800-1803 which was a novelty, distinct and dreadful. [Memorandum on Revision of the Typography of "The Times" [1930], Selected Essays on the History of Letter-forms in Manuscript and Print. Edited by David McKitterick, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980, vol. 2, p. 305]

Great progress was made in the genre by Caslon & Catherwood ca. 1810, who slowly evolved fatter types from bold typefaces. In 1812, William Caslon Juior (William Caslon IV) introduced a new production method, which he called the sanspareil matrices. They would allow for more accurate and crisper letters, and more efficient production of very large lettertypes. And so, the race was on, to make bigger and fatter typefaces. Other, newer foundries also started showing the popular fat types, including Vincent Figgins in 1815, caslon & catherwood in 1820, and Thorowgood in 1821, a year after he bought Thorne's foundry after Thorne's death in 1820. Nicolete Grey in XIXth Century Ornamented types and Title Pages [1938, London: Faber and Faber Limited] had this to add to a fat face by Fry and Steele from 1808: In this letter of Fry [...] the process seems to have reached a norm. It is a superb, wide, generous letter, magnificently roman, but with a good deal less of order and more of pomp than Trajan's classic. [...] It is a letter which falls into no category. In the process of fattening, Cottrell's ordinary eighteenth-century capital has changed, the modelling has been exaggerated and the shading become uniformly vertical and the forms of the letters have grown softer and rounder, yet it is not a modern face, for the shading is quite gradual and the bracketing very full, nor are the thick strokes thick enough, nor are the thin strokes thin enough, for it to be a fat face.

Sebastien wrote tthis all up in a booklet, Robert Thorne and the origin of the fat face (2021). The video of his talk is at Type@Cooper in the Lubalin series. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Firmin Didot

Celebrated Parisian punchcutter (b. Paris 1764, d. Mesnic-sur-l'Estrée, 1836), son of the printer François Ambroise Didot, and grandchild of the Didot printing business founder, François Didot. He produced the earliest modern typeface about 1784. Designer of a sloped script typeface called Anglaise (1809). He became the director of the Imprimerie Impériale type foundry in 1812. Along with Giambattista Bodoni of Italy, Firmin Didot is credited with establishing the use of the Modern classification of typefaces. The types that Didot used are characterized by extreme stroke contrast, by the use of straight hairline serifs and by the vertical stress of the letters.

Digitizations of his typefaces:

  • Linotype Didot has 12 weights, and was digitized in 1991 by the Linotype crew and Adrian Frutiger.
  • Hoefler type foundry makes a 42-weight Didot HTF, which I believe is superior to the Linotype version.
  • LetterPerfect has made a Didot LP family.
  • His Initiales Grecques (ca. 1800) was digitized by ARTypes in 2007: see here.
  • URW Firmin Didot is a digitization of a typeface made in 1927 by Ludwig & Mayer, which in turn was true to the original.

Biography by Nicholas Fabian. Linotype link. FontShop link. MyFonts link. Wikipedia. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿


Ornamental fists throughout history, as described by Paul McPharlin (1903-1948) in "Roman Numerals Typographic Leaves and Pointing Hands" (1942, The Typophiles, New York).

  • Rycharde Kele (1545), publisher of John Skelton's "Colyn Cloute".
  • Sixteenth-century fists were mostly outlined hands. See also Berner's specimen sheet (1592).
  • The earlist fists in type specimen sheets are by Conrad Berner (1592), who showed them alongside Garamond's types. See here.
  • See here for fists by Briquet (Paris, 1757), and Mein&Fleeming (Boston, 1760).
  • From McPharlin: "The use of a fist pointing out a line at the end of a message, to give it parting punch, became commonplace in the job printer's formulae of 1840-1870 in America."
  • Example of fists by Joseph Crawhall (1883) in a music book. See also here. Crawhall awakened many to the charm of chapbook cuts.
  • In the 1890's, Will Bradley designed a set of fists in chapbook style, which were to be found at ATF.
  • Fred G. Cooper used many fists to accompany his hand-lettering.
  • Bruce Rogers used many fists in the 1933 Oxford University Press edition of Fables of Aesop. See also here.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Fleury Bourriquant

Fleury Bourriquant made a Civilité honneste, which was used in the region around Toul, Chatellerault and Troyes, in the early part of the 17th century. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Flickriver: Nike's photosets

Scans and photographs of old type specimen books. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fonderia Tipografica Cooperativa

Or FTC. Foundry established in Milan in 1886 by merging 37 private Italian foundries (originally under the name Fonderia Tipografica Panfilo Castaldi). It remains in existence today, and its last type director was Umberto Fenocchio. Faces produced include Linea (a grotesque face), Sigla (a transitional face designed by Umberto Fenocchio), Brio, and Armonia. Not involved in digital typography. Today, they mainly sell typesetting machines. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Font Fundamentals

Thomas Detrie explains the evolutionary development of letterforms and how technology affected changes in typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Jan Jessen's German language pages on the history of type, from its start in 1440, via Linotype (1886), Photocomposition (1949), bitmaps (1965) to vector formats (1975). [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Ian Obermuller]

Ian Obermuller's introduction to typefaces, with a visual glossary, and wonderfully instructive pages on type classification and type recognition. Ian is a 2010 graduate of the Seattle Central Creative Academy. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fontshop bought by Monotype

On July 15, 2014, FontShop / FontFont was bought by Monotype. The official story on FontShop's font feed site as reported by Iwo Grabowitsch: Today is a groundbreaking day in FontShop's 25 year history, the most important one since our formation. The US typeface company Monotype just announced that they have acquired FontShop and the FontFont library. The acquisition package includes the head office in Berlin as well as the FontFont typeface library, the US subsidiary in San Francisco (fontshop.com), and the German distributor, FontShop AG. Monotype acquires the FontFonts of founder Erik Spiekermann directly from him, including all usage and publication rights. All of his bestsellers (FF Meta, FF Info (1998), FF Unit, FF Govan (2001)) will remain part of the FontFont library. Spiekermann will assist Monotype as typographical consultant in the future. Further information on the transaction is provided in a detailed press release from Monotype. With the acquisition, in addition to a contemporary typeface library, Monotype gains new customer groups, popular marketing tools and channels as well as a second foothold in the German market, which the group assesses as one of the most vital font markets. Monotype's global reach, financial strength and passion for type, combined with FontShop's complementary typeface expertise, industry relationships and premier typeface collection, is expected to strengthen Monotype's ability to serve global markets and deliver high-quality, branded experiences across every screen, platform or media property says the press release published today. The president and CEO of Monotype, Doug Shaw, summarizes the synergies as follows: "As a company dedicated to type, we're excited about the addition of FontShop, another company with design and type in their DNA. FontShop's strong relationships with typeface designers, acute knowledge of the creative professional community, high-quality IP, strong e-commerce business and highly regarded TYPO events, will add immediate value to our business and help us continue on our mission of being the first place to turn for typefaces, technology and expertise." The positive momentum for the joint business also arose from the FontShop side. Petra Weitz, FontShop's international managing director not only emphasizes new, international marketing channels for the FontFont library, but also exciting special markets for these fonts, for example in devices (OEM licenses) or operating systems. FontShop founder Erik Spiekermann, who noted the newest acquisition of Monotype with interest, believes his own FontFonts and those of his colleagues are in good hands: "As a typeface designer who cares deeply about the industry in which I work, I have watched Monotype not merely survive, but grow and prosper. They have become respected experts in the business and the technology of type. Having my typefaces become part of the Monotype foundry will make sure that they, as well as the other FontFonts, will benefit from Monotype's strengths. The industry-at-large will be stronger once FontShop adds its creative prowess to Monotype's business." For marketing director Ivo Gabrowitsch, who is just getting next.fontshop.com on its feet with around 15 developers and designers---a font store with never-before-seen test functions---the partnership with Monotype arrives just at the right time. "The limited FontShop budget presents a great challenge for our project and its many planned innovations. With Monotype backing us, ongoing development is strengthened significantly. Our customers will profit from this already in the medium-term." Jürgen Siebert, program director of the TYPO conferences takes a similar tone. "We have tried to internationalize TYPO Berlin for three years, but we never got farther than San Francisco and London. Together with Monotype, TYPO growth gets a second wind." The same goes for the outlooks and future projects. What remains? Pretty much everything that is important to us and our friends. Although the corporate brand will be retired, the FontShop e-commerce brand stays FontShop, FontFont stays FontFont, and FontBook App stays FontBook App. The FontFeed will also continue to blast its reports and opinions. We are quite certain that this is also in the interest of all readers---despite the change of ownership.

References: Typophile reactions. Monotype press release. Another Typophile thread. Aaron McKinney, the artist who drew the Big Fish Eat Little Fish poster inspired by a drawing by Pieter Breugel. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Founders' London

Detailed listing of all addresses of all historical foundries in London. Research by Justin Howell and Nigel Roche for The Friends of the St. Bride Printing Library, 1998. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Foundries in Valencia

Spanish language description of the history of typefounding in Valencia, Spain. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Foundry Specimens and Typefoundries
[David McMillan]

David McMillan a rather long list of typefoundries, with some attempt to trace their complex interrelationships. It also identifies those specimen books which are available online. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fra Luca Pacioli

Italian letter artist (b. 1445, d. ca. 1514) who constructed his characters geometrically, as early as 1509. He practiced mathematics and was a Franciscan friar. A Franciscan monk, he is mentioned several times in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. His Summa di Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni e Proportionalità appeared in 1494. Continuing his work on proportion, he published Divina Proportione in 1509 (Venice: A. Paganius Paganinus).


His mathematically constructed capitals (1497) were made into a font called Pacioli by Matthew Desmond in 2007. Giovanni Mardersteig also made a font based on Pacioli's caps. Other implementations include LucaPacioliCaps (2004, Manfred Klein), Pacioli (2005, by Alessandro Segalini for Accademia Editoriale in Rome) and Pacioli (1999, a metafont by Peter Wilson). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

François Didot
[Didot family]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

François Guyot

French punchcutter who lived in the first part of the 16th century. In 1539, he became a resident of Antwerp, and from 1558 until his death in 1570, he delivered letter types to Plantin in Antwerp. His creations were used all over Europe and even in Asia. In his day, he was one of the greatest punchcutters. Day Roman (2002, Apostrophe) is described as follows by its designer: Day Roman, is a digitally redrawn version of what has come to be historically known as the "Two Line Double Pica Roman", a typeface designed by 16th century French punchcutter François Guyot, and used in numerous books between 1535 and 1570, most notable of which are J. Steelsius's printing of The Bible (1541) and Frisius (1551), Gillis Coppens van Diest's printing of Erasmus (1544), Georgius (1544), Serlio (1550) and Horatius (1552), and Rotarius's printing of Livius Brechtius (1549). The type was also used extensively by H. Dunham, and later J. Day, in London (the name Day Roman is simply a reference to J. Day having used the type). Original matrices of Guyot's roman type are now in the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. A 1782 "Sale Catalog&Specimen of the James Foundry" shows a reproduction of that same type under the name "Two-Line Double Pica Macilent". Some specimens from unknown English printers dating back to circa 1650 also show the same typeface, but no proper references were given. The last recorded reference to Guyot's type can be found in "Type Specimen Fascimiles, vol. 1, No. 1-15," by John Dreyfus et al, printed in London circa 1963. See also here.

In 2003, Frank Heine published Tribute at Emigre as a creative revival of a 1565 typeface by Guyot. I received this email from a typographer: Did you see Frank Heine's Tribute font at Emigre? They're claiming that it's a Guyot! What a slaughter! I don't know what he was thinking when he made the A, V and W there... and why use a Century Q in a Garalde?. Bill Troop calls Tribute a Frankenstein of a font: see here or here. He supports Apostrophe's interpretation of the Roman and Frank Blokland's interpretation of the Italic. The lower case letters of the italic of DTL VandenKeere are based on Guyot's Ascendonica Cursief of 1557.

In 2017, Ramiro Espinoza selected the most interesting elements from the Gros Canon and Ascendonica sizes and assembled them into a consistent family of contemporary detailing, called Guyot Headline. Guyot Text followed later in 2017---it is very legible even at small print sizes and is a sturdy workhorse overall.

Sample of his Ascendonica Romaine (Gros Parangon). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

François Patzko

Printer from the late 18th century. Type specimen from 1777. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Frances Wakeman Books

Vendor of old type books, based in Nottingham, UK. Type specimen books. Books on typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Francesco Griffo

Born and died in Bologna, ca. 1450-1518. Also called Francesco da Bologna. He was a Venetian punchcutter, who worked for Aldus Manutius cutting early italics, music types and romans. Under the surname Griffo, he designed and cut all types for the Aldine Press. The "Aldine" typeface was recreated by Monotype in 1929. In 1990, the Monotype staff digitized 24 weights of Francesco Griffo's Bembo family, which was originally created in 1496---however, read on below regarding the date. The Bitstream version is called Aldine 401. Bembo is a typeface that is not compact, with its wide letters and ample spacings, so its use must be carefully weighed.

Interesting detail about the end of his life: after the death of Manutius in 1515, Griffo returned to Bologna where he printed some of his own editions until his own death in 1518 or 1519, when it is thought he was hanged for killing his brother-in-law. Kevin Steele explains in 1996: Some sources cite the publication of Cardinal Bembo's De Aetna as 1493 or 1495. And in fact, the design continued to evolve until the 1499 publishing of the spectacular Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Let's not split hairs. Let's celebrate 500 years of Bembo! In the mid fifteenth century printing quickly spread to Italy from Germany, and by the 1470's Venice had became the center of the printing industry, home to over 100 printing companies. Pioneers such as Erhard Ratdolt and Nicolas Jenson had already begun working on adapting the roman alphabet for metal type by the time Aldus Manutius established his press in 1494, with the intention of publishing all the Greek classics. Aldus Manutius (1450-1515) was a printer, entrepreneur, a great ego, and publisher of over 1200 titles. Among the many contributions of Aldus was the popularization of small, portable books. His expensive beautiful books were far from today's paperbacks, mind you. One of the many great talents working for Aldus was Francesco Griffo, a gifted type designer. Griffo created many innovative type designs that are still admired for their beauty and readability. Their collaboration broke up over a copyright dispute, primarily over the ownership of the cursive type typeface that Griffo developed under the direction of Aldus. Although Aldus even had a papal decree to protect this style of alphabet, it was as difficult then as it is now to protect a typeface design. The alphabet was widely copied, and the style is known as italic, after its country of origin.

Fontdeck link. Linotype link. FontShop link. Nicholas Fabian on Griffo. Agustina Cabal's poster of Bembo. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Francesco Torniello

Italian lettering artist famous for his geometrical constructions. See here. Author of the treatise L'Alfabeto (1517). Pictures of the geometric construction of the capitals are here. Fonts named after him include GFT Torniello by Gio Fuga. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Francis Meynell

British book designer (b. London, 1891, d. Lavenham, Suffolk, 1975). He ran Nonesuch Press (founded in 1923) using Monotype machines. Coauthor with Herbet Simon of Fleuron Anthology (1973, London: Ernest Ben Limited), which contains many of the journal The Fleuron's best articles. [Note: Stanley Morison edited The Fleuron, which appeared as a series in the 1920s.] [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Franciscus Skaryna

Also Francysk Skaryna, Francisk Skaryna and Franciscus Scorina de Poloczko, b. 1486 Polazk (white Russia), d. 1541 Prague. Scientist and educator from Polotsk (current Belarus). First printer in white Russia (Belarussia). Skaryna was one of the first to publish in the Cyrillic alphabet, but not the very first as Oktoikh was published by Schweipolt Fiol in 1491.

Digital revivals of his typeface include Skaryna 2017 Title (2020, Aliaksei Koval). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Frank Chouteau Brown

Author (b. 1876) of Letters&Lettering: A Treatise With 200 Examples (1921, Bates&Guild Co, Boston). This book shows many decorative alphabets. Alternate URL. Yet another URL.

Examples from that book: Alphabet after Serlio, An outline caps face, A Roman caps face. The best page on Chouteau Brown, complete with all images from his 1921 book. Some of Chouteau Brown's own lettering from that 1921 book: Incised English Script, 15th Century English Gothic Blackletter, 16thCentury German Blackletter, Capitals adapted from Renaissance era medals, Classic Roman Capitals, English Gothic Letter 15th Century, English Incised Script from a tombstone in Westminster Abbey, 18th Century French Script Capitals, German Blackletter (from brass), Italian Renaissance Capitals from a Marsuppini tomb, Italian Renaissance Capitals from Santa Croce, Florence, Italian Uncial Gothic Capitals from the 14th century, Modern American Letters, Modern American Letters for rapid use, Modern American Lowercase, Modern German blackletter, Modern German capitals, Spanish Script from the latter part of the 17th century, Spanish Script capitals, early 18th century, Uncial Gothic Capitals 13th century, Uncial Gothic Capitals 14th century, Uncial Gothic Initials 12th century, Venetian Gothic Capitals 15th century.

The Siamese style in Brown's 1912 book inspired Nick Curtis's digital font Owah Tagu Siam (2007). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Frank Isaac

Author of the voluminous book "English Printers' Types of the Sixteenth Century", Oxford University Press, London, 1936. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Frank J. Romano

Author of Typencyclopedia: A User’s Guide to Better Typography. A type guru, he is Professor emeritus of Rochester Institute of Technology and founder of Electronic Publishing Magazine in 1976. He occasionally writes on early printing technology, such as here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Franz Renner

German printer (d. 1494). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Frederic William Goudy
[National Old Style and Nabisco]

[More]  ⦿

Freeman Gage Delamotte

Author, artist, photographer and wood engraver, b. Sandhurst, 1814, d. London, 1862. He published The Book of Ornamental Alphabets, Ancient and Mediaeval (1879, Crosby Lockwood and Co., London), which has plenty of 8th to 11th century alphabets and initials. See also here, here, and here. Another book is Examples of Modern Alphabets, Ornamental and Plain (1864, C. Lockwood and Co, London), which was scanned in and can now be downloaded here, here (locally), and here (the latter link has the 1891 version printed by Crosby Lockwood and Son, London). Further texts: The Book Of Ornamental Alphabets Ancient & Modern (1858, publ. E.F.N. Spon, London), The book of ornamental alphabets, ancient and modern, from the eighth to the nineteenth century, with numerals (1859, E. and F.N. Spon), Medieval alphabets and initials for illuminators (1861, E. and F.N. Spon; see here or here (locally) for a PDF), and A primer of the art of illumination for the use of beginners (1860, E. and F.N. Spon). Most of his lettering is typical of the Victorian tradition of adding ornaments to simple silhouettes. Example: 16th century wood engaving. An Italian alphabet (1864).

Digital typefaces based on his work include New Saxon Initials (David Nalle, 2016), Delamotte Initials One (2016, David Nalle), Delamotte Initials Two (2016, David Nalle), Museum Initials (2007, John B. Wundes) and Bad Situation (Intellecta Design, 2007: based on an 1864 design called Example Alphabet). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Friedrich Ballhorn

Leipzig-based creator of the early transitional Gaelic typeface Ballhorn (also called Leipzig, 1861), based on Watts. Author of Alphabete orientalischer und occidentalischer Sprachen (F.A. Brockhaus: Leipzig, 1859). Head of F.A. Brockhaus Printing in Leipzig, in 1856 he published "Grammatography. A Manual of Reference to the Alphabets of Ancient and Modern Languages". [Google] [More]  ⦿

Friedrich Bauer

German type designer (b. Dorste, 1863, d. Schönberg, 1943). In 1882, he becomes the type director at the foundry of Schelter&Giesecke in Leipzig, until 1890, and again from 1896-1898. From 1898 until 1911, he is the head of printing at Genzsch&Heyse, first in München and then in Hamburg. From 1911 until 1924, he taught at the Staatlichen Gewerbeschule Hamburg. At Genzsch&Heyse, he designed Albingia (1906), Bürgerschafts Fraktur (1907; Schnelle claims 1913), Genzsch Antiqua (1906), Genzsch Kursiv (1906), Genzsch Antiqua halbfett (1908), Genzsch Kursiv halbfett (1908), Genzsch Antiqua fett (1910), Genzsch Antiqua schmallfett (1910), Genzsch Fraktur (1931), Genzsch Fraktur halbfett (1932), Heyse Antiqua (1921), Heyse Antiqua halbfett (1924), Heyse Kursiv (1921), Senats Fraktur (1907), Senats Fraktur halbfett (1908), Germanische Antiqua (1911), Germanische Antiqua halbfett (1912), Germanische Kursiv (1911), Hamburger Druckschrift (1904; halbfett and fett in 1908).

The first appearance of Nordisk Antiqua (or Genzsch-Antiqua) was in 1906 with a single weight under the name of "Nordisk Antiqua". In 1912 a family of seven weights was announced under the name "Genzsch-Antiqua" honoring the foundry in Hamburg where Bauer had been the manager of composing and printing since 1900. As the foundry Genzsch&Heyse had a lot of customers in Scandinavia, their Nordisk Antiqua became widely spread over the north of Europe.

All his other typefaces appeared at J.D. Trennert&Sohn: Fortuna (1930), Friedrich-Bauer-Grotesk (1933), Friedrich-Bauer-Grot. kräftig (1934), Friedrich-Bauer-Grot. halbfett (1934), Friedrich-Bauer-Grotesk fett (1934), F.-Bauer-Grot. schmalhalbfett (1934), Friedrich-Bauer-Grotesk licht (1934), Trennert Antiqua (1926), Trennert Kursiv (1927), Trennert Antiqua halbfett (1927), Trennert Antiqua fett (1929), Trennert Kursiv fett (1930), Trennert Antiqua schmalhalbfett (1929), Trennert Latein (1932).

For a digital revival of Friedrich Bauer Grotesk, see FF Bauer Grotesk (2014, Thomas Ackermann and Felix Bonge for Fontfont).

Digital revival of Senats Fraktur: Senatsfraktur (2020, Raph M. Unger).

Digital revivals of Genzsch Antiqua:

  • Genzsch Antiqua by Gerhard Helzel. In mager, halbfett and kursiv.
  • Nordische Antiqua (2000) by Gisela Will.
  • Nordik (1992) by Bo Berndal, released by Monotype.
  • LD Genzsch Antiqua (2017-2020) by Michael Wörgötter at Lazydogs Type Foundry.

Author of Chronik der Schriftgiessereien in Deutschland und den deutschsprachigen Nachbarländen (1928, Offenbach am Main). A PDF file exists that was made and expanded by Hans Reichardt in 2011. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Friedrich Nies
[Friedrich Nies]

Leipzig-based typefounder who started W. Drugulin in Leipzig in 1829. Aka Niesschen Schriftgiesserei. Drugulin later evolved into the Museum für Druckkunst. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Friedrich Nies
[Friedrich Nies]

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Fritz Genzmer

Author of Das Buch des Setzers (1948), an overview of the hand composition typefaces available by German type foundries at the end of World War II:

  • From Frankfurt: Bauersche Giesserei, Ludwig&Mayer, D. Stempel.
  • From Berlin: H. Berthold, Norddeutsche Schriftgiesserei.
  • From Hamburg: Genzsch&Heyse.
  • From Offenbach: Gebr. Klingspor.
  • From Leipzig: J.G. Schelter&Giesecke, Ludwig Wagner.
  • From Dresden: Brüder Butter.
  • From Altona: J.D. Trennert und Sohn.
  • From Stuttgart: C.E. Weber.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Fritz Stelzer

F.H. Pierpont's successor at Monotype, early 1900s. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

From Old Books

Great service in which many old books woith alphabets have been fully scanned. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Futura: Text by Mac McGrew
[Paul Renner]

Futura is a geometric, serifless type designed by Paul Renner for Bauer Type foundry in Germany in 1927, and features reproportioning which at first seemed radical in relation to the traditional gothics. It first gained popularity in America as imported foundry type. The first copies in this country were made by Baltimore Type under the name Airport (q.v.). One source says it was cut from original Futura drawings, but most likely it was electrotyped from imported fonts. Three extrabold versions were added by Baltimore Type, apparently being introduced before their counterparts from other sources.

Airport Black and Airport Black Condensed Title were cut about 1943. Airport Broad is essentially a modification by pantagraph of Airport Black, being cut 50 percent wider. These typefaces are heavier than most of their counterparts, none of which copy them exactly, although Spartan Extra Black is about the same weight.

Intertype copied a number of Futura typefaces under the original names in 1939, with additional weights designed by Edwin W. Shaar and Tommy Thompson up to 1956.

Monotype copied the series under the name Twentieth Century, with additional versions by Sol Hess.

Spartan is claimed to have been redrawn from various European sources, but is almost indistinguishable from Futura. It was cut cooperatively by American Type and Linotype, with smaller sizes matching from both sources. Linotype introduced its Sanserif 52, later renamed Spartan Black, in 1939, while other weights appeared as late as 1955. Some of the additional weights were drawn for ATF by Bud Renshaw and Gerry Powell.

On Ludlow, Tempo Alternate is a near copy of Futura, but not quite as close as the other typefaces listed; in addition, this typeface has several alternate letters and figures which change the character of the design when substituted. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Futura: Wikipedia

From the Wikipedia entry:

Futura is a geometric sans serif typeface designed in 1927 by Paul Renner. Although Renner was not associated with the Bauhaus, he shared many of its idioms and believed that a modern typeface should express modern models, rather than be a revival of a previous design. Renner's initial design included several geometrically constructed alternative characters and ranging (old style) figures which can be found in the typeface Architype Renner. Futura was commissioned by the Bauer type foundry. The success of Futura coincided with the creation of many competing geometric sans serif typefaces including Kabel, Metro, Vogue, Erbar and Spartan, Twentieth Century, and Century Gothic among others.

Futura has an appearance of efficiency and forwardness. The typeface is derived from simple geometric forms (near-perfect circles, triangles and squares) and is based on strokes of near-even weight, which are low in contrast. (This is most visible in the almost perfectly round stroke of the o, but the shape is actually slightly ovoid.) In designing Futura, Renner avoided the decorative, eliminating non-essential elements. The lowercase has tall ascenders, which rise above the cap line. The uppercase characters present proportions similar to those of classical roman capitals.

Uses of Futura by businesses: Graphic identity of Volkswagen and Union Pacific, Swissair (1950s to the 1990s), Boeing's flightdeck labeling, films by Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick, the commemorative plaque left on Earth's moon by Apollo 11 astronauts in July 1969, Ikea Sans and Opel Sans (Futura-based house fonts designed by Robin Nicholas), Doctor Who (BBC series), RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, and Ferrovie dello Stato. [Google] [More]  ⦿

G. C. Heins, C. G. LaFarge and S. J. Vickers

Designers of various tile-based fonts for New York's subway in 1901. Read about it in Lee Stokey's book, Subway Ceramics (1992). Two fonts by Nick Curtis were inspired by that tiling in New York's subway, Downtown Tessie NF (2006) and Midtown Tessie NF (2006). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gaelic Typefaces: History and Classification
[Michael Everson]

Detailed historical listing of Gaelic typefaces by Michael Everson. He says that it is not always easy to classify Gaelic typefaces. His classification proposal:

    First order classification
    • Gaelic fonts have Insular letterforms: delta-form d; s-form g; dotless i; round t with no ascender above the crossbar.
    • Pseudo-Gaelic fonts may be identical to Gaelic ones in other respects, but are inauthentic in that they have Carolingian letterforms: a bowled g and/or either a round t with its ascender piercing the crossbar or a rectilinear T. May have a tall f or a two-stroke vertical b and d. May have a dotted i (this is a cardinal sin).
    • Roman fonts use unmodified Roman forms, but have dots above and acute accents required for Irish Gaelic. If dotted i is used, its dot and the dot of lenition must be harmonized with regard to height.
    • Hybrid fonts use both Roman letterforms and Gaelic letterforms. The earliest typefaces mix special Gaelic glyphs with existing Roman ones. A few typefaces give Roman capital letters with Gaelic small letters; even if the strokes of the capital letters are "gaelicized", if they are not strictly speaking Gaelic, Hybrid is used to classify the face.
    Second order classification
    • Manuscript fonts are generally spiky or angular; often irregular.
    • Transitional fonts are designs intermediate between typefaces that reproduce calligraphic manuscript hands and rectified, regularized typographical typefaces.
    • Modern fonts are regularized typographically.
    Third order classification
    • Angular fonts have the inverted-v type a, though sometimes this contrasts with round-humped h, m, n.
    • Round fonts have the script type a.
    • Uncial fonts give a strong suggestion of pen-based strokes. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between Manuscript and Uncial but the latter is a "pre-Gaelic" class (there are non-Insular Uncials)
    • Monowidth fonts are typewriter typefaces.
    • Sans-serif fonts have no serifs.
    • Grotesque fonts have no serifs.
[Google] [More]  ⦿


Wiki page on Garamond, a group of old style serif typefaces that can be traced back to Claude Garamond (1480-1561) and Jean Jannon. Easy to recognize by the small-eyed e, the genuflexing italic h, the small-bowled a and the tall ascenders with downwards sloping serifs, this letter style came to prominence in the 1540s. Garamond was commissioned to create a Greek typeface for the French king François I, to be used in a series of books by Robert Estienne. The French court later adopted Garamond's roman types for their printing. The typeface was widely used in France and Western Europe. Garamond based much of the design of his lowercase on the handwriting of Angelo Vergecio, librarian to François I. The italics of most contemporary versions are based on the italics of Garamond's assistant Robert Grandjon. The only complete set of the original Garamond dies and matrices can be found at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerpen, Belgium. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gene Gable
[That 70's Type]

[More]  ⦿

Gene Gable

Gene Gable on the history of typewriters. I cite: Typewriter patents date back to 1713 or older, according to many sources, but nearly everyone ascribes the invention of the modern typewriter to Americans Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel Soule, in 1873. The three Milwaukee businessmen soon sold their patents to the Remington arms company, who went on to popularize the typewriter. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Geofroy Tory

Also Maistre Geofroy Tory de Bourges. Parisian printer, designer and engraver, 1480-1533. As designer and engraver he produced beautiful initials, borders, and illustrations. In Champ-fleury, auquel est contenu l'art et science de la vraie proportion des lettres antiques selon le corps et visage humain (Gilles de Gourmond, Paris, 1529), Geoffroy Tory compared the proportions in letters to proportions in the human body. The books treats the design of roman capitals and is critical of the work of Dürer. It was translated in English by George B. Ives, New York, in 1927. There also exists a facsimile, with introduction by John Jolliffe. East Ardsley, dated 1970. He was rewarded by François I with the title of Imprimeur du Roi in 1531.

Octavo.com sells a CD of the original book. You can also view the text on-line. Essay in Spanish on his life. Page at Columbia University. A French thesis on Geoffroy Tory. PDF of Champ Fleury.

Scans, images: Letter I superimposed on a human face, Lettres Fantastiques (caps made from tools), [continued], Lettres Imperialles et Bullatiques (capitals), [continued], Lettres Tourneures (Lombardian capitals), Construction of an S, Construction of a Z, Construction of an A, his Lettres Latines alphabet, Cadeaulx (blackletter caps), [continued].

There have been rather few attempts at making a typeface based on Tory's drawings from Champ Fleury. Gilles Le Corre (GLC) created 1529 Champ Fleury Initials (2010) for example. The text of that book, which was printed by Gilles de Gourmond in Paris, led Gilles Le Corre to develop the rough typeface 1529 Champ Fleury Pro. Christian Küsters designed AF Champ Fleury (1996). Michael Jacoby based his Vitruvia Titling (2016) on the Champfleury typeface. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Geometrically Constructed Letterforms

Early type designers attempted to find special relationships between the proportions of the letters and the shape and dimension of the human body. Such geometrically constructed letterforms became popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. The main proponents of this movement were Nicollo Niccoli (1420, a Florentine humanist), Geofroy Tory (1529, famous for his "Champs Fleury" publication), Felice Feliciano (1463, a Veronese calligrapher, printer and scholar), Albrecht Dürer (1523), Luca Pacioli (1509), Francesco Torniello (1517), Giovanbattista Palatino (1550), Wolgang Fugger (1553, see his Handwriting Manual), and the French Academics for Louis XIV (1692). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Georg B. Allmacher
[Rudolf Koch]

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Georg Joachim Göschen

[More]  ⦿

Georg Kraus
[Preußisches Bleisatz-Magazin]

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George Bruce

Type-founder (b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1781, d. New York City, 1866). He and his brother David emigrated to the United States, where they started the Bruce Type Foundry in New York City in 1813. David was precoccupied with a new printing process, stereotyping, while George was the type-founder who created many beautiful and refined designs. Together, they invented a useful type-casting machine. In 1865, George Bruce published An abridged specimen of fonts of type. In 1848, they published Specimens of printing types / cast by Geo. Bruce&Co. Samples of typefaces: Bruce Script and Bruce Copperplate Script (1842 and 1858), Bruce Copperplate Script No. 2003 (1857), Bruce Italian Swash Script No. 2007 (1858), Victoria Textura (1865).

Quoting From Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. 6 vols. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.:

Bruce, George, type-founder (proprietor of the Bruce foundry), born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 5 July, 1781: died in New York City, 6 July, 1866. He immigrated to the United States, where his brother David had preceded him in July, 1795, and at first attempted to learn the bookbinder's trade, but, his master being tyrannical and exacting, he left him, and by his brother's persuasion apprenticed himself to Thomas Dobson, printer in Philadelphia. In 1798 the destruction of Dobson's office by fire, and the prevalence of yellow fever, led the brothers to leave the city. George had yellow fever at Amboy, but recovered through his brother's care. The two went to Albany and obtained employment there, but after a few months returned to New York. In 1803 young Bruce was foreman and a contributor to the Daily Advertiser, and in November of that year printer and publisher of the paper for the proprietor. In 1806 the two brothers opened a book printing office at the corner of Pearl street and Coffeehouse slip. The same year they brought out an edition of Lavoisier's Chemistry, doing all the work with their own hands. Their industry and personal attention to business soon brought them abundant employment, and in 1809, removing to Sloat lane, near Hanover square, they had nine presses in operation, and published occasionally on their own account. In 1812 David went to England, and brought back with him the secret of stereotyping. The brothers attempted to introduce the process, but encountered many difficulties, which it required all their ingenuity to surmount. The type of that day was cast with so low a beveled shoulder that it was not suitable for stereotyping, as it interfered with the molding and weakened the plate. They found it necessary, therefore, to cast their own type. They invented a planing-machine for smoothing the backs of the plates and reducing them to a uniform thickness, and the mahogany shifting-blocks to bring the plates to the same height as type. Their first stereotype works were school editions of the New Testament in bourgeois, and the Bible in nonpareil (1814 and 1815). They subsequently stereotyped the earlier issues of the American Bible society, and a series of Latin classics. In 1816 they sold out the printing business, and bought a building in Eldridge street for their foundry. Here, and subsequently in 1818, when they erected the foundry still occupied by their successors in Chambers Street, George gave his attention to the enlargement and development of the type-founding business, while David confined his labors to stereotyping. In 1822 David's health failed, and the partnership was dissolved. George soon relinquished stereotyping, and gave his whole attention to type-founding, and introduced valuable improvements into the business, cutting his own punches, making constantly new and tasteful designs, and graduating the size of the body of the type so as to give it a proper relative proportion to the size of the letter. In connection with his nephew, David Bruce, Jr., he invented the only typecasting machine That has stood the test of experience, and is now in general use. His scripts became famous among printers as early as 1832, and retained their pre-eminence for a generation. The last set of punches he cut was for a great primer script. He was at the time in his seventy-eighth year, but for beauty of design and neatness of finish, the type in question has rarely been excelled. Mr. Bruce was a man of large benevolence, of unflinching integrity, and great decision of character. He was president for many years of the Mechanics' Institute, and of the type-founders' association, and an active member of and contributor to, the historical society, St. Andrew's society, the typographical society, and the general society of mechanics and tradesmen. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

George Gorton Machine Co

Engraving machine company in Racine, WI. They created several typefaces including Gorton Normal, Gorton Extended, Gorton Moderne, Gorton Stamp Series, and Gorton Script. Digital versions of these types include Gordon (URW++: caps only, and not really a good approximation) and the rounded sans typeface Gorton (Josh Krämer). [Google] [More]  ⦿

George Gu

Toronto-based George W.L. Gu worked in a publishing house in Shanghai for eight years as assistant editor and graphic designer. In 1991, he received his Masters degree from the Musashino Art University in Tokyo where he wrote a thesis on digital typography. After graduation, he worked in the design center of Sharp for four years as the head of the font team and subsequently as an adviser. Since 1988, George has been developing and designing CJK Multiple Master display typefaces. In 1998, he single-handedly completed a set of JIS X 0208-1990 MMT, which contains 25,420 Kanji and Kana symbols. He lives in Toronto since 1993.

Speaker at ATypI 2012 in Hong Kong: Hanzi: The Past, Present, and Future.

In his Hong Kong talk, Gu basically summarizes the history of CJK font design. Here are the main points:

  • 1807: Robert Morrison mixed Chinese wooden types with English metal letters for printing.
  • 1858: William Gamble (1830-1886) was the first to electroplate Chinese type for printing. In modern printing, we call the typefaces, Hong Kong and Shanghai types, respectively.
  • Gamble was invited to Japan and taught the locals how to make hot type. In 1912, Japanese type designers purchased the Linn Boyd Benton machine from the U.S., which allowed them to transition from mould-cutting by hand to large-scale production by machine.
  • Ishii Shigekich and Morisawa Noboo, inspired by Monotype, invented the photo-typesetting machine. Nevertheless, due to the vast quantity of Hanzi characters in use, the high cost and time-consuming process of transforming these types from hot metal onto high precision photo-typesetting machine is an ongoing limitation.
  • Gu lists the limitations of Far East font designs: Flaws resulting from sizing fonts, Uneven alignment, Disruption of normal spacing, Loss of aesthetics in the development of type families.
  • Lu concludes with font production methods that are best suited for use in printed materials, electronic devices, and the internet: (1) Stroke typefaces such as Dyna Font (made in Taiwan), (2) Typefaces that are partitioned such as the Paris and Berlin types, ca. 1836-1860, (3) Use of Fontographer's EM function to alter font weights, (4) Use of MMT technology.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

George Petrie

Dublin-based creator of the Gaelic uncial round typefaces Petrie A (also called Irish Archaeological Society 1 and 3), ca. 1835, and Petrie B (Irish Archaeological Society 2), ca. 1850. The Gaelic Modern round typeface Petrie C (also known as Thom) is due to Alexander Thom (ca. 1856). Petrie made the Gaelic modern angular typeface Newman (or: Keating Society) around 1857. That typeface was digitized as Gaeilge (1991) and Bunchló (1996). Brendan Leen explains: The artist and antiquary George Petrie occupies a central position in the history of Irish character typography in the nineteenth century. In 1830, Petrie purchased a holograph copy of the Annals of the Four Masters and, shortly afterward, commenced the design and production of an Irish type suitable for the printing of the Annals. An artist of contemporary renown, Petrie possessed a sound knowledge not only of the aesthetics, but also of the mechanics and technology of print production. The Petrie type continued to be used in the Clann Lir periodical, printed until 1922 by Colm Ó Lochlainn at the Sign of the Three Candles, Temple Bar, and by the National University of Ireland until 1957 for the setting of its examinations in Irish. Sample. About the Newman type, inspired by the Book of Hymns, and commissioned by Cardinal John Henry Newman, Leen writes: A typeface that owed more to the minuscule calligraphic tradition was prepared specifically for the Catholic University of Ireland, also by George Petrie. In order to avoid confusion with the earlier, half-uncial Petrie designs is generally referred to as the Newman type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gerardus Mercator

Flemish cartographer, b. Rupelmonde (as Gheert Cremer), 1512-1594. Educated at the University of Leuven, the alma mater of Luc Devroye, he lived in Duisburg (now Germany) from 1552 and is remembered for the Mercator chart named after him. Author of Literarum Latinarum, quas Italicas cursorias que vocant, scribendarum ratio (1540), which contains some beautiful alphabets, and teaches cursive writing [see Cursiv Latein].

Digital mapmaking fonts based on Mercator's chancery hand include Mercator (1995, Arthur Baker; see also the P22 version from 2001), and Ribbon Cursive (2009, Natsuko Hayashida). A scan of his 1540 book led Gilles Le Corré to 1540 Mercator Script (2010).

A full scan of Gerardus Mercator's 1595 cosmographic atlas. Portrait.

View typefaces related to Mercator. A list of typefaces related to Mercator. More typefaces based on Mercator's chancery hand. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gerhard Munthe

Norwegian typographer and printer (1849-1929). Around 1910, he worked with the Klingspor brothers to produce Munthe-skrift (1904-1910), a Fraktur-like script font. However, it was never commercially released, and was lost when the foundry was bombed during the Second World War.

Frisianus (1994-1995, by T. Eng) is a wonderful script font with great alternate caps, based on Munthe's lettering. It was made by Torbjørn Eng and is available from Luth og Co. Munthe drew the characters based on manuscripts from the 12th century, especially the famous Codex Frisianus, to use with a 1904 book of poems, Draumkvedet. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gerrit Willem Ovink

Dutch typographer and type teacher (b. Amsterdam, 1912, d. 1984), professor at Plantin Genootschap in Antwerp (1951-1956) and the University of Amsterdam (1956-1982), winner of the Gutenberg prize in 1983. From 1945 until 1977, he was aesthetic advisor at Lettergieterij Amsterdam (voorheen Tetterode). It is thanks to Ovink that the Tetterode Collection was accepted in the Bijzondere Collecties van de University of Amsterdam. He wrote an unbelievably detailed book in which he compares various typefaces in statistical tests to determine various aspects of legibility and impact: Legibility, Atmosphere-Value and Forms of Printing Types (A.W. Sijthoff's Uitgervsmij N.V., Leiden, 1938). The bibliography in this text is pretty complete up to 1938, and was his graduation thesis at the University of Utrecht. Also recommended is a 40-page short historical review of the modern printing type, which comes with a fresh look on things.

Author of Honderd jaren lettergieterij in Amsterdam (1951), about Dutch type design and typography in the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th centuries.

He also had a hand in the design of the "Dutch DIN", the traffic signage font NEN 3225, which is described in his book, NEN 3225: Dutch standard alphabets (1964).

Quote by him: Bodoni would be an admirable letter for a death notice!

Obituary, which reminds us of the serious conflicts between Ovink on one side and his Plantin colleagues Jan van Krimpen and Sem Hartz on the other side.

Reference: The picture by Ovink below courtesy of Henk Gianotten. Magistraal (a free PDF from 2007 at the Plantin Genootschap based on a 1988 text by Albert J.M. Pelckmans). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Geschichte der Typografie

Brief history of type. In German. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Giornale Nuovo

Great news page about old books, the history of the book and type, incunabula, and important but forgotten artists. Ceased in 2008, but the archives are still there. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Giovambattista Palatino
[Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino cittadino romano]

[More]  ⦿

Giovanantonio Tagliente

Or Giovanni Antonio Tagliente. Calligrapher and writing master, born in Venice, 1468-1527. Author of Lo presente libro insegna la vera arte de lo excellente scrivere de diverse varie sorti de litere (1524). Sample images from that penmanship book, which includes scripts for Latin, Hebrew and Greek: i, ii, iii, iv. Also: Chancery, Florentine, Florentine bastarda, Lettera bollatica, Lettera imperiale. Sets of ornamental capitals: Italian gothic Initials and Italian Renaissance Capitals. Picture of Tagliente's title page of his book in 1531. PDF of his work by Toni Pecoraro. Digitizations:

  • A scanfont based on his chancery is 1491 Cancellaresca Formata (2009, GLC).
  • Stanley Morison's metal Bembo (1929) is based on Tagliente's letters. Bitstream's Aldine 401 is the first digital take of Bembo, which is attributed jointly to F. Griffo and G. Tagliente. JY Aetna (1994) is Jack Yan's version. Other revivals include Bembo MT (Monotype), Bamberg Serial (Softmaker), Bergamo and Bergamo Osf (Softmaker), Bergamo (Infinitype) and Bergamo (FontSite).
FontShop link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Giovanbattista Palatino

Or Giovanni Battista Palatino. Giovanbattista Palatino, b. Rossano, Italy, d. ca. 1575, Naples. The calligrapher's calligrapher, was the most prolific designer in the first half of the sixteen century. Palatino designed 29 different scripts, and also designed, not only Latin but, German, Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, Greek, Egyptian, Syrian, Indian, Cyrillic and several other alphabets. In 1540 he published a writing instruction and lettering book entitled Libro nuovo d'imparare a scrivere. In 1566, he wrote Compendio dl Gran Volume.

Palatino is also the name of a famous typeface designed in 1948 by Hermann Zapf at Linotype. Akira Kobayashi, the Palatino typeface family was expanded. Linotype released the Palatino Nova in 2005 and Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal in 2006 as a joint effort of Hermann Zapf and Akira Kobayashi. Copies or near-copies of Zapf's Palatino include Book Antiqua (by Monotype, distributed by Microsoft---this typeface did not have Zapf's blessing and may well have led Zapf to resign from ATypI), URW Palladio L (on which Zapf collaborated), TeX Gyre Pagella (free), Zapf Calligraphic 801 (by Bitstream, approved by Zapf), Zapf Renaissance Antiqua (by Scangraphic), Paltus (URW), Palladium (Compugraphic), Palm Strings (Corel), Parlament (Scangraphic), Patina (Alphatype), pal (GoScript), Palladio (by SoftMaker), palazzo (by SoftMaker), and FPL Neu (based on URW Palladio L).

View various digital implementions of Zapf's Palatino. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Giovanni Battista Braccelli

Giovanni Battista Braccelli (ca. 1600, d. before 1650) was an Italian engraver and painter of the Baroque period, who was active in Firenze. He is best known for his book of prints, Bizzarie di Varie Figure [a variety of human shapes], published in 1624 in Livorno, and dedicated to Don Pietro Medici. It contains wonderful futuristic engravings. Wikipedia: In this book, he engraves baroque experiments recalling Arcimboldo, engaging in a rarified set of conceits. Some of the figures are composed of boxes or raquets or curlicues. He published a second collection of prints entitled Figure Con Instrumenti Musicali E Boscarecci. Finally, he created Alfabeto figurato (1632, Italy), letters made by human forms.

Link to his human figure alphabet.

Digitization of his Bizzarie di varie figure include Bracelli Geometric Human Forms (Dick Pape, 2010). Dick Pape writes: Giovanni Battista Braccelli's Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. (1624) Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli's designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much 15th- and 16th-century European art. Braccelli's work had considerable influence on later generations of artists. His figures were adopted, for example, during the 20th century by the Surrealists, who lavished praise on his geometric forms and his ability to invest mechanical images with graceful, human qualities. Some of the etchings portray human emotion, as when figures dance across the page or struggle with one another in mortal combat. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Giovanni Francesco Cresci

Or Gianfrancesco Cresci. Milanese calligrapher who worked in Rome during the later 16th century, and became the Vatican's scriptor. Author of Essemplare (1560) and Il Perfetto Scrittore (Venice, 1569-1570), and influential Italian writing master. The full title of the book is II perfetto Scrittore Di M. Gio. Francesco Cresci Cittadino Milanese Doue se veggono i veri Caratteri & le natural forme di tutte quelle sorti di lettere che a vero scrittor si appartengono. Con alcun'altre da lui nuouamente ritrouate : Et i modi che deue tenere il mastro per ben insegnare.

BibliOdyssey describes a type scandal from that era: Gianfrancesco Cresci heralded the onset of the Baroque by categorically rejecting what he considered were the useless adornments to some of the alphabets produced in the 1540s by the master calligrapher, Giambattista Palatino. Palatino responded by adopting letterforms similar to Cresci's (whose first work was published in 1560 in Essemplare) only to be accused by Cresci of lacking the necessary skills to produce the set himself, instead hiring an engraver for the work. It was quite the calligraphy/typography scandal of the 16th century. I believe the modern scholarly consensus, from manuscript comparisons, vindicates Palatino.

Some images of his alphabets: Italian Gothic Capitals (1570), Italian Initials (1570), Italian Minuscule (1570). Another minuscule from 1570.

Digital fonts directly based on his work include the Trajan all-caps typeface Cresci LP (1997, Garrett Boge).

Pictures of his roman capitals. Images from Il Perfetto Scrittore. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Giovanni Padovana

Italian typographer. Imre Reiner shows and compares the earliest fleurons, including one by Aldus Manutius (1500), Giovanni Padovana (1528), Dolet (1540) and Egenolff (1590). Close-up. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Girgio Coraglia

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Global Type
[Lars Kähler]

German/English web site by Lübeck, Germany-based printing engineer Lars Kähler (b. 1962) about all typographic matters, but still under construction. For example, it will have biographies, complete lists of fonts from the major foundries, technological surveys, and articles on the history of type. Lars has been typesetter from 1987 until 1994. He spoke at ATypI 2006 in Lisbon on Global Type, his project. PDF of Lars' presentation. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Goetz Morgenschweis
[Type Goemo]

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Google Patent Search

Google patent search turns up about 8800 font patents filed with the US Patent Office in the 19th and 20th centuries. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Google Patent Search pre 1900

Google patent search turns up about 800 font patents filed with the US Patent Office in the 19th century. One can download PDFs of all filed designs. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Goudy versus Inland

P22 reports this story about the foundry's theft of a design by Goudy: In 1900 Frederick Goudy was commissioned by W.W. Denslow to letter his edition of Mother Goose stories for the McClure, Phillips Co. of New York. (Denslow was the Illustrator of the original Wizard of Oz and also an occasional Roycroft illustrator.) The lettering that Goudy designed featured short ascenders and descenders, as well as a tall x-height. Shortly thereafter the Inland type foundry of St. Louis released a typeface that was a direct copy of Goudy's lettering. Goudy seemed to be more offended that the font was named "Hearst" after the notorious newspaper mogul, than by the fact that they copied his designs. As Goudy had put it: "To my surprise, a little later on, the Inland Type foundry of St. Louis, without consultation with me, brought out a new type copied--not inspired--from my Denslow lettering, and added insult to injury by naming it "Hearst." Goudy's reaction was to create his own type typeface for release. The result of Goudy's attempt to outdo a copy of his design evolved into the Pabst type face. Created for the Pabst Brewing Company, this type design has some similarities to Hearst, but is clearly its own unique face. The ascenders are much taller than Hearst and the x-height is reduced. The distressed edging of the letters and the caps bear a similarity, but clearly these are two distinct typefaces. Five years later in 1907, Goudy's "Powell" typeface was created for the Mandel Brother department store in Chicago. This "Powell" typeface bears a closer similarity to "Hearst."

The Hearst Roman typeface was later digitized by Dan Solo (Solotype) and by Nick Curtis in 2006 as Ragged Write NF. Alan Jay Prescott made New Hearst Roman and Italic in 1995. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Grafia Latina (or Graphie Latine)

A traditionalist movement in France in the 1950s that emerged under the impetus of Enric Crous-Vidal and Maximilien Vox. It emerged during the process of change from lead composition to photocomposition, with Vox as a major figure influenced by the theories of his friend Stanley Morison. Its ideology was based on the concept of Latin universalism that considered the Latin alphabet as culturally superior to any other model, in particular the more functional modern typography proposed and practiced by the Germans and the Swiss. Grafia Latina defended a drawn and humanist model of typeface. Their positions and theories were discussed during annual meetings known as the Rencontres de Lure and led to the Ecole de Lure, an organism for disseminating a journal.

Contemporary type historians studying this movement include Manuel Sesma, Raquel Pelta, and Sebastien Morlighem. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Italian site with the history of type, stone cutting and calligraphy. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Czech state type foundry (est. 1951) from the communist era at which Josef Týfa, Oldrich Menhart and Rudolf Ruzicka worked for some time. Týfova Antikva (1959, inspired by the work of architect P.L. Nervi) by Josef Týfa later became Tyfa Text (and ITC Tyfa, 1998). Frantisek Storm made a version of it under Týfa's supervision. Menhart published typefaces such as Grazdanka (1953). An unknown designer made Universal Grotesk in 1951. This typeface was used for road signs in Czechoslovakia.

Grafotechna Garamond was introduced in 1959 by Stanislav Marso.

Praha (1968) is a text typeface that was revived by Synoptic Office in 2017. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Gutenberg Bible

The Gutenberg Bible on-line, free! This is a book with an unreadable layout and annoying typography, an example of what not to do when you set a book. Its only interest is that it was a historical milestone. At the British Library. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Günther Zainer

First printer in Augsburg, where he worked from 1468 until his death in 1478. Samples of his work: Halbgotische Druckschrift (1469), a decorative initial from 1477.

Shane Brandes made a pair of digital typefaces called Zainer (2012). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Haas Unica: The story

This story is taken from the Lineto web site in 2015, just after the digital revival Unica 77 (Christian Mengelt) was published by them. All italic text are verbatim quotes. The underlying thread is a huge fight between Haas and Linotype, with on the Haas side, the Swiss outfits Team 77 and Lineto, and on the Linotype side, the corporate heavyweight. Lineto / Team 77 writes: We are proud and honoured to release Unica77, created by Christian Mengelt of Team 77, the original authors of Haas Unica. Some see Unica as the pinnacle of modernist type design, arguably the most modern and the most Swiss typeface: the idea of a «pure medium», a «neutral carrier». Unica was the typeface that finally delivered what Helvetica had only promised, at a moment when, in a bizarre twist of fate, no-one was looking. And released for a fading technology at a time of transition, it was soon relegated to undeserved obscurity. The tragic story of Haas Unica is one of technological progress, economic pressure, corporate powerplay, bad timing, and unfortunate coincidences. It's the dark side of Helvetica's bright success story.

Helvetica had been secretly developed at the Haas Foundry in the mid-1950s, against the will of Stempel, their majority stakeholder. First presented as Neue Haas Grotesk, in 1957, it was a sensational success. Haas, a relatively small enterprise depending on cooperation and licensing deals, licensed it to Linotype for worldwide exploitation, who adapted it and turned it into the fabled Helvetica. However, Linotype prevented Haas from producing Helvetica for the now prevalent phototypesetting technology, and as a consequence, Haas was denied any major share of its global success.

In 1973, Alfred Hoffmann of the Haas type foundry had enough. He invited the prolific type designers André Gürtler, Christian Mengelt, and Erich Gschwind to investigate improving Helvetica for phototypesetting, and to propose a new typeface optimised for the dominant technology of the day. Their thorough analysis of four formally related typefaces (Akzidenz Grotesk, Univers, Neue Haas Grotesk and Helvetica), later published in the document «From Helvetica to Haas Unica», served as foundation for the synthesis of the brilliant new typeface, its name an amalgam of Univers and Helvetica.

But by the time Bobst/Autologic (for their Eurocat system) and Linotype (for their Linotronic range) came out with Haas Unica, the days for phototypesetting were numbered. The personal computer was on its way to radically alter the design and printing professions, and in 1984 the Apple Macintosh promised a new dawn for type design. Haas Unica fell into the gap of this transitional period. It had taken six years from commissioning to foundry release, and when it came out, the world was ready to move on.

The shift from analogue to digital turned the industry upside down. In rapid succession, companies went bankrupt, were taken over, stripped of their assets, and sold down the river. Four years after launching Haas Unica, Haas’ business partner Stempel was sold to Linotype. Haas, one of the world's oldest foundries with a back catalogue of sheer excellence, was taken over and terminated in 1989. Haas Unica disappeared, and its designers' appeals to Linotype for a digital reissue bore no fruit---it remained buried for close to 30 years.

But it was not forgotten. As avid users of type, we often wondered why Haas Unica wasn't available on the market. In 2004, Berlin-based designer and Lineto partner Stephan Müller came across a digital version in a Scangraphic specimen book. As it wasn't available to buy, he sourced a black market copy, made minimal changes to it and discreetly used it for an artist book. This made waves and before long, Unica became a revered tool of choice for keen designers, among them Norm, Cornel Windlin, Laurent Benner, Jon Hares, and Gregor Huber & Ivan Sterzinger, to name but a few.

The years passed, and in 2012, there still was no legitimate version of Haas Unica around. What was the problem? It seemed mysterious. When we got in touch with Team 77 to express our gratitude and respect, Christian Mengelt told us the whole Unica saga. Talking to him, we also realised that the version of Unica we had grown to appreciate as a quietly obedient servant was an unauthorised version, resolutely rejected by its original designers. According to Mengelt, its more monolinear drawing and its spacing and kerning bore little resemblance to the more subtle and refined original.

At the same time, Mengelt confirmed that Linotype had absolutely no interest in re-issuing Haas Unica and had even given up the trademark years ago; it was obviously just dead weight to them. We were awestruck and decided right there and then to collaborate, in a mission to preserve Unica in its true form and original state. Christian Mengelt dug out the original drawings and went to work, carefully redrawing each of the 8 original cuts. Maurice Göldner closely collaborated with Mengelt to adapt character sets to full Latin Extended encodings, build features and extend the family with new weights (Thin, Medium, Extra Black coming soon). The rest is history, as they say.

The bad luck for Haas Unica contnues, however, in 2014-2015, as Toshi Omagari finished his splendid rendering Neue Haas Unica and Neue Haas Unica Pan European for Linotype. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hans Reichardt
[Type Designer and Punchcutter]

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Hans Reichardt

Type historian in the Frankfurt area who is associated with the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach, Germany. He has diligently compiled information on most German typefaces ever made. In 2008, Spatium Magazin has just released a DVD containing a collection of 3,000 images scanned from the pages of many 20th century German type foundry catalogs. The news announcements and forum discussions are positive. Four DVDs in all are planned. Included are scans of type specimen cards, brochures, and catalogs from various foundries, such as Bauer, Klingspor, Ludwig & Mayer, Stempel, C. E. Weber, Berthold, Genzsch & Heyse, Joh. Wagner, Flinsch and Schelter & Gieseke. In addition, books like Seemann's Handbuch der Schriftarten, Abraham Horodisch's Die Schrift im schönen Buch unserer Zeit, and Emil Wetzig's Ausgewählte Druckschriften in Alphabeten are scanned as well. Table of contents. All images on the DVD are at 150 dpi resolution.

Author of Bleisatzschriften des 20. Jahrhunderts aus Deutschland (2008, Offenbach) and Bleisatzschriften des 20. Jahrhunderts International (2009, Offenbach), both in DVD format. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hans Reichardt
[Klingspor Museum Offenbach]

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Hans-Jürgen Wolf

Born in Berlin in 1938, Hans-Jürgen Wolf studied graphic arts and painting with Richard Blank at the Design Institute of Berlin. As a graphic artist, he joined the studio of Schering AG in Berlin. Author of Geschichte der Typographie (Historia, 1999) and Geschichte der graphischen Verfahren (Historia, 1990), a detailed work on the history of typesetting and printing machine companies.

Designer of Wolf Antiqua (1966, VGC). This typeface is available as Justine (NovelFonts) and OPTI Julie (Castcraft). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hans-Otto Keunecke

German type historian. As example of his work was published in die Deutsche Schrift in 1988: Geschichte der Schwacher (history of Schwabacher). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Harald Haarmann

Author of Universalgeschichte der Schrift (Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt, 1991), a book that deals with the history of type and many typeface systems. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Harold Horman

Co-founder with Edward Rondthaler of Photo-Lettering Inc in 1936 in New York City. He designed the firm's initial collection of typefaces by photographing existing metal designs. These included Carnival (a Western reverse stress typeface). Carnival was digitally revived at House Industries in 2013 by Dan Reynolds. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Harry Carter

Father of Matthew Carter, typographic historian, and archivist of the Oxford University Press, who lived in the UK from 1901-1982. Author in 1969 of "A view of early typography: up to about 1600". This will be reissued by Hyphen Press in 2002 and is reviewed by Andy Crewdson. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Harry Kessler

Or Harry Graf von Kessler, or Harry Count Kessler, b. 1868, Paris, d. 1937, Lyon. Quoting MyFonts: Wealthy Paris-born, English-educated son of a German-Swiss father and an Irish mother, a diplomat and patron of the arts, Count Harry Kessler established his private press, the Cranach Presse, in Weimar in 1913. In 1904 he came to London to seek the advice of Emery Walker on the design of books for Insel Verlag, the innovative Leipzig publishing house. While there he was introduced to Eric Gill and Edward Johnston, both of whom he commissioned to draw title pages for Insel Verlag. Kessler later asked Walker to produce a type for the Cranach Presse. Just as Walker had done with types whose design he had supervised for other major private presses---Kelmscott, Doves and Ashendene---he chose Edward Prince to cut the punches. Unfortunately for all concerned, and despite help from Johnston, Prince had serious problems cutting the italic, seemingly unable to interpret the designs of Tagliente. The punches were finished only after Prince's death and barely used. Kessler's interests in fine printing were interrupted by World War I and his posting to Poland as ambassador. He left Germany for France in 1933, with the rise of the Nazis. Cranach published classic works by Shakespeare, Virgil, and Petronius, and such contemporary authors as Rilke, van de Velde and Hauptmann. Kessler's life story provides us with a valuable insight into the Weimar period of German history.

In 1904, during his work in Weimar, Harry Kessler began to publish a group of bibliophilic books containing artistic compositions that combine original typography and illustrations. In the beginning he cooperated with the German Insel Verlag. He commissioned an alphabet designed for his book's covers. That bespoke typeface was revived by Alaric Garnier in 2019 as Kessler (Production Type). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hazeltine Typesetting Inc

Publishers of Library of Type (1959). This book showcases ornate fonts, dating from the 8th to the 16th century, include German Arabesque and Old English Riband. For some samples, see Jaime Henderson's scans at this page (some are reproduced below). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hebrew Type
[Hillel Smith]

Informative web site on the history of Hebrew, mainly concerned with typography and bookmaking. It is run by Hillel Smth, a graphic designer and illustrator based in Los Angeles. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hell GmbH
[Rudolf Hell]

Foundry started by Dr. Ing. Rudolf Hell in 1947 in Kiel, Germany. The business started off repairing Hellschreiber machines, but went on to produce the Klischograph, Hell's invention---an electronically controlled printing block engraver. In 1964 he invented the Digiset, the first digital typesetter. His Digi-Grotesk S (1968) is said to be the first digital typeface. Gerard Unger worked there until the mid eighties. In the late 1970s Hell became a subsidiary of Siemens. It merged with Linotype in 1990 to become Linotype-Hell. Its main designers were Gerard Unger (Demos, 1975; Hollander, 1983; Praxis, 1977; Swift, 1985) and H. Zapf (Edison, 1978; Marconi, 1976).

MyFonts sells Vario Com (by Hermann Zapf for Hell, but now a Linotype face), and Sierra Com by Kris Holmes, also first done for Hell but now owned by Linotype. About Sierra Com, they write: Sierra is an antiqua with a high x-height and generous, open counters. Many curves of the letters are almost right angles, which was particularly suited to the Digiset machines.

Linotype now has digital versions of Digi Grotesk and Digi Antiqua in its library. DigiGrotesk N was influenced by Neuzeit Grotesk, while DigiGrotesk S was a more general sans in the style of Akzidenz Grotesk, Univers and Futura. Digi Antiqua (1968) goes back to the 1820s in England.

Hell created Holsatia (Latin for Holstein, as in Schleswig-Holstein), a Helvetica clone.

Rudolf Hell was born in Eggmühl, Germany in 1901 and died in Kiel in 2002.

MyFonts also shows Hell Design Studio. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Helmar Fischer

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Henri Estienne

Of the famous 16th century Estienne family in Paris. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henri Jules Ferdinand Bellery-Desfontaines

French art nouveau era painter and illustrator, b. 1867 Paris, d. 1909 Les Petites Dalles. He designed a typeface and ornaments at the end of his life, which appeared posthumously in 1910 at Deberny&Peignot and was called Le Bellery-Desfontaines.

Wikipedia link. More on his typeface. Another wikipedia link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henry Caslon

British typefounder from the famous Caslon family. Author of Specimen of Printing types (1841), which showcases the typefaces of Caslon, Son and Livermore. PDF file of that book. Excerpts: Albion No. 1, Double Pica No. 3, Five Line Pica Open, Four Line Pica Shaded, Italian [this is a famous Western face, dating from 1821, and entitled the Italian Monstrosity by James Clough (who considers it not a monstrosity at all---the title refers to bad reputation of Caslon's Italian in the eyes of type critics such as T.C. Hansard and Nicolete Grey)], Nine Line Pica, Ornament No. 113, Ornament No. 159, Seven Line Pica Italian, Sixteen Line Pica Compressed, Ten Line Pica Compressed, Two Line Letters No. 4, Two Line Pica Chessmen.

Images of some type specimen from Henry Taylor Wyse's book of 1911: AngloSaxon, Antique Old Style, Baskerville, Black No. 4, Cheltenham, Cheltenham Bold Outline, Cheltenham Heavy Italic, Cheltenham Old Style, Cheltenham Old Style, Lining Carlton, Morland, Morland Italic, Old Face, Old Face Heavy, Old Face Italic, Original Black, Ornaments. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henry Taylor Wyse

Scottish author of Modern type display and the use of type ornament (1911, Edinburgh), a book which can be found in full on the web. See also here. PDF of that book, and the text file. Most of the specimens discussed in the text are from H.W. Caslon Typefounders, Stephenson Blake, Charles Reed and Miller & Richard. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henry Taylor Wyse on Scottish printers

Henry Taylor Wyse writes in 1911 in Modern type display and the use of type ornament: Scottish printers received their supplies of type in the early days of printing from Holland. The first Scottish type-founder was Alex. Wilson, a native of St Andrews, who migrated to London in 1737 as an assistant apothecary. Accompanied by a friend, he was conducted over a type foundry there, and, thinking he could improve upon the current methods of type-founding, he started, along with a Mr Baine, a type foundry in his native town in 1742. The business prospered to such an extent, that the foundry was soon removed to Camlachie, a small village near Glasgow. While in Glasgow, Wilson formed many friendships with the professors of the University there, and also with Robert and Andrew Foulis, the University printers. He is probably best known by the magnificent founts of Greek letters which he cut, and which were used for the splendid edition of the Greek classics issued by the University. In 1834 the Glasgow Type Foundry, as it was called, was transferred to London. In 1845 the firm became bankrupt, and most of the punches and matrices were bought by the Caslons. William Miller, a foreman in the Glasgow Foundry, started business in Edinburgh in 1809 as Wm. Miller & Co. In 1822 the title of the firm was changed to William Miller. In 1832 Mr Richard was admitted as a partner, the firm again becoming Wm. Miller & Co. In 1838 it was styled Miller and Richard. To this firm belongs the credit of being the first British Foundry to successfully introduce machines for casting type. William Miller died in 1843. Mr Richard and his son carried on the business till 1868 when Mr Richard, senior, retired, the conduct of the business devolving upon Mr J. M. Richard and Mr W. M. Richard, whose sons are the present proprietors. Messrs Miller & Richard are now the only type-founders in Scotland. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henry Taylor Wyse: The early British typefounders

Henry Taylor Wyse writes in 1911 in Modern type display and the use of type ornament:

GUTENBERG, the inventor of printing, as well as his immediate successors, cut their own punches, made their own matrices, and cast their own type. In the early part of the sixteenth century } however, as the number of printers increased, type-founding as a regular business began to be developed, and periodical markets for the sale of type were held throughout Europe. In England the pioneers of printing, Caxton, Wynkn de Worde, and Pynson, were founders as well as printers, casting type however mostly for their own use. One of the most noted of these founder-printers was John Day, who began business in 1546. He cut founts of Roman, Saxon, and Italic letters, and was the first English founder-printer who cut Roman and Italic letters which would range as one fount. After Day's death, English printers had to depend upon Dutch matrices from which to receive their supplies of type. The year 1585 witnessed a revival of the Oxford University Foundry and Press under Joseph Barnes. During the next century it received two important gifts. Dr John Fell, its Chancellor, in 1677 presented it with a complete foundry, consisting of over seventy sets of punches and matrices for Roman, Italic, Oriental, Saxon, and black letter founts, as well as all the necessary utensils and apparatus requisite for a complete printing office. In the same year Francis Juvinus presented similar gifts to the University.

In the middle of the seventeenth century type-founding and printing began to be carried on as separate businesses in England. Joseph Moxon (1659-1683), Robert and Sylvester Andrews (1683-1733), and Thomas and John James (1710-1782) all figure as early English type-founders. Joseph Moxon combined the business of type-founder and printer with that of hydrographer to the King. In 1669 he printed what is supposed to have been the first type-founders' specimen issued in England. Moxon was suc- ceeded by Robert Andrews and his son Sylvester, who had established a type-foundry in Oxford. This was purchased in 1733 and removed to London by Thomas James, who had been an apprentice to Robert Andrews, but had left his service before 1710, being joined by his son John at a later date. It does not appear that they cut any punches for themselves ; they depended upon Holland for their supply of matrices. By 1758 James' Foundry had absorbed no fewer than nine of the old English foundries. Varying fortunes of the Caslon firm form an interesting chapter in the history of type-founding in England. William Caslon I. (1692-1766) may be said to have been the first English type-founder who whole-heartedly devoted himself to the cutting of punches and the casting of type. Originally an engraver of gun barrels, he attracted the attention of Mr Watts, an eminent printer of his day. This printer, struck by the neatness and taste displayed by Caslon in his engraving, and being in need of a new fount of type, enquired whether he thought he could cut letters for him. After one day's consideration, he replied that he thought he could, and straightway began to cut a series of punches for the type which is now known as Caslon Old Face. It is inter- esting to know that Benjamin Franklin, who later became the well-known American printer, ambassador, and statesman, was at this time a journeyman printer in the service of Mr Watts. The efforts of Caslon gave such satis- faction the type he had produced was so much better than that in common use that the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, being in need of a new Arabic fount, commissioned him to cut it for them. In the same year (1720) he cut a Pica Roman and Italic fount. His next perform- ance was a Pica Coptic fount for Dr Wilkins' edition of the Pentateuch. These successful founts soon made him famous, and by 1730 he had eclipsed most of his competitors, and secured the exclusive custom of the King's printer. About 1733 he cut a black letter fount, and in 1734 issued his first specimen from Chiswell Street, and it contained no fewer than thirty-eight founts, all of which, with the exception of three, were from his own hand. These thirty-five founts represented the untiring industry of fourteen years. The production of this specimen placed Caslon at the head of his profession, and his type was regarded as the standard. It was illustrated in the second edition of Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopaedia in 1738. In 1739 Caslon purchased half of Robert Mitchell's matrices, the other half being bought by John James. In 1742 Caslon assumed his eldest son, Wm. Caslon II., as a partner, and in the specimen of the same year the firm appears as Wm. Caslon & Son. Caslon II. was as expert as his father at punch-cutting, and the following notice appears in " Ames' Typographical Antiquities," published in 1749: "The art seems to be carried to its greatest perfection by William Caslon and his son, who, besides the type of all manner of living languages now by him, has offered to perform the same for the dead, that can be recovered, to the satisfaction of any gentleman desirous of the same." The "Universal Magazine" of June 1750 contains an article on letter-founding, accompanied by a picture of the interior of Caslon's Foundry. The print includes representations of four casters at work, one rubber (Joseph Jackson), and one dresser (Thomas Cottrell). Punch-cutting and justifying was carried on in secret by the Caslons themselves, but Jackson and Cottrell found means to observe them at work, and learned for themselves the manual part of the "art and mystery." In the year 1757 a movement for higher wages was made by the men in Caslon's employment. The increase of wages was granted, but Jackson and Cottrell, the ringleaders, were dismissed. In the specimen of 1764 eighty-two different founts were illustrated, more than twice as many as had been shown in the specimen of 1734. Most of the new founts had been cut by Caslon II. Caslon I. was in many ways a cultured man, being extremely fond of music. He was married three times. His first family consisted of one daughter and two sons William, who succeeded him, and Thomas, who became an eminent bookseller. Caslon I. died at Bethnal Green on January 23, 1766, aged seventy-four. In 1766 Caslon II., who had succeeded to the business on the death of his father, issued a specimen on the title-page of which the original name of Wm. Caslon appears. Caslon II. died in 1778, aged fifty-eight, leaving the business to his son William (Caslon III.). In 1792 Caslon III. disposed of his interest in Chiswell Street to his mother and sister-in-law. Mrs Caslon senior died in 1795, and as her will was the object of some litigation, the estate was thrown into Chancery, and the foundry put up to auction. It was bought by Mrs Henry Caslon for 520, whereas seven years previously one-third share of the concern had been sold for 3000. In buying the foundry, Mrs Henry Caslon determined to revive the business, and for this purpose secured the services of Mr John Isaac Drury, who cut new Canon, Pica, and Double Pica founts. At the same time, Mr Nathaniel Catherwood, a distant relative, was introduced as a partner. By 1808 the foundry had regained its former position. Both Mrs Henry Caslon and Mr Catherwood died in 1809. In 1802 the firm appeared as Caslon & Catherwood, but in 1809 it was styled Wm. Caslon & Son once more. From 1814 to 1821 the partnership included John James Catherwood, brother of a former partner. From 1830 to 1834 it was styled Caslon & Livermore, then in 1839, Caslon Son and Livermore ; in 1846 Caslon & Son ; and in 1850, H. W. Caslon & Co., Ltd. the name by which it is now so widely known.

When, in 1757, Wm. Caslon I. summarily dismissed his two workmen, Joseph Jackson and Thomas Cottrell, he little thought that his action would lead to the starting of two new businesses, which would develop into rivals of his own and his successors. Thos. Cottrell started as a type-founder in 1757, and had associated with him for some time, Joseph Jackson, his unfortunate coadjutor. Cottrell's business eventually developed into that of Sir Charles Reed & Sons, while Jackson's foundry, established in 1763, at length became that of Stephenson, Blake & Co., both firms being joined under the same management in 1906. The story of the ups and downs of these firms would be too lengthy for narration in such a work as this, but it may be interesting to relate that the foundries, or at least the punches and matrices of about a dozen concerns were absorbed by Thos. Cottrell's successors. These belonged to Joseph Moxon, 1659-1683 ; R. & S. Andrews, 1683-1733 ; Thomas & John James, 1710-1782 ; Fry and Pine, 1764-1776 ; Joseph Fry & Co., 1776-1782 ; Edmund Fry & Co., 1782-1794 ; Edmund Fry and Isaac Steele, 1794-1799 ; Fry, Steele & Co., 1799-1808 ; and Edmund Fry & Son, 1816-1829, at which date William Thorowgood, who was the then living successor of Thos. Cottrell, took over the business of Edmund Fry & Son, then known as the Polyglot Letter Foundry. In 1838 the style of the firm was Thorowgood & Besley ; in 1849, Besley & Co. ; in 1861, Reed & Fox; and in 1877, Sir Charles Reed & Sons.

The foundry started by Joseph Jackson in 1763 was put up to auction after his death in 1792, and was acquired by Caslon III., who had left the Chiswell Street firm. In 1807 it belonged to Wm. Caslon, Junior, son of Caslon III. In 1819, Wm. Caslon, Junior, disposed of the foundry to Blake, Garnett & Co., who had become partners for the purpose of acquiring it, and the entire stock was removed to Sheffield. In 1830 the firm was known as Blake & Stephenson, while in 1841, it went under the style of Stephenson, Blake & Co., the name which, in association with Sir Charles Reed & Son, it now bears.

An obituary notice of Thomas Cottrell, written by his friend Nicols, throws a curious light upon the usages of the time, and is as follows : " Mr Cottrell died, I am sorry to add not in affluent circumstances, though to his profession of a letter founder, were superadded that of a doctor for the toothache, which he cured by burning the ear ! " It is interesting to notice that many of the early type-founders forsook other occupations to follow that of punch-cutting. Joseph Moxon was a hydrographer ; Caslon I. was an engraver of gun barrels ; Alex. Wilson of St Andrews, the first Scotch type-founder, and Joseph and Edmund Fry were all doctors, while John Baskerville of Birmingham was successively a footman, a writing master, a printer, and finally a type-founder. Baskerville seems to have been in many ways a remarkable man. He spent six years of effort and over 600 in improving the typography of his own day. He made everything required for his business, punches, matrices, type, ink, and even printing presses. His type was of beautiful and elegant form ; and the issue in 1757 of the first book printed with it (Virgil) was hailed with delight by the entire literary world. This was not sufficient, however, to compensate him for the years of labour he had spent on his founts. The printers of his own day preferred the bold Caslon Old Face, which had taken them by storm. He spared no effort to bring his founts into the market, but without success. His entire stock of type-punches and matrices were eventually purchased by Beaumarchais for the "Societe Litteraire Typographique " for 3,700, and transferred to France. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hermann Berthold

Typographer and entrepreneur, b. Berlin 1831, d. Berlin, 1904. In 1858, he founded his "Institute for Galvano Technology" in Berlin. He discovered a method of producing circular lines from brass instead of lead or zinc. The soldering normally necessary could be dispensed with. The lines were elastic and highly durable, and produced fine results. Most of German's letterpress printers and many printers abroad placed their orders with Berthold. In 1864, he set up H. Berthold Schriftgießerei und Messinglinienfabrik in Berlin. The company specialized initially in new technical processes for printing, such as galvano-type, as described above. Hermann Berthold headed the foundry until 1888. Around 1900, Haus Berthold was one of the largest foundries in the world.

MyFonts link.

Portrait by Arthur William Presser regarding the Akzidenz Grotesk typeface pioneered by Berthold's company. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Hillel Smith
[Hebrew Type]

[More]  ⦿

Histoire de l'imprimerie à Vénise

J.-C. Loubet del Bayle takes us on a tour of the origins of printing in Venice. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Histoire de l'imprimerie à Venise

History of printing in Venice. Exemplary web pages. Pieces on Jean and Wendelin de Spira, Nicolas Jenson, Erhard Ratdolt, and Aldus Manutius. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Historical type and lettering

Flickr group on historical types and typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

History of fonts

Very brief historical intro to Latin fonts. In Chinese. [Google] [More]  ⦿

History of gothic

The comparative image traces gothic writing from the year 50 via 510 (uncial), 950 (Carolingian), 1230 (gothic) until 1513 (cursive versions of gothic). [Google] [More]  ⦿

History of lettering

Wolfgang Thun on the history of lettering. Definition of some terms. [Google] [More]  ⦿

History of mathematical symbols
[Jeff Miller]

Jeff Miller has researched the origins of all mathematical symbols. Jeff Miller is a teacher at Gulf High School in New Port Richey, Florida. [Google] [More]  ⦿

History of medieval writing

[More]  ⦿

History of type

Rough outline of the history of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

History of typefaces

Jean-François Porchez examines the history of typeface design. See also here. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Based in Vitoria, Spain, Hollmed created the free octagonal typeface Delta in 2015. In 2013, he created a nice set of posters called La Tipoteca to survey the typographic terms in Spanish. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Home Linguae

History of writing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hubert Gotard

Born in Rumily, Gotard settled in Barcelona in 1581, where he was an active type founder and printer until about 1590. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Humanist types

A useful introduction to humanist (or Venetian) types by John D. Boardley. They appeared in the 1460s and were modelled on the open letterforms of the Italian humanist writers (calligraphers) at that time. The types can be recognized by the sloping crossbar on the "e", the small x-height, the dark color of text set in this type, and the low contrast of thick and thin strokes. Examples include Jenson, Kennerly, Centaur, Stempel Schneidler, Verona, Lutetia, Jersey, Lynton. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Leon Battista Alberti, 1494) uses Aldine's Roman, and has breathtaking page setting and combinations of detailed figures and text. Brought to you by Delft University of Technology and MIT Press. A digital font that looks like the original was made by Ulrich Stiehl: Hypnerotomachia. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hyun Guk Ryu

Born in Republic of Korea, Hyun Guk Ryu obtained a Ph.D. at National Kyushu Institute of Technology Graduate School of Design. Presently, he teaches type design and design history at National University Corporation Tsukuba University of Technology Faculty of Industrial. His professional studies are focused in typography and design history of Korean (Haeseo Style), Chinese (Ming Style), and the manufacturing of Latin alphabets for the multilingual typesetting in 19th century Japan and China.

Speaker at ATypI 2012 in Hong Kong: A study of collision among and the coexistence of different Korean typeface designs. At ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik, Hyun Guk Ryu spoke about the history of Hangul type design. Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: Directionality in Korean type design. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ian Obermuller

[More]  ⦿

ImageServe Typefaces

Images of great historic types by Alberti, Amphiarea (1572), Caslon, Cresci, Feliciano (1463), Grandjean (the Grandjean&Alexandre Roman type, dated 1693), Torniello (1517), and Vicentino (1522). Also, pics of the letters on Trajan's column in the Forum (113). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Imprimerie en caractères

This is a PDF file posted on abf by someone. It contains a page by page picture of the original (very old) work, in French, and reads like a course on metal type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Imprimerie Nationale

The national French foundry and press from 1640, when it was created, until today. It grew out of the Imprimeurs du roi pour le Grec, which itself was founded in 1538 by king François I. Today, it is entirely state-owned. The imprimerie nationale contains le cabinet des poinçons (where one can find all the old metal types) and a historic library. Between 1985 and 2004, Paul-Marie Grinevald wrote about ten articles on the Imprimerie. [Google] [More]  ⦿


From A Short History of the Printed Word: Incunabula can refer to the earliest stages in the development of anything, but it has come to stand particularly for those books printed in Europe before 1500. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Institut de l'Histoire du Livre

At this French institute in Lyon which forms part of the Musée de l'imprimerie de Lyon, there are occasionally courses on typography. For example, in the Book History Workshop from 5-8 April 2004, James Mosley gave a course on Type, lettering and calligraphy 1450-1830. From 25-28 April 2005, he gave a course there on Typographie et calligraphie 1830-1980. We also find a list of books on typography and calligraphy, covering 1450-1830. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Irene Yoo

Student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On Behance, she published an interesting visual timeline of typeface history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Isaiah Thomas

Typefounder, 1749-1831. Author of A Specimen of Isaiah Thomas's Printing Types. Being as Large and Complete an Assortment As Is to Be Met With in Any One Printing Office in America. Chiefly Manufactured by That Great Artist, William Caslon, Esq.; of London (Worcester, Massachusetts: Printed by Isaiah Thomas, 1785). Local download.

I cite a blurb from an exhibit at Columbia University: The experiences of Adam Mappa and John Baine show that American printers wanted a domestic typefounding industry, but only if it could produce type of the quality of the English and Scottish foundries. The year after Mappa's foundry was advertised for sale, Isaiah Thomas issued this printer's specimen of type, not for sale but available for use in his printing office. The title page makes the truthful boast that this was as large and complete an assortment "as is to be met with in any one Printing-Office in America," adding that the type was "Chiefly manufactured by that great Artist, William Caslon, Esq; of London." Writing to Thomas in 1793, Ebenezer T. Andrews, in Boston, thought that Baine's type was "by no means handsome." But Thomas had not only to pay dearly for the imported type, he also had to pay import duties. By 1792, when he tried, unsuccessfully, to have the tax on type waived, the duties stood at 7-1/2% of the value of imported goods of all kinds. Instead, Congress raised the import duties on all goods to 10% in 1794, and, in order to protect the foundling American typefounding industry, specified the following year that this included all imported printing types. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Italian foundries of the 19th century

Italian foundries from the 1860s through 1890 include Zatta (Venice), Alessandri (Florence), Ameretti (Parma), Paganino (Parma), Negroni (Bologna) and Wilmant (Milan). In their thesis "Questioni di carattere", Manuela Rattin and Matteo Ricci write that these foundries were frought with alignment problems in the production, and had few original typefaces. It was a mediocre era in Italian typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jack Kilmon
[Jack's Scribal and Epigraphic Fonts]

[More]  ⦿

Jack's Scribal and Epigraphic Fonts
[Jack Kilmon]

Houston's Jack Kilmon designed many archaic and epigraphic TrueType fonts. Free for academics. His site also has an archive of some fonts by Reinhold Kainhofer (RK Ancient Fonts), and some Coptic, Hebrew, Hieroglyphic and Greek fonts. A list of his creations: Early Phoenician (8th century BC), Moabite/Mesha Stele Epigraphic, Lachish Ostraca Cursive Palaeohebrew, Elephantine Papyrus Cursive, Jack's Early Aramaic (10th c. BCE), Nabataean Aramaic, Jack's Samaritan, Jack's Siloam Inscription, Jack's Dead Sea Scroll Scribal (or DSS Scribal) (based on Great Isaiah Scroll), Jack's Habakkuk Scribal (based on Pesher Habakkuk), Jack's Meissner Papyrus Cursive, Dead Sea Scroll Scribal, Latin Epigraphic, Roman Rustica (Capitalis Rustica), Latin bookhand from 1st to 6th century, C. Sinaiticus Uncial Greek, Early Greek Epigraphic, Greek Minuscule with Ligatures, Carolingian Minuscule, Insular Minuscule, early Gothic, Gothic Textura Quadrata, C. Sinaiticus Uncial Greek, Early Greek Epigraphic, Greek Minuscule with Ligatures, Jack's Etruscan. Essay on the history of writing. And an archive of Greek, Coptic, Hebrew and hieroglyphic fonts.

Dafont link. Marc Smith is not kind in his critique of Kilmon, who he calls an amateur (page 65). He deplores (page 69) that most letters, o, b, p and y included, have the same height in Kilmon's work. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jacobus van de Velde

Bookseller in Amsterdam at the time of his marriage in 1682 and of his death in 1709. An undated type specimen bearing his name in the Enschedé collection is thought to have been produced around 1699 [according to Harry Carter]. In Typefoundries in the Netherlands, we find this image (of No. 28 type), and this text about it: The matrices owned by Alberts&Uytwerf also passed eventually to the Brothers Ploos van Amstel. Among the types we acquired from them we still have one of the types offered for sale by Van de Velde. It is our English-bodied Roman No.28. In our collection there is also one of the types shown in the earliest specimen of Alberts&Uytwerf, the [Large] Two-line Small Pica Roman No.29... Typophile discussion. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jacques André
[Truchet and Types]

[More]  ⦿

Jacques de Sanlecque the elder
[Robert Granjon]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jacques Sabon

Jakob or Jacques Sabon (b. Lyon, 1535, d. Frankfurt am Main, ca. 1580-1590) was a typefounder who worked at the Egenolff Foundry in Frankfurt in 1555, and briefly at the Plantin Foundry in Antwerp in 1563. After Garamond's death, Plantin and Sabon both shared in his heritage. Sabon's widow married Konrad Berner in Frankfurt.

Jan Tschichold named his garalde typeface after him in 1964. Jan Tschichold's Sabon is named after Jakob Sabon. Jan Tschichold also penned the book Leben und Bedeutung des Schriftschneiders Jakob Sabon (1967, Frankfurt am Main).

Linotype writes about Tschichold's Sabon: In the early 1960s, the German masterprinters' association requested that a new typeface be designed and produced in identical form on both Linotype and Monotype machines so that text and technical composition would match. Walter Cunz at Stempel responded by commissioning Jan Tschichold to design the most faithful version of Claude Garamond's serene and classical roman yet to be cut. The boldface and particularly the italic are limited by the twin requirements of Linotype and Monotype hot metal machines. Bitstream's Cursive is a return to the form of one of Garamond's late italics, recently identified. Punches and matrices for the romans survive at the Plantin-Moretus Museum. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jaime Henderson
[California Historical Society]

[More]  ⦿

James Christie

Dublin-based creator of the Gaelic early transitional angular typeface Christie (1815-1844). This sample is from The Proverbs of Solomon. Brendan Leen writes: In 1815, the founder James Christie designed an Irish character type that represented the most legible fount to date. The Christie type also managed to retain the calligraphic qualities of the authentic Irish style. The type required meticulous care in the application of ink on account of its boldness and extreme contrasts of weights. [Google] [More]  ⦿

James Mosley
[Type foundry]

[More]  ⦿

James Shimada
[The Font Wars]

[More]  ⦿

Jan Brito

Jan Brito (Jean le Breton) was born around 1415 in Pipriac (Brittany) and moved at a young age to Bruges, the Venice of the North and cultural capital of Europe at the time. There he lived his life and printed in French and Flemish. His publications included the poems of Jacob Van Maerlant. In the 19th century, M. Gilliodts published a thesis that would put Brito's first mobile metal characters around 1445, about ten years ahead of Gutenberg, but that thesis was refuted later on, and the date was changed to 1464. The first printer is probably Johannes Genfleisch (aka Gutenberg) in Mainz, but the Dutch claim it is Laurent Coster from Haarlem. Work by Brito can be found in Kortrijk, Brugge, Edinburgh and the national library of France. Brito, also called the Gutenberg breton, died in Bruges in 1484.

There is a Musée Jan Brito in Pipriac. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jan Hendrik Scholte

Dutch author, b. 1874, who edited Die Hochdeutschen Schriften aus dem 15ten bis zum 19ten Jahrhundert der Schriftgiesserei und Druckerei (1919, Enschedé en Zonen, Haarlem), a publication which has four articles:

  • Gustav Mori: Christian Egenolff, der erste ständige Buchdrucker in Frankfurt a/M
  • Christian Münden: Von den ersten Franckfurter Bruchdruckern
  • Gustav Mori: Geschichte und Entwicklung des Schriftgiesserei-Gewerbes in Frankfurt a/M
  • Charles Enschedé: Die Druckerei der Elsevier und ihre Bezichung zu der Lutherschen Schriftgiesserei
This book is mainly about the development and history of blackletter types. Open Library link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jan Jessens Fontpage: Geschichte der Typographie

History of typography essay. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jan Roman

Typefounder active in the Netherlands around 1570. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Javenese typefaces: history
[Jo de Baerdemaeker]

Jo de Baerdemaker's talk at ATypI 2010 in Dublin had this summary: Jo De Baerdemaeker discusses how the Javanese writing system, the indigenous script of pre-colonial Indonesia, was adapted to print. He focuses on the Javanese typefaces that were manufactured in The Netherlands in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The cutting of the first Javanese fount, which was undertaken at Joh. Enschedé en Zonen in Haarlem, coincided with the founding of the first printing house in Jakarta (then known as Batavia, capital of Dutch India). Less than a century later, Lettergieterij Amsterdam developed a new, simplified, Javanese fount, amongst other styles and weights. The Javanese founts of both the Dutch typefoundries were internationally well received and were distributed to polyglot printing houses throughout Europe. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jean Alexandre

French punchcutter who was the successor of Philippe Grandjean, the developer of the Romain du roi in 1702. The complete set of 21 sizes of roman and italic letters was finished by Grandjean's successor Jean Alexandre and completed by Louis Luce in 1745. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jean de Tournes

French typefounder and printer whose version of Civilité was used in "Galathée (1598). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jean Jannon

French type designer and punchcutter, 1580-1658, born in Switzerland, who worked at the Estienne printing atelier in Paris before escaping to Sedan, to avoid persecution for his Protestant beliefs. He then worked as a printer for the Calvinist Academy where he began to cut his own letters. In 1641, he received a commission from the Imprimerie Royale from which Caractères de l'Université originated. Until the middle of the 20th century, his letters were misattributed to Claude Garamond. Many of today's Garamond style typefaces are in fact due to Jannon, as first pointed out by Beatrice Warde.

Frantisek Storm writes this: The engraver Jean Jannon ranks among the significant representatives of French typography of the first half of the 17th century. He was born in 1580, apparently in Switzerland. He trained as punch-cutter in Paris. From 1610 he worked in the printing office of the Calvinist Academy in Sedan, where he was awarded the title "Imprimeur de son Excellence et de l'Academie Sédanoise". He began working on his own alphabet in 1615, so that he would not have to order type for his printing office from Paris, Holland and Germany, which at that time was rather difficult. The other reason was that not only the existing type typefaces, but also the respective punches were rapidly wearing out. Their restoration was extremely painstaking, not to mention the fact that the result would have been just a poor shadow of the original elegance. Thus a new type typeface came into existence, standing on a traditional basis, but with a life-giving sparkle from its creator. In 1621 Jannon published a Roman type typeface and italics, derived from the shapes of Garamond's type typefaces. As late as the start of the 20th century Jannon's type typeface was mistakenly called Garamond, because it looked like that type typeface at first sight. Jannon's Early Baroque Roman type face, however, differs from Garamond in contrast and in having grander forms. Jannon's italics rank among the most successful italics of all time. They are brilliantly cut and elegant.

Author of Epreuve de caractères nouvellement taillez A Sedan par Iean [Jannon] imprimeur de l'Académie (1621). In 1927, Paul Beaujon (Beatrix Warde) published a facsimile entitled The 1621 Specimen of Jean Jannon, Paris & Sedan, designer & engraver (London).

The headline of this page is set in New G8 (2012, Michael Sharpe), which in turn is a digital descendant of URW Garamond No. 8. For a recent digital revival, see JJannon (2019, François Rappo).

Commercial digital typefaces based in Jannon. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jean Joseph Barbou

French printer, 1683-1752. The Barbou's had a printing business starting with Jean Barbou, who printed in Lyon in 1539. The Barbou family printing shops remained active until 1808.

There is Monotype typeface named after Barbou, namely the Fournier-genre Monotype 178 Barbou (1925). That typeface is being digitally revived in 2019 by Daniel Benjamin Miller as Regis. A second revival was made by Rory Snow, called Barbou (2021). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jean-François Porchez
[Lettres françaises]

[More]  ⦿

Jean-Louis de Boubers

One of the two main typefounders in Brussels in the late 18th century. Fernand Baudin and Netty Hoeflake write in "The Type Specimen of J.F. Rosart": "This descendant of a family of printers at Lille, after a setback in 1766, had obtained, in 1768, an exemption and the permission to set up a type foundry in Brussels. In Hellinga, we find in 1776 the address 'Au bas de la rue de la Magdelaine', and in 1177 'Rue de l' Assaut, pres de Ste Gudule'. In the foreword to his Specimen Book of 1776 De Boubers summarizes the types cut by Gillé, in Paris, and by Matthias Rosart against the numbers of the examples. In the Specimen Book of 1777 the names of the punch-cutters are printed at the bot- tom of the showings. De Boubers further informs us that he had punches cut 'exactly the same' as Baskerville's. In 1779 he issued another specimen book, some time later followed by a Premier supplement, and by a second supplement in 1781. One may read in an advertisement in the Gazette de Liège dated 19 September 1781: 'J. L. DE BOUBERS, Printer-Bookseller and Typefounder at Brussels, has just issued to the public the second supplement to his Foundry Catalogue, containing all known types, such as French, Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, music, fleurons, and in general all that concern this line of business. He also casts Tarot for playing-cards. He is not afraid to claim that his foundry is one of the finest and largest in Europe', etc. J. L. de Boubers was very different from J. F. Rosart. He was a businessman on a grand scale. In a very short while he compelled recognition as printer and publisher as well as founder and paper-maker. He also enjoyed the favour of the government (see: A. Vincent, op. cit., P.I9). One should not fail to recall here that he printed the handsomest edition known of the works of J.- J. Rousseau and that he had it illustrated by Moreau Le Jeune. He, too, expected to become the greatest typefounder in Europe."

He died in 1804, and his widow carried on until 1821.

His work can be seen in Épreuves des caractères de la fonderie de J.L. de Boubers (1779, Bruxelles), Premier supplément aux Épreuves des caractères de la fonderie de J.L. de Boubers à Bruxelles (1779) and Épreuves des caractères de la fonderie de J.L. de Boubers (1777, Bruxelles). In the foreword of the last book, he brags about the material strength of his metal typefaces, which are "as strong as those used in Holland and Frankfurt, stronger than those in France". He continues: "jaloux de rendre ma Fonderie la plus belle de l'Europe, j'ai associé à mes travaux les plus célèbres artistes ...". Some of the type shown is by M. Rosart, fils, and Gillé. Local download of his 1779 specimen book. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jean-Luc Froissart

Grandson of Georges Peignot, b. 1926. Author of L'or, l'âme et les cendres du plomb: L'épopée des Peignot, 1815-1983 (2004). It paints the history of the Peignot family of typefounders from 1815 until 1983. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jean-Michel Moreau

Jean-Michel Moreau (Moreau Le Jeune) was a French draughtsman, illustrator and engraver, 1741-1814. Born in Paris, he produced drawings of paintings and was an expert engraver. In 1770 he succeeded Charles-Nicolas Cochin as chief Dessinateur des Menus Plaisirs du Roi, on Cochin's recommendation, which occasioned his prints celebrating the marriage of the Dauphin and his coronation as Louis XVI; in 1781, in part on the strength of these productions he was appointed Dessinateur et Graveur du Cabinet du Roi, which brought an annual pension and lodgings in the galleries of the Palais du Louvre. His name is present in typographic circles mainly due to the fact in 1913, the Fonderie Peignot released the Cochin and Moreau-le-Jeune typefaces that revived the popularity of eighteenth century letterforms such as those originally created by Nicolas Cochin. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jef Tombeur

Typographic aficionado who contributes links to the St. Bride Printing Library in London. This page has links to the main type sites on the web.

I can't resist this wonderful short autobiography of Jef, and I do not want to translate it, because it would lose its punch: Jef Tombeur, ex-vagabond professionnel&auto-stoppeur en Europe, au Moyen-Orient et en Amérique du Nord depuis l'âge de 15 ans, s'est rapidement tourné vers le journalisme par désoeuvrement. Vendre à la criée The International Times et The Black Dwarf à Londres, puis Le Monde à Strasbourg, l'y incita. Laissant tomber facs et école de journalisme, il contribua à rédiger, composer, gérer l'hebdomadaire franco-alsacien Uss'm Follik (Issu du Peuple), ce que facilitèrent ses origines bretonnes. Repéré ensuite à Belfort, Niort, Reims, devenant progressivement grand reporter et de moins en moins pigiste pour Libération et d'autres. Chef de desk à l'Agence Centrale de Presse, il en diffusa la dernière dépêche puis retourna à la rue et aux facultés. Ayant traduit divers auteurs anglophones au passage, tel Tom Coraghessan Boyle (cf. www.tcboyle.net), il s'est de nouveau passionné pour la typographie, en devenant le seul journaliste spécialisé français (notamment pour Création Numérique ou Pixelcreation.fr). Envisage de devenir chômeur en fins de droits et propagandiste plénipotentiaire pour Phil Martin en Afrique avant d'avoir atteint, prochainement, si possible, 55 ans. Localisé fréquemment chez Ali (bar La Gitane, près de Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, Paris) ces temps derniers.

Author in 2004 of Femmes&métiers du Livre, Women in the Printing Trades, which appeared with Talus in Belgium. It describes women typographers and printers throughout history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Miller
[History of mathematical symbols]

[More]  ⦿

Jessie Marion King

Scottish book designer, talented illustrator, and artist in abroad sense (b. New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, 1875-d. Kirkcudbright, 1949). In Kirkcudbright, Scotland, she founded Green Gate Close, a center for women artists. Often, her illustrations included hand lettering. A children's book Art Nouveau style illustration from 1898 gave Richard Every the inspiration to make ITC Greengate from 1996 until its release in 2002. She left behind a collection of beautiful illustrations and floral borders. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

J.F. Coakley

J. F. Coakley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and on the staff of Houghton Library, at Harvard University. His private press, the Jericho Press, occasionally makes use of Syriac and other exotic types. In 2006, he wrote The Typography of Syriac: a Historical Catalogue of Printing Types, 1537-1958 (Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE). Oak Knoll writes: Syriac, a dialect of the ancient Aramaic language, has a remarkable Christian literature spanning a thousand years from the fourth to the thirteenth century, including important versions of the Bible. It remains the liturgical language of several churches in the Middle East, India, and the West, and 'Modern Syriac' is a vernacular still in use today. It is no wonder that this language has a long and rich printing history. The challenge of conveying the beautiful cursive Syriac script, in one or another of its three varieties, was taken up by many well-known type-designers in the letterpress era, from Robert Granjon in the sixteenth century to the Monotype and Linotype corporations in the twentieth, as well as by many lesser-known ones. This study records and abundantly illustrates no fewer than 129 different Syriac types, using archival documents, type-specimens, and the often scattered evidence of the print itself. The Typography of Syriac will be of interest not only to scholars of Middle Eastern languages and scripts but also to all historians of type and printing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

J.-F. Née de la Rochelle

Author of "Recherches historiques et critiques sur l'établissement de l'art typographique" (Merlin, Paris, 1830). This book is an account, city by city, of the introduction of the first presses in Spain and Portugal. For example, Valencia was the first to get a press in 1474. Madrid, in 1499, was one of the last big cities to do so. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jo de Baerdemaeker
[Javenese typefaces: history]

[More]  ⦿

Joan. Theoph. Mühlsteffen

Printer from the late 18th century. Type specimen from 1787. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Joaquín Ibarra y Marín

Famous Spanish printer (b. Zaragoza, 1725, d. Madrid, 1785). He worked mostly in Madrid as a printer. He never cut type, but commissioned people such as Gil, Pradell, Rongel and Espinosa to cut it for him. Sandra Baldassarri, Ignacio Pulido and Francisco Serón at the University of Zaragoza are attempting to revive some typefaces used by Ibarra: see here and here for their 1993 revival of Ibarra, a typeface engraved by Antonio Espinosa de los Monteros in the 18th century (and used in Ibarra's 1772 book La conjuración de Catilina y la Guerra de Yugurta by Cayo Salustio).

Bibliography: Marcos Rafael Blanco-Belmonte, R. de Cordoba and M. White: El maestro Ibarra: homenaje que la Casa Gans, al celebrar sus bodas de oro, dedica al gran impresor Joaquan Ibarra (1931, Madrid, Fundicion Richard Gans). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Joaquín (jko) Contreras
[Contrafonts (or: Frutitype; was: Sindicato de la Imagen, or: Cooperativa de Fundicion Tipografica)]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johann Bämler

German printer and type developer, who ca. 1472 created the type style called Alte Schwabacher in Augsburg. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johann David Steingruber

Steingruber (1702-1787) was the son of a master mason from a place called Wassertrüdingen an der Wörnitz, near the town of Dinkelsbühl. After an apprenticeship in which he worked on constructing palaces at Mannheim and Rastatt, he came to work at the Brandenburg court at Ansbach in the service of the margrave Friedrich Carl Alexander. He was soon appointed court and public surveyor, and was later made principal architect of the board of works. Besides completing many building projects, Steingruber expounded on his architectural theory in his books Architecture Civile (ca. 1748) and Practica Bürgerlicher Baukunst (Practical Course in Civil Architecture, 1763). He is the creator of the Architectonisches Alphabeth, so called because each capital is in fact a floorplan of a building. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johann Froben
[Johannes Frobenius]

Johann Froben [in Latin: Johannes Frobenius] (circa 1460-1527) was a famous printer and publisher in Basel, Switzerland. Froben established a printing house in that city about 1491, and this soon attained a European reputation for accuracy and taste. Froben was friends with Erasmus, who lived in his house when in Basel, and had his own works printed by him from 1514 onwards. Froben employed Hans Holbein the Younger to illustrate his texts. He passed his printing business on to his son Hieronymus, and grandson Ambrosius Frobenius.

Digital typefaces directly influenced by the Frobens include Froben Antiqua (2015, Ueli Kaufamnn at the University of Reading), and P22 Basel by P22, developed bewteen 2008 and 2015, with various type designers, including Colin Kahn and Paul Hunt, contributing to the final set of fonts. P22 Basel Roman (2020) is claimed by Richard Kegler, who refers to a garalde font used by Johannes Herbst (a.k.a. Ioannes Oporinus) in 1543 to publish Andreas Vesalius' On the Fabric of the Human Body (De humani corporis fabrica) in Basel. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johann Froben
[Fabrica / Basel Roman]

[More]  ⦿

Johann Fust

Goldsmith, lawyer, and financial backer of Gutenberg, b. ca. 1400, Mainz, Germany, d. Paris, ca. 1466. Around 1450 Fust lent Gutenberg 800 guilders to optimize his printing process. In 1452 Gutenberg requested the same amount again to complete the work. In 1455, when still no books had been produced, Fust sued Gutenberg for 2,026 guilders (the amount owed, plus interest). Gutenberg lost in court, and had to hand over his equipment. Fust then hired Gutenberg's apprentice, Peter Schoeffer, and as Fust & Schoeffer, the pair published several fine books, including the famous 42-line Bible in 1456 and Psalter in 1457. They were the first to make printing a successful business.

Wikipedia reports this theory: Schoeffer ended up marrying Fust's only daughter, Christina. This presents a whole new theory that suggests Schoeffer and Fust were closer than many may think and Schoeffer was sent to work with Gutenberg by Fust in an effort to claim insider knowledge about the printing press before Fust and Schoeffer would leave Gutenberg high and dry. There are facts there to say that Fust and Schoeffer had this planned all along, even before the loans were handed over to Gutenberg. This theory states Gutenberg was, in fact, doomed from the start, never to have a chance at the 42-Line Bible to be advertised as his own work. He seems to have fallen victim to a partnership that did not come about as a spur of the moment decision thanks to a court case, but instead as a well thought out ruse in order to claim fame, money, and power.

Wikipedia also discusses the witchcraft story, which may or may not be true: It was once believed that Johann Fust was working for the devil. After several of Gutenberg's bibles were sold to King Louis XI of France, it was decided that Fust was performing witchcraft. This idea came about for a few reasons, including the fact that some of the type was printed in red ink, mistaken for blood. It was also discovered that all of the letters in these bibles, presented to the King and his courtiers as hand-copied manuscripts, were oddly identical. Fust had sold 50 bibles in Paris and the people there could not fathom the making and selling of so many bibles so quickly, because printing had not come to the forefront yet in France. Parisians figured that the devil had something to do with the making of these copies, and Fust was thrown into jail on charges of black magic.

Digital version: Fust&Schoeffer-Durandus-GoticoAntiqua118G (2016-2019, Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas, ANRT, France). Faudot and Ribas write Durandus's 118G Gotico-Antiqua was first used in Mainz by Peter Schoeffer and Johann Fust for Guillaume Durand's Rationale Divinorum Officorum in 1459. The book displays two sizes, the smaller 92G for the main text and the bigger and more contrasted 118G used only for the colophon and later for the famous 48-line Bible in 1462. It was used until the end of the 15th century. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johann Georg von Schwandner

Austrian calligrapher and penman (1716-1791) who created many calligraphic alphabets, often of capitals. MyFonts link. Author of Calligraphia Latina (1755), reprinted by Dover in 1958. This book has twelve full alphabets, over 300 initials and many exquisite borders and frames. Samples from that book: i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii. Digital remixes: Schwandner Versalia (2010, Iza W, Intellecta Design). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johann Heinrich Schoensperger

Johnann or Johannes or Hans Schoensperger or Johann Schönsperger der Älte, was an early printer in Augsburg. Born ca. 1455, d. before 1521. He started his print shop in 1481 and dominated German printing in Augsburg until 1500. For Kaiser Maximilian I, he printed the beautiful Theuerdank (1517) and the blackletter Gebetbuch für den St.-Georgs-Orden. For both these books, he designed his own type. Sample page from 1517. Sample page of Gart der Gesundheit (1487).

A font named after him, FF Schoensperger, was made by Manfred Klein as part of his package, which also includes FF Carolus Magnus, FF JohannesG, and FF Koberger. SchoenspergerCaps (2004), Hans Fraktur (2003) and Hans Schoensperger Randomish (2004) can be had for free at Manfred Klein's site. Other revivals include Theuerdank Fraktur (2000) by Dieter Steffmann ans Theuerdank Fraktur Pro by Softmaker (2016).

Schoensperger's typeface for the prayer book of Maximilian I in 1514 served as example for an 1890 metal typeface at Genzsch and for the digital font Altdeutsch (2002-2006) by Hans J. Zinken.

See also Schoensperger Der Altere (2017, Shane Brandes). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johann Neudörffer

German writing master, 1497-1563, aka Johann Neudörffer The Elder, who founded his writing school in Nürnberg, and printed his first plates ca. 1519. His first publication was Fundament in 1519. These prints eventually became the foundation for a new kind of writing education throughout Europe. His writing manual and teachings helped further the development of blackletter. Author of Anweijsung einer gemeiner hanndschrift. Durch Johann Neudoerffer, Burger vnd Rechenmeister zu Nurmberg geordnet und gemacht (Nürnberg, 1538). Some of his methods are still alive in contemporary type design.

Oliver Linke, an expert on Neudörffer, and Christine Sauer published Zierlich schreiben Der Schreibmeister Johann Neudörffer der Ältere und seine Nachfolger in Nürnberg (2007, Beiträge zur Geschichte und Kultur der Stadt Nürnberg 25, Typographische Gesellschaft München / Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg).

Several blackletter type families are named after him, such as Helmutt G. Bomm's Neudoerffer Fraktur (2009, Linotype), Manfred Klein's Neudoerffer (2003; the note in the font says that these codex-style initials are the unaltered original Neudoerffer Initialen from 1660, but this information could be in error) and Neudoerffer Scribble Quality (2003), and Klaus-Peter Schäffel's 1519 Neudoerffer Fraktur (2012). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johann Zainer

Johann Zainer (d. ca. 1523) was the second printe in Ulm, Germany. He is known, e.g., for printing the first German edition of Giovanni Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus. He used a gotico-antiqua typeface ca. 1477 for the printing of Jacques de Voragine's Legenda aurea and used it unti 1485. A revival of that typeface was undertaken in 2017 by Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas at a type design workshop at Hochschule Aachen and Stadtbibliothek Aachen. They called it Zainer Gotico-Antiqua 96G. In addition, Faudot and Ribas revived a richly decorated gothic initials typeface used by Zainer for the Spiritual Interpretations of the Life of Jesus Christ around 1478 (and used until 1480). They named that typeface Zainer Initials 45mm.

Github link where one can download the digital revivals. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johannes de Spira

First printer of Venice. Died in 1469. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johannes Frobenius
[Johann Froben]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johannes Gutenberg

The pater familias of printing, 1394-1468, whose real name was Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden. He spent most of his life in Mainz, where he was also born and where he died.

Generally regarded as the inventor of printing in Mainz, Germany, in the 1440s. It is likely his actual invention was limited to the brass moulds and matrices to produce lead type accurately in large quantities. Some say that Laurens Koster in Haarlem probably made moveable type somewhat earlier. Gutenberg brought together many existing technologies in the form of the screw press, wood-engraving, and punchcutting already used in many aspects of metal-working. His goal was to emulate the writing of contemporary scribes. In 1449 he borrowed 800 guilders from a lawyer, Johann Fust, but had to borrow the same sum again in 1452 to continue with his preparations, whereupon Fust became a business partner. Gutenberg's main work, the 42-line Bible (the number of lines per page) was completed around 1455. At this point Fust was still owed money, and it seems that he bankrupted Gutenberg by foreclosing on the debt. He took over the business, removed Gutenberg, but kept on the foreman Peter Schoeffer as his partner. Together they went on to produce several fine works, and Mainz became known throughout Europe as the origin of printing.

Bitstream write-up. Gutenberg homepage. Image. His Bible Textura (1452-1455). Wood print of Gutenberg by Karl Mahr. Engraved portrait by A. Thevet (1584). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Johannes Mentelin

Johannes Mentelin (or: Hans Mentelin, Hein Mentelin, Johann Mentelin, Johann Mentlin, Johann Mentelein, Jean Mentel, Jean Mentels, Iohannes Mentelius) was a printer and librarian. He was born in Schlettstadt (Selestat) ca. 1410 and died in Strasbourg in 1478. He lived in Strasbourg from 440 onwrds and started a print shop there in 1458. He printed one of the first bibles (now known as Mentelin's bible), only five years after Gutenberg.

His types used in that bible inspired some metal typefaces centuries later. Mac McGrew writes: Satanick, 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. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johannes Rolu

Typefounder active in the Netherlands around 1570. [Google] [More]  ⦿

John A. Lane

John A. Lane (b. 1955) is a type and printing historian. He was born and raised in the United States and has lived in Leiden (Holland) since 1990. He who often writes on typography:

  • One of his crowning achievements is the book Letterproeven van Nederlandse gieterijen (1998), which shows Dutch typefounders' specimens from the Library of the KVB and other collections in the Amsterdam University Library with histories of the firms represented. It is coauthored with Mathieu Lommen, a noted type librarian and historian. Discussion of the text.
  • Coauthor with Mathieu Lommen in 2003 of "Bram de Does Boektypograaf&Letterontwerper" (Amsterdam, 2003).
  • Author of Early Type Specimens in the Plantin-Moretus Museum (New Castle and London: Oak Knoll Press and the British Library, 2004).
  • Author of The Diaspora of Armenian Printing 1512-2012 (2012, Amsterdam: Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam). From the book's blurb: In 1512, in the city of Venice, Hakob Meghapart printed the first book in Armenian type. [...] For technical and political reasons, all Armenian books were printed outside Armenia until 1771. The art of Armenian printing developed in major centres like Venice, Constantinople and Amsterdam, but also in many others around the world. Its history moves along highways and byways reflecting the ups and downs of the Armenian people. The book describes the diaspora of Armenian printing, highlighting the role of Amsterdam.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

John Baine

Scottish type founder from Edinburgh who was active during the second half of the 17th century. He started out in St. Andrews in 1742 in partnership with Alexander Wilson when thwey co-founded the Wilson Foundry there, but moved in 1744 to Glasgow and in 1749 to London (when his partnership with Wilson ended) and in 1768 to Edinburgh. In 1787, he published "A Specimen of Printing Types, By John Baine&Grandson in Co", and emigrated to Philadelphia, where he set up a foundry. The elder Baine died in 1790, and his grandson continued until 1799, when he sold the equipment to Binny&Ronaldson for $300. [Google] [More]  ⦿

John Barlow
[Barlow type]

[More]  ⦿

John Bell
[British Letter Foundry]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

John D. Boardley
[Old Style typefaces]

[More]  ⦿

John Day

One of the first English type founders, 1522-1584. Designer of Anglo-Saxon (1567-1574), a Gaelic typeface. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

John Gustave Dreyfus

Born in London in 1918, died in London in December 2002. Assistant University Printer, Cambridge University Press 1949-56 Cofounder of ATypI with Charles Peignot in 1957. He was the typographic advisor to The Monotype Corporation (now Agfa Monotype) from 1955-1982, having taken over from Stanley Morison. President, Association Typographique Internationale 1968-1973. Sandars Reader in Bibliography, Cambridge University 1979-1980. He was a great writer about typographic matters. Author of Aspects of French Eighteenth Century Typography (The Roxburghe Club, Cambdridge, 1982). Obituary and biography by Nicolas Barker. Winner of the Gutenberg Prize in 1996. Reflections on his life by various typographers. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

John Handy

British punchcutter who cut Baskerville's punches, and who was active in the mid 1700s. He died in 1792.

In the type design arena, we find a typeface named after him, John Handy LET Plain (By Timothy Donaldson, Letraset). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

John Kearney

Designer from Dublin (?) who, some time in the period 1571-1658 made the Gaelic typeface Queen Elisabeth. Everson says that the roman glyphs are by Pierre Haultin (but he gives no date for that). A draft digitization by Cois Life is mentioned. [Google] [More]  ⦿

John Mullany

Dublin-based creator of the roman aspirated Gaelic typeface Furlong (1842). [Google] [More]  ⦿

John Walters lauds Erik Spiekermann

John Walters (Eye Magazine) wrote this about Spiekermann in February 2011.

When I went to Berlin a couple of years ago, in preparation for Eye 74, our Berlin special, I kept running into Erik Spiekermann. Not literally, though I did later spend a pleasant evening in the company of Erik and his wife Susanna. But I quickly realised that I couldn't avoid encountering Erik and his legacy. For a start, nearly every person I met had some connection to him: either they had collaborated with him, or worked for him, or they'd been taught or otherwise encouraged by Erik early in their career. And even people who didn't know him very well, or who had never met him, seemed to have an opinion about him. They knew him as a designer, as a typographer, as a type evangelist and as a writer---chiefly on the subject of typography, but with opinions about every other subject: politics, society, culture, art, music and so on. Also, quite apart from all the people I met, there were traces of Erik everywhere I went, on the subway, in the signs and the many different civic and commercial public projects that bore the stamp of one of his design practices, or that used one of his typefaces.

So that is why we called the Eye 74 piece "Six degrees of Erik Spiekermann". We devoted a gatefold information graphic to all the connections that he had made throughout his career, spanning the years since 1979, when the company that would become Meta was founded, to the present-day activities of Edenspiekermann. Like Kevin Bacon, Erik seemed to connect anyone who was anyone in graphic design, visual communication, branding and typography. Yet if our world were Hollywood, Erik would perhaps be more like Steven Spielberg than an actor like Bacon.

Erik is both a generalist and a specialist. The first time I ran into him, at an international typography conference, he asked me how I could stand to be surrounded by so many nerds? He knows how designers and typographers think, in the most minute detail, because that is the way he thinks, too. Yet he is managed to lift his head above the cubicle that all too often restricts the graphic design world, and look dispassionately at commerce and government and charities, taking the time to understand how they think, too. I have daily reason to be grateful for Erik's advice, since his ideas about the Rundbuero, expressed in Unit Editions' book Studio Culture, helped me make some changes in the way I organise my own office.

William Owen described Erik (in Eye 18) as a "consummate pluralist", while also taking on Erik's own definition of himself as a "typographic designer", who designs "from the word up", a phrase later used for a slim volume on Meta's work. William also noted that Erik "valued work of a kind he could never or would never want to do." But that is not surprising. It is almost the definition of a anyone with a rounded interest in culture and the world at large: you don't have to sing opera to value Nixon in China, nor do you have to paint in oils to appreciate art.

I think it is Erik's ability to work and show curiosity at both micro and macro levels (and all points between) that makes him a good writer, as well as a good designer. His writing is clear and to the point, whether in a column for Blueprint magazine or in an email containing directions to his house. Even if he had done little else, the book he wrote with E. M. Ginger, Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works (2nd Edition), would be an international calling card of huge proportions, since it's one of the few genuinely informative, entertaining and readable books about type written in the past few decades.

When I first watched the DVD of Gary Hustwit's Helvetica, whose extras section includes an extended interview with Erik, I was amused to hear him say how much he liked being an "unknown designer". Today's ceremony seems an odd place to talk about Erik's lack of recognition. Yet he was making an important point about the role of design---graphic design, type design and typography in particular---in civic life. As Erik explains in that documentary, neatly diverting the director from too many questions about a typeface he doesn't much care for, a nation's culture, the stuff that surrounds us, is made of good architecture and building, good food and cafes and supposedly nerdy things like the small type in timetables for public transport, or the signs in stations, or the little details that make your iPhone work intuitively.

Erik gets a kick out of being the unknown author behind some of this stuff, even when the money is terrible, and he has to fight the system---the conventional way of doing something---to make things just a little bit better. Few people might notice, or remark out loud that the timetable has acquired more legible, readable type, or better navigation, but as Erik would say, "That is the point." Many designers get a kick out of making things better, or finding a solution, or being part of the team that did that, whether their name is on the finished product or not. So I think we could regard this prize as one that Erik can share, just a little bit, with all the unknown designers out there, who play their part in making our lives better, our small print more legible.

Around the time I became editor of Eye, we published an updated version of Ken Garland's "First Things First", calling on designers to examine their priorities. The new manifesto included these sentences: "Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programmes, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help." Erik was one of 33 designers who put their names to "First Things First 2000", and that statement sounds just as relevant today---throw mobile devices and social media into the mix and it still holds good.

I agreed to come here on the strict understanding that the Designpreis would not signify or herald any slowing down on Erik's part. He still works at a furious pace. He even has a proofing press in his house, where he’s cooking up plans to combine digital and analogue, making plates with a laser cutter. And in addition to all the usual client work, he is publishing a series of booklets of writings that he likes, and more little red books of his own work---the thoughts of Chairman Erik.

These thoughts are worth sharing. Erik is concerned about nerdy details, yet he loves to construct the big picture. He is a great advocate of design's role in civilised society, all the boring, behind-the-scenes stuff, but he is also quick to spot what is new and cool, and to champion and mentor young talent---the new Edenspiekermann scholarship is a significant addition to this aspect of Erik's life and work. For all these reasons, Erik is a worthy recipient of whatever awards get thrown his way---and they won't go to his head. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Johnston's Underground Type
[Edward Johnston]

Greg Fleming, upon the publication of his open source version Railway Sans (2012) of Edward Johnston's Railway Type of 1916, recalls the history of the typeface, and adds valuable references. The text below is his.

The typeface was commissioned between 1913 and 1915 by Frank Pick (1878-1941), Commercial Manager of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, UERL, also known as The Underground Group, as part of his plan to strengthen the company's corporate identity. Frustrated at the diversity and seemingly endless variations of poor or unsuitable type- typefaces that were, at that time, in use across the system, one of his first key actions was to introduce a standardised approach to advertising and lettering. Pick's brief to Johnston was essentially that a typeface was needed that would ensure that the Underground Group's posters would not be mistaken for advertisements; it should have the bold simplicity of the authentic lettering of the finest periods and yet belong unmistakably to the twentieth century. Johnston's New Sans typeface first appeared in a poster of July 1916. Inspired by the proportions of classical Roman lettering, based on square and circular forms, it is a vehicle of bold clarity and a perfect example of typography as a powerful, authoritative information tool. It has been used, almost unchanged in essence, continuously and timelessly in signage, posters and publicity for nearly a century.

In 1933, The Underground Group was absorbed by the London Passenger Transport Board and the typeface was adopted as part of the London Transport brand. The typeface was originally called Underground. It became known as Johnston's Railway Type, and later, simply, Johnston or New Johnston Sans. Today, Transport for London uses updated versions in many weights of the original face, known as New Johnston Sans. This is not commercially available, except under strict TfL license. Railway is not based on or derived from the official New Johnston Sans in current use by Transport for London. Instead, it predates New Johnston by sixty-three years.

The references:

  • Justin Howes: Johnston's Underground Type. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. 2000.
  • Oliver Green and Jeremny Rewse-Davies: Designed for London: 150 years of transport design. London: Laurence King. Pages 81-82. 1995.
  • Christian Barman: The Man Who Built London Transport: A Biography of Frank Pick. David & Charles. Page 43. 1979.
  • Colin Banks: London's Handwriting: The development of Edward Johnston's Underground railway block-letter. London Transport Museum. 1994.
  • Eiichi Kono: Pen to Printer --- New Johnston Sans. University of Brighton, Arts Faculty Staff member page.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Jon Melton

[More]  ⦿

Jonathan Hoefler's Type Styles 101

Hoefler reviews Lapidary, Inscriptional, Venetian, Aldine, Garalde, French Old style, Dutch Old style, English Old Style, Transitional, Modern, English Vernacular, Fat face, Egyptian, and Clarendon, and muses about reviving types. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jones Telecommunications and Multimedia Encyclopedia

Entry on the History of Printing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jorge Coci

Spanish writing master in the XVIth century. His lettering served as an example for the Columbus text family developed in 1992 by Patricia and David Saunders at Monotype. [Google] [More]  ⦿

José Francisco de Iturzaeta

Basque penman, 1788-1853. His designs were engraved in 1833 by Giraldos and Nicolás de Gangioti and dedicated to the Queen Governor. That work was published in Colección General de los Caractéres de Letras Europeas (see here).

Author of Arte de escribir la letra bastarda española (1827). The second edition, dated 1835, was published by Imprenta de don A. Mateis Muñoz in Madrid. Local download of that book. [Google] [More]  ⦿

José Ramón Penela

Nice Spanish article entitled Los tipos cursivos: Orígenes y evolución (history of the cursive/italic), by type historian and typographic expert José Ramón Penela. [Google] [More]  ⦿

José Ramón Penela

[More]  ⦿

Joseph Moxon

British typefounder, 1627-1691. Well known for his book, "Mechanick Exercises or the Doctrine of the handy-works Applied to the Art of Printing" (London. Printed for Joseph Moxon on the Westside of Fleet-dtch, at the Sign of Atlas, 1683). This book was reedited by Herbert Davis and Harry Carter, London, Oxford University Press, 1958, and again at Dover, New York in 1960. He also published "Moxon's Exercises or the whole Art of Printing, 1683-1684", which was reissued in 1978 by Herbert Davis and Harry Carter (Dover, NY). Moxon manufactured an angular Gaelic typeface, Moxon (ca. 1680) based on the Louvain type. This was necessary as the Queen Elizabeth type matrices, used for catechisms and other religious material, had disappeared.

Local download of Mechanick Exercises. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Joseph-Gaspard Gillé

Typefounder in Paris (d. 1827) who became famous for his borders designed in the 1790s. There are folios of his from around 1808-1810 entitled "Choix de nouvelles Vignettes de la Fonderie de Gille fils, à Paris, rue Jean-de-Beauvais, no. 28". Gille started directing the Fonderie de Gille fils (his father was a famous typographer, so he distinguished himself as Gille fils) in 1789. He was influenced by Didot in the design of his lush vignettes, borders and rules.. His work can be found in Recueil de divers caractères, vignetts et ornemens de la fonderie et imprimerie de J.G. Gillé (Paris, De l'imprimerie de Gillé fils, 1808). This house specialized in ornaments, fancy letters, and script letters. In September 1827, it was bought by Honoré de Balzac. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Juan de Iciar

Also written as Juan de Yciar or Juan de Ycíar or Ioannes de Yciar. Spanish calligrapher, mathematician and writing master, 1515-1590. Author of Arte Subtillissima (1553, Zaragossa) and Arte Breve (1559, Zaragossa). According to Heitlinger, he was born in 1523, not 1515, in the Basque city of Durango (Vizcaya). He studied calligraphy with Tagliente and Palatino, and invented the so-called Spanish Bastarda, and drew many beautiful chancery alphabets.

Image of Spanish gothic capitals (1550).

He published Recopilación subtillísima intitulada Orthographia Practica in 1547-1548 (Zaragoza), the first writing manual in Spain. He also published Arte Subtilissima por la cual se enseña a escribir perfectamente in 1548 (8 editions from 1548 to 1566).

Recopilación subtillísima intitulada Orthographia Practica was republished in 2003 by Jakider. From that book, his beautiful Latina initial caps. Scan of his Spanish renaissance alphabet, other alphabets, Ave Maria (1548, from Arte Subtilissima), chancery hand, and Cancellaresca gruesca (1548). Biblioteca complutense de Madrid has images on-line. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Juan-José Marcos García

[More]  ⦿

Jules Hénaffe

In 1675, Colbert invites the Acadé'mie des Sciences to make a grand study of all machines used in the arts. In 1696, l'abbé Jaugeon obliges with a study entitled "Etude des Arts de construire les caractères, de graver les poinçons de lettres, d'imprimer les lettres". From 1692 on, Jaugeon created a mathematical/geometric theory of letters, all inscribed in a 48 by 48 grid (for upper case) or a 16 by 48 grid (lower case). This gridding was to lead to the type style associated with Louis XIV, the Grandjean. Fast forward 200 years to Arthur Christian, director of the Imprimerie Nationale from 1895 until 1906, who wanted to prove that Jaugeon's ideas were also esthetically justified by asking Hénaffe (official punchcutter of the Imprimerie, b. Paris 1857, d. Paris 1921) to precisely reproduce Jaugeon's designs (which he did in 1904). The resulting typeface is called Jaugeon or Hénaffe. This page describes more of his work for the Imprimerie Nationale, such as a Telugu set of punches (1901), a Coptic set (called "memphitique"), a Palmyrian set (1899), a Thai set (1903), and a "gothique Christian" type (1902). [Google] [More]  ⦿

K. James
[Depression Press]

[More]  ⦿

Kai F. Oetzbach
[Typo Knowledge Base (tkb)]

[More]  ⦿


Great page that illustrates the various forms of medieval writing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Kay Louise Amert

Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Director of the Typography Laboratory at the University of Iowa, b, 1947, d. Iowa City, 2008. At ATypI 2003 in Vancouver, she spoke about this fascinating topic: "Both experts on letterforms, Geofroy Tory and Simon de Colines often worked together in the 1520s and 30s, skillfully developing the French Renaissance style. As a punchcutter and printer, Colines worked behind the scenes at the university in Paris, while Tory left the university to write Champ Fleury, a treatise on letterforms, and later assumed the role of King.s printer. This presentation examines the many points of connection between the two men and explores the typographical interplay achieved by their collaboration." She was the first mentor of John Downer, and John's obituary mentions this: Our times in Iowa City were fabulous, as well. We enjoyed visits paid by our mutual friends John Dreyfus, Sebastian Carter, Robert Bringhurst, and other notable writers and typographers whom Kay was able to invite on behalf of the UI. Last year, Kay accepted Professor Emeritus distinction. As a scholar of type and printing, Kay spent summers in research libraries and rare book collections. Her primary interest was The Golden Age of French Printing, and Paris was like a second home to Kay. Her particular focus within that one aspect of 16th-century French typography was on the work of Simon de Colines. She was widely regarded as the world's foremost authority on Colines. Her contributions to our collective knowledge of his work are substantial. The articles she wrote and the papers she presented were but a small taste of what she had in store. Her book on Colines was in progress when she died. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Kazui Press

Exquisite font specimen pages at the Kazui Press in Japan. They sell wood types. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Kevin Woodward
[All Good Things Typography]

[More]  ⦿

Klingspor Museum Offenbach
[Hans Reichardt]

Opened in 1953, this museum in Offenbach has wonderful collections, and specializes in German typography between 1880 and 1950. The site has biographies on over 100 famous typographers. By Hans Reichardt. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Konrad Sweynheym

German printer (b. Mainz, d. 1477, Rome), who left Mainz with Arnold Pannartz to establish Italy's first printing press, in the monastery of St. Scholastica at Subiaco. There, they published three books, Cicero's De Oratore, the Opera of Lactantius, and St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei. In 1467, they set up a press in the De Massimi palace in Rome, from where they published 50 more books. Sweynheym is also spelled Sweynheim in some publications.

Nicholas Fabian on Pannartz. Catholic Encyclopedia. Literature: Burger: The Printers and Publishers of the XV Century (London, 1902); Fumagalli: Dictionnaire géogrique d'Italie pour servir à l'histoire de l'imprimerie dans ce pays (Florence, 1905); Löffler: Sweinheim und Pannartz in Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, IX (Bielefeld, 1905), and Die ersten deutschen Drucker in Italien in Historisch-politische Blätter, CXLIII (Munich, 1909).

Revivals of their typefaces, blends between humanist and blackletter, include:

  • The Subiaco font done by Ashendene Press in 1902. The Subiaco type is now owned by Cambridge University Press. Its punches were cut by E.P. Prince.
  • Nephi Mediaeval (1983). A metal type by Jim Rimmer for private use. McGrew gives the date 1986. Rimmer writes: It was inspired by the Subiaco type of the Ashendene Press and by its inspiration, the type of Sweynheym and Pannartz. My design breaks away from those types slightly in form and is softer in general feeling. In time I will cut other sizes.
  • Linotype Conrad (1999, Akira Kobayashi). Not a revival at all, but rather an interpretation and modernization.
  • The scanfont 1467 Pannartz Latin by Gilles Le Corré in 2009.
  • Pannartz Book (2009, Tomi Haaparanta, Suomi).
  • SweynheymPannartz (2010, Shane Brandes).
  • Benedictine (Anthony Elder, 2014-2015). In the Type@Cooper Extended Program in 2014-2015, Brooklyn, NY-based Anthony Elder designed Benedictine, which is inspired by the first printed books in Italy by Konrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz in the XVth century. Behance link.
  • A couple of free fonts by Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas that were developed during a 2018 workshop at Biblioteca Statale del Monumento Nazionale di Santa Scolastica, Subiaco. The first one, Sweynheim & Pannartz Subiaco 120R, is a proto-roman first used in Subiaco by Konrad Sweynheim and Arnold Pannartz for an edition of Donatus in 1465 (no longer preserved) and used until 1467 in four editions in total. The second one, Sweynheim & Pannartz 115R, is a proto-roman first used in Rome by Konrad Sweynheim & Arnold Pannartz for Cicero's Epistolae ad familiares in 1467 and used until 1476.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Kvartira Belogo

A goldmine with full scans of many old Russian books. [Google] [More]  ⦿

La Graphie Latine

Artistic movement that took place in France during the 1950s and early 1960s. It supported the human calligraphic gesture and the elegance of the mediterranean typographic style. It was started by Spanish graphic and type designer Enric Crous-Vidal (1908-1987). Other participants and followers include typographer Maximilien Vox and type designer José Mendoza y Almeida. It was opposed to the neutral and structured style developed in Switzerland and Germany.

Typefaces that characterize this movement include those by Enric Crous-Vidal (Flash (1953), Paris (1953), and Île de France (1960)), and some by Mendoza (such as ITC Mendoza). A recent typographic homage to the movement was paid by Argentinian type designer Charlie Zinno in his typeface Latinité (2010). [Google] [More]  ⦿

La Veuve Decellier

Successor of the foundry of J.-F. Rosart in Bruxelles after his death in 1777. In December 1779, we find Epreuve de la Fonderie de la Veuve Decellier, successeur de Jacques-François Rosart. Troisième édition augmentée. A Bruxelles, rue ditte Vinckt, près du Marché aux Grains., which reproduces all typefaces and fleurons of J.-F. Rosart. Local download. [Google] [More]  ⦿

L'abbé Jaugeon

In 1675, Colbert invites the Acadé'mie des Sciences to make a grand study of all machines used in the arts. In 1696, l'abbé Jaugeon obliges with a study entitled "Etude des Arts de construire les caractères, de graver les poinçons de lettres, d'imprimer les lettres". From 1692 on, Jaugeon created a mathematical/geometric theory of letters, all inscribed in a 48 by 48 grid (for upper case) or a 16 by 48 grid (lower case). This gridding was to lead to the type style associated with Louis XIV, the Grandjean. Fast forward 200 years to Arthur Christian, director of the Imprimerie Nationale from 1895-1906, who wanted to prove that Jaugeon's ideas were also esthetically justified by asking Hénaffe (official punchcutter of the Imprimerie) to reproduce precisely Jaugeon's designs. The resulting typeface is called Jaugeon or Hénaffe. Noteworthy is that Philippe Grandjean in his Romain du roi was greatly inspired by Jaugeon. Grandjean made 21 typefaces and 44 initial caps sets, all between 1693 and 1745. [Google] [More]  ⦿

L'Alphabet dest né en Phénicie

J.-C. Loubet del Bayle recalls the writing of the early Phoenicians, upon which most of our present day alphabets are based. [Google] [More]  ⦿

L'anisette: a short story

Gérard Blanchard (1927-1998), Chancellier des Rencontres Internationales de Lure, Doctor Honoris Causa ès Art of Laval University, Canada, writes about Jean-François Porchez's beautiful Anisette family, and gives it a place in history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Lars Kähler
[Global Type]

[More]  ⦿

Laura Antonucci

Type historian. Author of these articles (in Italian):

  • La scrittura giudicata: perizie grafiche in processi romani del primo seicento, Scrittura e civiltà, vol. 13 (1989), pp. 489-534.
  • Techniche dello scrivere e cultura grafica di un perito romano nel '600', Scrittura e civiltà, vol. 16 (1992), pp. 265-303.
  • Teoria e pratica di scrittura fra cinque e seicento: un esemplare interfogliato de Il primo libro di scrivere di Giacomo Romano (1589), Scrittura e civiltà, vol. 20 (1996), pp. 281-347.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Laurens Janszoon Coster

The Dutch have claimed for hundreds of years that Laurens Janszoon Coster [or: Koster] (b. ca 1370, d. ca 1440) printed the first book in Haarlem (The Netherlands), ca. 1440, well before Johann Gutenberg in Mainz in 1452. There is no hard evidence to support or refute this claim, but Jan Middendorp in his "Dutch Type" (2004) categorically calls it a myth. From the link, I cite: "Warren Chappell's oft-referenced A Short History of the Printed Word, published in 1970, states that the "quality of the early Dutch type-making and printing still extant is so markedly inferior to Gutenberg's that the possibility of a few years' priority is less important than Gutenberg's results." [Google] [More]  ⦿

L'aventure des écritures

Pages (in French) on the history of writing and printing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Lawrence Wallis
[Lawrence Wallis: A Concise Chronology of Typesetting Developments, 1886-1986]

[More]  ⦿

Lawrence Wallis: A Concise Chronology of Typesetting Developments, 1886-1986
[Lawrence Wallis]

In his 1988 slim book, A Concise Chronology of Typesetting Developments (London: The Wynken de Worde Society and Lund Humphries), Lawrence Wallis chronicles the history of photocomposition. The information below is from that source, via Paul Shaw's page on that topic.

  • Birth of phototype
  • c.1959 Alphatype founded
  • 1960 Compugraphic founded
  • c.1960 Addressograph-Multigraph/Varityper founded
  • 1960 First Alphatype machine
  • 1965 Hell Digiset
  • 1967 Varityper Headliner / AM 725
  • 1967 Fairchild PU2000 and PU8000
  • 1967 Berthold Diatronic
  • 1967 IBM 2680
  • 1968 Harris [Intertype] Fototronic 1200
  • 1968 Compugraphic CG2961, CG4961 and CG7200
  • 1968 Compugraphic CG2961 and CG4961 cheap
  • 1969 Singer Justotext 70
  • 1970 Harris Fototronic TxT
  • 1970 Star Parts Co. Compstar 150
  • 1970 type division created at Compugraphic
  • 1971 Dymo acquires Star Parts
  • 1971 Autologic founded
  • 1971 CG Compwriter
  • 1971 CompWriter allowed direct keyboard entry
  • 1971 AM 747
  • 1971 Autologic APS 4
  • 1971 III [Information International Inc.] took over RCA Videocomp
  • 1972 Autologic becomes a subsidiary of Volt Information Sciences, Inc.
  • 1972 Fototronic 600
  • 1972 MGD MetroSet successfully applied storage of digital fonts in outline form [CRT]
  • 1972 MGD Metroset
  • 1972 Bobst Eurocat
  • 1973 Compugraphic Videosetter
  • 1974 A-M Compuset
  • 1975 Dymo Graphic Systems created
  • 1975 MGD Graphics Systems Group part of Rockwell International
  • 1976 new Alphacomp
  • 1976 Quadritek 1200
  • 1977 DLC-1000 Compositor from Dymo
  • 1977 Compugraphic Editwriter
  • 1977 Alphatype CRS
  • 1977 Bobst begins photocomposition business
  • 1978 Linotron 202
  • 1978 MGD leaves the business
  • 1978 AM Comp/Edit 5810
  • 1979 III buys MGD
  • 1979 Itek buys Dymo
  • 1980 CG8600
  • 1980 AKI (an Atex company) sells photocomposition
  • 1980 Berthold and Alphatype merge (but see also 1981 below)
  • 1980 Mycro-Tek, Inc. founded
  • 1980 Foto Star International sells photocomposition
  • 1981 Berthold buys Alphatype
  • 1981 Autologic buys Bobst
  • 1981 Bitstream founded
  • 1981 Böger released Scantext 1000
  • 1981 Volt buys Bobst
  • 1981 Xerox (Xerox Printing Systems Division) licenses fonts from Mergenthaler including Optima, Melior and Palatino; digitized by Mergenthaler
  • 1983 Digitek machine
  • 1984 Tegra founded
  • 1984 Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) licenses CG fonts for DEC LN01
  • 1984 Qubix licenses Bitstream fonts
  • 1984 Harris licenses CG fonts for CT7000 as supplement to own type library
  • 1984 Xyvision licenses CG fonts for Xyvision Laser Printer
  • 1984 Harris quit the business
  • 1985 Compugraphic MCS 8800
  • 1985 Apple and Linotype announce alliance
  • 1986 Tegra licenses Bitstream fonts
  • 1986 Scantext 2000
  • 1986 Berthold sells Alphatype
  • 1986 URW announces type library, including URW Grotesk and URW Antiqua
  • 1986 Bitstream licenses fonts to Hewlett Packard (HP)
  • 1986 Esselte buys ITC
  • 1986 Adobe downloadable fonts available with Apple LaserWriter; there are 12 packages that include 15 ITC fonts (among them ITC Zapf Dingbats and ITC Zapf Chancery), Palatino and Optima
  • 1987 Alphatype acquires Alphabet Innovations type library
  • 1987 Linotype sold to Commerzbank
  • 1987 Linotype distributes Adobe fonts; Adobe Type Library announced
  • 1989 Agfa Compugraphic created
  • Death of phototype
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Le Journal Perpendiculaire

French pages on the ancient history of the alphabet. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Leo Dumea

[More]  ⦿

Leonhard Holle

The roman used by Leonard Holle in 1482 in Ptolemy was the basis of the font Ptolemy Roman (Ashendene Press, 1927). The type only exists in metal, and is in the possession of Cambridge University Press. Ptolemy was designed in Chelsea by St John Hornby, Sidney Cockerell and Emery Walker, and was cut in 18 pt by Edward Prince for Cervantes's Don Quixote, which was published by the Ashendene Press in 1927. The type used until 1935 was a revival of Lienhart Holle's cut for Ptolemaeus's Cosmographia printed in 1482 in Ulm. Ptolemy in turn was digitally revived in 2019 by Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas in 2019. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Les Besnardtypo

The history of typography explained (in French) by the French typographers Michel (b. 1942) and Rosalyne Besnard (b. 1946) who live in Rouen. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Les Estienne
[Paul Dupont]

Paul Dupont tells the history of the Estienne family of printers. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Paul Shaw]

Biannual newsletter of the Type Directors Club in New York. Very informative, with a nice book review section by Paul Shaw. His brief bio: he is a calligrapher and typographer working in New York City. In his 18 professional years as a lettering designer he has created custom lettering and logos for many leading companies, including Avon, Lord&Taylor, Rolex, Clairol and Esté Lauder. Paul has taught calligraphy&typography at New York's Parsons School of Design for over ten years and conducted workshops in New York and Italy. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. His publishing credits include "Blackletter Primer" and "Letterforms", as well as articles for Print, Fine Print, Design Issues and Letter Arts Review. He is the recipient of awards from the Type Directors Club, AIGA, the New York Art Directors Club, Print and How magazines. He won a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to study the type designs of Morris Fuller Benton, and a Newberry Library fellowship to study the work of George Salter. Paul's experience in using research libraries to study historical manuscripts will be shared with tour participants wishing to visit the Vatican Library. He has been a partner in LetterPerfect since 1995.

Paul Shaw's home page. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Lettres françaises
[Jean-François Porchez]

Downloadable booklet by Jean-François Porchez detailing the history of French typography and its modern situation. First published at ATypI in 1998. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Liam Quin
[Liam's Pictures from Old Books]

[More]  ⦿

Liam's Pictures from Old Books
[Liam Quin]

Liam Quin's pictures from old (now copyright-free) books. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino cittadino romano
[Giovambattista Palatino]

This jewel of a book was published in 1550 by Antonio Blado asolano in Rome. It is now available on the web and contains of complete alphabets, from chancery scripts, to blackletter and roman. There are also Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Syrian, Arabic and other alphabets. Selected pics to make you drool. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Lienhard Holie

German type designer, renowned for the artistic merit of his roman letters. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Linn Boyd Benton, Morris Fuller Benton, and Typemaking at ATF

Article by Patricia A. Cost in APHA vol. 16, No. 2, 1994. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Linotype Library GmbH

Large type German foundry Linotype controlling over 4000 fonts. The company was located in Bad Homburg since 1998. It was acquired by Monotype Imaging in 2006, after more than a decade under the helm of Bruno Steinert. On January 29, 2024, Monotype sent this message: As part of a consolidation of its online offerings, the Monotype Group has decided to discontinue the operation of Monotype GmbH's online store LinoType, effective 28.03.2024, and to transfer/novate this business unit in its entirety to MyFonts Inc. of 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, MA 01801---also a company of the Monotype Group. And that is the end of Linotype.

Linotype wrote about itself in 2008: Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a wholly owned subsidiary of Monotype Imaging Inc., looks back onto a history of more than 120 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 9,000 original typefaces, covering the whole typographic spectrum from antique to modern, from east to west, and from classical to experimental. All typefaces (in PostScript(tm) and TrueType(tm) format as well as more than 7,000 fonts in OpenType(tm)) are now also available for instant download at www.linotype.com. In addition to supplying digital fonts, Linotype also offers comprehensive and individual consultation and support services for font applications in worldwide (corporate) communication. It publishes frivolous/experimental font collections under the name Taketype (1 through 4 now), and regularly publishes reworked classic and original text type families such as Compatil, Vialog, Satero, Linotype Sabon, Linotype Frutiger, Linotype Optima, and Linotype Univers. Its designers. A time line:

  • 1886: Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the Linotype machine.
  • 1890: Mergenthaler establishes the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn, USA.
  • 1895: The D. Stempel foundry was born.
  • 1915: D. Stempel takes over the type foundry Roos&Junge, Offenbach (established in 1886).
  • 1917: D. Stempel acquires a majority share of the type foundry Klingspor Bros., Offenbach.
  • 1918: D. Stempel takes over the type foundry Heinrich Hoffmeister, Leipzig (established in 1898).
  • 1919: D. Stempel acquires the type division of W. Drugulin, Leipzig (established in 1800) and a share of the type foundry Brötz&Glock, Frankfurt (established in 1892).
  • 1927: D. Stempel acquires a shareholding in the Haas'sche type foundry in Basel/Münchenstein (established in 1790).
  • 1933: D. Stempel acquires a shareholding in the type foundry Benjamin Krebs (Successors), Frankfurt (established in 1816).
  • 1956: D. Stempel AG acquires full ownership of the type foundry Klingspor Bros., Offenbach (established in 1906).
  • 1963: Linotype takes over the type foundry Genzsch + Heyse, Hamburg (established 1833).
  • 1970: Stempel takes over part of the type collection of C.E. Weber (Stuttgart, est. 1927).
  • 1972: The Haas'sche type foundry in Basel/Münchenstein takes over the type foundry Deberny&Peignot, Paris.
  • 1978: The Haas'sche type foundry takes over Fonderie Olive, Marseille (established in 1836).
  • 1985: Linotype takes over of the type division of D. Stempel AG.
  • 1989: Linotype takes over the Haas'sche type foundry (established in 1790).
  • 1990: Linotype AG merges with Hell GmbH to become Linotype-Hell AG.
  • 2006: Acquired by Monotype Imaging.
  • 2024: On January 29, 2024, Monotype sent this message: As part of a consolidation of its online offerings, the Monotype Group has decided to discontinue the operation of Monotype GmbH's online store LinoType, effective 28.03.2024, and to transfer/novate this business unit in its entirety to MyFonts Inc. of 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, MA 01801---also a company of the Monotype Group. And that is the end of Linotype.

MyFonts link for Linotype Design Studio.

Catalog of the typefaces in Linotype's library [large web page].

View Linotype's library of typefaces in alphabetical order. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

[Girgio Coraglia]

Pages by Giorgio Coraglia on Ottmar Mergenthaler and Linotype. As he himself puts it: "It is a site open to the testimonies of all those whom have dedicated a life of labor to a mythical profession: to the Linotype operator&typographers&= journalists throughout the world. To remember&to remind." [Google] [More]  ⦿

Lost Things in the Garden of Type

Wonderful essay on type history, by John Tranter. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Lothar Südkamp
[Type Hype]

[More]  ⦿

Louis Perrin

French punchcutter (1795-1865) who lived in Lyon. He designed Lyons Titling (1846, a roman titling font published by Chiswick Press) and Augustaux, about which René Ponot published a book, Louis Perrin: L'Enigme des Augustaux (Editions des Cendres, Paris, 1998). The book contains a history of Perrin as a printer and typographer, with special attention to Perrin's Augustaux type. It contains two fold-out Augustaux type specimens and several examples of Perrin's printing in black-and-white. The preface is by Fernand Baudin, and it is printed in Perrin type redesigned by L'Atelier National de Création Typographique in 1986. See also Etude sur Louis Perrin, Imprimeur Lyonnais (Editions des Cendres, Paris, 1994) by Jean-Baptiste Monfalcon.

The Elzevir style of typeface originated with Louis Perrin.

Hrant Papazian writes: While I was looking for something else I ran into the single most important publication about Perrin that I know of: Audin's book on the 1923 Perrin exhibition in Lyon. It's quite rare - it seems only 61 copies were printed. There's a very extensive text (120 pages), a complete catalog of works, and some great facsimiles (as well as actual prints -like pressmarks- from Perrin's own engravings). The paper is very yellowed though. There are two things in there that will probably interesting you most: A facsimile of Perrin's famous specimen sheet, showing two sizes that are basically Marquet's designs: the 11 and the second 14. Some scans shown below were published by Hrant Papazian.

Digital typefaces directly linked to Louis Perrin include the all caps typeface Grand Central by Tobias Frere-Jones (1998, Font Bureau), and the great contemporay revival of Augustaux by Mathieu Cortat simply called Louize (2013, +Display). Aventine (2018, Stephen French) is an oldstyle typeface based on Perrin's Lyons Capitals.

FontShop link.

Bibliography: Laurent Guillo: Louis-Benoit Perrin et Alfred-Louis Perrin, imprimeure à Lyon 1823-1865-1883 (1986, Mémoire, Ecole Normale Supérieure des Bibliothèques, Villeurbanne). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Louis Simonneau

Engraver at the Imprimerie Royale in Paris, b. Orleans, 1654, d. Paris, 1727. He drew and worked on the Romain du roi project, ca. 1716. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Loyalist College

An assignment given by Hersh Jacob at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario led to a number of pages on the main type designers such as Bodoni, Garamond, Goudy, Baskerville, and Dwiggins. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi da Vicenza

Influential Italian printer, writing master and calligrapher, b. ca. 1475-1480, d. 1527, aka Ludovico Vicentino (degli Arrighi), or Ludovico il Vicentino. Around 1510 he was a bookseller in Rome. He was employed as a scribe at the Apostolic Chancery in 1515. Author in 1522 of the writing manual La Operina, da imparare di scrivere littera cancellarescha, which was the first one for popular use. La Operina contains the first printed example of Chancery Cursive. In 1523, he wrote a sequel, Il modo de temperare le penne, a beautiful and influential typographic manual.

Roderick Cave writes in his The Private Press: The first part of this was printed entirely from wood blocks, but the second part, Il Modo di Temperare le Penne, contains several pages printed in a very fine italic typeface modeled on the cancellaresca formata hand. The type was fairly obviously derived from the hand used by Arrighi himself; it seems likely that the punches were cut by his partner, who can with reasonable certainty be identified as Lautizio de Bartolomeo dei Rotelli, of whose skill as an engraver of seals Benvenuto Cellini speaks with respect in his Autobiography. He started printing in 1524 and designed his own italic typefaces for his work, which were widely emulated.

His letterforms were revived in the 20th century by designers such as Plumet (1925), Stanley Morison (Monotype Blado (1923, Stanley Morrison) is based on Arrighi's lettering---it was unfortunately named after the printer Antonio Blado who used the type in the 1530s; the name Monotype Arrighi would have been more appropriate), Frederic Warde (in his Arrighi Italic, 1925), Robert Slimbach (one could say that his memory lives on through fonts like Adobe Jenson Multiple Master), Ladislav Mandel (Cancellaresca), Willibald Kraml (Vicentino, 1992), Paulo W (as Volitiva), Gunnlaugur S.E. Briem (Briem Operina), James Grieshaber (P22 Operina), Michelle Dixon (Arrighi Copybook), Gilles Le Corre (1522 Vicentino, 2011) and Jonathan Hoefler (Requiem Text).

Arrighi's last printing was dated shortly before the sack of Rome (1527), during which he was probably killed.

Sample pics: Fantastic ornamental capitals (1522), roman capitals (1522), Italian capitals, Italian minuscule. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Lukas Brandis

Book printer and typefounder in Lübeck, Germany. He learned typefounding in Peter Schöffer's shop in Mainz. He started printing in 1473 in Merseburg and in 1474 in Lübeck. He finished his 474-page masterpiece, Rudimentum novitiorum in 1475. Besides book printing was Brandis mainly occupied as typefounder for himself and others. He founded the type for Missale Magdeburgense (1480, Bartholomäus Ghotan). Brandis died between 1502 and 1504.

Digital typefaces based on his work include Lucas Brandis (2011, Shane Brandes). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Luthersche Fraktur
[Erasmus Luther]

Luthersche Fraktur was designed by Erasmus Luther in 1708. Among Fraktur fonts, it is legible and fresh. The Luther Fraktur forms a link between the earlier Gebetbuch Fraktur and the later Breitkopf Fraktur types. Versions:

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Madame De Berny

The Deberny foundry traces its origins to three men, Jean-Louis Duplat (1757-1833), Jean-Fran&cccedil;ois Laurent (1818-1823) and Joseph Gillé (1748-1789), who came together in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century to start a typefounding enterprise. This business eventually passed to Laurent by 1827. In 1826, French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), incorporated with typesetter André Barbier (b. 1793), in a printing and publishing business on the Rue des Marais-Saint-Germain in Paris. Balzac wished to have a printing press at his disposal for his own oeuvre. At one time, thirty workers were employed at Imprimerie H. Balzac which was funded with 70,000 Francs in borrowed money from Balzac's mother, as well as from his mistress, Mme De Berny. Business started well for Balzac and Barbier who showed no discrimination in the kinds of literature that they printed. By 1827, Balzac bought Laurent's typesetting firm in order to extend his immediate control over all aspects of the printing business. If Balzac had been a prudent entrepreneur instead of a spendthrift, his venture may have succeeded. Instead, Balzac lavished much of his profits on extravagant clothing that was needed to access the social circles of another patron and mistress, the Duchess d'Abrantes. As a result of his financial neglect, his Imprimerie sank into debt. Keen to its demise, Barbier left the business in 1828. Balzac was left with approximately 100,000 Francs in debts and equipment. Fortunately, Balzac had aligned himself with a powerful ally. Louise-Antoinette-Laure De Berny (1777-1836), Balzac's first mistress whom he described as more than a friend, more than a sister, almost a mother and even more than that a sort of visible divinity, forgave her loan and took over the print shop. As the wife of a high-ranking official in the French royal court and god-child of Queen Marie-Antoinette, Mme De Berny had financial options at her disposal. She entrusted the business to her 19 year-old son, Alexandre De Berny, (1809-1881). Balzac abandoned his attempt at free-enterprise and went on to profit from his literary talents instead. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Maître Constantin

Maître Constantin is responsible, according to research carried out by Stan Knight and published in Historical Types (From Gutenberg to Ashendene) (Oak Knoll Press, 2012) for the original Garamond types. I quote a passage written by Alastair Johnston in his review of that book:

Fortunately we have James Mosley, who teaches at Reading, Charlottesville (Virginia) & London Universities, formerly the Librarian of Saint Bride's in London, as a guiding light in the search for typographic truth. Mosley has been blogging about such matters since 2006. His "typefoundry" blog has been a great resource for Knight, particularly in the untangling of Jannon versus Garamond, the actual spelling of Garamont's name, and other details.

Many documents have appeared to further the historical discussion, from the series of Type Specimen Facsimiles (under the editorship of John Dreyfus from 1963 onward), to the exemplary Enschedé (1993) & Plantin-Moretus (2004) facsimiles edited by John Lane. Some of the older facsimile works could be revisited with the new approach heralded by Knight, for example the 1592 Egenolff-Berner specimen sheet which was reproduced in 1920 by Gustav Mori in collotype. That sheet was the first specimen broadside to clearly identify Garamond and Granjon as cutters of their types and, as it was printed from newly cast type, was the best possible source for modern interpretations: Adobe Garamond by Robert Slimbach (among others) was drawn from it.

But for most of the twentieth century Garamond revivals (and there have been roughly a zillion of them) were based on the wrong type: a poor imitation cut by Jean Jannon in the French province of Sedan in the 1620s. This typographic Lady Gaga, a tragi-comic homage to classic typefaces, should have been left in the dustbin of history but accidentally gained an important place in the story of type development, so Knight has included it. Also included is a text debunking many of the myths about Jannon and Garamond (thanks to Mosley's research). One of the most fanciful stories has Cardinal Richelieu's troops looting Jannon's types to bring them back to the Imprimerie nationale in Paris. This yarn was first spun by Beatrice Warde in 1926 and picked up by Warren Chappell in his Short History of the Printed Word. As late as 1999 Canadian poet Robert Bringhurst was embroidering the fable in his edition of Chappell's book (p. 148), saying that after Richelieu’s armies seized Jannon’s type they felt bad about it so they reimbursed him for them!

As technology improves it greatly assists us in seeing what we are looking at (though collotype mentioned above is hard to beat). Up to now many books on type have used small illustrations of large pages shrunk down, printed from line blocks. In the end you cannot see any details. So the next step is to do more books of this kind that show, as closely as possible, the impression and the texture of the paper, and more specialized books. Knight's previous book was Historical Scripts (also from Oak Knoll) with a similar hyper-visual approach to the history of calligraphy.

Hendrik Vervliet's recent three volumes on the Paleotypography of the French Renaissance have illustrations from Xerox copies and photostats. Vervliet's images (many composites to show full character sets) were painstakingly assembled over decades and often Xerox was the only service available. It would be a useful task for someone to give the blow-up treatment (shot in high resolution with raking light to show the impression, as well as the paper surface) to his studies (now that we have the key data assembled), and then move into the following centuries.

Nevertheless Vervliet's work is the major contribution to the field in the last half century. So it's great to see late-breaking news from the sixteenth century when Knight reproduces a page of revolutionary new type from Henri Estienne (previously attributed to Garamond [see top illustration]) and, thanks to Vervliet, we now have to acknowledge the shadowy Maître Constantin for this massive step-forward in the Aldine style which revolutionized roman letterforms across Europe. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Malou Verlomme

French type designer who graduated from l'Ecole Duperré in Paris and the University of Reading (2005). He cofounded the type foundry LongType in 2012. Since 2016 he works for Monotype UK. His typeface Ficus (2005) won an award in the Creative Review Type Competition 2005.

He wrote Technological Shifts in Type Design and Production (2006).

His typefaces: Respublika (2013, a humanist sans done with Gregori Vincens, Fontyou), Camille (2010-2011, for Camille Muller), ECAM (2009-2010, for the ECAM theater), Dijon (2011, for the identity of Dijon's Opera house), Arbre (2010, for the identity of the coffee brand L'Arbre de Cafe), Totem, Ficus (2005-2006), Syneas (2009, for Syneas), Digitaline (2007, a Futura-like family done for Agence Digitaline), Vingt-huit (2007), Sabasi (2008), Gem (2007, art nouveau), Oops (2006).

Marion Andrews, Malou Verlomme and Laurence Bedoin collaborated on the school fonts Écriture A and Écriture B which are presented in Modèles d'écriture scolaire (2013), a document issued by the French Ministry of Education. These fonts are available from Eduscol.

Verlomme set up Long Type in 2012 with Mathieu Chévara, Mathieu Reguer and Thomas L'Excellent.

In 2016, for Monotype, on commission for the Transport For London company, he redesigned / tweaked New Johnston, called Johnston100. It will be used in TfL's trains and station signage including for London's new Crossrail Elizabeth line that is scheduled to open in 2018.

In 2018, he published the geometric sans typeface family Madera and the revival typeface Placard Next (based on an old Monotype condensed poster typeface) at Monotype.

In 2019, he released the 12-style high-contrast Ariata (Text, Display, Stencil) at Monotype.

In 2020, he published the superfamily Macklin (Sans, Display, Text, Slab) at Monotype. Influenced by early 19th century designs in Europe, and especially by the work of Vincent Figgins, it is intended for use in headlines and short blocks of text. Variable fonts are also available.

Co-designer, with Clement Charbonnier Bouet, of Ionic No 5 (2021), a ten-style Clarendon that revives and refreshes a classic Linotype Clarendon-style serif for Monotype. Noteworthy is that the designers replaced Clarendon's ball terminals by 21st century serifs, even including the hipsterish coathanger f. The ball terminals are relegated to the "alternates".

In 2021, he took part in the development of Helvetica Now Variable (Monotype). Helvetica Now Variable was designed by Max Miedinger, Charles Nix, Monotype Studio, Friedrich Althausen, Malou Verlomme, Jan Hendrik Weber and Emilios Theofanous and published by Monotype. Monotype writes: Helvetica Now Variable gives you over a million new Helvetica styles in one state-of-the-art font file (over two-and-a-half million with italics!). Use it as an extension of the Helvetica Now family or make custom-blends from its weights (Hairline to ExtraBlack), optical sizes (four point to infinity), and new Compressed and Condensed widths. It contains 144 static styles.

In 2022, he released Boucan (a variable all caps font that can be animated to react to sounds and music).

Typecache link. Speaker at ATypI 2017 Montreal. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Mannerism is a period of European art that evolved from the Italian high renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when the baroque style began to replace it. Northern mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe. Mannerism is characterized by elongated proportions, very stylized poses, and a lack of clear perspective. In typography, this is the era of early penmanship in the style of Palatino, and of styles like Civilté. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Manoel Andrade de Figueiredo

Portuguese penman of the 17th century, 1670-1722. Some say 1670--1735. Andrade de Figueiredo was born in Espirito Santo, where his father was Governor of the Capitania. His work follows the style of the great Italian masters in its use of clubbed ascenders and descenders, and of Diaz Morante, the famous Spanish writing master, in its very elaborate show of command of hand. He was known as the Morante portugues.

Author of Writing Book (1721, in Portuguese), in which we can find exceptional flourish work. This horseman was drawn in one stroke in 1722. See also these Versalien (1722).

Author of Nova Escola para aprender a ler, escrever, e contar. Offerecida a Augusta Magestade do Senhor Dom Joao V. Rey de Portugal (Lisboa Occidental: na Officina de Bernardo da Costa de Carvalho, Impressor do Serenissimo Senhor Infante, 1722).

His work inspired Ventura da Silva, a Portuguese typographer who published Regras Methodicas in 1803, who redesigned some of Figueiredo's type specimens.

Digital descendants include Dino dos Santos's Pluma (2005), Andrade Pro (2006, a modern) and Andrade Pro Script (2006) typefaces. Intellecta Design's Invitation Script (2013) is based on Andrade's 1722 book. Miguel Bernardino's Manoel Display (2016) is named after Andrade. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Manuscripta Mediaevalia

Many digitized medieval documents, in which many letterforms can be enjoyed and studied. A real treasure. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Marc H. Smith

[More]  ⦿

Marc H. Smith
[Medieval typefaces: Marc Smith's list]

[More]  ⦿

Marcellin Legrand

Paris-based creator of the hybrid Gaelic typeface Legrand (ca. 1836). Typefounder in Paris. His work can be found in this specimen book (Paris, 1850, 97 pages). At the Imprimerie Nationale, he was asked in 1846 to cut an arabe maghrébin (the preferred Arabic writing style in Morocco and adjacent regions). He cut anotther weight in 1850. In 2009, Franck Jalleau made a digital version of this, called Le Maghrébin. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Marius Audin

Type historian from Lyon, 1872-1951. He had a major influence on the French typographical world before World War II. His son Maurice founded the Musée de l'imprimerie et de la banque in Lyon in 1964, starting from the family's archives. Author (1872-1951) of many books on typography and printing, including

  • Les livrets typographiques des fonderies françaises créées avant 1800 Étude historique et bibliographique (Paris: A l'Enseigne de Pégase, 1933), republished in 1964 by Gérard Th. van Heusden, Amsterdam. This book is a historian's dream, offering a complete genealogical picture of French foundries. Font page.
  • Le Livre (two volumes, 1924 and 1926).
  • Les caractères de civilité de Robert Granjon et les imprimeurs flamands (1921, with Dr. Maurits Sabbe, conservateur du Musée Plantin, à Anvers'; Lyon : impr. M. Audin&Co; Anvers : A la Grande Librairie, 1921).
  • Histoire de l'imprimerie par l'image (4 volumes, Henri Jonquières éditeur, Paris, 1928-1929).
  • In 1948, Audin edited the book Somme typographique. The second volume of that work appeared in 1949.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Mark Weaver
[Mid-Century Modern Typefaces]

[More]  ⦿

Marta Erica Bernstein

Originally from Milan, she is currently Associate Creative Director at Studio Matthews (Seattle, WA), developing EGD and wayfinding systems.

Graduate of the Type and Media program at KABK, 2009. There, she designed the serif family Alice, specifically for magazines. She is working on Bolano in 2010 about which she writes: It is based on my brush calligraphy, tamed down to a book typeface.

Marta Bernstein is a partner at TM (Tiemme Studio), an architecture and design studio based in Seattle. She has a decade long experience in developing identities across various media, and designing wayfinding and signage systems. Marta is an adjunct professor in Typography at Milan's Polytechnic, visiting professor in Architecture and Design at University of Navarra and regular lecturer for the Interior Design master at Tongji University, Shanghai.

In 2014, Marta Bernstein was a founding partner in the new CAST type foundry. She was associated with LS Design in Milan.

She wrote A Hundred Years of Type 1813-1908 Typefounders and Printers in Italy from Bodoni's death to the foundation of Augusta company in Turin (Master degree dissertation developed with Emanuela Conidi. Supervisor: Prof. James Clough at Politecnico di Milano, July 2006; in Italian: Cento Anni di Caratteri 1813-1908).

Cargo Collective link. Speaker at ATypI 2018 in Antwerp. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Martin Kuckenburg

Author of Die Entstehung von Sprache und Schrift (1996, Dumont Taschenbücher), which deals with the origins of various scripts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Martin Z. Schröder

German blog by Martin Z. Schröder about lead type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Masters of Modern Typography

Page of links maintained by Christopher Raymond Baker. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Mathieu Lommen
[University of Amsterdam: Special Collections]

[More]  ⦿

Matt Baker
[Evolution of the Alphabet]

[More]  ⦿

Matthew Urlwin Sears

British wood engraver of the first part of the 19th century. Author of "Specimen of stereotype ornaments, 1825". [Google] [More]  ⦿

Matthias Rosart

Matthias, or Matthieu, Rosart is the son of J.F. Rosart, who carried on with his father's foundry in Brussels after his death in 1777. Before that, he had a rough relationship with his father, lived for a while in Amsterdam, and even worked for a competing typefounder in Brussels, J.L. de Boubers starting in 1772. In 1789, Matthias Rosart published his specimen book, Epreuve des caractères. There he announces that he can supply all the fonts and fleurons to be found in the catalogue of his father. This seems to indicate [according to Baudin and Hoeflake] that the foundries of de Boubers and J.F. Rosart in Brussels joined. Indeed, in December 1779, we also find an Epreuve de la Fonderie de la Veuve Decellier, successeur de Jacques-François Rosart. Troisième édition augmentée. A Bruxelles, rue ditte Vinckt, près du Marché aux Grains, which reproduces all typefaces and fleurons of J.-F. Rosart. On page 12 of "Blackletter" (Peter Bain and Paul Shaw, 1998), Matthias Rosart is credited with Gros Romain Civilité (1777, Brussels), one of the most readable Fraktur fonts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Maximilien Vox

French type designer, cartoonist, illustrator, theorist, type historian and journalist, b. Condé-sur-Noirau, 1894, d. Lurs-en-Provence, 1974. His real name was Samuel William Théodore Monod. Founder of the famous Rencontres de Lure in 1952. Creator of the Vox ATypI classification system. Influential figure in the Grafia Latina movement. Designer of Banjo (Fonderie Deberny&Peignot, 1930), Éclair (Fonderie Deberny&Peignot, 1935), Pharaon Blanc (Fonderie Deberny&Peignot, 1930) and Voxtype.

Éclair was digitally revived in 2014 by Nick Curtis as Rythme NF.

Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Maya Ying Lin

Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982. She picked Optima for the inscription of the 58,220 names on the black granite wall. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Marc H. Smith]

French medieval and paleotypographic jump page, mostly edited by Marc Smith, École nationale des chartes, Sorbonne, Paris. Marc Smith wrote Du manuscrit à la typographie numérique (Gazette du livre médiéval, no. 52-53, 2008, pp. 51-78), in which he describes the history of digital type and makes interesting comments on their roots and classification. The site is quite extensive---medievalists can spend weeks visiting links and sub-pages. PDF file.

Marc Smith also designed some typefaces, notably Piacevole (2008, a 16th century cursive map script typeface after J. de Beauchesne), and the "ronde" La Petite Ronde (2008, after L. Barbedor). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Medieval typefaces: Marc Smith's list
[Marc H. Smith]

This list of digital types with roots in the middle age was compiled in 2008 by Marc H. Smith [Ménestrel, and École nationale des chartes, Sorbonne, Paris] in 2008. He introduces a classification of these typefaces. PDF file. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Michael Brandt
[The Evolution of Type]

[More]  ⦿

Michael Everson
[Gaelic Typefaces: History and Classification]

[More]  ⦿

Michael Everson
[Evertype (was: Everson Typography)]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Michael O'Rahilly

Monotype Series 24a (ca. 1906), a reincarnation of Later Figgins, was recast in 1913 by Michael O'Rahilly, and digitized in 1993 as Duibhlinn. He designed O'Rahilly Display (ca. 1915), which led to Monotype Series 117 (which, according to Everson, was never cut). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Michel Wlassikoff

[More]  ⦿

Mid-Century Modern Typefaces
[Mark Weaver]

A page on typefaces from 1900 until 1940 brought by Mark Weaver. These typefaces were used on vintage printed material such as on album covers. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Miklós Tótfalusi Kis

Miklós Tótfalusi Kis (Nicholas Kis) was born in Misztótfalu, Hungary, in 1650. He left for Amsterdam in 1680, where he worked on la Biblia Hungara (1685), Book of Hymns of San David (1686), and the New Testament (1687). He also published many books for children. Taught there by Dirk Voskens, he made what is now known as Janson Text around 1690. Around 1690, he made an elegant face, Nikis. He died in 1702. The story of Kis's types, now also known as Dutch types, is eloquently told by Daidala based on research by Bringhurst, Lawson, Morrison and Carter. Types influenced by him include Stempel Janson (1937, based on his original matrices), Mergenthaler Linotype Janson (1954, by Hermann Zapf; digitized in 1985), Monotype Ehrhardt (1938, named after the Ehrhardt foundry in Leipzig, where in the early 1700s his types were found), Nikis (finished by Hell Design Studio (now Linotype); see Nikis EF) and Adobe's Janson Text (based on the original matrices as well). The name Janson comes from Anton Janson, a Dutch typographer who worked in Leipzig. Janson was incorrectly credited with the designs of Kis's typefaces. Note: since 1919, Kis's original matrices are in the hands of Stempel.

John Tranter recalls the Kis/Janson affair: In his book On Type Faces, published in 1923, the great typographic historian Stanley Morison describes a roman and italic typeface that he said was cut by Anton Janson, a seventeenth-century Dutch type foundry owner. By the 1920s the typeface had fallen into disuse, and when it was revived for the modern age on both Linotype and Monotype machines in 1937, it was named 'Janson' after its presumed designer. Even the German Stempel foundry, who owned the original 'Janson' punches and matrices from the 1600s, called it by that name. The typeface became more and more widely used. Robert Bringhurst (a poet as well as a typographer) refers to it as a wonderfully toothy and compact Baroque type. In the United States it is now the third most popular typeface for book composition, according to its frequency of appearance in the 'Fifty Books of the Year' annual exhibition organised by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In 1939 Stanley Morison uncovered the embarrassing fact that the typeface had not been cut by Janson, but even he was unable to put his finger on the designer. It was not until the 1950s that Harry Carter and George Buday discovered that the man who had designed the type was a Transylvanian Hungarian named Nicholas (or Miklós) Kis, born in 1650. Kis took religious orders and became a teacher, and eventually decided to visit Holland and study typography, as those skills were needed in Hungary. He turned out to be very gifted at punchcutting, the shaping of metal type, and became so famous in his own time that Cosimo de Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, offered him a position at his court. Kis declined the offer, and returned to Hungary in 1690, determined to spend the rest of his life designing and printing bibles. It was a time of religious and political upheaval in Hungary. The social turmoil, together with personal enmities, shortened his life, and Kis died in 1702, an embittered man. His reputation had to wait 250 years for proper recognition; and such is the conservative nature of the world of type that the typeface he created is still called 'Janson'.

Detlef Schäfer writes in 1989 in his book Fotosatzschriften: No other printing type has ever generated as far-reaching a controversy as this typeface which Jan Tschichold called the most beautiful of all the old Antiqua types. For a long time, it was thought to have been designed by Anton Janson. In 1720 a large number of the original types were displayed in the catalog of the Ehrhardische Gycery (Ehrhardt Type foundry) in Leipzig. Recently, thanks to the research performed by Beatrice Warde and especially György Haiman, it has been proven unambiguously that the originator of this typeface was Miklós (Nicholas) Tótfalusi Kis (pronounced Kisch) who was born in 1650 in the Hungarian town of Tótfal. His calvinistic church had sent him to the Netherlands to oversee the printing of a Hungarian language bible. He studied printing and punch cutting and earned special recognition for his Armenian and Hebrew types. Upon his return to Hungary, an emergency situation forced him to sell several of his matrice sets to the Ehrhardt Type foundry in Leipzig. In Hungary he printed from his own typefaces, but religious tensions arose between him and one of his church elders. He died at an early age in 1702. The significant characteristics of the Dutch Antiqua by Kis are the larger body size, relatively small lower case letters and strong upper case letters, which show clearly defined contrasts in the stroke widths. The Kis Antiqua is less elegant than the Garamond, rather somewhat austere in a calvinistic way, but its expression is unique and full of tension. The upper and lower case serifs are only slightly concave, and the upper case O as well as the lower case o have, for the first time, a vertical axis. In the replica, sensitively and respectfully (responsibly) drawn by Hildegard Korger, these characteristics of this pleasantly readable and beautiful face have been well met. For Typoart it was clear that this typeface has to appear under its only true name Kis Antiqua. It will be used primarily in book design.

Adobe writes that the model for Janson Text was mistakenly attributed to the Dutch printer Anton Janson.

Bitstream explains: His types, the original matrices for which were obtained by Stempel in 1919, were revived for hot metal as Janson by C.H. Griffith for Mergenthaler Linotype (1937), and as Janson and Ehrhardt (1937) from Monotype.

Good digitizations exist of Monotype Ehrhardt.

Digitizations of Kis / Janson:

Bio by Nicholas Fabian. View the Janson / Kis typefaces at MyFonts. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Mitja Miklavčič

Slovenian designer who lives in Postojna. His typefaces:

  • He created Gf H2O Sans in 2005 font at Gigofonts. This is a humanist sans done with Matevz Medja.
  • Tisa is a slab-serif inspired text family that won an award at TDC2 2007. It has useful features such as ink traps and uiformized math symbol and number widths across all styles in the family. In fact, the Latin/Cyrillic type family Tisa was his project at the University of Reading, where he graduated in 2006. He wrote a nice essay on the history of Clarendon (2006). In 2008, he published Tisa as FF Tisa at FontFont. Tisa won a TDC award. In 2012, he added the superfamily FF Tisa Sans (FontFont).
  • Mitja worked full-time at Fontsmith and now continues to collaborate with the team on some type design projects. His Fontsmith cooperation led to these typefaces:
    • FS Rufus (2009). A slab serif by Mitja Miklavcic, Jason Smith and Emanuela Conidi. Described by them as benevolent, quirky, peculiar, offbeat, jelly beans and ice cream, a retro eco warrior.
    • FS Me (2009). A sans family designed for readers with a learning disability. It was co-designed by Mitja Miklavcic, Jason Smith, Emanuela Conidi, Fernando Mello and Phil Garnham. FS Me was researched and developed in conjunction with---and endorsed by---Mencap, the UK's leading charity and voice for those with learning disability. Mencap receives a donation for each font licence purchased.
    • FS Albert (2002). A soft-edged sans family by Jason Smith, Mitja Miklavcic and Phil Garnham. FS Albert supports 60 languages, including Greek, Cyrillic and Latin.
    • FS Rome (Mitja Miklavcic and Emanuela Conidi). An all caps Trajan typeface.
  • At House Industries, Jess Collins and Mitja Miklavic revived Ed Benguiat's great fat face didone typeface (Benguiat) Montage in 2018. In 2014, House Industries, Christian Schwartz, Mitja Miklavcic and Ben Kiel co-designed Velo Serif Text and Velo Serif Display. In 2017, he revived Dave west's 1960s classic at PhotoLettering Inc, Banjo, as Plinc Banjo. Still at House Industries, Christian Schwartz, Mitja Miklavcic and Ben Kiel co-developed Yorklyn Stencil.
  • In 2020, he published the experimental modular typeface Trico Script at Fleha Type.
  • Davison Spencerian (at House Industries, by Mitja Miklavcic, Ben Barber and Ken Kiel). A digital revival of Dave Davison's 1946 Spenerian script Davison Spencerian.
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Monotype Bell

Monotype's hot metal Bell series from 1931 is based on original types made by the punchcutter Richard Austin for the foundry of John Bell in the 1780s. The different sizes of Monotype's series were not all based on the same model. Type historian James Mosley writes on Typophile in 2009 about this transitional typeface family:

For the metal type they called Bell, Monotype were working from types that had been newly cast by Stephenson Blake from original matrices that were made from punches cut by Richard Austin for the foundry of John Bell in the 1780s. They were used by the University Press at Cambridge in 1930 to print Stanley Morison's monograph on John Bell. Their text size seems to be based on the original English (about 14 point) type, which they scaled down to make the smaller sizes. For the 8 point the descenders were greatly reduced, but the design does not seem to have been radically redrawn. For 18 point and above (the metal type was cut in sizes up to 36 point) Monotype's model was a larger type, the Great Primer cut by Austin. This has greater contrast in the capitals and a flat footed letter a.

There is also a digital version by URW. Mosley comments: [...] URW's model seems to have been Monotype's smaller sizes, whereas for their own digital Bell Monotype appears to have used a single model, their 18-point cut for metal. The metal type of 1931 had been excellently made, since by then Monotype were past masters in adapting historical models to the demands of machine setting. Their Caslon of 1915 was a good example of this, in which every single size was as near as possible a facsimile of the metal types (in which all the sizes were different) cast by the Caslon foundry. Their Series 146 of 1921, called Old Roman and later known by the US name Scotch Roman, was a similar near-facsimile, size by size, of the revived early-19th-century type (possibly also the work of Richard Austin) of the Edinburgh foundry Miller & Richard. These types have to be called near-facsimiles since some characters needed to be slightly redrawn to fit the 18-unit system on which the Monotype line justification system depended, which sometimes meant stretching or compressing them slightly---a compromise that was rarely mentioned at the time. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Monotype Ehrhardt

Historical discussion by the typophiles of Ehrhardt, a type attributed at Nicolas Kis, ca. 1700, and Wolfgang D. Ehrhardt of the Ehrhardtsche Gesserei in Leipzig, Germany. The discussion by the typophiles focuses on the Monotype version of Ehrhardt, 1936-1937.

Caleffi writes: There's an interesting essay on Monotype Ehrhardt by Harry Carter in a reprint of Stanley Morison's "A Tally of Types"; there, Carter tells the story of that typeface revival, stating, among other things, that the "Nonesuch Press had a case or two of the 14-point (Didot) [Ehrhardt] in its cellar and set a few small books in it from 1927 onwards. Some of the Nonesuch fount eventually found its way to Cambridge [to Monotype] ... The type was favoured enough to make the American Linotype and Monotype companies cut it for their machines ... Both completed their series in 1937". Carter doesn't quote any specific designer or punch-cutters, but adds that in 1937 Morison started working on a "different treatment" of the type, named "Series 453", which in the end, in Carter's words, resulted in "an exercise in making a Fleischman out of a Kis". Again, there's no mention of any cutter. So it seems that the first Monotype version was faithfully based on the Nonesuch Press cut, while the second one was more an interpretation given by Morison? Anyway, I suggest to everyone to get copy of "A Tally of Types", it is a wonderfully written and beautifully typeset book, even if one doesn't agree with Morison's vision or statements.

It seems Chauncey Griffith was involved in the Mergenthaler Linotype version in 1936-1937. And Morison seems to be the main guy for Monotype in 1937. Robin Nicolas, who has a long Monotype experience, writes: I am pretty sure that no other designer (outside of Monotype) was involved in the development of Ehrhardt. The account by Harry Carter in the 1973 'Tally of Types' seems pretty accurate to me. I think it was Morison's take on Janson---made a little heavier and narrower to give improved legibility and economy. The project started in 1936 and was originally called 'Old Hollandische' but Morison scrapped the first trial, which had been based on 'Janson Antiqua 12pt', and re-started the work in 1937, based on a different model. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Monotype Imaging: History

The timeline and history of Monotype has four components: Agfa / Compugraphic (1960-1995), Monotype Typography (1844-1997), Agfa Monotype (1998-2003), Monotype Imaging (2004-present). [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Charles Creesy]

A type-historical article by Charles Creesy, Director of Publishing Technologies, Princeton University Press, about the Monticello typeface. Summarizing the lifeline of this typeface from Creesy's analysis:

  • We start with a type by Archibald Binny and James Ronaldson at their Philadelphia-based foundry in 1796. It was different than what is known today as the Binny&Ronaldson 1812. It was in character similar to styles created by John Baine. In this handset form, it went through three iterations spanning about a century.
  • In 1940, C.H. Griffith at the Mergenthaler Company with the aid of Princeton University Press's Pleasant Jefferson ("P.J.") Conkwright (a book designer and book typographer) set out to convert it to Linotype. This revival was called Monticello---it was to be used to publish The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The first Linotype proof, labeled "10 point Monticello Experimental No. 285", dates from 1944.
  • Two early unsatisfactory digital renditions were created in the 1980s. These were used to print the Jefferson Papers but the fonts were based on poor scans.
  • In 2002, a digital version tailored to produce photopolymer plates for letter-press printing was created for Andrew Hoyem's Arion Press in San Francisco. It was Andrew Hoyem's and Linnea Lundquist's Aitken.
  • In 2003, Matthew Carter returned to Griffith's type and made a digital family called Monticello for the Princeton University Press. In the process, he beefed up the serifs and the outlines a bit, as they had lost weight in the preceding iterations.
Quoting John Berry: {Carter's Monticello] is a comfortably readable typeface in a style that now looks old but familiar to us. [...] I can easily imagine Monticello, in its new form, becoming a very popular book typeface once again." Creesy concludes: Despite - or perhaps because of - its Scotch heritage and multifarious influences from the Old World, it can also lay claim to being our quintessentially American font. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Montserrat Font Chart

List of the main font families, with original designer, date of creation, Bitstream alias, and latest reincarnation. Very useful! The serif fonts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Motoki Shozo

Also called the Gutenberg of Japan, Motoki Shozo (1824-1875) was a Dutch interpreter at the Nagasaki magistrate's office. He ordered a Stanhope hand press from Holland, which would be the first movable type press in Japan. He had to learn to make Japanese type, and finally set up the Kiyo Shinjuku Type Foundry. Near the end of his life, Shozo stepped down, leaving the business in the hands of a trusted pupil, Hirano Tomiji (1846-92). In 1872, Tomiji attempted to revive the company by moving it to Tokyo -- Japan's new capital and the most modern city in the country. Tomiji first set up shop in the Kanda district, then moved the factory to Tsukiji, eventually renaming his company the Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Mr. Dove

President of Monotype in the 1920s who told Goudy that"he felt that all foundries' types were largely obtained by copying or adapting the types of other concerns here, or from foreign sources" (quote from F.W. Goudy in "Goudy's Type Designs"). In fact, Goudy said that Dove plainly wanted the matrices ofATF's Cloister Old style, and Goudy had a hard time convincing him that he did not think that this was right. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Musée de l'Imprimerie de Lyon

This museum has several hundred letter casts from the 19th and 20th centuries! There are also several hundred type specimen books. History of typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Musée de l'imprimerie et de la communication graphique: Search engine

Search for the history of a French font at the Musé de l'imprimerie et de la communication graphique in Lyon. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Museu Virtual de Imprensa

Portuguese virtual museum of printing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Music Publishing in Europe

Great web notes edited by Rudolf Rasch with contributions by Bianca Maria Antolini, Axel Beer, Anik Devriès, Laurent Guillo, Rudolf Rasch, Rupert Ridgewell and David Wyn Jones. Lots of information on musical type through the ages. [Google] [More]  ⦿

NA Graphics

Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics, in Silverton, CO, sells new foundry type cast from original ATF matrices and cast on the original equipment. It is working on the 10 through 16 point versions of ATF Garamond 459, and the companion italic, Garamond 460, and intends to recast Bullfinch. Other typefaces of theirs include Bulmer, Goudy Oldstyle, Munder Venezian, Murray Hill Bold. Klinke owns the entire ATF Bulmer collection, as well as Engravers Roman, which originated with Barnhart Brothers&Spindler. [Google] [More]  ⦿

National Old Style and Nabisco
[Frederic William Goudy]

Two Goudy fonts, from 1916 and 1921, respectively. Goudy wrote about them, as reported in A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography: 1895-1945, Typophiles Chap Books XIV, 1946 at pages 99 and 110:

  • National Old Style (1916). Clarence Marder asked me later that same year whether I could use the lettering I had done for the National Biscuit Company in 1901 or 1902 and make a type approximating it in character. I called his attention to the fact that the lettering he referred to consisted of capitals only, and while it would be easy enough to make a type of those, it would be more difficult to make a lower-case which would not be rather freakish to go with them. However, I went ahead with the design, adding a lower-case in harmony with the capitals, and it is shown in the specimens of the company. I see it occasionally in printing; one use of it, I recall, is on the cover and title page of _Graphic Arts_ issued by the _Encyclopaedia Britannica_ for a selection of articles from its 14th edition. It has also been used for captions for movies, owing to its strong but even color. As a display letter it probably compares favorably with many others we could do without.
  • Nabisco (1921). In Chicago, in 1901 or 1902, I had hand-lettered the words "National Biscuit Company" for that concern. The commission came through their advertising executive, James Fraser, who did not tell me that twenty-five or more designers also had been given the same commission at the same time. A few days after I had delivered my drawing to Fraser, I received a telephone message from him requesting my presence at his office. On arriving there I was shown some forty other drawings of the same words I had drawn, and was then told that mine had won the competition. If I had known it was a competitive affair I might not have accepted the order at all, although _all_ the drawings were to be paid for. One nice thing occurred when I presented my reasonable bill: Fraser surprised me by tearing it up in my presence, and asked me to make out another for double the amount. Practically twenty years later, the New York advertising representatives of the company asked me to make a type for the National Biscuit Company, using letters of the character of those drawn so long before. I didn't like to tell them that I was not sure those letters were the sort that would make a good type to use for their announcements, booklets and advertisements; or that, since I had already made a type for the American Type Founders Company along the same lines, I feared any new attempt might prove too reminiscent of that type. However, I made drawings and had several sizes engraved by Wiebking. The Company named it "Nabisco" and used it frequently for booklets and small advertisements. Of late years I have not seen it so often, but I imagine it still is in occasional use. In 1912 one day while seated at my desk on Madison Avenue, a man came in with a package under his arm. He said he was a lithographer, and had an order to reproduce a drawing which by constant use over a period of years was in pretty bad shape for satisfactory reproduction ; he wondered if I could make a good copy of it for him. On opening the package I was amazed to find it was the original drawing I had made in Chicago in 1901 for the National Biscuit Company!

Mac McGrew: National Oldstyle was designed by Frederic W. Goudy for ATF in 1916. It is based on lettering he had done about fifteen years earlier for National Biscuit Company, hence the name. It was moderately popular for a while for publication and advertising display work, and for titles for silent motion pictures. Compare Nabisco.

Mac McGrew on Nabisco: Nabisco was designed by Frederic W. Goudy in 1921 as a private type for National Biscuit Company, based on hand-lettering of the company name he had done about twenty years earlier. As he had in the meantime drawn National Oldstyle (q.v.) for ATF, based on the same lettering, this typeface is consciously different although retaining the same general characteristics. Several sizes were cut by Robert Wiebking. The baking company was pleased. and used it frequently for several years.

For a revival of National Oldtsyle, see National Oldstyle NF (2014, Nick Curtis). For a revival and extension to bold, semibold and italics, see Goudy National (2018, Steve Matteson. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Typographic tidbits about Beatrice Warde, Ruari McLean, Eric Gill, Barney Bubbles, Terry Jones, and Paul Rand. [Google] [More]  ⦿

New Renaissance Fonts (was: New Fontografia, or: David's Fontografia 2006)
[David Kettlewell]

David Kettlewell (b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1946, d. Bollstabruk, Sweden, 2011) moved to Sweden in 1984 to take the role of head of music at a college. He was soon putting his musical and linguistic talents to researching and performing early Swedish church and choral music. He was a guest lecturer at four of Sweden's universities and for a period a professor at Tartu University in Tallin, Estonia. He worked from his forest farmhouse in Bollstabruk, Northern Sweden. Kettlewell also ran Fontografia, a medieval and calligraphic type site featuring subpages on Ludovico Vicentino [degli Arrighi], Giovambattista Palatino, and Giovanniantonio Tagliente. He also told us why Fontlab is so much better than Fontographer when developing fonts from scans. Obituary.

David Kettlewell is a harper, renaissance musicologist and conductor who illuminate his work with text and type. His own work through New Renaissance Fonts is mostly with medieval and renaissance scripts, calligraphic alphabets and ornamental capitals. Direct acess. MyFonts link for New Renaissance. Klingspor link.

Free fonts: AliceScrolltipRoman, AndersFancyCapitals, AndersPlainCapitals, BickhamSwashCaps, Cartouches, CelticNoadProtoype, Chiswickblack, DagmarIlluCaps, Davies-RomantiqueCaps, DaviesIlluminatedcapitals, DaviesRoundhand, DaviesSapphire, DeBeauChesneRoman, FantasiaCaps, GothicCaps, KarinsFreeLombardyCaps (2006, with Karin Skoglund), KingRichard2Caps, Kurbits3, Lettreornee, LubnaCaps, NesbittDecoratedCaps-Medium, RicksClassicItalic, RicksDecoratedUncial-Medium, RicksFolkloreRoman, RicksRelaxedHand-Italic, Samuel, SevilliaDancingText, Sevilliastandingtext, Sevilliatiles, ShawDecoratedInitials1, ShawDecoratedInitials4-Medium, Taliente-IlluCaps, WestminsterMemorialBrasses-Medium.

Other fonts (some no longer available or shown): Soest St. Mary (2006, decorative capitals from embroidery work in a German church), Kurbits, Samuel, Celtic Noad, Dagmar IlluCaps, Lettre ornée, Phalesiodecor (medieval caps, 1998), American Uncial (adaptation of a URW font), FinalRomanfat or FatRoman50 (adaptation of an RWE font), Marshall (made from an 1822 parchment).

Some fonts are developed in conjunction with Richard Bradley. Others involved more loosely include Adam Twardoch, Karin Skoglund, Dagmar Varaksits and Anders Rosen.

MyFonts offers fonts like Chiswick Illuminated Caps (2009, Lombardic), Alice Scrolltip (2006), Albrecht Fraktur (2011), Edward's Uncial 1904 (2011, after an alphabet drawn by Edward Johnston), Davids Roundhand, Karins Lombardy Caps, Sevillia (2006, with Richard Bradley), and Soest St Mary.

View the New Renaissance Fonts library. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Niccolo di Niccoli

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Nicholas Fabian
[Type Designs by Nicholas Fabian]

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Nicolas Jenson

Or Nicholas Jenson. French printer and artist born in Sommevoire, France in 1420. He worked mostly in Venice as a printer, type designer, punch cutter, and engraver from 1468 until his death in Venice in 1480. In 1475 he was made a papal count by Pope Sixtus IV. He produces his first roman type in Cicero, Epistolae ad Brutum (1468), which is described as perfect and unequaled. A Greek typeface which is used for quotations was made in 1471. In 1473, he creates a blackletter typeface which he uses in books on medicine and history. In 1475, he founds his first book trading company, Nicolaus Jenson sociique, whose partners include the Frankfurt businessmen Peter Ugelheimer and Johann Rauchfass. In 1480, his second book trading company is launched under the name Johannes de Colonia, Nicolaus Jenson et socii.

Jenson's typefaces influenced many new alphabets:

  • William Morris based his Gold Type on Jenson' type in 1890. Cobden-Sanderson modeled his typeface for Doves Press on Jenson's alphabets in 1900.
  • Bruce Rogers emulated them with his Centaur font (1914; called Venetian 301 at Bitstream).
  • In 1926, Jenson's roman is recut by Morris Fuller Benton as Cloister Old Style.
  • Eusebius (Ernest Detterer and Robert Hunter Middleton, Ludlow) is a further extension. Jim Spiece's NicolasJensonSG is a digital type family that builds on and extends Eusebius.
  • Perhaps the most prominent of digital Jensonian typefaces is Robert Slimbach's Adobe Jenson (1996).
  • Other derived typefaces include Hess Old Style (Sol Hess, 1920-1923 and Steve Jackaman, 1993), Jenson Oldstyle (ATF), Montaigne and Hightower (Tobias Frere-Jones, Font Bureau).

Brief bio by The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology of UCLA. Linotype link. FontShop link. Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿


Type site in Germany. It has a truetype archive, and a nice timeline (in German) about the various eras in type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Octavo Edition

Collection of antique printed materials including Giambattista Bodoni's Manuale Tipografico (Parma, 1818), Albrecht Dürer's De Symmetria Partium in Rectis Formis Humanorum Corporum, Libri in Latinum Conversi (proportions of the human form, Nüremberg, 1538), Aldus Manutius's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Geoffroy Tory's Champ Fleury (1529). Check out the Alfabeto Figurato (alphabet etching) by Florentine artist Giovanni Battista Braccelli (Naples, 1632), and his wonderfully surprising book Bizzarie di Varie Figure (Livorno, 1624). [Google] [More]  ⦿

OERT (Open Educational resources for Typography)

Open Educational Resources for Typography (OERT) is an open educational project available to everyone who wishes to broaden their knowledge of typography, including students, teachers, and individuals interested in the subject. The project is built upon the course material prepared by Pablo Cosgaya (FADU / UBA, Buenos Aires), a set of booklets that was initiated in 1994 and which is currently organized into three sections: theoretical, historical, and practical. The project aims at expanding, updating, and editing the current material in Spanish, to translate it into English, and to publish it online under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.

The editorial team consists of Pablo Cosgaya, David Crossland, Natalia Pano and Marcela Romero.

The OERT Team consists of FADU / UBA professors Pablo Cosgaya, Magdalena Fumagalli, Verónica García, Alvaro Ghisolfo, Malena Menéndez, Natalia Pano, Inés Pupareli, Marcela Romero and Julián Villagra. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Old Style typefaces
[John D. Boardley]

A useful introduction to old style (or garalde) types by John D. Boardley. The types can be recognized by the horizontal crossbar on the "e", and more contrast between thick and thin (compared to humanist typefaces). The serifs have wedges, and the letterforms are smooth and refined. They were in vogue for almost 200 years, starting with Bembo in 1495 (Aldus Manutius and Francesco Griffo) and Francesco Griffo's first italic type in 1501. The French caught on 40 years later, and the Garamond-style typefaces saw the light ca. 1540, thanks to Claude Garamond and Robert Granjon. Christoffel van Dijck and Mikós Kis were doing garaldes in the Dutch region ca. 1600 (see styles like Ehrhardt). Finally, Caslon (William Caslon, ca. 1725) is also classified as a garalde. Old style digital typefaces include Berling, Calisto, Goudy Old Style, Granjon, Janson, Palatino, Perpetua, Plantin, Sabon and Weiss. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ole T. Ystenes

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On the history of sans serif

Linotype had pages on the history of sans serif ("Grotesk" in German), from its inception in 1816 in England and the early versions of William Caslon and Vincent Figgins (1832), through the Akzidenz Grotesk (1900), Reform-Grotesk (1904) and Venus (1907). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Origins of sans serif

Extremely informative page on the origins of sans serif, and, in particular, about the first sans serif in Germany. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ornamental Prints

Many images from the vaults of the Kunstbibliothek Berlin, UPM Prag and MAK Wien. In German. Many 16th through 19th century books were partially scanned in for everyone's enjoyment. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ottaviano Scoto

Ottaviano Scoto of Monza (or Ottaviano Scotus) headed a distinguished family of Venetian printers. Born of a noble family of Monza, he went to Venice at the age of 35 and operated a press there between 1479 and 1484. He continued as an editor until 1499 whereupon his heirs, including his brothers and nephews, undertook their own activity (1499-1532). His blackletter types were in the style of Anton Koberger's. Based on his etters, Paulo W made the typefaces ScotoKobergerFrakturN11 (2007) and ScotoKobergerFrakturN9 (2007). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Patrick Griffin
[Cooper Black versus Robur]

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Paul Dijstelberge

Paul Dijstelberge (b. 1956, The Netherlands) is a book historian and associate professor for the history of the book at Amsterdam University. He also is curator at the Amsterdam Special Collections. Paul lives in Leiden.

Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: A fresh look at some early modern typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Paul Dupont
[Les Estienne]

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Paul Dupont
[Textes rares]

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Paul Dupont
[Caractères d'imprimerie, 1853]

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Paul McPharlin

Author (1903-1948) of Roman Numerals Typographic Leaves and Pointing Hands (1942, The Typophiles, New York), in which he traces the history of the roman numeral, the ornamental leaf and the pointing hand. He says that his main sources for the former were "History of mathematics" (D.E. Smith, 1925) and "Introduction to the study of Latin inscriptions" (James C. Egbert, New York, 1896). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Paul Renner
[Futura: Text by Mac McGrew]

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Paul Shaw
[The Digital Past]

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Paul Shaw

[More]  ⦿

Paul Shaw
[Roots of the Classical Roman Capitals]

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Paulo Heitlinger

Portuguese author of Tipografia: origens, formas e uso das letras (2006, Paulo Heitlinger, Lisbon) and Alfabetos, Caligrafia e Tipografia (2010, Lisbon). Born in Lisbon, he studied nuclear physics in Germany. He lectured on communication design at the Universidade do Algarve. His pages (in Portuguese) are quite complete, with a great glossary, a beautiful section on the history of type, a mag called Cadernos de Tipografia, links to type design in the world in general, and in Brazil, Spain and Portugal in particular, and more general information on type. Font-making how to. Useful timeline of 16th century writing manuals. An absolute must. He has also created or revived a number of typefaces, which can be bought on-line.

An incomplete list of his typefaces:

  • Sinalética: A sober serif typeface for excellent legibility.
  • CantoneirosRegular (2008), Cantoneiros-Thin (2008): art deco / avant-garde.
  • Transito (2008): the famous 1930s stencil face of Jan Tschichold at Lettergieterij Amsterdam, with reinvented forms for f, g and y. [Note: the pic on the right-hand-side is Transito, as grabbed from Heitlinger's page---the grammatical error is not mine.]
  • Sturmblond-Medium (2008): Revival of simple lettering of Herbert Bayer.
  • Bayer Condensed: Revival of simple lettering of Herbert Bayer.
  • Imperatorum (2008)
  • Ratdoldt (2008): a blackletter typeface made from scans, and attributed to Erhard Ratdolt.
  • Valentim (2008): a blackletter typeface made from scans of the book Vita Christi. Named after Valentim Fernandes, a printer active in Lisbon, ca. 1480-1519.
  • Incunabulo Normalizado (2008): a blackletter typeface made from scans of the book Vita Christi.
  • Uhertype-Medium (2007): Revival of another Bauhaus era typeface, by Joost Schmidt.
  • Arkitekto: A Bauhaus style piano key font based on an image found in a book of Kurt Weidemann.
  • His Spanish collection includes Bastarda de Francisco Lucas, a versão espanhola da Cancelleresca italiana do século XVI. Um ponto alto da Caligrafia del Siglo de Oro.
  • Redondilla de Francisco Lucas, a penmanship font based on Arte de Escribir (1577).
  • Gótica Rotunda Gans.
  • Juan Bravo, based on azulejos (tiles).
  • Segovia, a titling font.
  • Centauro, a decorative font.
  • Kurrsiva, inspired by scripts from the 1960s.
  • Deco de Avila, an avant-garde face.Bertrand (2008): an art deco typeface patterened after the shop sign of Livraria Bertrand in Chiado, Lisbon.
  • Rotunda:
  • Visigotica: based on the calligraphic writings of the 10th and 11th centuries. This font has many alternates. Based on scans of a text of the 10th century called Actas de Concilio de Caledonia de 451. Styles: Imperatorum, Isidoro.
  • Typefaces based on the calligraphic work of Francisco Lucas, 1570: Bastarda de Lucas Italic (2009), Bastarda de Lucas (2009), Redondilla de Lucas (2009).
  • Uncialis (2009): a Lombardian type based on a 16th century model of Giralde de Prado.
  • Escolar Portugal (Fino, Forte) and Escolar Brasil are school fonts of the "upright connected script" style that were made in 2008. For more on didactic fonts, read the booklet Caderno de Tipografia e Design Nr. 14 (March 2009).
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Père Sébastien Truchet
[Sébastien Truchet]

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A family of typefounders, starting with Edward Pelouze in Boston in 1818 until the last of the third generation of Pelouzes sold out in September 1901 to ATF to become branch 5 of American Type Founders. The link has a reproduction of The Pelouze Family of Typefounders, an article by Steve L. Watts in PAGA, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 29-35, 1956 and a Pelouze family tree courtesy of yours truly. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Peter Bain: Film Type

Peter Bain surveys the era of photo-typography. His introduction: In the 20th century photo-typography fully displaced a 500-year-old tradition of metal type, only to be superseded itself shortly thereafter. Yet most appraisals of type technology and histories of proprietary typefounding still favor type for text instead of eye-catching display. One characteristic feature of 20th century typography was the great effort devoted to ephemera and advertising. This survey is a local view of a half-century, concentrating on display type in New York City. Since New Yorkers have been said to believe they are at the center of the planet, it is fascinating to find a time when it could appear nearly so, typographically. He goes on to explain why and how New york became the typographic center of the globe: The city in the first half of the 20th century was an established communications center for a burgeoning national market. There is ample evidence of local interest in unique letterforms. Sometime Queens-borough resident and typeface designer Frederic Goudy received a commission from retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. The successful New York illustrator and letterer Fred G. Cooper had his distinctive forms included in the same publications that featured an unrelated Windy City designer, Oswald Cooper. Architect H. Van Buren Magonigle and industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague had both skillfully rendered capitals for print, while their Manhattan offices pursued projects in three dimensions. One of the more curious examples of this fluency in letterforms was a 1943 booklet issued by the Brooklyn-based Higgins Ink Co. The largest portion was a portfolio of thirty-two script alphabets and fictitious signatures by Charles Bluemlein, each accompanied by a handwriting experts interpretation of the admittedly invented specimens. The requirements of publicity and publishing helped drive the demand for handlettering. By 1955, one knowledgeable estimate placed over 300 professional lettering artists working in New York at both comprehensive (layout) and finished levels. It was in a landscape of album covers and bookjackets, magazine and newspaper advertising, trademarks and slogans, store signatures and letterheads, billboards and signs (created by sign artists, not usually graphic designers) that display phototype was emerging in sharp focus. This may have been the peak of market demand for lettering. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Peter de Walpergen

German type designer (1646-1703) who practised in Oxford.

He designed Roman and Italic cuts for Fell (the "Fell" types) in 1693. The Gaelic typeface Saxon (ca. 1667) is tentatively credited by Michael Everson to him. Peter de Walpergen also made musical type, used, e.g., by Leonard Litchfield in Oxford for printing the Musica Oxoniensis in 1698. See here. Digital typefaces influenced by de Walpergen include these:

  • Jonathan Hoefler made a Fell type family based on this at the Hoefler Type Foundry.
  • A fresh 5-weight Fell type family called Prudential was made in 2002 by Apostrophe for Prudential Insurance.
  • In 2004, Igino Marini made a large number of revivals of the Fell types (revised in 2007):
    • English Roman, Italic&Small Caps probably cut by Christoffel van Dijck. The Italic was probably cut by Robert Granjon. Acquisition in 1672.
    • Three line pica (for 41pt size) by Peter de Walpergen. Acquisition in 1686.
    • French canon (for 33pt size) by Peter de Walpergen. Acquisition in 1686.
    • Double pica (for 17pt size) by Peter de Walpergen. Acquisition in 1684.
    • Great primer (for 14pt size) by Peter de Walpergen. Acquisition in 1684 (Roman&Small Caps) and 1687 (Italic).
    • De Walpergen pica (for 10.5pt size) by Peter de Walpergen. Acquisition in 1692.
    • Fell flowers bought by Fell in 1672 from Holland. Cut by Robert Granjon and others. To be used at 25 or 17,5 points.
  • WT Fallen (2019) and WT Solaire (2021), both by Guillaume Jean-Mairet, are revivals and reinterpretations of the Fell types.
  • Saxon was digitized as Junius (1996), named after Franciscus Junius (1589-1677), a pioneer in the study of Gothic and Anglo-Saxon who is famous for The Junius Manuscript, a compilation of Anglo-Saxon poems.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Peter Flötner

Artist who probably comes from Thurgau, and who lived roughly from 1485-1546. From 1512 until 1528, he worked in Adold Dauer's shop in Augsburg. He settled later in Nürnberg. Creator of an alphabet (now known as Flötner's Menschenalphabet) in 1534 that shows each letter composed of human figures. He also made a more sexually explicit anthropomorphic alphabet font [see also here and here].

One of his alphabets was scanned and fonted by "Character" and posted on abf on November 25, 2002. It is called Flotner. For other free fonts, see Flotner Anthropomorphic (2010, Dick Pape) and Menschenalphabet (1997, Ingo Zimmermann). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Peter Schoeffer

Peter Schöeffer, a calligrapher, was an assistant to Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, through the years of preparation necessary for the printing of the 42 line Bible, in 1455. Schöeffer designed the font under Gutenberg's supervision, during the preceding years. The font was a very accurate imitation of the best manuscript style of the period, and it contained nearly 300 letters, ligatures, and abbreviations. Later in 1455, Gutenberg lost his business to Johann Füst, but Schöeffer stayed on with the new owner. In 1459, Schöeffer designed the first "transitional" typeface from Gothic to Roman and it was used in the publication of Rationale Divinorum Officiorum by Guillaume Durand (Durandus). Some of the upper-case characters have full roman shapes and several of the lower case characters are noticeably rounded. Example of Schoeffer's early Schwabacher, created in Mainz in 1465. His son, Peter the Younger, moved to Mainz and carried on the trade.

Among digital revivals, see Psalterium (2012, Alter Littera), Schoeffer GP Roman (2015, Philippe Gauthier), and Germanica (2010, Seamas O'Brogain).

Fust&Schoeffer-Durandus-GoticoAntiqua118G (2016-2019, Alexis Faudot and Rafael Ribas, ANRT, France) is a recent revival of Durandus. Faudot and Ribas write Durandus's 118G Gotico-Antiqua was first used in Mainz by Peter Schoeffer and Johann Fust for Guillaume Durand's Rationale Divinorum Officorum in 1459. The book displays two sizes, the smaller 92G for the main text and the bigger and more contrasted 118G used only for the colophon and later for the famous 48-line Bible in 1462. It was used until the end of the 15th century. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Peter Van Lancker

Flemish web log about the history and mechanics of type, run by Belgian graphic designer Peter Van Lancker (b. Ghent). There is a lot of information on the early printing and typefounding by Joos Lambrecht in Gent, ca. 1539.

His Flickr page has many nice shots of old presses (lithography, copperplate, etc.). He is working on this octagonal face and a rhythmic broad nib pen.

In 2012, Peter published a free pixel typefaces Thirtysix and Six.

In 2014, he started work on a gorgeous letterpress style typeface, Ijskelder, which was released in 2020.

Dafont link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Peter von Selow

Punchcutter and typefounder who migrated from Breslau (Germany) to Sweden in 1618, and cut Fraktur, Cyrillic and runic punches in Sweden. He was the only punchcutter in Sweden in that time period. Bengtsson (1956) writes that after his death, all of his matrices and equipment vanished from Sweden and showed up in Holland. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Philippe Danfrié

Typefounder and printer in Paris, who made a Civilité in 1597. His oeuvre is explored in the article Danfrie Reconsidered. Philippe Danfrié's (d. 1606) Civilite Types (March 2020, Hendrik D. L. Vervliet, Volume 21, Issue 1, March 2020, Pages 3-45). The abstract of that freely available paper, perhaps the last paper published by Vervliet before his death, reads: Though little known to the general public, to type historians Philippe Danfrie (c. 1532-1606) will be recognized as a competitor to Robert Granjon's claim for being the inventor of the first Civilité type, a mid-sixteenth-century gothic script type that superseded the French bâtarde. The bâtarde was the usual script for vernacular texts north of the Alps (with the exception of German speaking countries): authors such as Caxton or Rabelais were read in this script. In their Civilité Types (Oxford, 1966) Carter & Vervliet described five of Danfrie's founts. This article aims to present an update of their work and to expand it with four more founts. Danfrie's civil career is broadly documented and that may be a help for gaining a closer insight in the characteristics of a late sixteenth-century type production that balanced between an incunabular model of private type ownership and the seventeenth-century norm of sales of cast types through large monopolistic typefoundries. Danfrié cut these Civilité types for or with others:

  • (1) Richard Breton and François Desprez (1558). His three Civilité fonts in this cooperation are known as the Breton Civiltés.
  • (2) Michel Fezandat (1560).
  • (3) Pierre Hamon and Jean Le Royer (1561).
  • (4) Graphometre (1597).
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Philippe Grandjean de Fouchy

Engraver, b. Macon (1666), d. Paris (1714). In 1695, king Louis XIV of France commissioned a typeface, which until today is described as the first digital font, and at least as the first mathematicallly defined type, the Romain du roi (1702), used by Grandjean in Médailles sur les principaux énvenémens du règne de Louis-le-Grand, avec des explications historiques. (1702). This text was illustrated by sebastien Leclerc (1637-1714). See here and here for background. A specimen is here. Discussion at typophile.

Romain du roi was digitized by Frank Jalleau under the name Grandjean and in 2008 by Gert Wiescher as Royal Romain (link). Wiescher writes: Royal Romain was commissioned by the most famous king of France, Louis XIV the Sun King. A group of Scientists set off to work on the task of producing the ultimate font for the king of all kings. After years of elaborations Philippe Grandjean then started to cut the final punches for the Imprimerie Royale and finished his part of the work with the fonts first appearance in the magnificent Médailles sur les principaux énvenémens du règne de Louis-le-Grand, avec des explications historiques. (1702). The complete set of 21 sizes of roman and italic letters was finished by Grandjean's successor Jean Alexandre and completed by Louis Luce in 1745. The font went by the name of Romain du Roi and was for the exclusive use of the Louis XIV. It was never sold or given to any other king or government. The king of Sweden tried to scrounge a set, but the king refused. This font is the basic design for Fournier and Bodoni.

Another digital versuion exists, Romain BP and Romain BP Headline (2007), by Ian Party of B&P Typefaces. Ian Party writes: Based on the Commission Jeaugeon's models and on Philippe Grandjean's classic character, the Romain BP celebrates the marriage of geometric rationality and elegance, of science and craftsmanship. The Romain BP Text is actually closer to the Commission's model than Grandjean's Romain du Roi. It is more synthetic in its structure, more radical, and thus, more modern. It is a contemporary text typeface based on a structure that was created in 1690, not a revival mimicking Greandjean's shapes.. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Phoenician Alphabet
[Salim George Khalaf]

At NC-based Salim George Khalaf's page on ancient Phoenicia, find free truetype fonts (Mac, PC): Nakht Hieroglyphics, Eshmoon (1996; Phoenician runes by Salim himself) and Ugaritic1 (by David Myriad Rosenbaum, El Sobrante, CA). Alternate URL. It has a great tree of language genealogies, placing Phoenician around 1600BC, with as child languages Proto-Arabic (1500BC), Old Hebrew (900BC), Archaic Greek (1000BC), Etruscan/Latin (900BC) and Aramaic (800BC). Alternate URL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Pierre Haultin

French engraver and punchcutter who worked with Paulo Manucius from 1588 on, and who was commissioned to create a typeface for the Vatican. He cooperated with Granjon. Although he cut roman and Greek types, he was mmainly known for his music types---for example, he started using musical notes with parts of lines attached to make a second impression unnecessary.

Mark van Bronkhorst writes about his MVB Verdigris font: MVB Verdigris is a Garalde text typeface for the digital age. Inspired by the work of 16th-century punchcutters Robert Granjon (roman) and Pierre Haultin (italic), Verdigris celebrates tradition but is not beholden to it.

Fred Smeijers designed a (private, unreleased, non-revival) typeface, Haultin (2003-2017), based on one of Haultin's types. The second edition of his book Counterpunch (2011) was set in it. That garalde typeface was finally released by Smeijers at Type By: Haultin (2003-2017). Fred writes: Pierre Haultin was a contemporary punchcutter of the well known Claude Garamond and the lesser known Robert Granjon. In the earlier years of their careers, each of them practised for a while in Paris. All three of them were, probably, ambitious young men, descending from families that held a foot in printing and publishing or fine metal work and jewelry. Claude Garamond is the best known, of all three of them, due to his good connections. After all he was commissioned the cut the Greque du Roi. Somehow having connections with the royal court does pay off even centuries later. Robert Granjon comes next, but perhaps Granjon is still overshadowed by a fourth but younger very well known Parisian punchcutter Guillaume le Bé. Robert Granjon had the biggest output of all four, but second is Pierre Haultin. Haultin is however rather unknown, but he is a punchcutter to reckon with. A man with a clear goal and probably the one who fits our image of the early punchcutter best. A person who has a deeper understanding of most of the processes with in the printing trade. Somebody who could cut type, or woodcut illustrations who would make casting moulds and justify matrices. He could not be fooled when it came down to the quality of presswork, who could oversee, and plan the casting of type as well as judging the overall quality of it and, at the same time, having a sense and ambition for publishing. In short, a person not only very familiar but also trained in the all the important stages of printing, and the reach of it. Haultin is a fervent believer in the calvinistic branch of Christian religion. His aim is to help in spreading the only right and holy word, and printing is a good aid in that. For a big part Haultin is cutting type in order to reach a higher goal. In some way he is a true propagandist and in his cutting he is therefore rather pragmatic. It should be readable and efficient concerning space. So Haultin strives for a efficient typography which makes the printing of small, cheap and compact handheld bibles a reality. Concerning true typographic material there is unfortunately little left, except for some matrices of rather small-sized type, either greek or roman, and a few italics. Some of these were still in use well into the early 19th century. In looking at Haultin's original work, we depend mainly on printed material. And from that material, Smeijers distilled what he would call his interpretation of a Haultin-ic roman and italic.

Finally, in 2020, Ivan Louette embarked on a revival of one of Pierre Haultin's Augustine, and named his new font Gustine. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Pierre Jannet

Parisian librarian who published a type specimen in 1856 made by him and cut by M. Gouet. With a large x-height and triangular serifs, this specimen is reminiscent of the "Dutch" typefaces and of Fournier. The specimen book entitled Specimen des Nouveaux Caracteres Destinees à l'Impression de la Bibliothèque Eléevirienne is published here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Pierre Moreau

Pierre Moreau (ca. 1600-1648) was a notary, calligrapher and "écrivain juré" in Paris in the 17th century. He wrote several books on the art of writing, and designed the six typefaces used to print "Les Saintes Metamorphoses," in a style imitating handwriting. He created a script in 1644 that is discussed here. He endeavoured to cut printing types in the style of handwriting. In 1644, he published these handwriting imitation ideas in "Les Heures de la nouvelle imprimerie inventée par Pierre Moreau, dediées à Madame la Marquise de Senecey, gouvernante du Roy." Fournier, and later Updike and Doyald Young document this attempt. Christian Paput found some of Moreau's alphabets in the Cabinet des Poinçons of the Imprimerie nationale (of France). Isabelle de Conihout wrote a chapter on Moreau in Poésie&calligraphie imprimée à Paris au XVIIème siècle. His script type and ornaments from 1643 can be admired here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Pierre Pané-Farré

Pierre Pané-Farré is a type designer born in Germany. Pierre studied at the Fachhochschule in Wismar and, later, at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, class of 2012. His thesis focused on the development of the book cover in the early 19th century, while his practical work explored and revived the technique of compound-plate printing, using Pierre's own woodcut poster types. Pierre lives and works in Leipzig. He co-founded Forgotten Shapes in 2017.

His study, What came after black and red, which deals with color and chromatic typefaces in the German print industry in the nineteenth century, was published in Vom Buch auf die Strasse: Grosse Schrift im öffenlichen Raum (Journal der HGB, no. 3, 2014), Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig.

At OurType in 2012, he published the typefaces Orly Stencil, Couteau Stencil, and Greco Stencil. At Forgotten Shapes, he published these revival typefaces:

  • Antiques FSL (2017): Antiques FSL is the digital re-issue of Antiques advertised in "Epreuves de caracteres" by E. Tarbe & Cie. (Fonderie Generale) around May 1839 in Paris. Antiques was available in the sizes of Corps 220, Corps 252 and Corps 280. The design was the sans serif counterpart to Allongees---a condensed Egyptian display typeface.
  • Breite-Fette Antiqua FSL (2017): Breite-Fette Antiqua FSL is the digital re-issue of an unidentified display typeface which---from ca. 1850 onwards---was part of the type case in the printing workshop of Oskar Leiner in Leipzig. It can not be said whether it was a custom-made design or if the typeface was distributed commercially by a foundry.
  • Doppel-Mittel Egyptienne FSL (2017): Doppel-Mittel Egyptienne FSL is the digital re-issue of Doppel-Mittel Egyptienne by Eduard Haenel, Magdeburg. It was advertised 1833 in "Schrift- und Polytypen-Probe. Zweite Lieferung. Blatt 25-72." and again 1834 in "Neueste Lettern", a supplement to the "Journal fuer Buchdruckerkunst." Doppel-Mittel Egyptienne itself was a re-casting of Two-Line English Egyptian No. 1 originally shown in 1821 by William Thorowgood, London.
  • Schmale Egyptienne N.12 FSL (2017): Schmale Egyptienne N.12 FSL is the digital re-issue of Schmale Egyptienne No. 12, 28 Cicero Kegel advertised 1841 in "Proben der Affichen-Schriften von Eduard Haenel. Berlin."

His Affichen Schriften FSL won the type design prize at the Tokyo Type Directors Club TDC 2020. This is a digitally reconstructed set of four distinctive display typefaces from that era, Doppel-Mittel Egyptienne FSL, Schmale Egyptienne No.12 FSL, Antiques FSL, and Breite-Fette Antiqua FSL.

At ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam, he spoke about the multicolored typefaces of the 19th century. Speaker at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw on The stencilled poster in Paris in the 19th century. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Pierre-Simon Fournier

French typefounder (b. Paris, 1712, d. Paris, 1768) also called Fournier le jeune.

  • His books. Author of Manuel Typographique, two volumes published in 1764 and 1766. Nijhof&Lee write: The first volume is one of the major source books on the processes of making printing types in the era of the hand press. Volume two includes a comprehensive specimen of the types and ornaments of Fournier's own foundry, most of which he cut himself, and as such provides a record of one of the most remarkable personal achievements in the history of typefounding. The books are available as a Darmstadt Facsimile reprint (1995). He published other theoretical works, such as a 1737 manuscript on the spacing between letters for readability.
  • His life. Son of typefounder Jean-Claude Fournier, he became famous as a type theoretician. He created his own point system in 1737, 14 years after the Frenchh government decreed that types should have standards. In 1739, he created his own foundry. The king of France, Louis XIV, commissioned new types for use during his reign, and turned to Fournier. Reproduction of these types by others was not tolerated. And so, Fournier modèles des caractères were in use throughout Louis XIV's reign. They had huge contrasts (after all, they just predated the outbreak of didones) and were crammed with rococo ornaments. Other contemporaries elsewhere, such as J.M. Fleischman and J. Enschedé, started imitating Fournier's style. In the 1750s, his career was at its peak. He advised royalty in Sweden and Sradinia on types, and set up a printing shop for Madame de Pompadour. He developed musical types in cooperation with J.G.I. Breitkopf in 1756. But other printers thoroughly disliked Fournier. There were several literary battles between rival typefounders, such as between Gando and Fournier, and between Ballard (a music symbol typfounder who held a monopoly before Fournier in that area) and Fournier. Fournier's type foundry existed until the 19th century.
  • His typefaces. The Fournier MT family by Monotype (1924-1925) was based on the types cut by Pierre-Simon Fournier (ca. 1742) and was called St Augustin Ordinaire in Fournier's Manuel Typographique. These were the firtst transitional typefaces after the privately owned romains du roi. Mac McGrew: Fournier is an aristocratic roman typeface which had its inception in letters engraved and cast by Pierre Simon Fournier, a famous mid-eighteenth-century French typefounder. It is transitional, almost modern, in character, with a distinct French flavor, but with more grace and style than traditional French oldstyle designs. This modern character influenced the later work of Bodoni. This adaptation was made by English Monotype in 1925, and copied by Lanston Monotype in 1940. The specimen of the roman shown here is from English Monotype, in the absence of a good American specimen, but the italic is from Lanston. Narcissus-Roman (1995, Font Bureau) is based on a 1745 design of Simon Pierre Fournier, and a 1921 version of it called Narcissus by Walter Tiemann for Klingspor, and was digitized by Brian Lucid in 1995. Jim Spiece's version is called Narcissus SG. In 1768, he designed an ornamental all caps face, which Peignot produced as Fournier le Jeune. More elaborate caps were added by ATF in the 1920s, and the current digital version by P22/Lanston, also called Fournier le Jeune, is based on that [see LTC Fournier Le Jeune]. Alan Jay Prescott created APT New June (1996) based on Fournier le Jeune. In 2007, Tjorbjörn Olsson (T4) created Museum Fournier, inspired by a set of Rococo capitals designed by Pierre Simon Fournier le Jeune, ca. 1760. The matrices are part of a set imported to Sweden by J.P. Lindh in 1818 from Breitkopf&Härtel in Leipzig, Germany. They are now in the Nordiska Museum in Stockholm. Jas Rewkiewicz's Fournier RD (2007) is an interpretation of the famous Fournier typeface. The Castcraft version of Fournier is called OPTI Fourquet. Joshua Darden's Corundum Text (2006) and typeface Griesshammer;s free font Source Serif (2014, Adobe) are also based on Fournier. The ambitious PS Fournier (2016, Stéphane Elbaz) is perhaps one of the best digital revivals. At B&P Swiss Typefaces, François Rappo published New Fournier (2011) based on the typography of Pierre-Simon Fournier. It comes in 24 styles.

Pauline Nuñez graduated in 2007 from Ecole Estienne with a thesis entitled Pierre-Simon Fournier, typographe absolu, typographe accompli?.

Publications by Pierre-Simon Fournier dit le jeune:

Klingspor link. FontShop link.

View some digital typefaces based on designs by Fournier. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Pierre-Simon Fournier: Bibliography

This bibliography is on the basis of the study of Jacques André (Rennes, France), who placed a facsimile of Pierre-Simon Fournier's Manuel typographique (1764 and 1766) on his web page.

  • P. Beaujon, Pierre Simon Fournier 1712-1768, and XVIIIth Century French Typography. London 1926
  • Allen Hutt, Fournier the Compleat Typographer, London 1972 (published in the USA by Rowman and Littlefield, Totowa, NJ).
  • Bertram Schmidt-Friderichs, Pierre-Simon FOURNIER (Jacques Damase éiteur, Paris, 1991).
  • Fernand Baudin, Pierre-Simon Fournier: la typographie absolue, in L'effet Gutenberg, éditions du cercle de la librairie, 1994, pp. 213-240.
  • Jeanne Veyrin-Forrer, Simon-Pierre Fournier, successeur de Fournier-le-jeune, in La Lettre & le Texte – Trente annés de recherches sur l'histoire du livre, Collection de l'Éole Normale Supéieure de Jeunes Filles, No34, Paris, 1987.
  • The Manuel Typographique of Pierre-Simon Fournier le jeune, together with Fournier on Typefounding, an English Translation of the Text by Harry Carter, in facsimile, with an Introduction and Notes by James Mosley. Three volumes. Volume 1 is Manuel typographique (1764). Volume 2 is Manuel Typographique (1766). Volume 3 is Fournier on Typefounding (1930). Printed in Germany by the Lehrdruckerei Technishe Hochschule Darmstadt
  • Fred Smeijers, Counterpunch---making type in the sixteenth century, designing typefaces now, Hyphen Press, London, 1996.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Pietro Bembo

Italian classical scholar, who lived from 1470 (b. Venice) until 1547 (d. Rome). He was well-connected and knew the famous Medicis. Above all, he had an affair with Lucrezia Borgia. He influenced the development of the Italian language and established the madrigal as the most important secular musical form of the 16th century. He was made cardinal in 1539. Monotype gave his name to their typeface Bembo of 1929. The design is based on type cut by Francesco Griffo for the Aldine Press of Aldus Manutius, and first used in Bembo's work De Aetna (1495-1496). Allan Haley writes: In February 1496, Aldus [Manutius] published a rather insignificant essay by the Italian scholar Pietro Bembo. The type used for the text became instantly popular. So famous did it become that it influenced typeface design for generations. Posterity has come to regard the Bembo type as Aldus's and Griffo's masterpiece. Pietro Bembo himself had no connection to or influence on the typeface that carried his name. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Plantin-Moretus Museum

The Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, and its interactive CD ROM. James Mosley's description: The house and printing-office of Christophe Plantin (died 1589) and his successors became a museum in 1876. The collection of typefounding materials comprises 4,477 punches, 15,825 justified matrices and 4,681 strikes. Among the punchcutters whose work is represented are Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon, François Guyot, Pierre Haultin, Ameet Tavernier, Guillaume I Le Bé, Hendrik van den Keere and J. M. Schmidt. There are 62 moulds from the original collection; another 200 were added in 1956 from the Van der Borght foundry of Brussels. An English-made pivotal caster was acquired for casting new type. The punches and matrices were sorted and catalogued in 1954 and succeeding years. References:

  • Inventory of the Plantin-Moretus Museum punches and matrices (1960). Compiled by Mike Parker and K. Melis.
  • Mike Parker, K. Melis and H. D. L. Vervliet, Early inventories of punches, matrices, and moulds, in the Plantin-Moretus archives, De gulden passer, 38. jaargang (1960), pp. 1-139.
  • Index characterum Architypographiae Plantinianae: proeven der letter soorten gebruikt in de Plantijnsche drukkerij (1905). A specimen printed from early types preserved in the museum.
  • L. Voet, The Golden Compasses: a history and evaluation of the printing and publishing activities of the Officina Plantiniana at Antwerp (Amsterdam, 1969-1974).
  • Mike Parker, Early typefounders moulds at the Plantin-Moretus Museum, The Library, 5th series, vol. 29 (1974), pp. 93-102).
  • John A. Lane, Early type specimens in the Plantin-Moretus Museum: annotated descriptions of the specimens to ca. 1850 (mostly from the Low Countries and France) with preliminary notes on the typefoundries and printing-offices (New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, and London: British Library, 2004).
  • Max Rooses (1839-1914) of Le musée Plantin-Moretus (1919, G. Lazzarini, Anvers). It is in this magnificent book that we find the drawings of the museum's rooms by Walter Vaes shown below.
[Google] [More]  ⦿


Page by Jaime Henderson about PM, a trade publication dedicated to the work and stylish inclinations of production managers, was started in 1934 by the PM Publishing Company of New York. As a publication of Sol Cantor and Dr. Robert L. Leslie's type firm The Composing Room, PM provided young American art directors with an introduction to modern design, especially the work of European designers and styles. After an eight year run, the publication's focus on graphic design brought about a title change to AD, and Intimate Journal for Production Managers, Art Directors, and their Associates. For those interested in touching PM, both PM and AD are available in the California Historical Society's library in san Francisco. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Pontifial de Metz

Nice pages (in French) on the history of letterforms, and in particular, Fraktur and uncial types. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Preußisches Bleisatz-Magazin
[Georg Kraus]

Substantial German web site about metal type run by Georg Kraus (Ratingen, Rheinland). It has a fantastic collection of JPG samples of old metal specimen, all precisely dated and attributed, an invaluable historic record for those who do not have access to the old specimen books. Unfortunately, Kraus passed away at the young age of 55, as reported by Rainer Zerenko, his Austrian friend: One of our typophiles, Georg Kraus, has passed away on July 22nd 2010. He was a man with character, who didn't refuse to tell his own opinion, especially if it is against the mainstream. He was a keeper of lost typefaces, a provider of vintage typespecimen; a fighter for the black art, for mankind, for his home country. He lost his last fight this July. I will always remember you, Georg. Gott grüß die Kunst. Martin Z. Schröder's obituary of Kraus. Pic. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Print and Penmanship 1450-1830

Course by James Mosley at l'Institut de l'Histoire du Livre (IHL) in Lyon, France, from October 14-17, 2002. Limited to twelve persons. 450 Euros. A beautiful course content: Introduction---the writing, of the Roman capital to the tiny Gothic. The discovery of the Roman capital in Italy to the 15 E century. L B Alberti, Felice Feliciano, Luca Pacioli, Geoffroy Tory, Albrecht Dürer. The invention of printing works and Gothic character. The Italian writing: scrittura umanistica and corsiva cancellaresca. Roman characters and italics in Italy and France, 1470-1600. Nicolas Jenson, Francesco Griffo, Claude Garamond, Pierre Haultin, Robert Granjon, Guillaume Bé. Literature of the engraving of the punches and the foundry of the characters: Joseph Moxon (London, 1683), Jacques Jaugeon (Paris, 1704) Pierre-Simon Baker (Paris, 1764). Characters with the "taste hollandois". Hendrik van den Keere, Nicolas Briot, Christoffel van Dijk, Nicolas Kis, Joseph Moxon, William Caslon. Towards a new penmanship 1560-1740 G.F. Cresci, Lucas Materot, Louis Barbedor, Charles Snell, George Bichkam. Of the "Roman of the roi" in Didot. Philippe Grandjean, John Baskerville, Pierre-Simon Baker, François-Ambroise (and others) Didot, Giambattista Bodoni. A new typography: use of the conceited person-face, antique and the Egyptian woman in printed publicity. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Printing Historical Society

Founded in London in 1964. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Fraktur site run by Petra Heidorn and Dieter Steffmann (in German). Books on Fraktur. Tons of history. The fonts:

  • Fontsmith et.al.: Crusades Alternate
  • Petra Heidorn: Semper Idem (2001)
  • James Fordyce: Deutsch Gothic
  • Richard Gast: LeeBee Schwarz, Swedie Cruel
  • Iconian Fonts: Uberhölme
  • Manfred Klein: Broken Brains, Frax Initials, MKaslon Textura, Civilité Edges, Very Broken Frax, Fraxx Sketch Quill (2001, inspired by the work of Imre Reiner), Cowboy Caxton (2001), TShirts for Frax.
  • Graham Meade: Heidorn Hill, Labrit
  • Darren Rigby: Bayern
  • Mickey Rossi: Bongo Fraktur
  • Dieter Steffmann: Lautenbach
  • Tepid Monkey: Benegraphic
  • Derek Vogelpohl: Gothican, Iron Gothic, Ironsides
  • Matthew Welch: Fraktur Modern
  • Sara: Hilda Sonnenschein (2001)
[Google] [More]  ⦿

PTF Histoire des caracteres

By François Porchez. In French. Bad link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ramon Llull

Ramon or Raimundus Llull (1232-1315) designed many illuminated manuscripts. He was was a philosopher, logician, Franciscan tertiary and Majorcan writer and is credited with writing the first major work of Catalan literature. His lettering inspired Seymour Caprice in the creation of his Trop Magus typeface (2016). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Reginald Salis Hutchings

Author (b. 1915) of A Manual of Script Typefaces (New York, Hastings House, 1965: see cover page). For pictures from this book, and a listing of script typefaces, go here. Text with the full list of script typefaces mentioned by Hutchings. He also wrote A Manual of Decorated Typefaces (New York, Hastings House, 1965). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Renaissance Editions: Printing History

Discussions of books on the history of type. By David Wilson-Okamura. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Renaissance Secrets

Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Paul Needham analysed Gutenberg's work and conclude that Gutenberg may only have invented a primitive form of movable type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Renaissance-like fonts

Wonderful exposition about Renaissance fonts, with links to free fonts, and an archive. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Richard Breton

Typefounder and printer in the Rue St Jacques, Paris, who made a Civilité in 1597. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Richard Watts

London-based creator of the Gaelic early transitional angular typeface Watts (ca. 1818). Recent digitizations include Acaill (1997, Michael Everson) and Seanchló (1998). Later similar Gaelic fonts include Irish Echo (ca. 1881, by an unknown) and Ballhorn (ca. 1861, by Friedrich Ballhorn). The Watts type was originally cut for the Hibernian Bible Society, an organ of the The British and Foreign Bible Society, which tried to convert the Irish speaking majority. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Robert Besley

British typefounder and punchcutter, active from about 1840-1860. He succeeded William Thorowgood at the Fann Street Foundry in 1849. Credited with cutting the first Clarendon (1845), a fat typeface with thick slabs. This was also the first registered typeface, ever. See also here. Stephenson Blake acquired Clarendon when it bought the Sir Charles Reed type foundry, and issued the typeface as Consort. Typophile discussion on Besley's Clarendon from which I quote a few passages.

  • About the first instance of piracy, James Mosley explains: The Clarendon type of the Besley foundry is the first type actually designed as a related bold that is, made to harmonize in design and align with the roman types it was set with. It was registered in Britain in 1845 under the new Ornamental Designs Act of 1842. But when protection ran out after only three years, the other founders also thought a related bold was a good idea. This is how Besley reacted.
  • About Consort, another tpyeface of Fann Street from the same era, Mosley writes: The light weight of Consort, an excellent type I think, was another Fann Street type of the 1840s or 1850s, and was presumably cut by Benjamin Fox. It doesn't match the Clarendons closely, though, having unbracketed serifs. The story of the bold and the italic is a rather sad one. They were made by H. Karl Görner, who was born in Germany in 1883, was taken on in 1907 as assistant punchcutter with Stephenson, Blake&Co., Sheffield and stayed with them for the rest of his life. He died in 1964. Görner was probably trained to cut steel punches, but the work I know about was cut in typemetal, and electrotypes were grown to make matrices for casting. This was quite a usual practice, in the UK and the US at least, from the later 19th century onwards. I was told that, years before, Görner had made the type that was thought up by Robert Harling and marketed by Stephenson Blake under the name of Chisel. He cast type from matrices for Bold Latin Condensed and incised lines into the face. When SB wanted a bold and an italic to complete the Consort series, Görner cast a bold slab-serif from some quite early matrices and pared it down to make Consort Bold. I dont know if he had a model for the italic. Probably not. I think they are awful types travesties of the original cuttings of Clarendon.
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Robert Estienne

Book printer, born in Paris in 1503. He died in Geneva in 1559. Of the famous Estienne printer family in Paris and Geneva. He cut an italic alphabet after an Aldine design, and used it in his edition of Cicero's "Opera".

Image from Dictionnaire Latin-Français (1532). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Robert Granjon
[Jacques de Sanlecque the elder]

Born in Rome, Robert Granjon (1513-1589) worked for various printers in Lyon, Paris, Frankfurt, Antwerp, and Rome. In Lyon, he was active as librarian, printer, and engraver of typefaces. Granjon is an exponent of the French renaissance. Granjon's designs live on in the balanced Plantin family, designed by Frank Hinman Pierpont in 1913 at Monotype, and available at Linotype (and elsewhere).

The Gothic italic typeface Civilité (1566; some say 1557) is also due to him. The first book in this typeface was Dialogue de la vie et de la mort by Ringhieri (1557). The first modern metal version of Civilité is due to Morris Fuller Benton (1922, ATF). Among the digital versions, Ralph M. Unger's Civilité (Profonts / URW++) is noteworthy.

W.A. Dwiggins' Eldorado (1953) was based on an early roman lowercase of Granjon. Font Bureau's Eldorado (1993-1994), developed by David Berlow, Jane Patterson, Tobias Frere-Jones and Tom Rickner for Premiere Magazine, was a far-reaching extension of that.

Brigitte Schuster did a revival of Monotype Plantin at KABK in 2010.

In 1578, he moved to Rome, where he worked on types for Oriental characters needed by the Catholic missionaries: Armenian (1579), Syriac (1580), Cyrillic (1582), and Arabic (1580-1586). He collaborated with Giambattista Raimondi, the scientific director of the Stamperia Medicea Orientale, and Domenico Basa, the technical director of the Stamperia Vaticana, and contributed the earliest printed editions in certain Oriental languages. He also created a Greek typeface, Parangonne Grecque.

The Linotype Granjon typeface designed by George W. Jones in 1928 is a Garamond though---Jones used Granjon's work as a model for his italic---, and the name seems to suggest that Granjon created the model for this garamond, which is not the case. Image of Linotype's Granjon. For related typefaces, see ITC Galliard (1978, Matthew Carter). In 2020, Aad van Dommelen released his 4-style revival of Granjon's Ascendonica as Romaine at Fontwerk. He writes: There are two digitizations of Granjon Ascendonica available: the previously mentioned Granjon LT [by Linotype: it deviates too much from the original and shows some inconsistencies] and Matthew Carter's ITC Galliard. Carter's version is quite rightly very popular and widespread, but he allowed himself significantly more freedom, especially with the italic. The fine details of the template led to a special feature of Romaine. While all other digital Garamonds or Granjons have rounded or cut serifs, Romaine has sharp ends.

In 2021, Juanjo Lopez published his Graveur, which was based on original artifacts by Granjon kept in the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp. Also noteworthy is the Granjon-inspired text family Allrounder Antiqua (2020) by Moritz Kleinsorge, who was able to experience first-hand Granjon's work in the Plantin Moretus Museum in Antwerp.

References include Maurits Sabbe and Marius Audin: Die Civilité-Schriften des Robert Granjon in Lyon: und die flämischen Drucker des 16. Jahrhunderts. [This is Vol. 3 of Bibliotheca Typographica, 1929].

Images of digital typefaces that descend from Granjon's work.

FontShop link. Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿


Cybapee's new initiative: an informative page on Roman writing, its history, its influence, and the present day fonts that attempt to recreate it. Contributed fonts include Alfabetix (by Apostrophe), Etruscan Script (by Gabor), Roma Cesare, MKapitalis Rustica, MKwadrata, and Odoaker (by Manfred Klein). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Roots of the Classical Roman Capitals
[Paul Shaw]

In his book, The Eternal Letter (MIT Press, 2015), Paul Shaw gives a useful timeline for the roots of the classical roman capitals:

  • 770 BC First evidence of Greek writing in Italy.
  • 750 BC First Etruscan inscriptions.
  • 740 BC The Dipylon inscription (Athens) and the Nestor Cup (Pithekoussai); earliest known Greek inscriptions in Greece.
  • 753 BC Legendary founding of Rome by Romulus; though ancient sources give dates ranging from
  • 814 BC to 729 BC.
  • 625-600 BC Tita inscription (Gabii) and Vendia inscription (Rome?); pottery with the first examples of epigraphic Latin letters.
  • 580-570 Be Duenos vase inscription (Rome); yet to be deciphered.
  • 575-550 BC Forum Cippus, Roman Forum; oldest extant Latin inscription in stone; written in boustrephedon (bidirectional) style.
  • 550-525 BC Castor and Pollux dedicatory inscription (Lavinium) in Latinized Greek.
  • 550-500 BC Lapis Niger inscription (Rome); written in boustrephedon style.
  • 525-500 BC Tufa inscription (Tivoli); written in serpentine style of the Sabines.
  • 510 BC Beginning of Roman Republic and of Roman expansion in Italy.
  • 500 BC Lapis Satricanus inscription (Satricum) in Archaic Latin; important for comparative Indo-European grammar.
  • Before c. 500 BC Latin inscriptions show considerable diversity of letterforms and direction of writing. Most writing is left to right in the late 7th c. BC but right to left in the 6th c. BC.
  • 5th C. BC Modular Greek inscriptions (stoichedon) using chisel width as stroke length.
  • 312 BC Construction of the Appian Way.
  • 334 Be Dedication of the Temple of Athena Polias (Priene) by Alexander the Great; first Greek inscription with serifs.
  • Late 4th c. BC Late 4th c. BC Ardea Krater (now in Museo Nazionale Romano, Terme di Diocleziano) with overpainted inscription of uncertain interpretation.
  • 264 BC First Punic War between Rome and Carthage begins.
  • After 259 BC Epitaph (in Musei Vaticani) of Lucius Cornelius Scipio (consul of Rome and grandfather of Scipio Africanus) in sans serif capitals.
  • 250 BC According to Plutarch, letter G created by Spurius Carvilius Ruga, founder of the first private elementary school in Rome; Roman alphabet fixed at 21 letters.
  • 221 BC Hannibal begins conquest of Hispania (Spain).
  • 218-203 BC Second Punic War. Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Zama (now Sers, Tunisia).
  • 167 BC Early Latin inscription with serifs (Delphi; now in Musei Vaticani).
  • 1st C. BC Temple of Vesta (Tivoli) inscription.
  • 73-71 BC Slave revolt led by Spartacus.
  • 50 BC Tomb of Publius Gessius family inscription (Viterbo; now in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Arco
  • 50 BC dei Gavi (Verona) built by architect Vitruvius.
  • 50-20 BC Tomb of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces (the Baker's Tomb) (Rome).
  • 44 BC Julius Caesar assassinated.
  • 44-30 BC Roman civil wars.
  • 43 BC First extant Roman inscription in "Imperial" style
  • 32-30 BC Final War of the Roman Republic; Octavian defeats Antony and Cleopatra.
  • 28 BC Tomb of Caecelia Metella (via Appia, Rome).
  • 27 BC Octavian becomes Caesar Augustus, first Roman Emperor.
  • 17 BC Theatre of Marcellus (Rome).
  • 27 BC -14 AD Reign of Augustus.
  • 14 AD Augustus dies.
  • 25 Pantheon built by Agrippa.
  • 41-54 Reign of Claudius. Rome invades Britain. Claudius introduces three new letters to the alphabet, but they do not survive his reign.
  • 51 Arch of Claudius dedicated.
  • 69-79 Reign of Vespasiano.
  • 79-81 Reign of Titus. Pompeii and Herculanum destroyed by eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
  • 79 Arch of Titus dedicated; Colosseum completed.
  • 98-117 Reign of Trajan.
  • 106 Trajan defeats Dacians.
  • 112 Trajan Forum dedicated.
  • 113 Trajan column dedicated along with inscription.
  • 117-138 Reign of Hadrian.
  • 122 Hadrian's Wall built across northern Britain.
  • 130 Wroxeter inscription (Forum Viroconium, Britannia---England).
  • 161-180 Reign of Marcus Aurelius.
  • 2nd c. Tomb of family of Sextus Pomponius (via Appia, Rome).
  • 193-211 Reign of Septimius Severus; Roman Empire a military dictatorship.
  • 203 Arch of Septimius Severus dedicated.
  • 311-337 Reign of Constantine I.
  • 313 Edict of Milan ends persecution of Christians.
  • 315 Arch of Constantine dedicated.
  • 359 Constantinople becomes the capital of the Roman Empire.
  • 366-384 Papacy of Damasus; commissioned inscriptions, carved by Furius Dionysius Philocalus, honoring Christian martyrs.
  • 395 Roman Empire divided by Theodosius into Eastern and Western Empires.
  • 4th c. Vatican Virgil (Vat. lat. 3225); written in capitalis rustica (rustics).
  • 4th c. Codex Augusteus (Georgics of Virgil) (Vat. lat. 3256); written in capitalis quadrata (square capitals).
  • 476 Fall of Roman Empire in the West; Romulus Augustulus deposed by Odoacer.
  • 5th c. Codex Sangallensis (works of Virgil) (St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 1394); written in capitalis quadrata (square capitals).
  • 795 Epitaph of Pope Hadrian I commissioned by Charlemagne.
  • 800 Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III.
  • 830-834 Latin Vulgate Bible (Abbey of St. Martin, Tours; now Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek CLM 12741); Carolingian versals.
  • 834-843 Moutier-Grandval Bible (Tours, now British Library, Add. MS. 10456); written in Carolingian minuscules.
  • 871-877 Second Bible of Charles the Bald (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Ms. Lat. 2); Carolingian versals with classical Roman proportions.
  • 963-984 Benedictional of Aethelwold; its versals are the basis for Adobe Charlemagne typeface.
  • Early 11th c. The Trinity Gospels (Trinity College, Cambridge, Ms. B.10.4 (215).
  • 1403 Poggio sent classical inscriptions from Rome to Coluccio Salutati in Florence.
  • 1409 Sylloge Signorilliana; first collection of classical Roman inscriptions.
  • 1412-1416 Statue of John the Baptist (Orsanmichele, Florence) by Ghiberti; inscription with humanist majuscules.
  • 1417-1431 Revival of Rome under papacy of Martin V.
  • 1424 First visit of Ciriaco di Ancona to Rome to study inscriptions.
  • 1425 Tomb of anti-Pope John XXIII (Battistero, Florence) by Donatello and Michelozzo.
  • 1431-1437 Cantoria (Florence) by Luca della Robbia; inscription is basis for Donatello typeface.
  • 1432-1433 Second visit of Ciriaco di Ancona to Rome to study inscriptions.
  • 1439-1440 Shrine of St. Zenobius (S. Lorenzo, Florence) by Ghiberti; inscription in lettere antiche.
  • 1440 Giovanni Marcanova begins collecting epigraphs.
  • 1447-1452 Tempio Malatestiano (Rimini) by Alberti with monumental inscription on facade (1453).
  • 1447-1455 Continued revival of Rome under papacy of Nicholas V.
  • 1449-1452 Funerary monument to Leonardo Bruni (S. Croce, Florence) by Bernardo Rossellino.
  • 1450 Chronicle of Eusebius (Biblioteca Marciana, Lat. IX.1 = 3496) by Biagio di Saraceno; first manuscript with epigraphic capitals.
  • 1453 Fresco of St. James (Ovetari Chapel, Padua) with inscriptions in epigraphic capitals.
  • 1453 Constantinople sacked by Ottoman Turks; end of Byzantine Empire (eastern portion of Roman Empire).
  • 1455 Tomb of Pope Nicholas V (Grotte Vaticane).
  • 1455 42-line Bible completed by Johannes Gutenberg.
  • 1453 First manuscript by Paduan scribe Bartolomeo Sanvito.
  • 1459 Strabo Geographia (Bibliotheque Municipale, Albi, MS 77) with epigraphic initials.
  • 1460 Alphabetum Romanum (Vat. lat. 6852) by Felice Feliciano; first constructed alphabet.
  • 1460 Livy (Biblioteca Nazionale e Universitaria di Torino, J.II.5) by Sanvito; one of first manuscripts with a monumental frontispiece.
  • 1464 Felice Feliciano, Mantegna, Samuele da Tradate and Giovanni Antenori search for Roman inscriptions near Lake Garda.
  • 1465 Second Marcanova recension of collection of epigraphs completed.
  • 1465 Tomb of Cardinal Ludovico d'Albret (S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome) by Andrea Bregno.
  • 1467 Cappella Rucellai (Florence) by Alberti.
  • 1468 Pescheria (Verona) inscription attributed to Feliciano.
  • 1468-1476 House of Lorenzo Manilio (Rome) with facade incorporating mix of antique and imitation antique inscriptions.
  • 1470 Facade inscription on S. Maria Novella (Florence) by Alberti.
  • 1470 Roman typeface by Nicholas Jenson.
  • 1471-1484 Papacy of Sixtus IV led urban revival of Rome; associated with revival of Roman capitals.
  • 1471 Capitoline Museum established by Pope Sixtus IV.
  • 1473 Tomb of Cardinal Niccole Forteguerri (S. Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome) by Andrea Bregno and Mino da Fiesole.
  • 1475 Ponte Sisto inscriptions attributed to Sanvito.
  • 1470s Pomponio Leto began collecting epigraphs.
  • 1475-1477 Latin and Greek libraries created at Vatican.
  • 1478 1478 First redaction of Fra Gioconda silloge.
  • 1479-1483 Libellus Inscriptionum printed by Jacopo Zaccaria.
  • 1480 Constructed alphabet by Chicago Anonymous.
  • 1480 Codice Barberiniano (Barb. Lat. 4424) by Giuliano Sangallo; contains drawings of Roman inscriptions and monuments.
  • 1482 Inscription in courtyard of Palazzo Ducale, Urbino.
  • 1483 Constructed alphabet by Damiano Da Moylle.
  • 1484-1499 Construction of the Cancelleria (Rome).
  • 1490-1516 Taccuino Senese di Giuliano Sangallo (Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, S.IV.8); includes complete alphabet of Roman capitals.
  • 1491-1509 Codex Escurialensis (Codex 28.11.12) by Domenico Ghirlandaio; includes drawings of Tomb of Cecelia Metella, Trajan's Column and alphabet of Roman capitals.
  • 1509 DiVina Proportione by Luca Pacioli published in Venice; contains alphabet of constructed Roman capitals.
  • 1517 Opera del mondo defare le littere maiuscole antique by Francesco Torniello.
  • 1523 Il Modo Temperare de le Penne by Ludovico degli Arrighi da Vicenza.
  • 1524 Lo presente libro Insegna La Vera arte by Giovannantonio Tagliente.
  • 1525 Vnderweysung der Messung [Of the lust Shaping of Letters] by Albrecht Düer.
  • ~1527 Luminario by Giovambaptista Verini; alphabet of constructed Roman capitals.
  • 1529 Champ Fleury by Geoffroy Tory; contains alphabet of constructed Roman capitals.
  • ~1530 First roman typeface by Claude Garamont.
  • 1540 Libro nuovo d'imparare a scrivere by Giovambattista Palatino.
  • 1540 On Antiquities by Sebastiano Serlio, second of his "Seven Books."
  • 1548 Un novo modo d'insegnare a scrivere by Vespasiano Amphiareo.
  • 1554 Sette Alphabeti di uarie lettere by Ferdinando Ruano.
  • 1560 Essemplare di piu sorti lettere by Giovanni Francesco Cresci.
  • 1570 II Perfetto Scrittore by Giovanni Francesco Cresci.
  • 1535-1589 Papacy of Sixtus V; responsible for the systematization of Rome with the creation of new arteries and plazas marked by the erection of obelisks on Roman bases; and the restoration of the Acqua Alessandrina (renamed Acqua Felice, 1 586).
  • 1587 Alphabeto Delle Maiuscole Antiche Rornane by Luca Horfei da Fano.
  • 1589 Varie iscrittioni del santiss.... by Luca Horfei da Fano; designs for program of graphic exposition to accompany urban restoration under Sixtus V.
  • 1638 De Caratteri by Leopardo Antonozzi.
  • 1692-1745 Romain du Roi; first designed typeface; first printed appearance 1702.
  • 1725 First typeface by William Caslon.
  • 1738 Excavations of Herculanum begun.
  • 1748 Excavations of Pompeii begun.
  • 1754 John Baskerville type specimen.
  • ~1760-1840 Industrial Revolution.
  • 1766 Fry's Baskerville cut by Isaac Moore.
  • 1784 First type by Firmin Didot.
  • 1788 Serie di maiuscole by Giambattista Bodoni.
  • 1789 French Revolution.
  • 1804-1815 Napoleon Emperor of the French.
  • 1818 Manuale Tipografico by Giambattista Bodoni; printed posthumously.
  • 1846 Lyons Titling (Caractères Augustaux) by Louis Perrin; revived antique Roman capitals.
  • 1872 Cast of base of Trajan's Column made for Victoria & Albert Museum.
  • 1894 The American School of Architecture in Rome (the American Academy in Rome, after 1897) opened; championed by architect Charles Follen McKim.
  • 1895 Boston Public Library (McKirn, Mead and White) completed.
  • 1906 Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering by Edward Johnston published.
  • 1906 Eric Gill visits Rome for first time.
  • 1911 Forum Title by Frederic W. Goudy.
  • 1914 Centaur by Bruce Rogers. (Released by Monotype, 1929.)
  • 1914-1918 World War I.
  • 1916 Goudy Old Style (American Type Founders) by Frederic W. Goudy.
  • 1918 Hadriano Title by Frederic W. Goudy.
  • 1919 Bauhaus (Weimar) opened.
  • 1922 Fascist March on Rome; Mussolini become prime minister of Italy.
  • 1927 Futura (Bauer) by Paul Renner.
  • 1927 Kabel (Klingspor) by Rudolf Koch; promotional material included constructed capital diagrams.
  • 1927 John Stevens Shop (est. 1705) purchased by John Howard Benson.
  • 1927 Open Capitals (Enschedé) by Jan van Krimpen.
  • 1928 Die neue Typographie [The New Typography] by Ian Tschichold published.
  • 1925-1930 Perpetua (Monotype) by Eric Gill.
  • 1930 Trajan Title by Frederic W. Goudy.
  • 1931 Four Gospels printed by Golden Cockerel Press; with type, illustrations, lettering, and ornaments by Eric Gill.
  • 1933 Bauhaus (Weimar) closed by the Nazis.
  • 1934 Felix Titling (Monotype) based on constructed capitals of Felice Feliciano.
  • 1935-1939 First trip to Rome by Father Edward M. Catich.
  • 1936 David Kindersley sets up as independent lettercarver.
  • 1937 Schneidler Initials [Bauer Text] (Bauer) by F. H. E. Schneidler.
  • 1938 Roman Lettering by L.C. Evetts published.
  • 1938-1940 Res Gestae Divi Augusti inscribed on wall of the building housing the Ara Pacis (Rome) as part of Fascist celebration of Augustan Bimillenary; letters based on Trajan capitals.
  • 1939 Palazzo degli Uffici dellnte'E Autonomo (Rome) completed; facade bears inscription announcing Terza Roma; bas relief depicts Mussolini as direct descendent of Roman consuls and emperors
  • 1939-1945 World War II.
  • 1943 Palazzo della Civilita Italiana (the Square Colosseum) (Rome) completed.
  • 1946 Jan van Krimpen designed numeral stamps for the Dutch post office.
  • 1950 Michelangelo (Stempel) by Hermann Zapf. Sistina (Stempel) by Hermann Zapf.
  • 1951 Augustea (Nebiolo) by Alessandro Butti and Aldo Novarese.
  • 1951 Columna (Bauer) by Max Caflisch.
  • 1955 Rhythm and Proportion in Lettering by Walter Kaech published.
  • 1956 National Monument on the Dam square (Amsterdam) with inscription designed by Jan van Krimpen.
  • 1957 Castellar (Monotype) by John Peters.
  • 1957 Univers (Deberny & Peignot) by Adrian Frutiger.
  • 1957 Neue Haas Grotesk (Haas) [later Helvetica (Stempel)] by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann.
  • 1958 Optima (Stempel) by Hermann Zapf.
  • 1960s David Kindersley designs alphabet for Cambridge, England street signs; modeled on classical Roman capitals.
  • 1961 John E. Benson takes over the John Stevens Shop.
  • 1961 Letters Redrawn from the Trajan Column in Rome by Father Edward M. Catich published.
  • 1964 John F. Kennedy Memorial, Arlington Cemetery carved by John E. Benson and John Hegnauer.
  • 1964 Father Edward M. Catich makes polyester cast of Trajan inscription.
  • 1957 Printing and the Mind of Man catalogue (based on London exhibition, 1963) with title page engraved by Reynolds Stone.
  • 1968 The Origins of the Serif by Father Edward M. Catich published.
  • 1976 Lida Lopes Cardozo begins collaboration with David Kindersley; eventually becomes partner in Cardozo Kindersley Workshop.
  • 1982 A Constructed Roman Alphabet by David Lance Goines published.
  • 1989 Lithos, Trajan, and Charlemagne (Adobe) by Carol Twombly.
  • 1991 Arrus (Bitstream) by Richard Lipton.
  • 1993 Mantinia (Carter & Cone) by Matthew Carter; based on the engraved lettering of Mantegna.
  • 1993 Nicholas Benson takes over ownership of the John Stevens Shop.
  • 1994 Penunbra (Adobe) by Lance Hidy
  • 1996 Cresci, Pontif, and Pietra (LetterPerfect) by Garrett Boge.
  • 1997 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, National Mall, carved by John E. Benson.
  • 1998 Waters Titling (Adobe) by Julian Waters.
  • 1999 Capitolium by Gerard Unger; inspired by capitals by Cresci. Requiem (Hoefler & Frere-Jones) by Jonathan Hoefler, based on capitals by Arrighi.
  • 2003 Senatus (Berthold) by Werner Schneider.
  • 2004 National World War II Memorial, National Mall, carved by Nicholas Benson.
  • 2011 Stevens Titling (Linotype) by John Stevens and Ryuichi Tateno.
  • 2012 Trajan Pro 3 and Trajan Sans (Adobe) by Robert Slimbach. The original Trajan Sans is from 1989.
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Roy Millington

Author of Stephenson Blake The Last of the Old English Typefounders, The British Library, London, 2002. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Rudolf Hell
[Hell GmbH]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Rudolf Koch
[Georg B. Allmacher]

Georg B. Allmacher's site about the work and life of Rudolf Koch (1876-1934). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Rustic capitals

Rustic capitals refers to the style of hand-printing roman capitlas in the third to fifth centuries. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Rutherford photo-lettering machine

This machine was developed in New Jersey from 1928 until 1936 for the banknote industry. It feartured master alphabets on glass plates, effectively stating the photo-lettering era. Peter Bain writes: Only a mere handful of the Rutherford machines had been sold and put into use. The Electrographic Corporation, then owner of one of New York City's leading typographers, decided to launch a start-up proposed and staffed by departing Rutherford employees, notably Edward Rondthaler and Harold Horman. The new midtown firm of Photo-Lettering Inc., starting in 1936, took advantage of the underutilized technology, and claimed an early commercialization of phototype. While not text photocomposition, Photo-Lettering was never handlettering as the name implied. Photography freed the typographic image from the historic constraints of metal, allowing flexibility in scale, dimension, and position, variations which had previously required letter-drawing skills. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sacramento Lutheran High School

A visual history of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Salim George Khalaf
[Phoenician Alphabet]

[More]  ⦿

Sam Ardell

[More]  ⦿

Sarabande Press

Some type history related to Lucian Bernhard's Magnet Type. And a free Mac font, Magnet Ornaments. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sarah Eaves
[Alain Hurtig]

Alain Hurtig has absolutely fantastic pages on the work and life of John Baskerville. Baskerville lived most of his life with Sarah Eaves, née Ruston, the wife of Richard Eaves, and married her only after Richard's death. Sarah Baskerville managed Baskerville's printing shop until the liquidation of the studio in 1785, when the matrices were sold to Beaumarchais. The pages compare Baskerville's letters with Mrs. Eaves, Zuzana Licko's version of Baskerville. See also here, on Zuzana Licko's "Baskerville" typeface Mrs Eaves, published with Emigre. [Google] [More]  ⦿


German page about typography. Has some history, and a glossary. Link died. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Schriften - Gesten

Reinhold Kroger's page of ancient/medieval writing. Has four hieroglyphic fonts (free). [Google] [More]  ⦿


Bernhard Schnelle gives a splendid historical view of the European scripts, leading up to the scripts used in Germany. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Dieter Steffmann has short bios of the lives of various German typographers. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sébastien Truchet
[Père Sébastien Truchet]

French type designer in Lyon, 1657-1729, whose name at birth was Jean Truchet. He was famous for his Truchet tiling system. Sébastien Truchet designed a modular typographic system during his last year in the School of Fine Arts of Besançon. His work was summarized in a thesis he wrote in 1704, and which is also reflected in Methode pour faire une infinité de desseins differens, avec des carreaux mi-partis de deux couleurs par une ligne diagonale: ou Observations du pere Dominique Douat, religieux au carme de la province de Toulouse, sur un Memoire inserédans L'histoire de l'Académie royale des sciences de Paris, l'année 1704, présenté par le reverend pere Sébastien Truchet, religieux du même ordre, Académicien honoraire (1722, Dominique Douat, Paris, chez Florentin de Laulne, rue Saint Jacques). Local download of that book.

In 2008, someone started the type foundry Sébastien Truchet and promptly published the modular counterless typefaces Module (2008) and Module 4-4 (2011) and the squarish humanist sans family Humanex (2011).

In 2020, Vanessa Zuñiga designed Sébastien, a set of color typefaces inspired by Truchet's tilings.

References: Jacques André; The tiling patterns of Sebastien Truchet and the topology of structural hierarchy (1987, Cyril Stanley Smith); Multiscale Truchet patterns<./i> (2018, Christopher Carlson). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Sebastiano Serlio

Italian Mannerist architect, engraver and painter of the sixteenth century, who designed some of the most refined variants of the classic Roman letters---the prototypical Italian Renaissance roman alphabet, also known as Serlio's alphabet. Born in Bologna in 1475, he died in 1554. He was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau. An excellent model for constructing the Roman capitals in a standard form can be found in the geometric compass-and-ruler adaptation by A. R. Ross from an alphabet of capitals drawn by Sebastiano Serlio, an Italian architect, engraver and painter of the sixteenth century, who devised some of the most refined variants of the classic Roman letter. Author of On Antiquities (1540).

There are a few roman capital fonts in the digital age. These include Serlio (1990, Linotype), Sentian (Novel Fonts) and Opti Serlio (Castcraft). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sebastien Morlighem
[Fat Faces: origins]

[More]  ⦿

Segno Scrittura

The Associazione Culturale Calligrafia e Lettering in Torino, Italy, organizes workshops and courses on a variety of topics, some of which are related to calligraphy and the history of type. For example, from 14-15 March 2009, there was a course on Gothic Textura. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Michel Wlassikoff]

L'association signes, histoire et actualité du graphisme et de la typographie was founded by art historian Michel Wlassikoff and a committee consisting of Bernard Baissait, Nathalie Bazoche, Aymeric Dutheil, and Yolaine Médéélice. On its web site, one can find tens of historically important documents related to typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Simon de Colines

French Renaissance era printer and typographer, 1480-1547. Colines was associated with the elder Henri Estienne and continued his work after his death in 1520. That work included marrying Estienne's widow and running Estienne's press. Robert Estienne I, the son of Henri, entered the business in 1526, by which time Colines had set up his own shop nearby. In 1528 Colines started using italic type. He published Greek and Latin classics, as well as scholarly works in the natural sciences, cosmology, and astrology. He is credited with the design of italic and Greek fonts and of a roman typeface for St. Augustine's Sylvius (1531), from which the Garamond types were derived. In 1525 he published the well-known Grandes Heures de Simon de Colines, with decorations by Geoffroy Tory. Check out Kay Amert's book Intertwining Strengths: Simon de Colines and Robert Estienne (2005, Penn State University Press). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Sir Charles Reed

Sir Charles Reed FSA (1819-1881) was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament for Hackney and St Ives, Chairman of the London School Board, Director and Trustee of the original Abney Park Cemetery Joint Stock Company, Chairman of the Bunhill Fields Preservation Committee, associate of George Peabody, lay Congregationalist, and owner of a successful commercial typefounding business in London. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle in 1874. As a pastime he collected autographed letters and keys. Charles' son Talbot Baines Reed (1852-1893), an author of books for boys, wrote the standard reference work on the history of typefounders in England.

The family settled in the London district of Hackney where Charles was active in public and religious affairs, with a particular interest in education. He became a member, and later chairman, of the London School Board, and helped to establish the Congregational Church Board of Education. From 1868 to 1881 he was one of Hackney's MPs. He also raised a family of five sons, the third of whom, named Talbot Baines after his distinguished uncle, was born at the family home, "Earlsmead", on 3 April 1852. Over the years, Charles expanded his business interests, and by 1861 had prospered sufficiently to acquire the Thorowgood type foundry in Fann Street, City of London.

The business was called Stephenson Blake & Charles Reed & Sons at one point.

A few scans from Henry Taylor Wyse's book of 1911, showing types owned jointly by stephenson Blake and Sir Charles Reed of Sheffield: AntiqueRoman, Athenian, Baskerville, Black No. 3, DeVinne, DeVinne Italic, Hallamshire Old Italic, Italian Old Style, Italian Old Style, Italian Old Style Italic, Lining Modern No. 20, Lining Old Style No. 5, Lining Westminster Old Style, Winchester Bold, Winchester Old Style, Winchester Old Style Italic. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Societa Nebiolo: Genealogy

A brief genealogy of Societa Nebiolo, up to 1930: Societa Nebiolo was established in 1918, and gre out of Societa Augusta, a holding company founded in 1908 as a merger of the older Nebiolo and Urania (est. 1906). Urania in turn was a large foundry in Italy that was formed by joining many smaller foundries between 1903 and 1906, around the same time ATF was formed in the United States by joining many local foundries there, notably P.&F/ Albè (Milan), F. Negroni (Bologna), C. Redaelli (Milan), L. Wilmant (Milan), F. Fiazza (Milan), F. Rizzi (Milan), Cucco&Gariglio (Rome), Alessandri (Florence) and F. Zappa (Milan). It had offices in Milan, Bologna, Rome and Florence. The original Urania foundry in Milan in 1903 evolved from G. Commoretti (est. 1838). [Google] [More]  ⦿


Speedball pens were invented by Hunt Corporation (or Hunt Company) which was located in Camden, NJ and later (since 1958) in Statesville, NC. The highlights of that company:

  • In 1899 C. Howard Hunt formed his own company, which he incorporated in 1901. George E. Bartol, a Philadelphia grain and commodities exporter and founder of the Philadelphia Bourse, a merchants exchange and business center, was among the first 28 shareholders. In 1903, Mr. Bartol was elected president and a director of the Company and served until 1917.
  • The C. Howard Hunt Pen Company invented the smooth gliding round pointed pen, which required about 15 operations in the manufacturing. Expert cutters used cutting presses to produce almost 45,000 pens a day from rolled sheets of steel. Pictured from left, workers imprint, grind and ship 25 pens per minute.
  • The C. Howard Hunt Pen Company began in this building in Camden, NJ. The factory moved to Statesville, NC, in 1958. The office moved from Camden to Pennsauken, NJ, in 1963 and then to Philadelphia in 1965. Also pictured here is Benjamin Newman, one of the expert pen makers C. Howard Hunt brought to Camden from Birmingham, England, in 1899.
  • The Speedball Pen was developed and patented by sign letterer Ross F. George of Seattle. His square-tipped pen could make broad and thin lines. George took the patent to the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company in 1915.
  • In 1916, George E. Bartol resigned as President of the C. Howard Hunt Company. His son George Bartol, Jr., succeeded him and was elected Vice President and then Chairman of the Board in 1926. He led the Company for 50 years. George Bartol, Jr., retired in 1969 and died in 1972 at the age of 80.
  • The Hunt Company expanded and branched out. In 1997, Speedball Art Products was born, with headquarters in Statesville, NC.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Stampa Tipografia

History of typography and type design (in Italian): "Il carattere da stampa e sua evoluzione stilistico-progettuale", by Andrea Marconi and Franco Marinelli. Main page entitled Stamperia e Caratteri. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Stan Knight

Idaho-based author of

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Steile Futura

In 1952, Paul Renner published Steile Futura (Berthold). Its origins were explored by type experts. I summarize their conclusions as a timeline.

  • From Burke's book on Paul Renner: A typeface actually called Renner-Grotesk appeared in trial type castings by Stempel type foundry in May 1936. The Stempel Renner-Grotesk was very condensed in its regular weight, with a consequent stress on the modular squareness of the letters. This design seems to have been taken over by the Bauer type foundry in 1938, and in 1939 the grotesk changed shape to some extent, becoming less modular and incorporating references to pen-made forms. The italic accompaniment to this grotesk, simply called Renner-Kursiv, was actually a true cursive, marking a decided difference between this typeface and Futura. Work on the Grotesk and Kursiv continued through the late 1930s and early 1940s. However, progress on these typefaces seems to have been very slow, perhaps due to Renner's failing health: he had a serious heart attack in 1948 (at 70 years of age) which restricted his activity. By 1951, Renner had begun to work again, and his Grotesk began to appear in 1952 from the Bauer type foundry under the name of Steile Futura. Perhaps the typeface was renamed merely in order to link it to the successful Futura family.
  • Steile Futura started showing up as Bauer Topic in the mid to late 1950s.
  • One of the first digitizations was Bauer Topic by Font Company, which used a VGC photo master. This digitization includes the two weights, medium and bold, both in regular and italic. The URW version of Steile Futra is called URW Topic. It is an exact copy of the VGC digital version, with every defect preserved. According to Bill Troop, Font Company did the work, and URW acquired the rights under typical IK licensing. Bill Troop continues: The FC/URW version is almost unusable because it is so amateurishly, in fact irrationally spaced and because there are so many incorrect glyphs.
  • At Font Bureau in 1994, Guy Jeffrey Neslon published the great multi-width revival and extension, Tasse. Tasse has no italics though.
  • Neufville (Wolfgang Hartmann's Fundicion Tipografica Bauer, or FT Bauer), who took over the Bauersche Giesserei, published the Steile Futura-inspired Futura ND Display. The FT Bauer effort does not impress Bill Troop: FT Bauer has not shown the slightest originality in any of its digitizations or design choices. If anyone is going to produce an 'original' Steile, I think it is very unlikely to be FT Bauer. Its Futura digitizations largely recklessly imitate, often point for point, previous translations of the fonts into photo from metal. Nowhere have we yet seen what we most need, a Futura intended for setting at text sizes, which in metal features the substantially reduced ascenders which are necessary to make the type viable at text sizes. Because we have not seen anything from 'FT Bauer' which in the slightest degree resembles research into original drawings or any effort to come to understand what the foundry originally did, I would conclude that FT Bauer does not actually possess any original artwork or pattern drawings, and is simply relying on precisely the same sources that are available to everyone else.
  • Berthold's Steile Futura is the second original digitization.
  • For typefaces further afield, see Pakenham (2000, Ray Larabie), Dinky Rink NF (2007, Nick Curtis), and Solex (Zuzana Licko).
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Stempel's history, 1895-1955

Stempel's first 60 years, from its start in 1895, through the purchases of the Juxberg-Rust foundry from Offenbach in 1897 and W. Drugulin in 1919, to the era of Hermann Zapf in the 50s. That same publication was extended here. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Stephen Coles's Flickr page

Over the years, Stephen Coles's Flickr page has grown to a real resource, and also a valuable source of inspiration. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Stephen Parker

Dublin-based type designer who made the early Gaelic typeface Parker (now also known as Brooke or Bonham), 1787-1815. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Steve Dell

Steve Dell teaches digital art design at Miami ad School in California. His site has an Adobe InDesign course, where one can find a beautiful type history primer, and a zipped font folder with these fonts: ACaslonPro-Italic, AGaramondPro-Regular, AJensonPro-Regular, ArnoPro-Bold, ArnoPro-Italic, ArnoPro-Smbd, BickhamScriptPro-Bold, BickhamScriptPro-Regular, BlackoakStd, GrotesqueMTStd-Black, GrotesqueMTStd-Bold, GrotesqueMTStd-BoldExtended, GrotesqueMTStd-Condensed, GrotesqueMTStd-ExtraCond, GrotesqueMTStd-Italic, GrotesqueMTStd-Light, GrotesqueMTStd-LightCond, GrotesqueMTStd-LightItalic, GrotesqueMTStd, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Bd, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Blk, HelveticaNeueLTStd-It, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Md, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Roman, MFCFranklinCornersFive-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersFive-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersFour-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersFour-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersSix-Regular, MinionPro-Regular, MyriadPro-Bold, MyriadPro-It, MyriadPro-Regular, NewsGothicStd-Bold, NewsGothicStd-BoldOblique, NewsGothicStd-Oblique, NewsGothicStd, NuevaStd-Bold, NuevaStd-BoldCond, NuevaStd-Regular. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Suzanne Baddeley

Page in French about the history of handwriting. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Talbot Baines Reed

Talbot Baines Reed (1852-1893) was an English writer of boys' fiction who established a genre of school stories that endured into the second half of the 20th century. Among his best-known work is The Fifth Form at St. Dominic's. He was a regular and prolific contributor to The Boy's Own Paper (B.O.P.), in which most of his fiction first appeared. Through his family's business [his father was Sir Charles Reed], Reed became a prominent typefounder, and wrote the celebrated text A History of the Old English Letter Foundries (Faber and Faber Limited, London, 1887).

From Wikipedia: Reed's father, Charles Reed, was a successful London printer who later became a Member of Parliament (MP). Talbot attended the City of London School before leaving at 17 to join the family business at the Fann Street type foundry. His literary career began in 1879, when the B.O.P. was launched. The family were staunchly Christian, pillars of the Congregational Church, and were heavily involved in charitable works. However, Reed did not use his writing as a vehicle for moralising, and was dismissive of those early school story writers, such as Dean Farrar, who did. Reed's affinity with boys, his instinctive understanding of their standpoint in life and his gift for creating believable characters, ensured that his popularity survived through several generations. He was widely imitated by other writers in the school story genre. In 1881, following the death of his father, Reed became head of the Fann Street foundry. By then he had begun his monumental Letter Foundries history which, published in 1887, was hailed as the standard work on the subject. Along with his B.O.P. obligations Reed wrote regular articles and book reviews for his cousin Edward Baines's newspaper, the Leeds Mercury. He was busy elsewhere, as a co-founder and first honorary secretary of the Bibliographical Society, as a deacon in his local church, and as a trustee for his family's charities. All this activity may have undermined his health; after struggling with illness for most of 1893, Reed died in November that year, at the age of 41.

Early in his career he met the leading printer and bibliographer of the day, William Blades, from whom he acquired a lasting fascination with the printing and typefounding crafts. While still relatively inexperienced, Reed was asked by Blades to help organise a major exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of William Caxton's printing of The Game and Playe of the Chesse. This was thought to be the first book printed in England, and the exhibition was originally planned for 1874. However, Blades's research proved that Caxton's first printing in England had in fact been in 1477, of a different book, so the quatercentenary celebrations were rescheduled accordingly. The exhibition was held during the summer of 1877, at South Kensington, and was opened by William Gladstone, the former and future prime minister. It included displays of Caxton's printed works, together with many examples of printing through the intervening years. Reed's main contribution was to the exhibition's catalogue, for which he wrote an essay entitled "The Rise and Progress of Typography and Type-Founding in England". The exhibition was supported by leading London printers, publishers, booksellers, antiquarians and scholars, and attracted wide public interest. Sir Charles Reed, who had been knighted on Gladstone's recommendation in 1874, died in 1881. A few months later, Talbot's elder brother Andrew retired from the business because of ill health. As a result, at the age of 29, Talbot became the sole managing director of the Fann Street business, a position he held until his death. This was, however, by no means Reed's sole activity in connection with the trade. In 1878, in response to a suggestion from Blades, he had begun work on a general history of typefounding in England, a task which occupied him intermittently for ten years. Published by Elliot Stock in 1887 under the title of History of the Old English Letter Foundries, the book became the standard text on the subject. Its 21 chapters are illustrated throughout with examples of typefaces and symbols used for four centuries. The text is presented in modern style, but with the initial letter of each chapter ornately drawn from a 1544 pattern. Also in 1887 Reed produced a revised and enlarged specimen book for the Fann Street foundry, with many new typeface designs and artistic ornamentations. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Sam Ardell]

Foundry in the film type era, est. in the late 1940s by Sam Ardell. Its 1957 catalog shows 408 film types and its 1967 catalog has 1016 typefaces. Some of these types are missing from their 1984 catalog. Peter Bain (Incipit) bought the remaining typefaces in 1994, and they are now in Bain's Incipit collection. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Teeline Fonts
[Craig Eliason]

Teeline Fonts is a digital type foundry launched by Craig Eliason (b. 1969, Houston, TX) in 2010. A professor of modern art and design history in the Department of Art History at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN, Craig researches the history of type design, and particularly the history of its classification and vocabulary. He began designing his own fonts in 2008. Craig obtained a Ph.D. from Rutgers in 2002. Read, for example, Face the Nation: National Identity and Modern Type Design 1900-1960.

His typefaces:

  • Ambicase Modern (2010), a unicase font, and Ambicase Fatface (2011).
  • Flipper (2013), later renamed Backflip. Flipper won an award at the Morisawa Type Design Competition 2014.
  • Cuttlefish (2021). A five-headed sans (+variable) superfamily with very different substyles called Neutral, Pragmatic, Optimistic, Luxe and Modern. He writes: Cuttlefish Pragmatic is a friendly sans in the mode of early-20th-century American Gothics. The Optimistic style is inspired by 20th-century ‘serifless romans’ that themselves took inspiration from Renaissance letters. The Modern styles are patterned after 18th-century high-contrast types, but excised of most serifs. Cuttlefish Luxe is a light and sophisticated contrasted sans. The Neutral styles are straightforward grotesques with even stroke weights.
  • Plenaire (2021). A pebbled and speckled optical effect font family.
  • Feneon (2021). An elegant multiline font family with possible uses as a neon font.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Terrence Chouinard

[More]  ⦿

Textes rares
[Paul Dupont]

Pieces of historical value (in French) are making it to the web. Contains a history of French printing (until 1850) by Paul Dupont. [Google] [More]  ⦿

That 70's Type
[Gene Gable]

In 2007, Gene Gable wrote an article for Creative Pro, summarizing the type scene in the 1970s. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The American point system

Nicholas Fabian on the American point system. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Cavendish Gallery of Print and Typography

Typographic images that illustrate the history of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Digital Past
[Paul Shaw]

Article by New York-based calligrapher and type specialist Paul Shaw. It talks about the main events in the timeline of digital type (but forgets to mention Computer Modern, does not stress Metafont enough, and omits any mention of the work of Bezier and de Casteljau on Bezier curves), and ends by formulating a strategy for increasing the price of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Evolution of Type
[Michael Brandt]

History of type. Type glossary. Links. Site maintained by Michael Brandt and Oriana Anholt of mediumbold. Old URL.

Micael Brandt is also the author of The Evolution of Type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Fell Types

The Fell type collection was a gift made to Oxford University by a bishop of Oxford, Dr. John Fell (bishop of Oxford), in the late seventeenth century (ca. 1672). He bought punches and matrices in Holland and Germany in 1670 and 1672 and entrusted his personal punchcutter, Peter de Walpergen, with the cut of the larger bodies. Bibliography compiled by Igino Marini, who revived some Fell types in 2004:

  • Stanley Morison: "The roman italic&black letter bequeathed to University of Oxford by Dr. John Fell", Oxford University Press, 1951.
  • Stanley Morison: "John Fell The University Press and the 'Fell' Types", Oxford University Press, 1967.
  • Horace Hart: "Notes on a Century of Typography at the University Press Oxford, 1693-1794", Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1970 (facsimile edited by Harry Carter from the original of 1900).
  • Harry Carter: "The Fell Types - What has been done in and about them", Oxford University Press, New York, 1968.
[Google] [More]  ⦿

The First Typewriter

Darry Rehr on the history of typewriters. I cite: ... "It was called the "Sholes&Glidden Type Writer," and it was produced by the gunmakers E. Remington&Sons in Ilion, NY from 1874-1878." ... "The idea began at Kleinsteuber's Machine Shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the year 1868. A local publisher-politician-philosopher named Christopher Latham Sholes spent hours at Kleinstuber's with fellow tinkerers." ... "Sholes proceeded to construct a machine to do the whole alphabet. The prototype was eventually sent to Washington as the required Patent Model. The original still exists, locked up in a vault at the Smithsonian." ... "Sholes lacked the patience required to penetrate the marketplace, and sold all of his rights to Densmore, whose belief in the machine kept the enterprise afloat. Remington agreed to produce the device beginning in 1873. The "Glidden" part of the name came from Carlos Glidden, one of the Kleinstuber Machine Shop gang, who had been something of a help to Sholes." [Google] [More]  ⦿

The first typewriter?

In 1851 a brochure was published for the Second British Exposition of Technology, signed by Albert, Prince of Wales. In it, we find this text: The first patent for a 'writing machine' was given to Henry Mill in 1714. Sadly there are no surviving details to prove its existence as a working machine. The first known typewriter was invented in the United States of America by William Burt in 1830. This was called a Typographer and printed one single letter after another. From this point on there was a flood of designs both in the United States and Europe, causing some dispute over who invented what components. These machines were usually one-offs and it is only in the past year that the inventors of the 'Type-writer', Christopher Sholes and Carlos Glidden, have made an agreement with the Remington company to have their model manufactured in quantity.

The machine writes in capitals and was heavily influenced by the workings of the Remington sewing machines. The original design laid the letters in an ABC format, but Sholes found that this continually jammed his typewriters. To solve the problem, he asked his brother-in-law, a mathematician, to work out an arrangement that would - for the most time - prevent the bars from clashing. The result is a rather unusual arrangement of letters on the keyboard 'QWERTYUIOP' on the top row of keys, 'ASDFGHJKL' in the middle and 'ZXCVBNM' on the bottom row. While this might not seem sensible to the laymen among us, Mr Sholes assures us that it is a highly logical and scientific design for the machine. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Font Wars
[James Shimada]

A wonderful article written in 2006 by James Shimada that tells the story of PostScript, parametric fonts, TrueType and OpenType. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Garamond mess

The choice of Garamonds is confusing, and so is the name Garamond when associated with typefaces. In fact, the most faithful of all garamonds is not even called Garamond. So, here is a brief overview.

  • Typefaces with Garamond in the name that are based directly on Garamond's work: Stempel Garamond, and Berthold Garamond.
  • Typefaces not called Garamond, but still faithful to Garamond include, principally, Linotype's Sabon, designed by Jan Tschichold. Linotype explains: In the early 1960s, the German masterprinters' association requested that a new typeface be designed and produced in identical form on both Linotype and Monotype machines so that text and technical composition would match. Walter Cunz at Stempel responded by commissioning Jan Tschichold to design the most faithful version of Claude Garamond's serene and>Bitstream's Cursive is a return to the form of one of Garamond's late italics, recently identified. Punches and matrices for the romans survive at the Plantin-Moretus Museum. The name refers to Jacques Sabon, who introduced Garamond's romans to Frankfurt, although the typefaces that Sabon himself cut towards the end of the sixteenth century have a faintly awkward style of their own. The other typeface in this category is Granjon.
  • Typefaces based on the work of Jean Jannon, an early seventeenth century French punchcutter whose work was confused with Garamond's early in the twentieth century, a mistake that was not corrected until 1926 by Beatrice Warde: Garamond 3, Monotype Garamond, Simoncini Garamond, and Deberny & Peignot's Garamont.
  • Cousins twice removed include ITC Garamond, a distant relative of Jannon, and Ludlow Garamond, which can almost be considered as an original design by Robert Hunter Middleton---few Garamond genes remain in the latter face. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Gothic or Wulfilan alphabet

Quoting Dr. Robert Pfeffer: The Gothic or Wulfilan alphabet has nothing to do with the medieval gothic script. Rather, it is the script used by the ancient Goths and invented by Visigoth bishop Wulfila in the fourth century A.D. for the purpose of translating the Bible into Gothic. The Gothic fonts offered here [i.e., by Robert Pfeffer] are based on the younger model of the Gothic script (S-style) as it appears in the Codex Argenteus. The difference to the older variants (Sigma-style) lies in the younger model's S being equal to the Latin one, while the S of the older variants resembles the Greek sigma. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Great Type Designers

Page devoted to the great type designers, by Nicholas Fabian. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Gutenberg Bible

The entire Gutenberg Bible on-line at the British Library. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The History of Typography

Long essay on the mechanical history of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Silver Buckle Press Collection

Located at the University of Wisconsin, this site offers some copies of old type specimen books for viewing. There are neither PDF downloads nor high resolution scans, but one can get a feel of the contents. The list (as of early 2012) is below:

[Google] [More]  ⦿

The Typehead Chronicles of Thomas Christensen
[Thomas Christensen]

Information and specimen of all historically important typefaces: Akzidenz Grotesk, Aldus, Antique Olive, Avant Garde, Avenir, Baskerville, Bell, Bembo, Bodoni, Bulmer, Caslon, Centaur, Century Old Style, Cheltenham, Dante, Frutiger, Galliard, Garamond, Gill Sans, Goudy Old Style, Granjon, Helvetica, Janson (Kis), Minion, Mrs. Eaves, Optima, Palatino, Perpetua, Sabon, Syntax, Times New Roman, Today, Trump Medieval, Univers, Walbaum. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Typocrafters

The Typocrafters came into being in 1937 as "a society of midwestern typographic designers". Annual meetings have taken place ever since, interrupted only briefly by World War II. In more recent times, the organization has become "a group of men and women devoted to the preservation of taste, dignity, appropriateness and effectiveness in typography and graphic design. ... There is no formal structure to this group; there are no requirements for membership other than interest and attendance. Some attendees produce a keepsake for exchange, others do not" (Paul Duensing, The Typocrafters, 1981). The documents relating to this society reside at Harvard University. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Typographic Archives

Also called Graphion's Online Type Museum, or earlier, Graphion, a site by Michael sanbon that disappeared in 1999. Subsections:

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Theodor de Bry

Theodor de Bry (1528-1598, Johann's father) had been a goldsmith in Liège (in present day Belgium). As a Protestant, he was forced to leave that catholic city in 1570. After living in Strasbourg for several years, he moved to Frankfurt in 1588, where he established himself as a bookseller and publisher. Many of his volumes were illustrated with engravings by his own hand. He was aided in this by his sons Johann Theodor (1561-1623) and Johann Israël (ca. 1570-1611). The de Bry firm issued almost two hundred books, including a renowned series of illustrated accounts of the Americas, emblem-books, and the mystical&alchemical works of Robert Fludd and Michael Maier. He designed the intricate set of caps New Kunstliches Alphabet (1595). In 1596 in frankfurt, they published Human Alphabet. De Bry together with his sons created many non-Latin alphabets as well. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Theodore Low De Vinne

American printer (b. Stamford, CT, 1828, d. New York, 1914). In 1848, he entered the shop of Francis Hart in New York City, where he became owner after Hart's death in 1877. It continued as Theo. L. De Vinne&Company until 1908, when it was incorporated as the De Vinne Press. De Vinne was the best-known American printer of his day. He was neither a type designer nor a type cutter. His books include

Biography by Nicholas Fabian. Bio at Britannica. Bio at Infoplease.

His type styles were revived in 2010 by Jeff Levine as Publication JNL.

Typophile Chapbook: Theodore Low De Vinne; was published by Carl Purington Rollins.

View digital typefaces based on De Vinne's work. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Thomas Christensen
[The Typehead Chronicles of Thomas Christensen]

[More]  ⦿

Thomas MacKellar

Hymn writer and typefounder (b. New York City, 1812, d. Philadelphia, 1889). At age 14, MacKellar entered the printing company of Harper Brothers. In 1833, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and joined the type foundry of Johnson&Smiths as a proofreader. He subsequently became a foreman, then a partner, in the firm, which from 1860 was known as MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Thomas Wolff
[Typeface Primer]

[More]  ⦿

Times New Roman
[Eamon Dyas]

An article by Eamon Dyas entitled The changing typeface of The Times - Times New Roman. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Tipografia 1900-1936

PDF by Unos Tipos Duros that contains a history of Spanish typography between 1900 and 1936. In Spanish. By José Ramón Penela and Dimas García Moreno. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Spanish language type blog and type jump and news site. It has excerpts of many type articles, and subpages on type history, type design type designers and type foundries. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Tolbert Lanston

American type man (b. Ohio, 1844, d. Washington, 1913) who founded Monotype Corporation Ltd in 1897. Monotype history. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Tomoko Ishikawa

Type designer at Type Project. Born in 1993 in Tokyo, Ishikawa graduated with a degree in visual communication design from Musashino Art University in 2016. Her graduation project concerned the effect of Japanese horizontal writing on handwritten letterforms and typefaces. Since joining Type Project, she has been involved in the development of the Japanese versions of the AXIS Round 100 and TP Sky typefaces.

Speaker at ATypI 2019 in Tokyo on the topic of Japanese Fat Faces from the Edo Period to Today. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Toni Pecoraro

Toni Pecoraro was born in Favara (Agrigento) Italy in april 1958. In 1977 he graduated from the Agrigento Institute of Art. From 1977 to 1981 he studied decoration at Florence Fine Arts Academy. From 1985 to 1990 he taught Engraving Techniques at Macerata Fine Arts Academy. At present he is teaching Engraving Techniques at Bologna Fine Arts Academy, and lives in Montefiore Conca. On his web site, he placed a reedited version of Giovanni Antonio Tagliente's 1530 book published in Venice. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Torbjørn Eng
[Torbjørn Engs typografisider]

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Torbjørn Engs typografisider
[Torbjørn Eng]

Pages on Norwegian typography maintained by Torbjørn Eng. He designed Frisianus (1994-1995), a gorgeous script font based on lettering of Gerhard Munthe (1904), which has some Lombardic influences in the capitals, and a totally blackletter set of minuscules. There is also an absolutely gorgeous fat display typeface called Norges Alphabet (1990), which may or may not be available to the general public. It is supposed to represent all that is good about Norwegian values; quality, minimalism, contrast, originality. Eng discusses fonts that are appropriate for Norwegian [article from 1993]. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Trajan Alphabet
[Wolfgang Beinert]

Wolfgang Beinert's piece in German on the Trajan all-caps alphabet (without H, J, K, U, W, Y, Z) created by Syrian engineer Apollodoros from Damaskus for the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53-117). The Trajan Column near the Basilica Ulpia in Rome dates from 113. People inspired by the elegant lettering include Fernando Ruano, Vespasiano Amphiarea, Wolfgang Fugger, Geoffroy Tory, Albrecht Dürer, Francesco Torniello, Luca Pacioli, Damiano da Moile, Leonardo da Vinci, Felice Feliciano, Claude Garamond, Jan Tschichold (see his book Meisterbuch der Schrift, Otto Maier Verlag, Ravensburg 1952), Günter Gerhard Lange (see his book Die römische Kapitalschrift, Jahresgabe der Typographischen Gesellschaft München, München 1983), and Carol Twombly (who made a digital font called Trajan at Adobe in 1989). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Truchet and Types
[Jacques André]

A great article by Jacques André and Denis Girou on the lettering of father Sébastien Truchet, 1657-1729. Their thesis: the Romain du Roi font (ca. 1702) is the first digital font, as it has the notion of outlines by arcs of circles, grids as in bitmaps and dpi measurements, and even notions of italic transformations and hinting. PDF file of "Father Truchet, the typographic point, the Romain du roi, and tilings", TUGBoat, vol. 20, pp. 8-14, 1999. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Americana 2

American type history conference in Seattle, May 4, 2012, followed by workshops on May 5-6. Speakers included Paul Shaw (Oswald Cooper: Attacked by an itch to work with type), Cathleen Baker (Roycrofters to Renaissance: The progression of Dard Hunter's letterforms from arts and crafts to classical), Paul F. Gehl (Ludlow's Mutt and Jeff: Douglas McMurtrie and R. Hunter Middleton), Nancy Sharon Collins (Engraving: The curiously shy stepchild in American type genealogy), Thomas Phinney, Steve Matteson, and Richard Kegler (A second life for vintage American typefaces), and Frank Brannon (Print Your Own Language: The role of letterpress in Cherokee language revitalizationC). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type and calligraphy 1450-1830

Bibliography on type and calligraphy from 1450 until 1830, compiled at l' Institut de l' Histoire du Livre for a course taught there by James Mosley. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Casting by Hand and by Machine

Brief history of type casting. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Designer and Punchcutter
[Hans Reichardt]

A PDF filewith the names of nearly all past and present type designers and punchcutters, compiled by Hans Reichardt in 2002 and regularly updated. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Designs by Nicholas Fabian
[Nicholas Fabian]

The informative home page of Nicholas Fabian, who died in April 2006. Check out his gorgeous fonts, like Fabius Art Deco and Fabius Durer. Also nice discussions of typographical issues such as TrueType versus PostScript. And pages on the history of type. He also sold Ugarit fonts. Early masters of type design. Alternate URL. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Type foundry
[James Mosley]

Personal blog of James Mosley, type historian. This is one of the deepest and most useful type sites in the world. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Goemo
[Goetz Morgenschweis]

German language type site. Has a glossatry, type classification information, type measurement information, type history, type design information, the works. Link died. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Heritage Project

The mission of the Type Heritage Project is to discover and record the sources of digital fonts with 19th- to mid-20th-century origins-their legitimate tradename(s), the year, country and designer or foundry of origin. Volume One of a book series on this subject (in preparation) deals with 19th-century display typefaces. Research of this era, obstructed by nearly two centuries of renaming for good and not-so-good reasons, began c1996 by matching a Type-1 font called Parsnip with historical specimens called Art Gothic. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type history 20th century

Great historical page by François Porchez. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type history before 20th century

Great historical page by François Porchez on type before the twentieth century. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Hype
[Lothar Südkamp]

Lothar Südkamp's page on type (in German). There are about 80 brief bios of type designers, as well as a German type lexicon, and some notes on the history of type. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type specimen at Flickr

Flickr type specimen group. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Timeline

Type timeline, in Russian. Extensive pages. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type timeline by Ben Archer
[Ben Archer]

[More]  ⦿

Typeface Primer
[Thomas Wolff]

Intro to type history and classification. By Thomas Wolff. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Typefaces available from US foundries

List of all (metal) typefaces available for sale from these six US typefounders:

  • M & H Type (Mackenzie & Harris), 1802 Hays Street, San Francisco, CA 94129

  • Swamp Press, 15 Warwick Road, Northfield, MA 01360

  • Barco Type (F & S Type Founders Inc.), 237 S. Evergreen, Bensenville, IL 60106

  • Quaker City Type Foundry, 2019 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook, PA 19344

  • Michael and Winifred Bixler, Box 820, Skaneateles, NY 13153

  • Harold Berliner, Printer, P.O. Box 6, Nevada City, CA 95959
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Typefaces for newspapers

Essay by Jean-François Porchez on the history of newspaper type choices. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Lots of interviews and radio clips, nicely organized by person, font, location, and event. This will be a vlauable historic record of the state of the art of type design. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Informative visual pages about type form and history. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Typo Knowledge Base (tkb)
[Kai F. Oetzbach]

A type portal managed by teachers and students at the Fachhochschule Aachen, Germany, in German. The page contains the basic rules of legibility and good typography. There is a historic timeline, a list of famous type designers, a list of famous typefaces, a timeline of the great typefaces, anatomy of a letter (glossary), lecture notes, and font downloads of fonts that were developed in the courses of K.F. Oetzbach. The latter include Fegron (Marcel Feiter) and Unperfekt, Semiperfekt and Sansperfekt (Niels Vollrath). Finally, there are many useful book reviews. The site was started by K. F. Oetzbach, André Berkmüler, Natascha Dell and Simon (Burschi) Becker. There are about 25 people participating in the growth of this type portal. K.F. Oetzbach is the codesigner in 2005-2006 with Natascha Dell at Fontfarm of several fonts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Terrence Chouinard]

Terrence Chouinard's pages: Typocurious is an archive of print-based typographic material culled from the teaching files once owned by Alexander S. Lawson and Archie Provan, his colleague at the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Printing. Its biweekly posts will be direct transcriptions of previously published material, supplemented with accompanying images when possible, introduced with a few brief sentences when necessary, and conclude with a link to a pdf for our readers' downloading pleasure. Requests for material on certain topics are welcome. As this material is culled from the teaching files of Professors Alexander Lawson and Archie Provan, there is an abundance of type specimens, promotional material, and fistfuls of information on Goudy&Dwiggins. Otherwise, selection of the material will be based solely on the interests&current research of the moderator. Great biographies of type designers.

In 2012, Typocurious was pronounced dead by its founder: The future of typocurious.com is uncertain. It may be dumped upon the internet scrap heap completely or its content may be folded into the upcoming reiteration of ithacatype.com. All its pre-gobblety-gook content is safe on the laptop, but I haven't the time, patience or love to care for typocurious anymore. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Helmar Fischer]

General type site (in German) run by Helmar Fischer from Dresden. Type history. Pages about educational fonts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Typographia Historia

History of type. Specially detailed pages on historical type in Toulouse and Venice, and by Balzac and Gutenberg. Musea. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Typographic design in France, 1945-2000

Gérard Blanchard (1927-1998) writes one of his last articles on type: Les états de la création typo-graphique contemporaine en France de la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale à l'an 2000. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Typographie et Civilisation

Typography site maintained by Jean-Christophe Loubet Del Bayle. Has sub-pages on Bertham, Bookman, Chelthenham, Clarendon, Copperplate Gothic, Garamond, Garamond ITC, Garamond No3, Goudy Mediaeval, Goudy Old Style, Goudy Sans, Granjon, Optima, Sabon, Stempel, Collection Claude Garamond, Collection Frederic Goudy. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Typographie grecque

Dead link. Jacques André writes about the history and practice of Greek typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Leo Dumea]

A typographic map with information on type history, organized by Leo Dumeo as a web application. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ulick J. Bourke

According to Michael Everson, either Bourke or James Marr made the roman Gaelic font Bourke (or: Romano-Keltic), ca. 1877. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ulrich Gering

He is generally thought to have made the first typeface in France in the 1470s. Quoting the wiki page with more biographical details of this French printer: Ulrich Gering (active as a printer in Paris from c. 1470 to 1508; died 23 August 1510) came from Beromünster in the diocese of Constance. He was one of three partners to establish the first printing press in France. Invited to Paris in 1469 by the Rector of the Sorbonne, Johann Heynlin, and his colleague Guillaume Fichet, Gering together with Michael Friburger and Martin Crantz set up a printing press within the Sorbonne to produce texts selected and edited by his patrons. The press produced 22 works between 1470 and 1472. By the end of 1472 this subsidised venture came to a close and the three printers left the Sorbonne to set up on their own at the sign of the Soleil d'Or on the rue Saint Jacques in Paris. The partnership came to an end in 1477, after which Gering continued to print on his own, moving in 1483 to the rue de Sorbonne at the same sign. Between 1484 and 1494 books printed at the Soleil d'Or carry the names of Jean Higman (1484-1489) and George Wolf (1490-1492). Gering is found there again in partnership with Berthold Rembolt from 1494 to 1508, after which Rembolt worked alone.

At ENSAD in Paris in 2007, Émilie Rigaud started work under the guidance of Alejandro Lo Celso and Philippe Millot on a revival of the first type printed in France, at the Sorbonne, by Ulrich Gering. This work is based on a 1478 edition of Virgilius. Another project at ENSAD, this time headed by André Baldinger and Philippe Millot, in 2009-2010, led to complete revivals of Gering's blackletter and roman typefaces. The graduate students involved in the latter project are Timm Borg, Anthony Dathy, Perrine Saint Martin and Ok Kyung Yoon. They have thoroughly reworked the letterforms found in the extant incunabula available in the Bibliothèque Nationale, complementing the original characters with italics, small caps, and supplementary weights, as well as all of the glyphs necessary in a 21st century font.

This Portuguese language site has examples of some types used by Gering. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ulrich Zell

German printer, based in Köln, active from ca. 1463 until 1502. He studied under Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer prior to 1462. In 2018, Shane Brandes named a rough blackletter typeface after him, Zell. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Une petite histoire de la calligraphie

On the history of calligraphy: great French pages. Learn about the differences between Rotunda, Uncial, Textura, Roman, Gothic and Humanist. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Union Pearl

The oldest of the English decorated typefaces. Around 1700, it belonged to the Grover Foundry. It then bacame part of Fry's, then the Fann Street Foundry, and finally Stephenson Blake. Known for its swash capitals and pearl decorations. A sample can be found in Jaspert, Berry and Johnson. [Google] [More]  ⦿

University of Amsterdam: Special Collections
[Mathieu Lommen]

The library of the University of Amsterdam has many on-line and hard copy collections. Among these, the following stand out:

  • Archief Jan van Krimpen.
  • Collectie Bram de Does. Bram de Does designed Trinité (1982) and Lexicon (1992). His original drawings of Lexicon, for example, have been scanned in and can be viewed (but not downloaded). For a digital descendant of Lexicon, see Lucas Sharp's Eros.
  • Collectie Gerrit Noordzij.
  • Collectie S.L. Hartz. Sem Hartz worked for Johan Enschedé en Zonen in Haarlem. This collection includes archive material on the typeface Juliana (1958).
  • Collectie Tetterode. This collection dating from 1971 is quite extensive (17,000 items), including a lot of material on S.H. de Roos. It covers Tetterode's type work from 1851 onwards.

Mathieu Lommen is an author and book historian who works as a curator at the Special Collections department of the Amsterdam University Library. Mathieu regularly publishes on 19th and 20th century book typography and type design. He is also editor of the scholarly magazine Quaerendo. His books include Dutch Alphabets (2016, De Buitenkant, Amsterdam), Letterproeven van Nederlandse gieterijen / Dutch typefounders specimens (1998, Amsterdam), Bram de Does: Letterontwerper and Typograaf (2003, De Buitenkant), and Nederlandse Belettering Negentiende-Eeuwse Modelboeken (De Buitenkant, Uitgelezen Boeken, Jaargang 17, Nummer 3, 2015).

Mathieu Lommen's talk at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam was entitled Highlights of Amsterdam type design. [Google] [More]  ⦿

University Roman

University Roman is usually attributed to Michael Daines and Philip Kelly at Letraset who designed it from 1972 until 1983. However, the origins go back much further. There are two sources that are contradictory, so I will cite both:

  • FontShop gives it to George Hunt in 1937.
  • Bitstream writes: A fanciful burlesque of an old typeface revival designed by Ross F. George after the principles of his mentor, William Hugh Gordon. It appears in Speedball lettering catalogues of the late thirties as Stunt Roman. This typeface is the culmination of Gordon's style, stated in Cincinnati in 1918 as "Use full round ovals, condense the vertical elements", and a slightly broken alignment adds to the unique appearance of the entire production. Revived in the late sixties by Paul Bailey at Lettergraphics as Forum Flair, a film font for headlines, the design was widely copied, with Letraset achieving the greatest popularity with their slightly more disciplined version, University Roman.

Implementations include University Roman (Letraset), University Roman (Tilde), University Roman (Monotype Imaging), University Roman (ITC), University Roman (Bitstream), University (Adobe), Hacky Sack NF (Nick Curtis), Finura (Dino dos Santos), and Speedball (Intellecta).

View the most representative digital versions of University Roman. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[José Ramón Penela]

Very didactic and insightful Spanish language web site devoted to typography and its history. Pages by freelance graphic designer José Ramón Penela from Madrid. Check Penela's comparison of truetype and postscript. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Urban Politics of Type

This page has many typographic examples of historic importance. [Google] [More]  ⦿


URW stands for Unternehmensberatung Rubow Weber. The URW foundry from Hamburg, which existed from 1972 until 1995, when it went bankrupt and its legal successor was URW++ Design&Development, also in Hamburg. That company was started by Svend Bang, Hans-Jochen Lau, Peter Rosenfeld and Jürgen Willrodt in 1995. URW was named after two of its founders, Gerhard Rubow and Rudolf Weber. The third founder was Peter Karow, who had developed Ikarus, an in-house font editor, and possibly the first one for digital fonts. Many people initially outsourced digital font work to them, and many fonts were allowed to be released by URW as well. This led to a large collection. The bestselling typefaces at MyFonts. Adobe link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Valter Falk

Swedish art historian who wrote several books in swedish on type design. His masterpiece was written in 1975: Bokstavformer och typsnitt genom tiderna (Letter designs and typefaces through the ages). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Verzeichnis bekannter Schriftgießereien

Bernhard Schnelle's list of historical foundries. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Vespasiano di Bisticci

[More]  ⦿

Victor Oliva

Catalan author of Introducción al estudio del arte del alfabeto en Cataluña (Verdaguer, 1913), a book about the history of the alphabet. Pic of the Epistolae Sancti Augustini alphabet. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Vincent Figgins

Influential typefounder, born in England, 1766-1844 (Peckham). He published several books of type specimens, and designed Gresham (1792), Old English (1815), Figgins Shaded (1816), Figgins Tuscan (1817, digitized by HiH (2005)), Egiziano Black (1815) and Egyptian (1817). His slab serifs such as Egiziano served as a model for Ale Navarro's LC Merken (2019).

Giza (Font Bureau, 1994) is a revival by David Berlow of the latter face.

Among the Gaelic typefaces he designed, we mention the later transitional angular typeface called Early Figgins by Michael Everson (ca. 1815), and the Gaelic modern angular typeface Everson calls Later Figgins. The latter typeface resurfaces ca. 1913 as Intertype and Intertype Bold (designer unknown), with versions at ATF (ca. 1916) and Linotype (ca. 1916), and as Monotype Series 24a (ca. 1906, which according to Everson was recast in 1913 by Michael O'Rahilly, and digitized in 1993 as Duibhlinn).

Finally, Figgins's work from 1815 and 1817 inspired Matthew Carter's Elephant (1992), also called Big Figgins and Big Figgins Open (1998).

Another digitization is Figgins Antique by Tom Wallace.

Scans: Sample of the Figgins type from Hardiman's "Irish Minstrelsy", Two-Line Pearl Outline (1833).

Epitome of Specimens by V.&J. Figgins was published in London in 1866. Vincent Figgins Type Specimens 1801 and 1815. Reproduced in facsimile. Edited with an introduction and notes by Bernard Wolpe was published in 1967 in London by the Printing Historical Society.

Digital typefaces that can be traced back to Figgins. View typefaces derived from Figgins. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Walter Dorwin Teague

W.D. Teague was a designer of some beautiful border ornaments at ATF in the early part of the 20th century. Later he became an industrial designer, famous for art deco designs of radios and gas stations. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Walter Gropius
[Bauhaus School]

[More]  ⦿

Walter H. Cunz

Director of Stempel, which he joined in 1898, and the Trajanus Press. He shaped the growth of the Stempel and Linotype library after the war and during the advent of photocomposition. Son of Wilhelm Cunz (1869-1951) who was one of the original shareholders in D. Stempel AG, and brother-in-law of its founder, David Stempel (1869-1927). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Wilhelm Haas the Elder

Wilhelm Haas the Elder (d. 1800) inherited and led the Haas type foundry in Basel at the end of the 18th century. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Wilhelm Haas the Younger

Wilhelm Haas the younger (1766-1838) led the Haas type foundry in Basel around 1800. Son of Wilhelm Haas the elder (1741-1800), who led the Haas type foundry before him. Before that, his grandfather Johann Wilhelm Haas took over a foundry in 1737 from Johann Rudolf Genath II. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Willem Silvius

Publishers of the earliest known type specimen book in the low countries: The Leyden "Afdrucksel" (1582). A facsimile with an introduction and notes by Paul Valkema Blouw was published at Terlugt Press, Leyden, 1983. See here. Willem Silvius was a printer in Antwerp around the midde of the sixteenth century. [Google] [More]  ⦿

William Bulmer

English publisher and printer active c1786-c1817, b. Newcastle upon Tyne, 1757, d. 1830. He first worked for the printer-publisher John Bell. He came to prominence as a result of being chosen by George Nicol, bookseller to King George III, to produce a major new edition of Shakespeare. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Caslon

William Caslon I was born in Worcestershire in 1692. He died in London in 1766. He was a gun smith and a typefounder. His William Caslon Foundry was established by him in 1719, and would operate in London for over 200 years. His Caslon Roman Old Face was cut between 1716 and 1728. The first fonts cut by Caslon were for Arabic (1725), Hebrew (1726) and Coptic (1731), but the designs date back to 1722. The first catalog was printed in 1734. His major influences were the Dutch designers Christoffel van Dijck and Dirck Voskens. Updike: While he modelled his letters on Dutch types, they were much better; for he introduced into his fonts a quality of interest, a variety of design, and a delicacy of modelling, which few Dutch types possessed. Dutch fonts were monotonous, but Caslon's fonts were not so. His letters when analyzed, especially in the smaller sizes, are not perfect individually; but in their mass their effect is agreeable. That is, I think, their secret: a perfection of the whole, derived from harmonious but not necessarily perfect individual letterforms.

Caslon's fame stems largely from his specimen of 1734, showing types that were considered to be superior to the Dutch types that inspired them. The English reliance on Dutch types had finally come to an end. His types were just as highly regarded in America, where the Declaration of Independence was set in Caslon. His son, William Caslon II, took over the business upon his death in 1766.

There are four generations of William Caslons, numbered I (1692-1766), II (1720-1778), III (1754-1833) and IV (1780-1869), who took turns running the foundry. The foundry, eventually known as H.W. Caslon&Co., passed down through various members of the family until 1937, when the rights were transferred to Stephenson Blake.

Check out the free scanned version of A Specimen of Printing Types (1785, Galabin and Baker, London) by William Caslon III. A specimen of cast ornaments (1795) is by William Caslon III and Charles Whittingham (1767-1840). Recasting Caslon Old Face discusses Specimens of the original Caslon Old Face printing types, engraved in the early part of the 18th century by Caslon I (1896).

A listing of some digital version/revivals of Caslon's types:

  • Ralph Unger made Caslon Gotisch (2010) based on an example found in a 1763 specimen book.
  • Caslon Graphique EF (2001) was patterned after a 1725 Caslon face.
  • DS Caslon-Gotisch by Delbanco is based on a Caslon Gotisch by william Caslon, ca. 1760.
  • Caslon Graphique (2002) is a Linotype version of the same face, and was drawn by Leslie Usherwood.
  • Caslon 540 (Bitstream) is based on an ATF font from 1902. It comes in roman and italic.
  • LTC Caslon (2005, Lanston) is a large text family.
  • Caslon Old Face: a Bitstream font based on a 1950s photocomposition font from Mergenthaler by George Ostrochulski, which in turn was faithful to Caslon's originals.
  • Caslon Bold is the Bitstream version of Caslon 3 of the American Type Founders, 1905.
  • Caslon 3 by Linotype is a family based on the same Caslon 3 by ATF, 1905.
  • Linotype offers 69 versions/weights of Caslon's text family.
  • Adobe Caslon was digitized by Carol Twombly for Adobe in 1990. Called ACaslon, it comes in six styles. The Adobe Caslon from Linotype is more complete, and comes in 29 styles.
  • Big Caslon (1994, Matthew Carter, Font Bureau and Carter&Cone) comes in four styles. This is for the large display sizes only.
  • Fonts also available at URW and Elsner and Flake (see Caslon Graphique (1725)).
  • ITC Founder's Caslon Ornaments (1998): an ornamental family in 11 styles by Justin Howes.
  • ITC Caslon No. 224 (ITC and Bitstream) by Ed Benguiat, in 8 styles.
  • Caslon Antique by Berne Nadall was first published by Barnhart Bros&Spindler from 1896-1898, and later appeared in the ATF catalogs.
  • Caslon Open Face first appeared in 1915 at the Barnhart Bros.&Spindler foundry, and is not anything like the true Caslon types despite the name. It is intended exclusively for titles, headlines and initials. There are digital versions by Bitstream and Linotype.
  • Franko Luin's Caslon Classico (1993) is true to the original. Caslon Classico consists of two cuts with corresponding italic and small caps characters.

Klingspor link. FontShop link. http://www.linotype.com/348/williamcaslon.html">Linotype link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Caslon II

Son of William Caslon I. He managed the Caslon family business from his father's death in 1766 until his own death in 1778. The business was then divided between his widow and their two sons, William Caslon III and Henry Caslon I. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Caslon III

British typefounder in London, 1754-1833. Son of William Caslon II, grandson of William Caslon I. He co-owned the Chiswell Street family firm from the death of his father in 1778 until 1792, when he sold his share in the foundry to his mother and his sister-in-law, the widow of his brother Henry. In the same year he purchased the Salisbury Square foundry of Joseph Jackson (apprentice to his grandfather and rival to his father), who had recently died, and called the foundry Caslon&Son. In 1807, this business was passed on to his son William Caslon IV who in turn sold up in 1819 to Blake, Garnett&Co. (later Stephenson Blake). Author of A specimen of printing types (1785, Galabin and Baker, London) and A specimen of cast ornaments (1795, C. Whittingham, London).

Images from A specimen of printing types (1785): a crown, Double Pica Greek, English Arabic, English Italic, Five Line Pica Ships, Long Primer Roman No 1, Pica Black No. 2, Pica Coptic, Pica Ethiopic, Two Line Double Pica, Two Line Great Primer, Two Line Long Primer. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Caslon IV

Son of William Caslon III, great-grandson of William Caslon I. He took over management of the Salisbury Square foundry (ex-Joseph Jackson) from his father in 1807, and called it William Caslon. He is credited with the first sans typeface, an upper-case only typeface called Egyptian, in 1816. In 1819 he sold the business to the new Sheffield foundry of Blake, Garnett&Co (later Stephenson Blake), which had started in 1818. He died in 1869. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Caxton

William Caxton, the first English printer, was born in the Weald of Kent, in 1420, 1421 or 1422. In 1438, he became apprenticed to Robert Large, a leading textile merchant who became the mayor of London the following year. After Large's death in 1441, Caxton moved to Bruges, and built a successful textile business. By 1463 he became acting governor of the Merchant Adventurers in the Low Countries. Caxton was hired as an advisor to Charles the Bold's new duchess, the former Princess Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV. It was at the request of the duchess Margaret that he resumed his abandoned translation of a popular French romance, The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye from the French of Raoul le Fèvre. After spending a year in Cologne learning the art of printing, Caxton returned to Bruges and set up a printing press, where he published his translation of The Recuyell, the first printed book in the English language, around 1474. His next publication, The Game and Play of Chess Moralised (1476), was a translation of the first major European work on chess, and was the first printed book in English to make extensive use of woodcuts.

In 1476, he returned to England and set up a printing shop at Westminster at the sign of the Red Pale. Here, Caxton published such major works as Troilus and Creseide, Morte d'Arthur, The History of Reynart the Foxe, and The Canterbury Tales. Over the course of 14 years, he printed more than 70 books.

The typefaces used by Caxton were all varieties of blackletter or gothic type. His earlier works were set in an early form of French lettre bâtarde. By 1490, he had acquired a more round and open typeface, a textura originally used by the Parisian printer Antoine Verard and later favored by Caxton's successor, Wynkyn de Worde.

He died in 1491 in Westminster. Many fonts were named after Caxton, such as the Lombardic-styled Caxton Initials (1905, Frederic Goudy, ATF, revived by Alter Littera in 2012), and the ITC Caxton Roman family.

His life's story can be found in Typophiles Chapbook: William Caxton and His Quincentenary (John Dreyfus). See also the Typographic Archives (1999). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Howard

Designer of Basle Roman (or Howard's, Chiswick Press, London), a typeface first used in 1854. It is a Vewnetian typeface based on the romans used in Basle and Germany in the early 1500s. The matrices are now at the St. Bride Printing Library. Samples are in Jaspert's book. [Google] [More]  ⦿

William Hugh Gordon

Together with Ross F. George, William Hugh Gordon invented the Speedball pens in 1914, the first of which was patented in 1916. Born in Canada in the 1860s of Scottish parents, he emigrated to the United States in the 1870s and lived in Colorado Springs, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. He died in 1920.

To promote the pens, Gordon and George published an instructional book, Presenting the Speedball Pen with alphabets, drawings and designs produced with this wizard of lettercraft (1915).

Author of Lettering for Commercial Purposes, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1918 [Open Library link; local download]. He liked full round ovals, condensed vertical elements and a slightly broken alignment. He was one of the main American designers of commercial lettering during the early part of the 20th century. His students included Ross F. George. PDF of that book.

Digital typefaces based on his alphabets include Penina (2021, Mario Feliciano: a multi-contrast single weight delicate serif), Pen Elegant JNL (2018, by Jeff Levine; after an alphabet from a 1918 lettering instruction book by Gordon), Cowling Sans AOE (2017, Astigmatic), Gordoni (2016, James Greenwood), WHG Simpatico NF (2002, Nick Curtis), and Minstrel Poster NF (2002, Nick Curtis).

Additional link, where we find his Black Face Poster alphabet from 1918. Biographical research by Alex Jay. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Miller

Scottish typefounder. He first worked at Alexander Wilson's foundry in Glasgow. Later he started his own foundry in Edinburgh in 1809. In 1838, his son-in-law Walter Richard joined him. The foundry then became Miller&Richard. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

William Neilson

Dublin-based creator of the roman Gaelic typeface Neilson (1808-1845). [Google] [More]  ⦿

William Stansby

Born in Exeter in 1572, he became a master printer and owner of his own shop in London, and died some time after 1638. For the typographer, the main interest in Stansby will be his collection of printers' ornaments used between 1615-1617, that is being catalogued at the University of Virginia. [Google] [More]  ⦿


A London printer in the sixteenth century. Their English No. 2 (1582) passed to the John James foundry, bought by Fry and then passed to Sir Charles Reed foundry. It was acquired from Reed by Stephenson Blake in 1904. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Wolfgang Beinert
[Trajan Alphabet]

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Wolfgang Fugger

Nurenberg-based typographer, who created this roman renaissance lower case alphabet in 1553. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Wolfgang Hopyl

Hopyl (Hoppyl) was a printer in Paris (1489-1523). He made Textura typefaces (some are now called Hopyl Textura) and his work served as inspiration for many. For example, the Bauersche Giesserei published the Manuskript-Gotisch typeface (Hopyl, 1514) in 1899 (see also Stempel's version), which was digitally revived by Gerhard Helzel and Petra Heidorn (2004). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Wood type in America

At the University of Texas, we find a wonderful site that explains the roots, the rise and the decline of American wood type, and provides a timeline. There are four periods:

  • The start, the 19th century. At its peak, around 1880, there were only six manufacturers. The big names of that glorious wood type century were Darius Wells, William Leavenworth, Edwin Allen, John Cooley, Horatio&Jeremiah Bill, William Page, David Knox, William&Samuel Day, Charles Tubbs, Heber Wells, William Morgans and James Hamilton.
  • The spread. While most production used to be in New York and Connecticut, James Hamilton from Two Rivers, WI, got on stage by acquiring major competitors. The center of wood manufacturing moved west. Minor players remained in NYC until the 1920s, such as the Empire Wood Type Co., American Wood Type Co. and Eastern Brass&Wood Type. Others, such as Tubbs Mfg Co from Connecticut moved west (to Ludington, MI), after the death of Charles Tubbs.
  • The consolidation. Between 1880 and 1920, Hamilton, which produced wood type at half the cost with its router pantograph, gained in importance. It bought William H. Page Wood Type Co. in 1891, Morgans&Wilcox Mfg Co. in 1898, Heber Wells in 1899, and Tubbs Mfg Co., the last major competitor from the nineteenth century, in 1918.
  • The decline, after 1920. The last stragglers: Empire Type Foundry (Delevan, NY) ceased production in 1970; Hamilton Mfg Co. quit in 1985; Rube Mandel's American Wood Type Mfg. Co. (NYC and later Long Island), which was founded in 1932, lasted until 2001.
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Wynkyn de Worde

Born in Alsace, he died in 1535. He was the first printer in England to use italic type in 1524. Originally Jan van Wynkyn, he was a printer and publisher who worked with William Caxton in Westminster. In 1491 following Caxton's death, de Worde took over his printing work. From then until his death he published approximately 750 books. Wiki. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Yun-ui Choe

Goryeo Dynasty minister Choe Yun-ui of Korea is credited with publishing the first book printed with metal movable type in 1234. That book, Sangjeong yemun, described the manners of the Korean court from ancient times through the 1234. He lived from 1102 until 1162. [Google] [More]  ⦿