TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Mar 4 15:31:55 EST 2021






Jeff Levine's typefaces.

[Title image shows a glyph of one of his free fonts.]


Alf R. Becker

Alf Becker (b. St. Louis, IL, d. 1959, St. Petersburg, FL) was a sign artist in the 1930's and 40's. Beginning in January 1932, at the request of editor E. Thomas Kelly, Becker supplied the Signs of the Times (The National Journal of Display Advertising) magazine's new Art and Design section with an alphabet a month, a project initially predicted to last only two years. Misjudging the popularity of the series, it instead ran for 27 years, ending finally two months before Becker's death in 1959, for a total of 320 alphabets. In late 1941, just ten years after the first alphabet was published, 100 of those alphabets were compiled and published in book form under the title 100 Alphabets, by Alf R. Becker.

The American Sign Museum shows the following death notice, taken from the April 1959 issue of Signs of the Times: A chapter of almost 27 years of extensive influence upon the development of sign and outdoor advertising lettering came to a close March 10 in the passing of Alf R. Becker, whose alphabets had been presented consistently in Signs of the Times since January, 1932. Death came in St. Petersburg,. FL, where he had been hospitalized since last November. The funeral services were in St. Louis, March 16. Mr. Becker had operated a commercial sign business in East St. Louis, IL., and was widely known for his lettering ability when requested 27 years ago by the late E. Thomas Kelley, then editor of Signs of the Times, to do a series of alphabets for the magazine. They had estimated that 24 alphabets which would be presented in a period of two years would serve the purpose. The series was so enthusiastically received and so many readers urged continuation that it was projected indefinitely to eventually each a total of 320 before failing health of Mr. Becker forced him to give up that creative work. His last alphabet for ST appeared in the January issue this year. Countless are the signmen and women who broadened the horizons of their lettering ability by thorough study of Mr. Becker's alphabet. In 1941, his book, "100 Alphabets" was published by Signs of the Times, and all 3,000 copies that were printed were sold out long ago. Numerous requests have been received for a reprinting, but in view of the changes of time in lettering styles, it has not been considered advisable. Mr. Becker's failing health in 1957 influenced him and Mrs. Becker moving to St. Petersburg, where they bought a home, and where he went into semi-retirement. His love of the sign business was such that he continued his alphabets in spite of the problems of his illness.

Many of his typefaces have art deco influences. LHF Monogram at Letterhead is a digital version of one of his fonts. Other digitizations include Whomp (2006) and Buffet Script (2006) by Alejandro Paul (Sudtipos) and Daffadowndilly (2007) and Stony Island NF (after Becker's art deco typeface Chicago Modern), Quaint Notions (2003), and Shaq Attack NF (2011, a wood plank font) by Nick Curtis.

The Fontry (James Stirling and/or Adkins) is undertaking a grand digitization project, and releases free and pay fonts with names that start with ARB, followed by the font number, the font name, and the month and year of issue. In The Fontry's ARB series, we find ARB-187 Moderne Caps AUG-47 (2013, didone), ARB-85 Poster Script (2011, after a 1939 typeface by Becker), ARB 70 Modern Poster, ARB 93 Steel Moderne, ARB 44 Chicago Modern, ARB 66 Neon (2010, after a 1937 font, +Block, +Line), ARB 85 Modern Poster JAN-39 (2011, after Modern Poster Script, 1939), and ARB 67 Modern Roman, and ARB08ExtremeRomanAUG-32CASNormal (2009; the original is from 1932).

Jeff Levine created a number of typefaces based on Becker's work as well: Show Card Casual JNL (2018: based on a single stroke brush alphabet by Alf Becker), Casual Signage JNL (2018), Modern English JNL (2018), Kanona JNL (2010), Karaoke JNL (2010), Mocombo JNL (2010). John Davis created LHF Pipeline (2012) based on Becker's designs. Kaitlin Sims designed LHF Becker No. 45 (2015).

FontShop link.

Catalog of some of his digitized typefaces. View the digital typefaces that are based on Becker's work. Showcase of Alf R. Becker's fonts. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿


In 1944, American Type Founders (ATF) introduced Alpha-Blox. Quoting Jennifer Farrell, this is an impressive system of both solid and linear shapes that could be combined to create all manner of typefaces, ornament and pattern in 1- or 2-colors. The design possibilities were endless and limited only to the imagination of the printer/designer.

Digital revivals of this modular typeface family include

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Antique Embellishments
[Jeff Levine]

A font made in 2009 by Jeff Levine, which includes a gorgeous fist. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

A.V. Haight
[Inland Type Foundry]

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Display Material Company

Company located in New York City, and St. Paul, MN, which sold stencils as standard equipment with the Style A-029 Stencillor. In 1930, they published the lettering book Display material catalogue.

In 2013, Jeff Levine designed the typeface Floorwalker JNL, which is based on stencils made in 1926 by Display Material Company. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Eric-Jean Müller

Author of 50 Alphabete fuer Techniker und Fachschulen. Flickr link. Digital typefaces that are based on some of these alphabets include Eleckatrical Banana JNL (2021, Jeff Levine), Strike (ca. 2019, by Nick Sherman) and Simula Sans (2018, by Jillian Kaimo). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Esterbrook Pen Company

Publisher of Alphabets and Lettering with Esterbrook Drawlet Pens (1918; local download) and Drawlet Portfolio (1930s). Drawlet pens were Esterbrook's answer to the popular Speedball lettering pens, and the booklet was an instructional manual on hand lettering with the pen nibs.

Digital typefaces influenced by Drawlet Portfolio include Jeff Levine's Art Class JNL (2014) and Technopen JNL (2013). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Evgeny Domnikov

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E-Z Letter Stencil Company

Stencil company from the 20th century that grew out of the Stencil-It company. Jeff Levine writes: Formed by Bernie Aronson [a relative of the Libauers who owned the Stenso Lettering Company and who once worked for them] along with a financial partner (noted artist) Sidney Levyne, the company [Stencil-It] was soon put out of existence by a court action. It re-emerged in 1956 as the E-Z Letter Stencil Company and existed until the 1990s.

Jeff Levine used their Stencil-It line of lettering guides produced in 1955 for Stencil Package JNL (2015). [Google] [More]  ⦿


Falstaff is an English fat face type produced by the Monotype Corporation in 1931 [some say 1935]. Monotype later added the textured party font Falstaff Festival.

Digital versions: Falstaff (Adobe), Falstaff (Monotype). Later derivations and extensions include two typefaces by Frantisek Storm, Hercules (2001) and Trivia Serif (2012), and Business Lunch JNL (2021) by Jeff Levine. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Georges Léculier

French author of the art deco lettering book Modèles de lettres modernes par Georges Léculier (1925). Typefaces based on his alphabets include

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Harry B. Wright

Author of the instruction book Lettering 60 Plates in a Variety of Alphabets (1950, Pitman Publishing Corporation. New York, NY). Reprinted in 1962.

Digital revivals were undertaken by Jeff Levine. These include

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[Evgeny Domnikov]

Evgeny Domnikov (Hightower.Ru) designed many free pixel fonts, including Copyright, Copyright Bold, Dots, BigDots and Terminal, all with Cyrillic versions. FON format only. He cyrillized Jeffrey N. Levine's font Festival Nights JL in 2002. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Inland Type Foundry
[A.V. Haight]

The Inland Type Foundry in Saint Louis was established in 1892 by the three sons of Carl Schraubstadter (1827-1897), William A. Schraubstadter (1864-1957), Oswald Schraubstadter (1868-1955) and Carl Schraubs Jr. (1862-1947). Carl had run the Central Type Foundry in Saint Louis and sold it to ATF (American Type Founders) in 1892, and the sons reacted by setting up Inland. Until 1911, Inland was one of the most successful foundries in the United States. In 1911 Inland was purchased by ATF and its equipment divided between that foundry and Barnhart Brothers and Spindler (BBS). A.V. Haight (Poughkeepsie) designed Rogers (art nouveau) at Inland Type foundry in 1902. He also designed Haight. Nicholas J. Werner, who used to work for Central, also created many designs at Inland. Look for "Specimen book and catalog, a price list of printers' supplies, showing types and rules in which are embodied all the latest styles ... among which ... may be especially mentioned the casting of types on standard line and unit sets." (1902, 464 pages), Specimen Book and Catalog. A Price List of Printers Supplies, Showing Types and Rules in which Are Embodied all the Latest Ideas that Enable the Printer to Produce Superior Work in a most Economical Manner Among which Betterments May Be Especially Mentioned the Casting of Types on Standard Line and Unit Sets (St. Louis, 1897) (a free copy is here and here) and Specimen Book and Catalog. A Price List of Printers Supplies, Type, Rules and Accessories of the Very Latest Designs which Facilitate the Economical Production of Superior Printing. A Notable Improvement Is the Casting of All Type on Standard Line&Unit Sets (St. Louis, 1907). MyFonts page.

Scans of some typefaces: Becker (art nouveau), Blanchard Italic [Blanchard was revived in 2013 by Paulo W as Blanchard Inland], Commercial Script, Edwards (art nouveau), Inland, Lightface Blanchard, Matthews (1902: revived in 2019 by Chuck Mountain as Cotrell CF), Extended Studley (revived by Chuck Mountain in 2019 as Dukas CF, and by Jeff Levine in 2008 as Bayview JNL), Rogers (art nouveau), Poster French Oldstyle (1897 catalog), Poster Ionic (1897 catalog), Poster Latin Antique (1897 catalog), Pacific Bikes (ornaments, 1897 catalog), Recut Caslon (1907, as taken from the 1923 ATF catalog), Drew (1910, from the 1923 ATF catalog: a digital version called Droobie NF was created by Nick Curtis in 2014), Title Shaded Litho (1911), Litho Roman (1907), Gothic No.578 (1898), Pen Print (1911), Blair (1900), Mtchell (1906, a bold version of the all caps grotesque face Blair; digitally revived by Nick Curtis in 2015 as Mitchell NF), Comstock (1902), Inland Copperplate (1901), Shaw Text (1907).

Commentaries by Mac McGrew on some of the typefaces:

  • Gothic No. 578: Gothic No. 578 was shown as Gothic No.8 by Inland in 1898 as "the latest candidate for the printer's favor; a popular old typeface entirely recut." It was shown until 1941. It is a bold weight, and is quite similar to Standard Bold which as an import from Germany was very popular in this country in the 1950s. It is also similar to Comstock, but without the added outline. Keystone called it Standard Gothic, although it is not identical to the German face. As a nineteenth-century gothic, the cap G had no crossbar. Paragon Gothic is the same design, without lowercase, cast as a title face.
  • Pen Print: Pen Print and Pen Print Bold were introduced by Inland Type Foundry in 1911, with the latter thought to have been the last typeface cut by that foundry before its sale to ATF. Pen Print Open was designed for ATF in 1921 by Morris Benton, and includes open versions of all the characters shown for the bold. The series has more the appearance of rather crude brush lettering than pen "printing," but the inclusion of an open version is contrary to the conception; perhaps it was intended for two-color printing. The letters have a slight backslant. The bold was also cut by Intertype, in 1927. Compare Dom Casual.
  • Blair: Blair was advertised in 1900 by Inland Type Foundry as new and original, calling it "an exact imitation of the small gothic letter now so popular with engravers for stylish stationery." Its production was continued by ATF until the 1950s. It is similar to Copperplate Gothic Light, but without the tiny serifs of that face. Litho Gothic is the same design but with lowercase. Mitchell (1906) is the same design but slightly heavier. The condensed version was produced in 1903 or earlier. Hansen copied Blair as Card Gothic No.2. Compare Lightline Gothic.
  • Comstock: Comstock was advertised by Inland Type Foundry in 1902 as "a striking novelty, our brand new face." It was revived by ATF in 1957. It is a medium weight conventional gothic, distinguished by a hairline surrounding each letter. The G lacks a crossbar, typical of many nineteenth-century gothics. The design was sponsored by A. H. Comstock of Omaha, according to a review at the time of its introduction. Condensed Comstock was introduced by Inland in 1905, but patented in the name of William A. Schraubstadter in 1908. It has no lowercase, but the design is more contemporary. Monotype has copied both typefaces, but Monotype Comstock Condensed is in 18-point only, without figures. In both foundry typefaces, there are several sizes on 12-point body; No.1 is the largest in regular, but No.1 is the smallest in Condensed. In 1911, a copy of Comstock was issued by Bauer in Germany under the name Astoria, revived in 1957.
  • Inland Copperplate: Inland Copperplate is a shaded Old English typeface, first shown by Inland Type Foundry in November 1901. It is similar to Typo Text (q.v.). although the specimen here, reproduced from an over-inked showing, doesn't reveal the shading.
  • Mac McGrew writes: Matthews is a very heavy, thick-and-thin, serifless type introduced by Inland Type Foundry in 1901. It is somewhat similar to the later Globe Gothic (Bold-in fact it is more carefully designed and seems to agree better with the lighter Globe Gothics than the latter typeface does. ATF cast both typefaces for a while after acquiring Inland in 1912, as well as Condensed Matthews, which Inland had introduced in 1903 as "a new gothic letter." The specimen of Matthews shown here is from a font showing considerable wear, with rounded corners. Compare Radiant Heavy. For a digital revival, see Merchant Trade JNL (2020, Jeff Levine).
  • Shaw Text: Shaw Text was introduced by Inland Type Foundry in 1907 as its "latest novelty," although it is a rather conventional Old English face, a little heavier than Wedding Text, and a little lighter and fancier than Engravers Old English. After Inland merged with ATF, Shaw Text continued to be shown until 1954. Compare Plate Text.
  • Litho Antique (1910). Mac McGrew: Rockwell Antique was a reissue of Litho Antique, cut by William Schraubstadter for Inland Type Foundry and introduced in January 1910 when it was advertised as the "newest typeface; one of our best; closely imitating steelplate and lithography." In the late 1920s similar typefaces became popular in Europe, and some were imported into the United States. Morris Benton of ATF added several characters to the old Inland face, matrices of which were then in ATF's vaults, and it was reissued in 1931 as Rockwell Antique. But Benton saw that something more was needed, and redrew it as Stymie Bold (q.v.) in the same year. The alternate characters which were added to Rockwell are the same ones now shown with Stymie Bold. Monotype copied Rockwell but erroneously called it Stymie Bold in some literature, and there has been confusion between the two typefaces ever since; the latter name is often applied to fonts of Rockwell cast on Monotype machines by secondary suppliers. Indicative of this confusion, Stymie Bold Italic on Mono is series 1891, corresponding to Rockwell series 189, while Stymie Bold is 790. English Monotype has several weights of Rockwell, a square serif family which differs from this typeface and should not be confused with it; see Imports in Appendix. Antique Shaded (q. v.) is sometimes called Rockwell Antique Shaded.
  • Herald Extra Condensed (1909). An octagonal typeface.
  • Extra Condensed Title Gothic No.12.
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Jeff Levine
[Antique Embellishments]

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Jeff Levine
[Stenso Lettering Company]

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Jeff Levine

Prolific type designer in Florida, b. New York, 1952. His fonts were originally free and consisted largely of dingbats. Around 2005 he went commercial, and now sells his work (over 350 fonts as of 2009) via MyFonts. He has branched out into several font styles, with a soft spot for stencil fonts, fonts for signage, art deco, and fonts for advertising. Born in New York, his family moved to Florida in 1963, where he has been ever since.

An interview. Alternate URL. Yet another URL with his early free fonts. My pages on him. Dafont link. Abstract Fonts link. MyFonts link. Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Stencil typefaces]

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Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Blackletter typefaces]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Groovy -- Psychedelic typefaces]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Oriental simulation typefaces]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Art Deco Typefaces]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Dingbats and Alphadings]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: The Eckhardt Series]

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Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Western style typefaces]

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Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Athletic lettering typefaces]

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Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Octagonal typefaces]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Art nouveau types]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Wood type]

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Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Alf R. Becker fonts]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Signage]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Comic book and cartoon typefaces]

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Jeff Levine
[Jeff Levine: Additional typefaces]

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Jeff Levine: Additional typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

This is a list of fonts by Jeff Levine not categorized anywhere else on my pages.

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Jeff Levine: Alf R. Becker fonts
[Jeff Levine]

Jeff Levine created a number of typefaces that were based on alphabets created by the late Alf R. Becker for Signs of the Times Magazine during the period of the 1930s through the 1950s. These incude Casual Signage JNL (2018), Film Noir JNL (2010, counterless geometric art deco style), Hexide JNL (2011, a fat hexagonal design), Kanona JNL (2010), Karaoke JNL (2010), Mocombo JNL (2010, African look), Modern English JNL (2018), Nightspot JNL (2011, an art deco headline face), Patriotica JNL (2011, a stars and stripes face), Police JNL (2010, caps only 3d shadow typeface after a design by Alf R. Becker), Roadblock JNL (2011), Show Card Casual JNL (2018: based on a single stroke brush alphabet by Alf Becker), Tradewinds JNL (2010, African look), Udsed Cars (2010, comic book style caps). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Art Deco Typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Art deco is another style that appeals to Jeff Levine. He has created some beauties:

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Jeff Levine: Art nouveau types
[Jeff Levine]

Art nouveau typefaces by Jeff Levine:

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Jeff Levine: Athletic lettering typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Athletic lettering typefaces by Jeff Levine: Base Runner JNL (2008), Bases Loaded JNL (2017, a contour outline variant of Ebbets JNL, which was in turn a stylized variant of the retro-inspired Base Runner JNL), Ebbets JNL (2009), Forward Passed JNL (2007), Hayfork JNL (2011, based on wood type sans typefaces from the 1880s), Home Field JNL (2010, outline), Old Sport JNL (2018: an octagonal sports font, after a 1930 alphabet from 100 Alphabets Publicitaires dessinés par M. Moullet), Return Pass JNL (2007), Rushing Pass JNL (2007), Sporting Chance JNL (2011), Sporting Life JNL (2006), Sports Jock JNL (2013), Sports Play JNL (2012), Stadium JNL (2011), All Pro JNL (2009), Winning Team JNL (2015). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Blackletter typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Blackletter typefaces by Jeff Levine:

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Jeff Levine: Comic book and cartoon typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Comic book or cartoon letters by Jeff Levine: Afterthought JNL (2013), Art Department JNL (2011, after a Speedball book; very similar to Spumoni LP (1990, LetterPerfect)), Beat Poet JNL (2011), Cartoonist JNL (2012), Cartoon Nouveau JNL (2020), Cartoon Panel JNL (2015), Costumed Hero JNL (2018, vintage comic book style), Coupon Clipper JNL (2010), Doowop JNL (2006), Greatest Hits JNL (2008), Hayride JNL (2014), Jacaranda JNL (2009), Miss Rhythm (2013, funky typeface), Nobody Home JNL (2011), Nouveau Cartoon JNL (2020: based on an alphabet by Samuel Welo seen in Studio Handbook ?~@~S Letter and Design for Artists and Advertisers), Now Appearing JNL (2010), Opportoonity JNL (2009), Personal Message JNL (2015, inspired by the calligraphic / cartoon poster art of Santa Fe's Randall Hasson), Pratfall (2019), Prankster JNL (2012), Playful JNL (2014), Sign Work JNL (2018), Sock Hop (2009), Stand Up JNL (2013), Toon In JNL (2009), Tooned Out JNL (2009), Treasure House JNL (2018: inspired by the hand-lettered title on the cover of a mid-1950s comic book that in turn was based on the popular children's TV host Captain Kangaroo). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Dingbats and Alphadings
[Jeff Levine]

Before 2006, Jeff Levine was mostly known for his free dingbats, having made over one hundred of them. He keeps making them, but now commercially, and less frequently. The list is long though:

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Jeff Levine: Groovy -- Psychedelic typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Psychedelic typefaces by Jeff Levine start with the free typeface he did with Brad Nelson (Brain Eaters) called Action Is. This was based a title page for a commemorative photo album of images from the 60's TV music show Where the Action Is, formerly hosted by Jeff's employer at the time, singer-writer-producer Steve Alaimo. Brad Nelson gave Jeff his blessing to re-work and take Action Is into the realm of commercial type. Newly improved and re-released as Groovy Happening JNL, it became one of Jeff's better selling type designs. A simplified version is called Groovy Summer JNL, both done around 2005.

In 2010, he published Groovy 3D Caps JNL, and in 2015 Endless Sixties JNL (inspired by a poster for a surfing movie entitled Planet Aura). Hippie Freak JNL (2016) is based on the title card for Tod Browning's Freaks.

Trippy Hippie JNL (2021) is from a German lettering book 50 Alphabete für Techniker und Fachschulen by Eric-Jean Müller. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Octagonal typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Octagonal typefaces made by Jeff Levine: Air Corps JNL (2014, featuring retro letters and numbers from military aircraft), Amateur Lettering JNL (2018), Arvada JNL (2009), Bike Tag JNL (2013), Borough Hall (2006), Case Lot JNL (2015), Celluloid NL (2010), Chamferwood JNL (2015), Condensed Chamfer JNL (2018), Diagon JNL (2007), Directory Board JNL (2010), Eckhardt Poster Display JNL (2011), Ghost Sign JNL (2020: a spurred octagonal typeface based on the faded lettering of an antique brick wall sign for Homer Hardware in Homer, NY), Government Issue (2006), Hayfork JNL (2011, based on wood type sans typefaces from the 1880s), Industrialist JNL (2014), Inventory JNL (2007), KP Duty (2006), Local Druggist JNL (2021), Mailbox Letters Two JNL (2008), Mechanized JNL (2011), Mixed Drinks JNL (2013), Moving Van JNL (2010), New Car Tag JNL (2020: based on the new license plates in Florida, which were introduced in 2018), Oven Plate JNL (2013: Oven Plate JNL solidifies the outline lettering of Stove Plate JNL; based on the logo for Red Star Oil Stoves and found on an old letterpress cut), Poster Chamfer JNL (2012, a condensed octagonal face), Quirkley JNL (2006), School Activities JNL (2020: octagonal), Sentiment JNL (2017), Shopping Basket JNL (2016), Stadium JNL (2011), Staple Remover (2013), Stove Plate JNL (2013), Techno Retro (2015), Transcribed JNL (2015), Wall Sign JNL (2012). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Oriental simulation typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Oriental simulation typefaces made by Jeff Levine include Asian Imports JNL (2018), China Doll JNL (2011, after a 1960 Speedball Pen lettering instruction book), China Dragon JNL (2013), Chinese Herbs JNL (2010), Chinese Menu JNL (2009), Chu Ching San JNL (2017), Fong Shay Noon JNL (2007), Ginseng JNL (2012), Martial Arts JNL (2017), Mystic East JNL (2016, an oriental simulation typeface based on the cast credits for the 1954 film Hell's Half Acre featuring Wendell Corey, Evelyn Keyes and Elsa Lanchester), Rice Bowl JNL (2009), Rice Wine JNL (2017), Sea of Japan JNL (2020), Shanghai JNL (2014), Kwun Tong JNL (2014). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Signage
[Jeff Levine]

Signage typography has also attracted the attention of Jeff Levine. Here are some typefaces in that category: Brushmark JNL, Dollar Days JNL (2015, based on the National Show Card Writer sign making set), Cleveland Neon JNL (2016, based on the art deco neon sign for the iconic Clevelander Hotel located in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach), Dubois JNL (2007: DuBois JNL is based on hand lettering designed by Albert DuBois of New York City, and originally titled Round Block, which was found in an old sign painting design book from the early 1900s and has been translated to digital form by Jeff Levine), Eckhardt Brushletter JNL (2011), Eckhardt Casual JNL (2011), Haute Couture JNL (2009; see Signboard JNL for similar lettering), Koehler Sans (2006, a grotesk inspired by a set of cardboard sign kit letters made by the Koehler Sign Company of Missouri in the late 1940 or early 1950s), Laughter JNL (2011), Lettering Project JNL (2015, based on one of the many sign making kit templates made by the Wood-Regan Instrument Company also known as Wrico), Merchandising JNL (2014, brush signage script), Moving Headlines JNL (2015: a marquee lightbulb font inspired by the news ticker at Times square and the 1933 Warner Bothers film Picture Snatcher starring James Cagney), Night Sign JNL (2011, neon sign font), Sheldrake JNL (2006, condensed; the outline version is Sign Decal JNL, 2009), Sign Artist (2006), Sign Crafter JNL (2009, and its reworking, Sign Trade JNL), Sign Crafters JNL (2011), Sign Display Casual JNL (2014), Sign Engraver JNL (2011, a rounded sans), Sign Kit (2006, based on the Webway Font Cabinet sign lettering system), Sign Letters JNL (2016, based on the decals manufactured by the Duro Decal Company of Chicago), Sign Maker JNL (2009), Sign Project JNL (2011, based on decals by the Meyercord Decal Company of Chicago), Sign Sans JNL (2016), Signboard JNL (2008, based on die-cut cardboard display lettering once made by the Duro Decal Company (now Duro Art Industries) of Chicago), Signed JNL (2005), Sign Letterer JNL (2010), Sign Merchant JNL (2013), Sign Painter JNL (2010, based on a sales catalog sheet from the American Decalcomania Company, ca. 1950), Signed Production JNL (2009), Sign Shop JNL (2010, retro), Sign Card JNL (2011, mad by adding slabs to Sign Shop JNL), Sign Designer JNL (2012), Sign Man JNL (2010, hairline face), Sign Writer JNL (2012), Stock Signs JNL (2011), Market JNL (2009), Waite Park JNL (2010, also based on the Webway Font Cabinet sign lettering system), Fountain Service JNL (2010). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Stencil typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Jeff Levine may well be the most prolific stencil font designer alive today. His passion for this nook of type design is clear from his writings. The stencil typefaces made by Jeff Levine include Adverse Stencil JNL, Advertising Stencil JNL (2019), Amateur Stencil JNL (2010), Amusement Ride Stencil JNL (2016), Artwork Stencil JNL (2018, based on an art deco stencil alphabet by Georges Léculier, 1939), Aussie Stencil JNL (2020), Basic Stencil JNL (2018: based on a stencil sold by Dymo ca. 1968), Belle Epoque Stencil JNL (2019: based on an old ad for Cointreau Triple Sec Liquor), Bold Metal Stencil JNL (2017), Book Report (2006), Another Stencil JNL (2014), Antique Stencils JNL (2013), Antique Stencil Borders JNL (2018), Antique Stencil Borders Two JNL (2020), Aussie Stencil JNL (2020), Boot Camp JNL (2012, army stencil based on a set of vintage brass interlocking stencils made by the Stafford Manufacturing Company), Brass Stencil (2011, an army stencil face), Brassmark Stencil JNL (2015), Brattleboro Stencil JNL (2015, after a stencil punch die manufactured by S.M. Spencer & Co. of Brattleboro, VT, circa 1868), British Stencil JNL (2010), Cardboard Cutouts JNL (2007), Cartage Stencil JNL (2018), Carton Stencil JNL (2013), Case Closed (2011), Casemark Stencil JNL (2019: after an image of a hand made antique shipping stencil used by the Bridgeport Brass Company of Bridgeport, CT), Casual Stencil JNL (2013), Censorship JNL (2011), Clarenwood Stencil JNL (2015), Class Project (2006), Claim Check JNL (2009), Classroom Stencil JNL (2016), Cold Case JNL, Common Stencil JNL (2016, a grungy military stencil), Condensed Stencil JNL (2011), Confirmation JNL (2008), Corporal JNL (2009), Craft Project (2006, stencil design dingbats), Crude Stencil JNL (2016), Cut Paper Stencil JNL (2011), Czech Stencil JNL (2015, modeled after Patrona Grotesk (1930, Czechoslovakia)), Deco Revisited JNL (2020), Delivered JNL (2005), Detective Bureau JNL (2016, based on the hand-lettered title card for 1951's Detective Story directed by William Wyler), De Vinne Stencil JNL (2010), Dijon Stencil JNL (2018), Dive Gear Stencil JNL (2015), Dual Line Stencil JNL (2020), Dry Goods Stencil JNL (2019), Duffle Bag JNL (2008: military stencil), Educator JNL (2010), Etched Stencil JNL (2020), Euro Stencil JNL (2021), Evidence JNL (2009), Excess Baggage JNL (2009), Farming Stencil JNL (2014), Favorite Stencil JNL (2015, modeled after Ludlow Stencil), Federal Case JNL (2008), Flatsider JNL (2012, a blocky stencil), Flocking Stencil JNL (2020), Folk Singer JNL, Franklin Stencil JNL (2017), Freightyard Stencil JNL (2019), French Shipping Stencil JNL (2019), French Stencil JNL (2010), French Stencil Moderne JNL (2019), French Stencil Sans JNL (2015), French Stencil Serif JNL (2019), Garment Bag Stencil JNL (2019), Hand Cut Stencil JNL (2016), Hitchcock Stencil JNL (2016, based on on the movie poster for Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 dark comedy-thriller The Trouble with Harry), Import Stencil JNL (2019), Industrial Stencil JNL (2019), In Shipment JNL (army stencil), Interboro JNL (2010), Investigator JNL (2010), Jailbreak JNL (2010, a stencil version of his wood typeface Hoosegow), Kashigata Stencils JNL (2012: based on round Japanese stencils), Kiddie Stencil JNL (2019: based on Letters and Numbers Stencil Book by Hampton Publishing Company of New York, ca. 1948), Lettering Guide JNL (2007), Lumberyard Stencil JNL (2016), Maitre d Stencil JNL (2019, based on an alphabet by Martin Meijer from 1949), Malagueña Stencil JNL (2015, art deco), Marketing Stencil (2019), Marking Stencil JNL (2014), Mechanical Stencil JNL (2014), Mess Hall JNL (2007), Metalmark Stencil JNL (2015), Metal Stencil JNL (2011, white on black), Meter Room JNL (2015), Midwest Railway JNL (2020), Mondawmin JNL (2010), More Antique Stencils JNL (2013: dingbats), Mystery Stencil JNL (2010), Narrow Roman Stencil JNL (2015), Narrow Stencil JNL (2011), Nature Stencils JNL (2013), Nouveau Semi Stencil JNL (2017), Nouveau Stencil JNL (2017), Nouveau Stencil Ornate JNL (2019), No Parking JNL (2011), North End Stencil JNL (2019), Nottingham Stencil JNL (2011), Odd Stencil JNL (2018), Oil Barrel JNL (2011), Old Chisholm JNL (2012, an old brass ornamental stencil), Old Spur Stencil JNL (2020), Open Case JNL (2016: like Cold Case JNL (2009), it is based based on sets of lettering stencils designed and manufactured by the Huntington Oil Cured Stencil Company (originally of Huntington, New York and later of Delray Beach, Florida)), Packed JNL (2005), Paris Stencil JNL (2017), Pekoe JNL (2020: a revival of Tea Chest (1939, Robert Harling, Stephenson Blake type foundry)), Pendleton JNL (2011, an octagonal stencil typeface created from some scant images found on military machinery housed at the Marine Corps Mechanized Museum at Camp Pendleton, CA), Picturesque Stencil JNL (2019), Print Shop Stencil JNL (2013), Railyard Stencil JNL (2009), Paper Stencil JNL (2010), Parking Lot Stencil JNL (2013), Patrol Car Stencil JNL (2019), Play Day Stencil JNL (2019), Raider Stencil JNL (2016, based on the dust jacket for the 1929 Western novel The Raider by Charles Alden Seltzer), Rail Route Stencil JNL (2015), Ramshackle JNL (2010), Record Promotion JNL (2011), Refinery Stencil JNL (2018), Reform School JNL (2020), Retail Stencil JNL (2015), Ritz Stencil JNL (2011, art deco style), Roman Stencil JNL (2016), Rubbish JNL (2007, grunge stencil), (2013), Sandwell Stencil JNL (2020), Saskatoon Stencil JNL (2015), Saw Mill Stencil JNL (2016), Schoolmarm (2006), Schoolyard Stencil JNL (2017), Science Fair (2006, a filled stencil font), Shipped JNL (2005), Show Card Stencil JNL (2018), Signage JNL (2013, Futura Stencil style typeface), Sign Stencil JNL (2013), Simple Stencil JNL (2014), Sixties Stencil JNL (2014), Sloppy Stencil (2010, grunge stencil similar to Packed JNL), Soldier Stencil JNL (2018), Solid Stencil JNL (2021: after a stencil font by Robert Libauer of the Stenso Lettering Company, 1962), Spur Stencil JNL (2015), Stamped Brass Stencil JNL (2015), Steel Stencil JNL (2012), StencilBoard JNL (2010), Stencil Box JNL (2014), Stencil Chamfer JNL (2020), Stencil Cutter JNL (2019), Stencil Deco (2008, a modification of Cardboard Cutouts JNL), Stencil Decor JNL (2019), Stencil Designs JNL (2012, vintage dingbats), Stencil Extras (2013), Stencil Gothic, Stencil Machine JNL (2013), Stencil Maker JNL (2013), Stencil Mark JNL (2011, based on a stencil by Meyer and Wenthe from Chicago), Stencil Modernistic JNL (art deco), Stencilbats JNL (2005), Stencil Monograms JNL (2011), Stencil Package JNL (2015, after a 1955 example by the Stencil-It company), Stencil Piece JNL (2016), Stencil Plate JNL (2013), Stencil Press JNL (2011, based on just a few existing sample punches from a 1920s stencil machine made by the Diagraph-Bradley company), Stencil Product JNL (2018), Stencil Project JNL (2013, stencil ornaments), Stencil Set JNL (2013), Stencil Sheet JNL (2013), Stencilvania JNL (2006), Stencil Work JNL (2014), Stenson (2006, a stencil seen in rubber stamp shops), Storage (2006), Stovepipe Stencil JNL (2017), Streamlined Stencil JNL (2015), Strong Stencil JNL (2013), Study Hall (2006), Supplier Stencil JNL (2019), Surface Stencil JNL (2016), Sussex Semi Stencil JNL (2019), Sutton Place JNL (2016), Table Fortu JNL (2008, a stunning art deco stencil), Talent Stencil (2019), Tanker Stencil JNL (2016), Teacher JNL (2009), Template Moderne JNL (2020: a stencil style in the Futura Black genre based on an etched wax stencil by the mimeograph duplicating machine manufacturer A.B. Dick), Templit JNL, Term Paper (2006), Theatrical Stencil JNL (2016), Tin Lizzie JNL (2013, stencil-style automobile logos), Tin Stencil JNL (2015), Titling Stencil JNL (2019), Tote Bag JNL (2006), Trade Stencil (2019), Tramp Steamer JNL (2007), Trencher JNL (2011, based on hand-cut stencils spray-painted onto a vintage 1947 Cleveland Trencher acquired by the Marine Corps Mechanized Museum at Camp Pendleton, CA), Trocadero JNL (2009, inspired by an early 1950s photo showing the signage for the Trocadero Restaurant located on Liberty Avenue and 23rd Street in Miami Beach), Trooper JNL (2009), JNL Turntable Stencil (2019), Tuxedo Stencil JNL (2018), Ultra Thin Stencil JNL (2012), Van Alt (2006, described as a geostencil, Futura Blacular kind of setup but from way before that style got Rennerized), Western Adventure (2006, classic stencil from the 1950s), Wine Vat Stencil JNL (2018), Wood Stencil (2019), Work Crew Stencil JNL (2015), Xmas Stencils JNL (2007, stencil dingbats). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: The Eckhardt Series
[Jeff Levine]

Between 2006 and 2009, Jeff Levine published the Eckhardt Series, named after his friend Albert Eckhardt, Jr. (1929-2005) who had owned Allied Signs in Miami, Florida from 1959 until his passing. Several fonts by Jeff Levine are based on lettering found in an old sign painting book:

[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Western style typefaces
[Jeff Levine]

Western style typefaces made by Jeff Levine:

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Jeff Levine: Wood type
[Jeff Levine]

Digital renderings and simulations of wood type by Jeff Levine include Advertiser JNL (2009), Alderman JNL (2020: a wide slab serif typeface based on the classic wood type Antique Light Face Extended), Antique Unique JNL (2017, a revival of a wood type called Ten Line Antique Compressed No. 7), Blacksmith JNL (2011, based on a brass stencil image), Brenham JNL (2011), Buckdance JNL (2005, Tuscan), Bushwick JNL (2011, caps-only sans), Cattleman JNL (2013, a condensed French Clarendon), Cattle Trail JNL (2019: after Latin Condensed), Chamfer Engraved JNL (2020: a chamfered sans serif wood type design with a right side engraving line from the 1800s was found within the pages of the Thorowgood Foundry), Cherrywood JNL (2020: based on the classic Columbian from the William H. Page Wood Type Company (circa 1870), Cherrywood JNL is a bold slab serif type design), Clarenwood JNL (2014), Clarenwood Stencil (2015), Clarified JNL (2020; based on William H. Page's Clarendon Extended wood typeface), Compressed Wood JNL (2020: extrapolated from J.G. Cooley's Roman Triple Extra Condensed Fifty Line), County Clerk JNL (2020: after the vintage Hamilton wood typeface Gothic Special), Daily Tablet JNL (2014: based on wood type used for newspaper headlines), DuBois Block JNL (2008), Early Edition JNL (2020), Eccentric Wood Type JNL (2020), Elida JNL (2011, a didone all caps wood type family), Elk Grove JNL (2009, based on a wood type called Facade), Emporia JNL (2011), Engine Company JNL (2013), Final Edition JNL (2015), Fort Courage JNL (2014, a French Clarendon), Framingham JNL (2010, a widened version of Nostrand JNL), General Merchandise JNL (2020: after the condensed slab serif Antique X Condensed, ca. 1840, by Wells and Webb), General Merchant JNL (2013), Gristwood JNL (2015), Hayfork JNL (2011), Ingomar (2006), Lenorah JNL (2009), Local Printer JNL (2020: based on William Page's wood typeface Skeleton Antique, ca. 1865), Lockup JNL (2009), Longwood JNL (2014), News Event JNL (2020), Normandy Isle JNL (2011), Northfork JNL (2010, based on a William H. Page wood type alphabet called Parisian, circa 1857-58), Nostrand JNL (2009, condensed wood type), Notification JNL (2011), Nouveau Sans JNL (2014, art nouveau-inspired wood type), Octagonist (2020: a 3d beveled typeface that revives George Nesbitt's Octagon from 1838), Old Wood JNL (2013), Ornery Polecat JNL (2014: Western style), Page Printer JNL (2020: after William H. Page's Skeleton (1948)), Payson (2009), Pleasantwood JNL (2014), Presswood JNL (2020: based on the title font used on the cover of a specimen book issued by the Delittle Wood Type Company of York, England), Primitive Tuscan JNL (2014), Rachelle JNL (2009, Italian), Ranch Hand JNL (2013), Reverse Gothic JNL (2014), Roman Wood Type JNL (2012, in the Clarendon Condensed style), Rounded Sans Wood JNL (2015), Roundwood JNL (2020: spurred), Rustic Setting JNL (2013), Saddle Tramp JNL (2013), Sagebrush JNL (2014: modeled after French Clarendon), Sales Book JNL (2013), Sales Event JNL (2014), Sandalwood JNL (2020: based on a sans wood type seen in Rob Roy Kelly's American Wood Type), Shadowland JNL (2014), Shadowlawn JNL (2014), Sidewinder JNL (2013, an ultra-compressed wood type), Splinters JNL (2009, wood pieces), Slabserif Grotesk JNL (2020: based on a wood type design called Antique Light Face), Slabserif Wood JNL (2020), Stockville JNL (2012), Streamwood JNL (2014), Strongbox JNL (2009), Table Wood JNL (2020: based on the wood type Concave Tuscan Extra Condensed), Tamarac (2006, slab-serif wood type), Tent Show JNL (2014, based on a French Clarendon circus style), Teterboro JNL (2010; although built from scratch, this slab serif has a wood type feel), Texarkana JNL (2011, based on a classic condensed wood type from the 1800s, and embellished with stars), Topanga JNL (2010, ultra-condensed sans serif wood type), Trail Boss JNL (2011), Troubadour JNL (2011, ornamental wood type), Unadorned JNL (2017, an ornate spurred wood type font), Weekend Tabloid JNL (2009, a sans serif wood type), Western Wood Type JNL (2015, a Clarendon), West Fork JNL (2020: after Latin Extended by Hamilton, 1888), Westward JNL (2014: circus lettering typeface), Winnetka JNL (2009, octagonal wood type inspired by Cooley Antique Tuscan Condensed---a printer's wood type manufactured in 1859 by J.G. Cooley), Woodbranch JNL (2016), Wood Clarendon JNL (2020: after Hamilton Clarendon Condensed, 1899), Wood Condensed Grotesk (2014), Woodcraft JNL (2013), Wood Fancy Reverse JNL (2020), Wood Gothic JNL (2020: based on Hamilton Gothic Bold (Hamilton Wood Type Foundry, circa 1889), Woodhaven Initilas JNL (2014), Woodlawn JNL (2013, outlined), Wood Line JNL (2018, based on wood type), Woodline (2019: very different from Wood Line JNL), Woodmark JNL (2014: based on William H. Page's New Process No. 507), Wood Nouveau (2014), Wood Poster Display JNL (2014), Wood Rounded JNL (2020: an interpretation of Caslon Rounded), Wood Sans Narrow JNL (2017, based on examples of an extra condensed Hamilton Wood Type), Wood Serif Poster JNL (2020), Wood Stencil (2019), Wood Tuscan JNL (2014), Wood Type Bodoni JNL (2013), Wood Type Calendar JNL (2016), Wood Type Grotesk JNL (2014), Woodwork JNL (2014). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Jeff Levine: Works Projects Administration (WPA) typefaces

The Works Progress Administration (called the Work Projects Administration or WPA after 1939) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller but more famous project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. These projects were designed to lead America out of the Depression. Various creations, covers, posters and lettering pieces related to the WPA, often in art deco style, led Jeff Levine to design this set of typefaces in 2016: Art Museum JNL, Basic Lettering JNL, Oil Painting JNL, On The Town JNL, Sanitation JNL, Art Project JNL, Art Topic JNL, Art Week JNL, Asbury Park JNL, Band Concert JNL (2020: based on a poster from the 1930s designed for the WPA Federal Art Project promoting free band concerts at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, NY), Concert Series JNL, Fall Fashion JNL, Sign Vendor JNL, Summer Program JNL, Tourist Cabin JNL, Visual Arts JNL, Art And Design JNL, Art Exhibit JNL, Clip Joint JNL, Euripedes JNL, Infrastructure JNL, Music Festival JNL, National Parks JNL (2018, based on a 1930s WPA poster), Newsmaker JNL, Parenting JNL (2016), Parks Department JNL, Talent Show JNL, Bensonhurst JNL, East Village JNL, Public Safety JNL, Sea Gate JNL, Sutton Place JNL, Tap Water JNL, Comic Opera JNL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

John G. Cooley

American wood type designer/manufacturer from the 19th century, whose company started out in 1852 by taking over Edwin Allen in South Windham, CT. In 1864, he partners with Robert Lindsay, sells the South Windham factory, and moves to New York City as John B. Cooley and Co. In 1866, he enters into a partnership with Samuel T. Dauchy to become Cooley&Dauchy. In 1869, however, that company was bought by William Page, who ironically, had been Cooley's employee in 1855-1856. He published Specimens of Wood Type.

Examples of their wood types: Antique Tuscan No. 1 (1859).

Digital revivals: Jeff Levine's Winnetka JNL (2009) was inspired by Cooley Antique Tuscan Condensed from 1859. Compressed Wood JNL (2020, Jeff Levine) is extrapolated from J.G. Cooley's Roman Triple Extra Condensed Fifty Line. Finally, AWT Cooley Ant Tuscan XX Cond (2013) and AWT Cooley Grecian XX Condensed were released by Dick Pape. [Google] [More]  ⦿

M. Moullet

Author of 100 Alphabets Publicitaires Dessinés par M. Moullet (1946, Editions Caboni, Bruxelles). Alphabets from that book include Letters in relief, Fancy Character, Ornamental Antique (art deco), Fancy Antique (multiline art deco), Fancy Antique 2 (a different style altogether), Pochoir (stenciled).

Some of Moullet's fonts were digitized by Dick Pape in 2011 and 2012 and can be downloaded here. Pape's fonts: FAA3DLettresEnRelief, FAAAllongees, FAAAllongeesBold, FAAAntiqueAllongee, FAAAntiqueGrasse, FAAAntiques, FAAAntiquesGrasses, FAABaroque3DInitiales, FAABlockLettresEnRelief, FAACameoHollow, FAACaracteresdeFantaisie, FAAChevauchantes, FAACubiques, FAAEcossaises, FAAEcritureGrasseEmoussee, FAAEgyptienneGrasse, FAAEgyptiennesEmoussees, FAAFantaisie, FAAFantaisieBlaireau, FAAFantaisieHardi, FAAFantaisieHaut, FAAFantasio, FAAFloralGothiqueInitiales, FAAFrenchMecane, FAAItalianHeavySlab, FAALettresAuCrayonItalic, FAALiberty, FAANormandes, FAANormandesAllongees, FAAOmbreeEnRelief, FAAOnciale, FAAOrientales, FAAPochoir, FAARomainClassique, FAARomainTypographique, FAScenesPaysannes, FAASerifEgyptienne, FAAVetteFantasieAntieke. Download page.

Jeff Levine revived some of Moullet's typefaces: Silly Behavior (2019), Old Sport JNL (2018), Relaxation JNL (2017), Peppermill JNL (2017), Script Spot Initials JNL (2017), French Lettering JNL (2017), Martial Arts JNL (2017, an oriental simulation font), Relaxation JNL (2017). [Google] [More]  ⦿


The mimeograph utilized a porous drum which inked the backside of a waxed stencil sheet. Unlike traditional stencils which have cut out areas that are directly inked or painted, a mimeo stencil has the area to be printed scratched away by removing the wax coating with a stylus.

Digital fonts based on the plastic lettering templates of the mimeograph include

  • Mimeograph Lettering JNL (2020, Jeff Levine: based on one of the numerous plastic lettering templates once manufactured by the A.B. Dick Company of Chicago).
  • Mimeograph Template JNL (2019: based on a plastic lettering guide manufactured by the Albert Blake Dick Company of Chicago).
  • Interoffice Memo (2011, Jeff Levine).
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Modern Antique

Mac McGrew describes the slab serif Modern Antique: Modern Antique and Modern Antique Condensed were adapted to Monotype in 1909 from traditional typefaces dating from about 1820, commonly known simply as Antiques or Egyptians. They were forerunners of the square serifs, but closer to romans in general appearance, and were usually used for boldface emphasis with roman types, particularly modem romans. In most sizes these two Monotype typefaces are the same set width as each other, and have the same figures and points. Otherwise they differ only in the proportions of the C2 and C 1 arrangements, being good examples of adaptations to the basic Monotype unit system. (See "Practical Design Limitations" in Introduction.) Also see Bold Antique; and Latin Modern under Latin Bold Condensed.

In 2015, Jeff Levine did a revival of Modern Antique No. 26 (1909, Monotype) called Antique Slabserif JNL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Patrona Grotesk

A stencil typeface dating back to Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. It is shown in Stencil Type (Steven Heller and Louise Fili, Thames and Hudson). Jeff Levine made a digital revival in 2015 called Czech Stencil JNL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Stella Roberts
[Stella Roberts Foundry]

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Stella Roberts Foundry
[Stella Roberts]

Type designer in Sunrise, FL, who created a coop style foundry for a charity that pays for the medical bills of her siblings. Some typefaces are made by guest designers such as Jeff Levine, Ray Larabie, Matt Yow, and Brad O. Nelson. The list of typefaces:

  • Ali SRF (2012). By Ray Larabie.
  • Austrual SRF (2012). By Jeff Levine: star dingbats.
  • Big Jim Roberts SRF (2012). Named after Stella's father, this is a seventies retro face.
  • Cardholder Dispute SRF (2012). By Ray Larabie, based on his own old freeware font Cardholder Dispute SRF.
  • Consonant SRF (2012). By Jeff Levine based on an old Ray Larabie font.
  • Dastardly Deeds SRF (2012). A stick font by Ray Larabie and Jeff Levine.
  • Devama SRF (2012). A mini-stenciled typeface by Ray Larabie.
  • Dirty Money SRF (2012). A dollar bill font designed by Brad O. Nelson.
  • Femi SRF (2012): a black monoline grotesk caps face.
  • Fenimore SRF (2012). An art deco typeface by Jeff Levine, related to hius own Theater District JNL.
  • Fitz Sans SRF (2012). By Matt Yow.
  • Hem and Haw SRF (2012). A stitching font by Ray Larabie based on his earlier typeface Stitchen.
  • Infantry SRF (2012). By Jeff Levine, an update of his old freeware dingbat font Infantry (1999).
  • Mancave SRF (2012). A stone age typeface by Jeff Levine.
  • Marginal Notes SRF (2012). A hand-printed typeface by Ray Larabie.
  • Mevada SRF (2012). By Ray Larabie.
  • Ovala SRF (2012). By Ray Larabie.
  • Playya SRF (2012). A graffiti tag font by Ray Larabie.
  • Ranger Rays Rocketeers SRF (2012). By Jeff Levine, based on an old freeware space-age dingbat font.
  • Seminar SRF (2012). Jeff Levine overhauled a Peignotian / Optima-style typeface by Ray Larabie.
  • Transaction SRF (2012). A dot matrix font by Ray Larabie.
  • Wesley SRF (2012). A Ray Larabie original.
  • Wrenchworks SRF (2012). Ray Larabie and Jeff Levine cooperated to bring this mechanical octagonal outline face.

View the typefaces at Stella Roberts Foundry. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Stencil fonts

Partial list of stencil fonts recently posted on abf: AGBook-Stencil (Adobe, 1992, and Berthold), AustralianFlyingCorpsStencil, BrideOfTheMonsterStencil (Harold Lohner, 1998), DeStijl-Stencil (P22, 1995), Dollar Store Stencil (Josh Wilhelm 1999), FuturaStencilICG (Image Club Graphics, 1995), FuturistStencil (WSI, 1996), GlaserStencil (URW, 1994), Rugged Stencil (The Font Emporium / Matt Dennewitz), SexySilouetteStencils (Darrian and California Cosmo, 1999), SprayStencil (SWFTE, 1995), Stencil Camera, Army Stencil, Stencil D (URW, 1994), Stencil Compress D (URW, 1994), Stencil Export (Allen R. Walden, 1993), Stencil Gothic BE (B.O. Nelson/Brain Eaters Font Co.&Jeff Levine, 1999), Stencil Sans (Agfa, 1995), StencilSansCondensed (WSI, 1996), StencilSet (SWFTE, 1995), Stencilcase (John Martz, Robotic Attack Fonts, 1997), Stenciled Out Left (Fantazia Concepts, 1993). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Stenso Lettering Company
[Jeff Levine]

Jeff Levine recalls the history of the Stenso Lettering Company, started in 1940 by Ruth Hormats and her brother, Robert Libauer. The quote below is from his text.

Somewhere back around 1940, a young school teacher in Baltimore, Maryland made an observation The brass stencils she gave to her students to use in creative projects were giving them problems. Their crayons and colored pencils were not fitting into the narrow serifs (the small cross strokes) of the letters. Ruth Libauer Hormats had an idea. What if there were some stencils made of cardboard? What if the letters and numbers were slightly fatter especially in the serifs to allow for easy coloring? What if there were small holes slightly above and between each letter, number or punctuation mark to allow for precise spacing? After formulating her concept of such a stencil, Mrs. Hormats had two prototypes made up at a cost of ten dollars each a significant sum of money for the time. Soliciting many of the major stores and store chains around the country, she eventually received a reply from the F.W. Woolworth Company. The five-and-ten cent store giant was interested in her product, but needed to see one firsthand. As she shipped one of the two prototypes off to New York, all she could envision was ten dollars going away. Ruth did not put much stock in the chance of receiving an initial order, but she had presumed wrong. The Woolworth order had been the linchpin for launching the Stenso Lettering Company in the basement of her parents home at 2510 Elsinor Avenue in Baltimore. A small office was set up, and girls were hired to help stuff the stencils into their envelopes. Ruth Hormats once recalled to me during a telephone conversation that the whole family had even sat around the dinner table inserting the freshly die-cut stencils into their envelopes and packing them for resale. Robert Libauer remembered an anecdote from those early years: He was called inside from an afternoon of softball and other sports activities by his father and taken into the cellar of their home to package the stencils into individual envelopes to get them ready for shipment. Robert mumbled under his breath "son of a bitch" and resented being distracted from his play in order to do such menial work. His father was at the other end of the cellar and quietly responded to Roberts expletive with "My mother is not a bitch". Robert was horrified that his father had overheard him and answered, "Gee, Dad... I wasn't talking to you", wherein his father calmly replied, "Theres only two of us here". The Eugene B. Baehr Company was a major super-wholesaler [who also sold to other wholesalers] and became the first distributor of Stensos products. Morris Libauer had accompanied Ruth to New York in order to present a hand-made sample of her stencil to Eugene B. Baehr for his review and consideration. Baehr ordered 50 cartons of the stencils - packed one gross to the case. This order, along with the one from F.W. Woolworth is what got the company up and running. The Stenso Lettering Guide was so unique with its spacing holes (called indicators by Hormats) that she submitted her patent design in 1940 and was awarded a patent for her invention in 1942. In an unparalleled event, the prestigious Macys Department Store in Manhattan held a demonstration of this versatile new product. Manufacturing the stencils was not always a perfect task. The first die provided by Accurate Steel Rule Die (of New York) was too much for an ordinary press to handle and the press broke. To overcome this problem, the die was cut in half, and the stencils were die-cut in two parts to produce the final result. Morris Libauer (Ruth and Bobs father) was the unsung hero of the operation. While Ruth taught school and Robert solicited sales, the elder Libauer worked with the die makers and the printers in order to get their inventory produced. Morris Libauer was a retired furniture retailer and upholsterer whose business once took up a full city block in Baltimore. After selling the furniture business and living on a lifetime annuity, Morris Libauer wanted to venture into other projects. He initially manufactured and sold a line of furniture polish called Colonial, but became enamored with his daughters stencil invention. In 1946, Robert Libauer traveled the country promoting the line. A year later, in 1947, Morris Libauer passed away. It was then when Robert took full charge of the growing young company. His mother had been quite unhappy with the endless trucks pulling up to their modest home to pick up merchandise to be shipped, so eventually Robert Libauer moved Stenso into an abandoned grocery store, and after that to Baltimore's Industrial Building, where he purchased presses and hired a die-cutter. As sales grew, so did the diversity of the product line. The initial products included lettering guides in 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, 1 inch and 1-1/2 inch Roman (serif) capital letters and numbers, a 1/2 inch Gothic (sans serif) card with capitals, lower case and numbers and a map of the United States. The 1/2 inch Gothic was discontinued and was replaced with a 3/4 inch offering, as there were problems at the time in having steel rule dies bent so precisely into small letter shapes. The stencils were offered individually or as small and large assortments known as combination sets. The average size of these stencil cards were approximately 8 inches by 10-1/2 inches. (Later products with letters larger than 3 inches were on stencil board stock of appropriately different sizes.) For a while, a stencil toy (Product #401) called Stenso Circus Animals was produced as well as other educational stencils during the 1940s. A special-run product in the early 1950s offered the Hebrew alphabet (Product #H-54). A unique stencil design was issued toward the end of the 1940s which allowed users to create letters in three different styles. Called 2 inch Solid Gothic, the letters and numbers were atypical of most stencil letters which had breaks within the letter forms. These letters were complete at least on their vertical sides and they were cut out as if resting on rails. The user would trace the sides of the letters, then use a straight edge to close off the tops and bottoms. The user was then encouraged to either leave the letters in outline form, fill them in, or color in the background hence the three-way application. The companys growth prompted Bob to purchase his own building at 1101 East 25th Street and install two Miehle presses and facilities to make cardboard boxes for his company as well as other clients. Previously, the various components were subcontracted and simply assembled at one location. The 1950s saw a large expansion of the product line to include different Roman and Gothic combination sets (with new sizes added) and Gothic sets ranging from 3 inches to 12 inches, as well as the addition of new lettering styles. Old English, Frontier (Western) and Modern Script (similar to the digital typeface Croissant) bolstered the range of lettering available to the consumer. A decorative stencil line was introduced in the mid-1950s for home crafters. As Alaska and Hawaii became states, an additional card was included with the Stenso Map of the United States (Product #50). In the 1950s, Libauer took a unique approach to marketing Stenso products... Using a Dun and Bradstreet directory, and seeking out retailers (such as 5 and 10 cent stores) with good credit ratings, he sent them a package containing an assortment of stencils worth $25.00 in wholesale value, a cover letter and a dollar bill pinned to the letter. The letter contained text somewhat similar to the following: Dear ___________, I cannot afford to have a salesman call on you personally. If you put these items on your counter, your customers will buy them. Should you accept this merchandise, your payment of $25.00 is due in return. In the event you do not accept this merchandise, the enclosed dollar bill will more than adequately cover the cost of returning them. Incredibly, over 40% of the unsolicited mailings were accepted, and Bob had one more marketing trick up his sleeve for those who hadn't either paid for or returned the unsolicited stencils. There was a series of twelve monthly letters sent to these retailers as reminders. The twelfth one would be addressed to the merchant, and the page left blank until you reached near the bottom of the page. One line was typed: I have said all I can say in the previous eleven letters. Over the years, stencil board was bought from any available source, and on one occasion Libauer had come across a warehouse full of the product, so he purchased it. This gave him enough raw material to supply the companys needs for a few years. By the early 1960s a Modern Gothic stencil was introduced with three alphabets all in Art Deco style available on one stencil card. This unique stencil [despite earlier problems with small steel rule dies] offered alphabets and numbers in 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch sizes. The 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch Roman stencils were re-tooled to provide both solid and stencil versions of the letters. Many intermediate sizes, previously available only in combination sets of their respective type style were now being sold as individual units. Around 1962, Robert Libauer merged his company with Ottenheimer Publishers of Owings Mills, Maryland; famous for their Vest Pocket Dictionaries. Although manufacturing was still done at the plant on East 25th Street for a time, by 1964 the operation of Stenso was moved into the Ottenheimer facilities and new packaging was then designed and introduced. Libauers original plan was to merge the two companies and then sell them to a larger company, and publisher McGraw-Hill showed an interest in such an acquisition. However, some third-generation members of the Ottenheimer family didn't want this sale to go through. Ottenheimer Publishers ran into some financial problems, and subsequently sold Stenso to the Dennison Manufacturing Company of Framingham, Massachusetts. Dennison took over Stenso in 1965. A 20 prefix was added to all product numbers to fit into Dennisons product identification system. From 1965 until the early 1980s, the Stenso line was nothing more than an addendum to Dennisons vast product line. Stencil board was replaced with file folder stock, and the dies which needed re-knifing periodically in order to maintain cutting quality were often left in disrepair. Finally, during the beginning years of the 1980s, the line was thoroughly overhauled. All of the old dies were scrapped, and new ones were manufactured. The largest size in the line was a 3 stencil, and the Gothic stencil was actually a version of Helvetica. The Roman products were actually fashioned after a stencil font designed originally in metal type, and later as a digital font. Stencil cards were now approximately 3-1/2 inches high by 8-1/2 inches wide, and were die cut and folded into plastic-wrapped packaging so that they were better suited to pegboard sales in small spaces. As the fortunes of Dennison faltered in the 1990s (no doubt due to over-expansion and fiscal irresponsibility), the onetime largest supplier of office products globally was forced to merge with the Avery Corporation (the originators of self-adhesive labels) in order to survive. The Stenso name was later dropped for the Avery name, and eventually discontinued. Part of the demise of the line can be attributed to the era of dry transfer lettering, and the digital revolution brought on by affordable home computers (where thousands of type typefaces are available). Ironically, the crafting and scrap booking craze has been steadily growing around the country, and various types of stencils have enjoyed steady sales due to a resurgence of interest and popularity in this type of medium, but it comes too late for a line which [for over sixty years] helped millions of school children, business owners, home hobbyists and just about anyone who needed legible lettering (but lacked the talent) letter like a pro. SOME AFTERTHOUGHTS: Christmas stencils were produced in the late 1950s, and sold fairly well seasonally, but Mr. Libauer recalled that if he had produced enough stock prior to the "holiday buying season" of around March and April, he could have increased sales greatly by soliciting them at trade shows for toy merchants. One idea Robert Libauer never got around to marketing was a puzzle toy similar to a jigsaw puzzle, but utilizing a pressure-sensitive material so the parts could be repositioned. Libauers one regret was not moving into the line of pressure-sensitive (stick-on) lettering, which eventually became a large retail market. Although he said he made a decent living from the stencil company, Bob felt he had lost money with the merger of the line to Ottenheimer Publishers, but he had more than made up for this by going to New York, joining a Park Avenue brokerage firm and getting into investment banking and other interests. At 86 [of this writing], Libauer is still working and not looking back to the past. Ruth Libauer Hormats passed away in 2004 at the age of 93. She had been living with her daughter in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and had been in poor health for some time. [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 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]  ⦿