TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat May 30 00:26:04 EDT 2015






Type musea

[Drawing by Ronald Searle published in Le Figaro in 1955 entitled No Smoking]


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]  ⦿

American Sign Museum

Founded by Tod Swormstedt, former editor and publisher of Signs of the Times magazine, the American Sign Museum (est. 2005) is based in Cincinnati, OH. Mike Jackson at the American Sign Museum lists the top 25 early sign making books, roughly in order of his personal preference. Many of these contain great alphabets that can provide inspiration. His list with Mike Jackson's comments in italic:

  • Frank Atkinson: Art of Sign Painting (1909, 1915, 1929, 1937, 1983, 1985, 1991). Probably the single most influential sign making book of its time.
  • C.J. Strong: Strong's Book of Designs (1910, 1917, 1982). C.J. Strong was very influential in the sign world following the turn of the century. This book has been reprinted several times, however all the early editions were spattered with wonderful color plates. Strong was also responsible for the Detroit School of Lettering at this time.
  • R. Henderson: Henderson Sign Painter (1906, 1991). Another of the sought after period books; originals are fairly scarce. R. Henderson seemed to be the person responsible for compiling the book of plates by various noteworthy sign designers of the time. The Denver artist, John Ohnimus, stands out among the group with striking images, lettering, and layouts.
  • Al. Imelli: Alphabets and Layouts (1922). Loaded with alphabets.
  • Fred Knopf: Coast Manual of Lettering and Designs (1907). Fred Knopf and J. M. Mahaffey compiled a wonderful book of layouts, designs, and alphabets using some of their own material and a who's who list of outstanding sign designers of the period.
  • J.N. Halsted: Modern Ornament & Design (1927, 1985). An original of this little jewel is very hard to find. With no alphabets, J.N. Halsted concentrated on illustrations, ornaments and graphic design.
  • E.C. Matthews: Sign Painting Course (1954, 1958). This book is heavily illustrated with his layouts, letterstyles, and ornaments but the text which covers about half of each page is equally informative.
  • Thaddeus David: David's Practical Letterer (1903). This book was published by Thaddeus Davids Company but was compiled by Sidney Hackes and was illustrated by Arnold Binger. The first half of the book is fairly generic with basic instructions on brush and pen lettering.
  • Charles Wagner: Blueprint Textbook of Sign & Showcard Lettering (1926). Charles Wagner operated the Wagner School of Sign Arts in Boston and this book was used as the textbook.
  • E.L. Koller: Artistic Showcards-How to Design and Make Them (1924). E.L. Koller was the Director of Art Schools for the International Correspondence Schools and it appears it was mostly his artwork used in those textbooks. This book includes layouts, letterstyles, color schemes and ornamentation.
  • H.C. Martin: 1000 Showcard Layouts (1928, 1930, 1984). An amazing book if only from the realization of the effort it took to produce it! H.C. Martin, a frequent contributor to Signs of the Times Magazine, was commissioned to produce a book of 1000 showcard layouts specifically to be used in a book.
  • Samuel Welo: Studio Handbook (1927, 1935). This book features numerous hand-lettered alphabets and several pages of ornaments, dingbats, and panel layouts.
  • W.A. Herberling: Basic Lettering (1922). W.A. Heberling was the Instructor of Sign, Scene, and Pictorial Painting at the Mooseheart Vocational Institute in Mooseheart, IL. This book was also used as a textbook, taking beginners through the basics right up to painted pictorial billboards.
  • Ashmun Kelly: The Expert Sign Painter (1910 (1922)). Ashmun Kelly wrote this book for the technical side of the sign trade audience. He explains some of the most complex elements and techniques of the trade including gilding, mirroring, frosting, and embossing.
  • Raymond J. LeBlanc: Gold Leaf Techniques (1961 (plus numerous reprints)). Raymond J. LeBlanc wrote the quintessential book on working with goldleaf of the time. With a few revisions to allow for updated materials, most of the techniques described in his first book are still being used today.
  • Don Sturdivant: Modern Showcard and Theatrical Lettering (1948). Don Sturdivant produced this book at a time when showcards were still commonplace from department stores to theaters. By that time, showcard writing was a fairly specialized part of the sign industry even though the same theories of layout and design applied across the board.
  • Bill Boley: Basiks of Lettering (1952). Bill Boley's general script look was quickly adopted by many of the handlettering artists of the day. Only six different alphabets are shown.
  • Alf R. Becker: One Hundred Alphabets (1941). Alf Becker produced this book for Signs of the Times Publishing Company and who advertised it in their magazines for quite a few years. There were numerous other titles touting a collection of alphabets, but this one seems to have been the most popular even though finding an original is still tough.
  • Duke Wellington: Theory and Practice of Poster Art (1934, 1986). Duke Wellington worked in some of the finest poster and card shops of the time and many of the projects in the book have a strong movie theme. While there are several color plates, the majority of the book consists of black and white photos of his cards and numerous pages of Deco style images and layouts.
  • J.M. Bergling: Art Alphabets and Lettering (1918). J.M. Bergling produced four books of merit which were considered technical art books. They were produced for architects, craftsmen, engrossers, engravers, lettering specialists and commercial artists and were reprinted numerous times throughout the century. The latest known editions were printed in 1980.
  • George: Speedball Lettering Books (1923-1952). A constant source of inspiration.
  • E.L. Koller: ITC & ICS- Correspondence School Textbooks (1924-1935). During this period, the International Textbook Company and International Correspondence School produced dozens of sign-related books. Actually these were textbooks usually sharing some of the same chapters. E.L. Koller is credited with much of the text and illustrations used in the textbooks and he did produce a similar set of stand alone books with much of the same information.
  • H.C. Martin: Martin's Idea Books 1-4 (1935-1937). H.C. Martin wrote his 1000 Showcard Layouts in 1928. This group of four Speedball-sized booklets showcased Martin's later work with even more zest and eye appeal than the original book. #4 was produced in 1937.
  • C.J. Strong: Detroit School of Lettering 1-10 (1905). C.J. Strong owned and operated the Detroit School of Lettering along with a mail order supply department. This group of ten booklets are about the same size as a normal Speedballlettering book, but slightly thinner.
  • D.M. Campana: The Artist and Decorator (1925). An art nouveau text influenced by Alphonse Mucha.
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Biblioteca Nacional de Espana

List of the typography and type specimen books at the National Library of Spain in Madrid. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bibliothèque de l'école Estienne

As part of the Ecole Supérieure Estienne (18, boulevard Auguste-Blanqui, 75013 Paris, Tél : 01 55 43 47 47: subway Place d'Italie), this library has many books on typography. Free, 9-12 and 1-5, Monday to Friday, except Wednesdays and during the school holidays. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bibliothèque royale de Belgique

Open every day except Sunday, 9-5: Mont des Arts, Boulevard de l'Empereur 4, 1000, Bruxelles. They have a good old book collection, but only a rather minimal collection of books on typography. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bibliotheqie Nationale de France

The national library of France. Has nice Samples of lettrines, including Alphabet de Paulini (1570), Alphabet des diableries, in Nouvelle collection de lettres de différents genres à l'usage de MM. les peintres et graveurs, A. Caulo (1856), Les Cris de Paris no1 (Paris, Maison Basset, vers 1845), Alphabet comique de Daumier (1836), Alphabet, Kate Greenaway (London, 1885), Alphabet diabolique (1837), Les polichinelles utiles ou l'origine des lettres (1826). Sandrine Maillet accepts donations and specimen of typographic work. They specialize in rare books and historical typographical pieces, but present day work is also being collected right now. Address: Réserve des livres rares, Quai François Mauriac, 75706 Paris Cedex 13. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Bibliotheque Forney

Located at 1, rue du Figuier, 75004 Paris, this quaint old library is rumored to have unpublished Deberny&Peignot typefaces in its archives. [Google] [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]  ⦿

C.C. Stern Type Foundry
[Jeff Shay]

The C.C. Stern Type Foundry (Portland, OR) was founded as a working museum and metal type foundry in 2009. The mission of the C.C. Stern Type Foundry is to cultivate a unique connection between industry and the arts in the Pacific Northwest. The organization is one of the few operating type foundries between San Francisco and Vancouver. The organization's ability to make metal type and decorative print elements, and to share that craft with the community, fills a growing need within the Pacific Northwest's network of designers, letterpress printers and book artists. The C.C. Stern Type Foundry honors the memory of C. Christopher Stern, who built and operated the foundry at Stern&Faye, Printers of Sedro-Woolley, Washington. It is run by Jeff Shay (involved in the Museum of Metal Typography), Brian Bagdonas, Rebecca Gilbert, Chris Chen, Connie Blauwkamp and Joseph Green.

Jeff Shay is a printer and photographer who has been making fine art for over 20 years. Jeff earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction (magna cum laude) in Photography/Fine Art from Art Center College of Design in 1992. Jeff's hands-on printmaking instruction includes lab instruction at Art Center, where he instructed students in and demonstrated photogravure, intaglio etching techniques and lithography. He currently provides private instruction and printing services for artists through his company, Buzzworm Studios. Jeff brings experience in non-profit board positions including past roles as Board Treasurer and Chairman of the Personnel Committee for Food Front Co-operative Grocery in Portland, Oregon. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Colgate Collection

The Colgate Collection at McGill University is Canada's finest type book and specimen collection. It probably rivals any collection in North America as well. The link leads you to just the first half of the type specimen collection (Text format for most of that list). Part of the collection on typography. Part of the collection on typefounding and type-cutting. I know that there are fine books at Harvard and other Ivy League libraries, but none (!!!) allows the use of scanners or digital cameras in the rare books divisions. Duplication is possible at a cost well above the purchase price of the (rare) book if you need a reasonable number of copies. But McGill is open for business. Free, democratic, accessible to "the people", even the poor, the way it should be. Cameras and scanners are allowed. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Columbia University

Search for type books in Columbia University's extensive type collection (which comes mainly from Bullen and ATF). [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]  ⦿

Digital Scriptorium

Housed at Columbia University, The Digital Scriptorium is a growing image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Grolier Club

"Founded in 1884, the Grolier Club of New York is America's oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts. Named for Jean Grolier, the Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his library with friends, the Club's objective is to foster "the literary study and promotion of the arts pertaining to the production of books." The Club maintains a research library on printing and related book arts, and its programs include public exhibitions as well as a long and distinguished series of publications." [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gutenberg Museum

The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

Wood type museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henry Lewis Bullen

Type historian (b. Ballarat, Australia, 1857-1938), who worked at ATF in New Jersey, and who established the 12,000-volume Typographic Library and Museum in The American Type Founders Building, Jersey City, in 1908 (and which existed there until 1936). It thrived until ATF went bankrupt. In 1936 the Museum collection was acquired by Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt, curator of Rare Books at Columbia University's Butler Library, who was a friend of Bullen's. It is still at Columbia University today. Bullen did more than anyone in America to preserve typographic history, and for this, we have to be thankful. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Hermann Zapf: The Fine Art of Letters

13 December 2000 to 10 February 2001: exhibition at The Grolier Club (47 East 60th Street, New York) of Hermann Zapf's work. [Google] [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]  ⦿

Jeff Shay
[C.C. Stern Type Foundry]

[More]  ⦿

Justin Howes
[The Type Museum]

[More]  ⦿

Klingspor Museum Offenbach

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. [Google] [More]  ⦿

List of typographical musea and printers

The best and most complete list of typography-related musea and repositories. Maintained by Jacques André. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Mac McGrew

Author of American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century (New Castle, Delaware, Oak Knoll Books, 1996), which describes every known American typeface designed and cast in metal during the 20th century. See also here and here. M.F. McGrew (1912-2007) was also the author of over 300 articles on typography, which ran in trade journals. He wasd born in Chattanooga, TN, grew up in Pennsylvania, and died in Pittsburgh. His 500-strong book collection was donated to The Museum of Printing in North Andover, Massachusetts, near Boston, where the public can consult them. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Mathieu Lommen
[University of Amsterdam: Special Collections]

[More]  ⦿

Matthew Carter
[Matthew Carter Exhibit]

[More]  ⦿

Matthew Carter Exhibit
[Matthew Carter]

[More]  ⦿

Maurice Annenberg

Noted Baltimore printer and type historian. Author (1907-1979) of Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs (1955; see also New Castle, 1994), with historical accounts of each foundry. Other books: Advertising, 3000 B.C.-1900 A.D. (1969), A Typographic Journey Through the Inland Printer, 1883-1900 (1977). His extensive type collection is now at the University of Maryland. [Google] [More]  ⦿

McGill University

The rare books collection at McGill University in Montreal has hundreds of books on typography donated to the library by William George Colgate of Toronto ("the William Colgate collection"). It has over 13,000 monographs now on type design and the history of the book, and many specimen books dating from 1850-1950, including a lot of the work of W.A. Dwiggins. Try a keyword search for "type" and "specimen"! The curator is Richard Virr. The person in charge of the Colgate Collection is Donald Hogan. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Melbourne Museum of Printing

Has a nice glossary of typography and printing. [Google] [More]  ⦿

MoMA 2011

A rather puzzling news item reached us in January 2011---the MoMA in New York has acquired 23 digital typefaces for its collection. I wonder how one acquires a typeface? Is there only one original? The typefaces were chosen with a foresight of the scope of the digital revolution, and they all significantly respond to the technological advancements occurring in the second half of the twentieth century. Each is a milestone in the history of typography. One can easily set up a web site that shows those 23 fonts, so what is the point of all this? The 23 acquired typefaces are:

  • American Type Founders: OCR-A (1966)
  • Wim Crouwel: New Alphabet (1967)
  • Matthew Carter: Bell Centennial (1976-78)
  • Matthew Carter:ITC Galliard (1978)
  • Erik Spiekermann: FF Meta (1984-1991)
  • Zuzana Licko: Oakland (1985)
  • Jeffery Keedy: Keedy Sans (1991)
  • Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum: FF Beowolf (1990)
  • Barry Deck: Template Gothic (1990)
  • P. Scott Makela: Dead History (1990)
  • Jonathan Hoefler: HTF Didot (1991)
  • Neville Brody: FF Blur (1992)
  • Jonathan Barnbrook: Mason (1992)
  • Matthew Carter: Mantinia (1993)
  • Tobias Frere-Jones: Interstate (1993-95)
  • Matthew Carter: Big Caslon (1994)
  • Albert-Jan Pool: FF DIN (1995)
  • Matthew Carter: Walker (1995)
  • Matthew Carter: Verdana (1996) [image by Offeibea Adu-Darko]
  • Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones: Mercury (1996)
  • Matthew Carter: Miller (1997)
  • Jonathan Hoefler&Tobias Frere-Jones: Retina (1999)
  • Tobias Frere-Jones and Jesse Ragan: Gotham (2000)
There are obvious biases here towards certain designers. The destructionist era of Brody and Emigre is overrepresented, and Zapf and Frutiger are underrepresented. This is not meant to be a list of best fonts, only those that had a technological design element, but then why is Monaco not there? And if impact is at least a partial criterion, why is Helvetica missing? Also interesting to note that about 50% of the faces in the list are interpretations of older designs. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Musée Champollion de Figeac

Jean-François Champollion is the Frenchman who decrypted the Egyptian hieroglyphs. This is a museum dedicated to his work, in the heart of France. [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 du parchemin

This French museum sells useful books with hundreds of examples of medieval alphabets, illuminations, initial caps, and ornaments. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Museo Bodoniano

The Bodoni Museum in Parma. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Museu Virtual de Imprensa

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

Museum de Historische Drukkerij

Museum in Maastricht, The Netherlands. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Museum für Druckkunst

Printing museum in Leipzig's suburb of Plagwitz (Nonnenstrasse 38), an outgrowth of the old Haas-Drugulin printing house [Drugulin was started in 1829 by Friedrich Nies, became renowned for Asian and African languages, and was merged with Haas in 1928, only to be damaged during WWII, and emerge outdated from the East German era in 1990]. "There are wood and lead printing characters, matrices, steel stamps, in all some thirty tons from the stocks of the best known (no longer existing) typefoundries or printing establishments. Among them are hieroglyphs, cuneiform types, Sanskrit types from the Reichsdruckerei, the Imperial Printers in Berlin and the set of matrices of a gothic script by Jakob Sabon, cut before 1575." In 1992, the Museum was bought by Eckehart SchumacherGebler, a printer from München. Page at MyFonts. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Museum of Industrial Archeology and Textile (MIAT)

Museum in Ghent, Belgium, dedicated to the industrial revolution, and many of its aspects, including the recent history of printing and typesetting. They have a fine collection of antique presses. In July 2007, Peter Van Lancker, Erik Desmyter, Patrick Goossens, Gilbert Decorte and Jos Pastijn organized a spectacular event, called Fata Morgana, in which over 1000 newspapers were printed of The Bornhemsche Gazet of 1831, in letter types of the era (Monotype Modern Extended, specially founded by Gilbert Decorte for the event) on a Perreau&Brault stop cylinderpress, which, for the occasion, was restored by volunteers at the MIAT. Video of the Perreau&Brault in action. Peter Van Lancker's videos of this event. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Museums of typography

List of type museums maintained by the TeX Users Group. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Newberry Library

Public library in Chicago with a great collection of books related to typography. Located at 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610-7324. Paul F. Gehl is the custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, which is where most of the type books are. In April 2010, I finally had an opportunity to check it out, spending two full days at the library. The positives: the collection is indeed extensive, laptops are allowed, the staff is very friendly and helpful, and one is allowed to take photographs without a flash. The (minor) negatives: tripods and other camera tools are disallowed, and ballpoint pens are forbidden. Also, browsing in the stacks is impossible (as opposed, to, say, Harvard's Houghton library, where books less than about 70 years old are in public stacks). Still, there are some real treasures at the Newberry. [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]  ⦿

Planet Typography

Type news. Type museum. Small archive. [Google] [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]  ⦿

Printing Museum, Tokyo

Printing and type museum in Tokyo (Suido 1-3-3, Bunkyo-ku, tokyo 112-0005). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Robert Grabhorn Collection

A collection of over 10,000 volumes focusing on traditional letterpress printing. It has many type specimen books and permits photocopying. It is part of the San Francisco Public Library. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Museum for type, printing, and writing in Tilburg, The Netherlands. [Google] [More]  ⦿

St. Bride Printing Library

Located on Fleet street in London, the St. Bride Printing Library opened in 1895 as a technical library, and since 1992, has built its international reputation as one of the world's foremost printing and graphics arts library. On-line catalogue. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Broxbourne Collection

At Cambridge University, the Broxbourne Collection contains about 650 books of type specimens and books of typographical interest from the 15th to the 20th century. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Gutenberg Bible

The entire Gutenberg Bible on-line at the British Library. [Google] [More]  ⦿

The Type Museum
[Justin Howes]

London-based museum, whose curator was Justin Howes (until his death in 2005). Established in 1992, since 1995 the collection has been housed in Stockwell, in a range of industrial buildings built between 1895 and 1905 as a veterinary hospital. In 1996, the Type Museum bought all of Stephenson Blake's materials, i.e., punches, matrixes, archives, and specimen books. They have been acquing other material including highly important collections of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century type specimen books and, in the case of Monotype, the complete business records of a global enterprise. There are rich holdings of punches, matrices and moulds from the principal eighteenth- and nineteenth-century London typefoundries, complemented by business archives and by one of the world's best collections of type specimen books. In 2003, it started to offer some workshops and demonstrations on metal and wood type printing. In 2006, the museum intended to close with this message: The trustees of the Type Museum have taken the decision this week to CLOSE and disperse the museum due to lack of funding. These unique collections spanning the evolution of type design and manufacture will be split up and the majority put into storage - unlikely to see the light of day again. You are receiving this email because you have previously expressed your interest in, and support for the Type Museum. We need your help urgently if we are save the Type Museum as a working resource for the future. In 2009, they still exist, and despite the fact that they were supported by British Government grants, there is no public access (!!!!!). Hmmm. They will take donations (hopefully to make the collection free and public to anyone). The web site does not mention the name Justin Howes---w [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]  ⦿

The Typographic Library

The library comprises more the 4,000 items of typographic interest including reference books, journals and periodicals, trade literature, items of printed ephemera and collections of special interest. Free to the public. They explain: The Typographic Hub is part of the Birmingham Institute of Art&Design at Birmingham City University; the Hub works to promote the history, theory and practice of typographic design. Historically, the Midlands are England's typographic heart. William Caslon (1692-1766) the first grandée of English type design, was born in Cradley, whilst Birmingham was home to John Baskerville (1706-1775), creator of the world's most well-known and enduring typeface; and Leonard Jay, a teacher par excellence revolutionised 20th century British typographic education whilst Head of the Birmingham School of Printing (1925-1953). The Typographic Hub works to preserve this great heritage. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Tipoteca Italiana fondazione

Italian type museum in Cornudo (Treviso), also called Museo del Carattere e della Tipografia. It has a printshop, library and archive, and it organizes casting workshops. The museum has some section devoted to Italian type designers and Italian type. The following types are exhibited:

  • Pastonchi (F. Pastonchi-E. Cotti, 1927)
  • Griffo (G. Mardersteig, 1929)
  • Semplicitä (Studio Nebiolo, 1930)
  • Triennale (Fonderia Reggiani, 1933)
  • Neon (G. Da Milano, 1935)
  • Landi (A. Butti, 1939)
  • Hastile (A. Butti, 1941)
  • Microgramma (A. Butti, 1941)
  • Dante (G. Mardersteig, 1946-52)
  • Tallone (A. Tallone, 1949)
  • Garaldus (A. Novarese, 1941)
  • Garamond Simoncini (F. Simoncini, 1958)
  • Eurostile (A. Novarese, 1962)
  • Forma (A. Novarese, 1968)
Occasionally, meetings are organized, such as Bunker (June 22-24, 2007). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type An Sich

An annual exhibition organized by the design studio Catapult in Antwerp, Belgium. The first five focused on (1) Gerard Unger, (2) J.F. Porchez, (3) Fred Smeijers, (4) Pierre Di Scullio, and (5) Belgian type designers Jo de Baerdemaker, Joke Gossé and Omar Chafai. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Library

Type library in Birmingham (1st Floor Toll House The Bond 180-182 Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5SE), by appointment only and 5 pounds entrance. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Museum

Dead link. The Type Museum was started by Matthew Desmond in 2007 as a sort of type wiki. The site disappeared a few years later. Themes included

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Typographia Historia

History of type. Specially detailed pages on historical type in Toulouse and Venice, and by Balzac and Gutenberg. Musea. [Google] [More]  ⦿

University Library Amsterdam

The University Library Amsterdam organized an exhibition on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Tetterode (formerly Typefoundry Amsterdam). In 1971 the University Library bought the Typographical Library of this firm. Contact: Mathieu Lommen. Location, if you happen to be in Amsterdam: Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam. [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).
  • 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 Letterproeven van Nederlandse gieterijen / Dutch typefounders specimens (1998, Amsterdam) and Bram de Does: Letterontwerper and Typograaf (2003, De Buitenkant). Mathieu Lommen's talk at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam was entitled Highlights of Amsterdam type design. [Google] [More]  ⦿

University of Toronto

Affiliated with the University of Toronto, Massey College has material on the history of printing, papermaking, bookbinding, palaeography, calligraphy, and type design. The collections also include the papers of Canadian graphic designers Carl Dair and Allan Fleming. The Robertson Davies Library, Massey College, is located at 4 Devonshire Place, one block east of St George and one block south of Bloor Street in Toronto. Check also the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library nextdoor, which includes the Cooper and Beatty Collection [over one thousand broadsides, pamphlets and books from the Canadian typographic firm of Cooper and Beatty, including Christmas cards and advertisements of its services. Designers represented are Stuart Ash, Tony Crawford, Carl Dair, Jim Donoahue, Allan Fleming, Tony Mann, Jake Sneep, and W.E. "Jack" Trevett]. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Yale University

Type specimen book collection at Yale University. [Google] [More]  ⦿


From September 1 until October 31, 2001, there was an exhibition on calligraphy and type design honoring the work of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf in the San Francisco Public Library. Photo reportage by Jill Bell. [Google] [More]  ⦿