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Dan X. Solo



Luc Devroye
McGill University
Montreal, Canada
lucdevroye@gmail.com
https://luc.devroye.org
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A.D. Farmer
[Farmer, Little&Co.]

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Alex Sheldon
[Match&Kerosene]

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Allen Moore
[Dan X. Solo: Testimonial by Allen Moore]

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Antoine Szczebanski

Designer in the art nouveau era. One on his alphabets, page 71 of the Solotype catalog, was digitized in 2010 by Claude Pelletier as Le Golf. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Boston Type Foundry
[Edward Pelouze]

Boston-based foundry, est. 1817 by Edward Pelouze. Also called Bedlington&Ewer, Boston Type&Stereotype Co. (1825-1845), and John K. Rogers, Agent (the latter happened when it was bought by John K. Rogers and Edward Pelouze in 1853). Acquired by ATF in 1892.

Free specimen books: Condensed specimen book from the Boston Type Foundry (1860, John K. Rogers&Co, Boston), Popular designs for artistic printers. Selected from the novelties manufactured by the Central type foundry, of St. Louis and Boston type foundry, of Boston. The only manufacturers of copper alloy type (1892).

Digital revivals: Monument is a Solotype revival of a 1893 typeface by the Boston Type Foundry (which was also cast at the Central Type Foundry). Boston Blackie (2004, Nick Curtis) is a blackletter revival from their 1832 catalog. Beantown Bounce NF (2007, Nick Curtis) is a revival of a quaint Victorian typeface shown in the 1898 catalog called Century. Moslem was revived in 2011 by Nick Curtis as Suffiya NF. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Bruce Mikita

Faux Chinese font from Bruce's Type Foundry, 1867, originating from Bruce's Ornamented no. 1048. Paul Shaw notes: Mikita is considered by type historians to be the oldest ethnic type since it has an "Asian" quality and can be traced back to a design by Bruce's New York Type Foundry in 1867. But that face, created by Julius Herriet, Sr., underwent a number of name changes, based on how it was perceived over the years. Originally called Bruce's Ornamented no. 1048, it was copied in England the following year by the foundry of J.&R.M. Wood, which named it Novel. Bruce later renamed it Rustic Shaded, a descriptive name that suggests a cabin's carpentry. But in the mid-'50s, when Charles Broad, the owner of Typefounders of Phoenix, dubbed it Mikita, the letters must have been equally suggestive of Japanese woodworking. A decade or so later, the Visual Graphics Corporation, a leading manufacturer of display phototype fonts, offered it as Bruce Mikita (TB-29). The digital version of the typeface was created in 2000 by Harold Lohner of Harold's Fonts. Although unaware of the type's history-on his website, Lohner asks, "Who was Bruce Mikita?"-Lohner recognized the font's latent qualities, writing, "It seems handcrafted and rustic and suggests East Asian calligraphy." Lohner based his version on a showing of the typeface in Dan X. Solo's Victorian Display Alphabets (1976). Interestingly, Solo, the owner of Solotype Typographers, considered the typeface Victorian rather than Japanese. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Carl Schraubstadter

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). Carl Junior is credited with a typeface that was later digitized by Dan Solo (Solotype) as Hearst Roman and Hearst Italic. Goudy claimed that these were designs stolen from him. Solo mentions the date 1904. A further digitization of these types is due to Nick Curtis in 2006: Ragged Write NF, Ragged Write NF Italic. In 1905, he patented a slab face. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Central Type Foundry

Foundry from St. Louis, est. 1872. It became "Central Division of ATF" in 1893. Discussion of its types by McGrew. Digitizations:

  • Spiral was the basis of the curly revival Hasta La Pasta (2005, Nick Curtis).
  • Raphael (1885) was digitized at Linotype / Monotype. It is an art nouveau display typeface with lots of swashy flair. Check the Adobe version (1974-1995).
  • Monument is a Solotype revival of a 1893 typeface by the Boston Type Foundry (which was also cast at the Central Type Foundry).
  • Harpers was designed for the popular newsweekly of the same name. It was digitally revived in 2009 by Nick Curtis as Weekly Bazaar NF.
  • Oh You Klid NF (2009, Nick Curtis) is based on the Victorian typeface Euclid from the 1880s.
  • Multiform, created for coloring. No known digitization.
  • Quaint Roman: a great hand-drawn alphabet. Not digitized yet.
  • An 1880 typeface was revived in 2011 by Claude Pelletier as Euclid CP (free download).
  • Gloriosus NF (2014, Nick Curtis) revives Apollo.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Character
[Herbert F. Van Brink]

Prolific Woodland Hills, CA-based typophile and type designer (1937-2013) whose portfolio consisted largely of revivals and who used the alias Character for his typographic work. The Los Angeles Times posted this obituary: Herb passed away after a brief fight against esophageal cancer. He was a 42 year resident of Woodland Hills Ca. Son of the late Jean and Mary Van Brink, he was born in Manhattan, graduated from Stuyvesant High School (1952) and Queens College (1956) and always considered himself a New Yorker. He had a long career in Information Technology and retired from Arco. He loved traveling, bowling, genealogy, and was a bridge Life Master among his many interests. He was a trickster and a perfectionist. He leaves his wife, Paula, his son, David Van Brink and DIL Deb Culmer of Santa Cruz CA, his daughter Qarin Van Brink and SIL James Ray of Burien WA, grandchildren Amelia and Wilhelmina Ray Van Brink, brother and sister-in-law Jeffrey and Louise Van Brink of E. Northport NY and nephews Matthew and Jordan Van Brink.

His typefaces:

  • Animal dingbat fonts: AbecedarianZoo (2003, created from an alphabet in Art Explosion 200,000), Turf&surf (2005).
  • Alphadings: Jennifer's train (2011), ABCPlay (2005), DiddleTheMouse (2005), Silly Set (2005), Stone Carving (2005), Snow Persons (2005), Alaskan Ice (2005), Peppermin Canes (2005), USStarsNStripes (2003, first called USFlags), XmasTree (2002), XmasTree II (2004), Xmas Alpha (2005).
  • Erotic alphabets: Flotner (2002, based on a scan of the human character alphabet by Peter Flötner (1534)), SilvestreBodies (2006, based on a figurative alphabet designed by Joseph Balthazar Silvestre in 1834, with engravings made by Girault), ErotiCaps Outline (2007), ErotiCaps Solid (2007), WeygelBodies (2006, adapted from Martin Weygel's 1560 interpretation of Peter Flotner's 1534 figurative alphabet).
  • Stained glass themed fonts: ModernStainedGlass (2007), ModernStainedGlass2Tone (2007).
  • Capital alphabets: Cameo Antique (2011, after Cameo Antique on page 17 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces---a shadowed outline version of the typeface called NightShade, on the same page of Dan Solo's book; the only known digitized fonts of NightShade are "Shadowed Serif" by James Fordyce (1994) and NigelSadeSH, from Soft Horizons (1993)), Modern French Capitals (2010, after a set of capitals drawn by Alphonse Mucha), Mucha French Capitals (2010, similar?), Marcel Caps (2007; based on "Crossroads" by August Will (1891)), WoodLook (2007, an improvement of 101's Wooden Alpha BlockZ), 3DAlphabet (2008, based on an alphabet coloring book designed by Jean Larcher, 1978), RomantiqueInitials (2007, based on work by Aridi), Blistered, BlisteredFramed, BlisteredReverse (2005, based on Marwan Aridi's Blister from the Initial Caps Vol I), ChiseledRound, Contemporary CH (2010), CourierInitials (2005, based on an alphabet by Johan)), Eclectica (2003, party-theme), FeathersInYourCaps (2002), FlowerSketches (2002), LACETRIM (2002), LeafyStencil (2003), QuiltedStippled (2004, based on an embroidery alphabet created by DesignsInStitches), RetroCapsBW (2004), RetroCapsWB (2004), Rope5 (2004, rope font), Rustic Black Shadow (2011. He explains: In the Solotype Catalog of 4,147 typefaces, RUSTIC is shown with a black shadow. RUSTIC WHITESHADOW has a white shadow. However, the Solotype digital font named RUSTIC has no shadow. Similar no-shadow fonts are also available as Pinewood (by Rick Mueller and one by Dieter Steffmann) and as Woody (by DincType). As of October, 2011, no digitized version of Rustic Whiteshadow is known. Character has produced a font named RusticBlackShadow, which matches the font named Rustic in the Solotype Catalog. Dick Pape had created an earlier version named Pepin Press Caps FA204, based on fonts contained in the Pepin Press book Fancy Alphabets. ), THINROPE (2002), VALENTINEHEARTS (2002), Printed Circuit (2005), SportsABC (2005), Feathered Flight (2005), Joe Clement (2007, Western pixel face), Ribbon Shadow (2007).
  • Fonts based on scans from Awesome Alphabets (Mike Artell, 1999, Good Year): SketchBoards, SketchBones, SketchClothes, SketchLogs (2005), SketchPencils, SketchPipes, SketchTools, all done in 2005.
  • Athletic lettering: Collegiate Heavy Outline (2006), Real Madrid 2011-2012 (2011, an expansion of a font by "Adriano"), The Football League (2011), Adidas Euro 2008 (2011), Puma World Cup 2010 (2010: based on Crepello, a custom-made font by Paul Barnes for Puma, that was used on the jersey of Italy, Switzerland and Uruguay during the 2010 FIFA World Cup), Adidas Unity (2010), LINKEB+Regular (2008) uses the lettering of the Geaux font used by LSU.
  • Pixel or dot matrix style fonts: Dash It All (2007, based on Cooper Black), Even Hearted (2007, an improvement of CK More Hearts), Square 9x9 (2007).
  • Brush faces: Skippingbrush (2006), GraffitiPaintBrush (2008).
  • Dingbats: Being Sport Pictograms (2008).
  • Scanbats: PilobusSilhouettes (2010) is based upon a human alphabet photographed by John Kane.
  • Techno: BultacoDual (2010), Dr Who 42 (2007), London MMXII (2008), ArrowheadLake (2009, +Shadows, +Sunlit; based on the nearly blackletter typeface Arrowhead from the Solotype Catalog and alphabet books).
  • Historic faces: Driftwood 67 (2011, Driftwood on page 67 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), ArrowheadLake and ArrowheadLakeShadows (2011, based on Solotype Catalog p.74), Cutin (2011, a simple rounded monoline sans called Cut-in Medium on page 163 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces),Cutin (2011, a simple rounded monoline sans called Cut-in Medium on page 163 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), Pepin FA288 (2011, based on Matra, or Bifur, on page 54 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces by Dan X. Solo), Varicka (2010, from "Decorative Condensed Alphabets", by Dan Solo, p. 94. It is similar to Red Rooster's Triple Gothic Condensed, but the Solo's font has different features), MaxfieldParrish140 (2007: From an incomplete (no "N") hand-drawn alphabet by Maxfield Parrish. See figure 140 of "Letters&Lettering" by Frank C. Brown, 1921. This is a different source than the P22 Parrish font family.), Ronde Antique (2009, based on page 110 of the Verlag Gerlach 1881 catalog).
  • Other: Scramble Mixed (2006, scrabble face), Happy Fourth, Emperor AN (2009: this semi-art nouveau typeface is Emperor on page 42 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces---not the same as Dan Solo's Emperor at MyFonts), Wood Gothic Caps (2011, blackletter), WoodWud (2011), Gallia Two (2010, based on a font found on page 55 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces as Gallia No. 2), Charleston (2010, based on page 46 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), Azteca Regular (2010: based on Azteca Condensed by Dan X. Solo, page 74 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), Othello Fill and Solid (2011, derived from Othello on page 155 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), Sharons Shadows (2010, +Bold), Masked Menace (2012, based on Bodoni Poster).

Fontspace link. Dafont link. Yet another URL. Fontspace link. And another one. See also at abfonts. Dafont link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Charles Henry Beeler

Type designer, b. 1855 Philadelphia, d. 1934. He made a condensed sans serif issued by Mackellar, Smiths & Jordan foundry in 1887, and digitally revived as Roundhead by Dan Solo (Solotype). In fact, this type already appears in an 1883 specimen book by Mackellar, Smiths & Jordan. For a second revival of Roundhead, see LevellerNF (2014, Nick Curtis).

Still at Mackellar, he created a fist-based alphading typeface in 1891. Hansard (1887) and Telegraph (1895), Victorian designs, were also revived by Dan Solo. Manifesto Bold (2003, Dan Solo) is a further revival.

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

Cincinnati Type Foundry

Cincinnati-based foundry (est. 1817), also called Oliver&Horace Wells, Horace Wells, Agant, and L.T. Wells, Agent. Among digitizations, we find French Ionic (Dan X. Solo, Solotype: quite ugly--based on an 1870 Clarendon derivative by the Cincinnati Type Foundry).

Free specimen book on the web: Fifteenth book of specimens Compact Edition from the Central Type Foundry (1882, Cincinnati). At the time of that printing, Henry Barth was president, assisted by Charles Wells and William P. Hunt.

Judy Ko revived a condensed didone typeface from the Cincinnati Type Foundry typeface called Condensed No. 4 in 2012. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Claude Pelletier

Quebec-based typographer and type designer (aka Diogene) who specializes mainly in revivals of obscure or old typefaces.

Dafont link. Yet another URL. Abfonts carries many of his fonts. Fontspace link.

His typefaces:

  • Salamandre (2012). A tall 19-th century style slab typeface based on Iguana, a design of Sally-Ann Grover.
  • Aerolite C Pone (2013). A calligraphic connected copperplate script.
  • Angelica CP (2011)
  • Banner Star (2012). An American flag-themed display typeface.
  • Barrio CP (2011). An inline face.
  • BeansCP (2010, after a font found on page 10 of Art Deco Display Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo).
  • Bienetresocial (2003), BienetresocialBold (2003).
  • Bizarre and Bizarrerie (2010; based on Edwards and Inland, both designed in 1895 by Nicholas J. Werner at the Inland Type Foundry; renamed in 1925 by BBS)
  • Bloque Demo (2011). Experimental.
  • Bold (2008)
  • Carre (2009, athletic numerals).
  • Caslon CP (2012, based on Caslon 223 Bold).
  • Champignon (1999-2009, a formal calligraphic script)
  • Chartrand (2010, Victorian)
  • Chomage (2009)
  • Chopin Script (1999-2010, calligraphic; after Polonaise by Phil Martin)
  • Constanze Initials (2010). After Constanze Initials by Joachim Romann (1956).
  • Crayonnette (2000)
  • DeClaude (2010, patterned and named after DeVinne)
  • Derniere (1999)
  • Dojo CP (2011)
  • Dynamic CP (2010, based on page 48 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces as Dynamic Deco)
  • Ebony (2011). Based on a Marder&Luse design from 1890. Ebony is on page 38 of 100 Ornamental Alphabets by Dan X. Solo and also on page 43 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces.
  • Embrionic 85 (sic) (2012, +Swash Caps) and Embrionic 55 Swash (2012): an ink trap sans display family.
  • Essai (2003)
  • Euclid CP (2011): based on an 1880 typeface at Central Type Foundry.
  • Fancy Text (2004, blackletter)
  • Fantaisie1 (1999)
  • Gourmandise (2013), an exquisite Normandian-style didone display typeface.
  • Haricot (2010, a fat modular typeface based on Beans in the Dan Solo catalog)
  • Humeur (2001-2002, funny smilies)
  • IEC5000 (2011). A symbol font with electrical and other icons.
  • Initiales Medium (2011)
  • JohnHancockCP-Medium (2010, bold didone)
  • Landi Echo (2011). A remake of Landi Echo by Alessandro Butti (1939-1943).
  • La Tribune (2011). A newspaper type.
  • Le Golf or Le Trou (2010, art nouveau typeface by Antoine Szczebanski, digitized by Claude Pelletier; also on page 71 of the Solotype catalog)
  • Les Etoiles (2013): an inline typeface
  • Lionel P (2010, a multiline typeface inspired by Letraset's 1973 typeface Stripes)
  • Malvern (1999)
  • Manquis CP (2012). A roman typeface.
  • Maratre (2013). A delicious connected copperplate calligraphic script.
  • Monterey Wide (2011). A Tuscan ornamental face, based on a showing on page 22 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces.
  • Motscroises (1997)
  • Niaisage (2012). A lachrymal caps only typeface.
  • Oxford CP (2010, a multiline face, based on the 1960s typeface by Christine Lord)
  • Pasdecourbe (2003)
  • Pasdenom (2001, no punctuation)
  • Pepinot (2012), an art nouveau typeface based on Coral Inline on page 190 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces.
  • Pistilli Roman (2011, after the original by Pistilli)
  • Postface (2012). A bold signage script face.
  • Rita Smith (2012). After Primavera by Rita Major.
  • Rogers, Rogers2 (1997). He says that it is not his font---that he just rearranged the glyphs. According to Claude, can be found in the book Treasury of Authentic Art Nouveau Alphabets, ed. Petzendorfer, Plate 23. It was made in 1902 by A.V. Haight for Inland Typefoundry.
  • Simplement (2011) is Cut-in Medium on page 163 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces.
  • Stylie Stymus (2012).
  • Threshold (2014).
  • TriangleETcircleShadow, TriangleETcircleShadowed (2010, 3d iron work style face)
  • UptightC (2010, multiline face).
  • YagiUHFNo2 (2012).
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Dan Solo: Identifont

Identifont's page on Dan Solo. He lists these typefaces:

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Dan X. Solo
[Dan X. Solo: Art Deco Display Alphabets]

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Dan X. Solo
[Solotype]

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Dan X. Solo
[Dan X. Solo: His books]

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Dan X. Solo
[MyFonts: Solotype]

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Dan X. Solo: Art Deco Display Alphabets
[Dan X. Solo]

Dan Solo wrote Art Deco Display Alphabets (1982, Dover Pictorial Archives). The images of the book were scanned in by Google. View them here [large web page warning]. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Dan X. Solo: Digitizations by Dick Pape
[Dick Pape]

Dick Pape based the following digitizations (2008-2010) of blackletter, art deco, Celtic, initial caps, and other ornamental typefaces shown by Dan X. Solo in his Dover books: DXSAlphaMidnight, DXSAlphaTwilight, DXSBeansBold, DXSBlackline (prismatic, art deco), DXSBoboBold, DXSBrusselsInitials, DXSBuckinghamInitials, DXSBust, DXSCharger, DXSCheckmate, DXSCorral, DXSDevon, DXSDevonian, DXSDudleyPNarrow, DXSFatCat, DXSFestival, DXSFrankfortInitials, DXSFuturaInline, DXSGrooviestGothic, DXSGuildhall, DXSHessNeobold, DXSHotline, DXSHuntingtonInitials, DXSJoyceBlack, DXSKupferInitials, DXSLampoon, DXSLeipzigInitials, DXSLeister, DXSLowenbrau, DXSMonogramStencil, DXSMonumentBold, DXSNottinghamInitials, DXSOrbit, DXSOttoHuppInitials, DXSPickfair, DXSPolly, DXSPotsdamInitials, DXSPrismaniaC, DXSPrismaniaP, DXSQuote, DXSRegalBlack, DXSRhythmBold, DXSRickyTick, DXSRoco (art deco), DXSSansSouci, DXSShadyDeal, DXSSheetSteel, DXSSilverShadowBlack, DXSStuttgartInitials, DXSTester, DXSThedaBara (counterless geometric art deco), DXSTulo, DXSTuxedo, DXSUrban (psychedelic), DXSVeronica, DXSWestmorland, DXSWienText, DXSYagiBold.bmp DXSYagiDouble, DXSYorkshireInitials, DXSZany, DXSZephyr.

Images: DXSBlackline, DXSBust, DXSDudleyPNarrow, DXSGrooviestGothic, DXSJoyceBlack, DXSMonogramStencil, DXSPrismania'P', DXSRickyTick, DXSRoco, DXSSheetSteel, DXSTulo, DXSUrban, DXSYagiDouble, DXS Alpha Twilight, DXS Brussels Initials, DXS Kupfer Initials, DXS Lowenbrau, DXS Otto Hupp Initials, DXS Theda Bara, DXS Urban. Download page. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dan X. Solo: His books
[Dan X. Solo]

Dan Solo's books contain a series called "Ready-to-use...". These are not included in the chronological list given here.

[Google] [More]  ⦿

Dan X. Solo: Testimonial by Allen Moore
[Allen Moore]

Allen Moore wrote this in November 2010, just over a year before Dan Solo died:

I was hired by Dan X. Solo in 1978, on a temporary basis, to set alphabets for some of his Dover books. He was/is a very private man and as the previous poster stated, he rarely allowed typography clients to come to his home. The exceptions were a very limited number of Bay Area graphic designers that he had developed a relationship relationship with over the years. I can actually only think of two that he ever allowed inside his house, but I don't think they were ever allowed in his shop, which was in the basement of his Oakland Hills home on Crestmont Drive. All of his headline/display type was set using a VGA PhotoTypositor, which actually exposed and developed one character at a time on a two inch-wide strip of photographic paper. Many of his 'Typositor' fonts were not commercially made, but rather contructed by Mr. Solo himself. I was an experienced Typositor operator and process cameraman, which is why he hired me. Each morning I would arrive at his basement door and be given a list a alphabets that he wanted set. Mr. Solo is, of course, known for his Dover Publication books, each containing 100 alphabets in a given style of type. His Victorian and Art Nouveau books were already huge sellers to the graphic arts community worldwide. I set the type for several books myself, including Brush Scripts, Scripts and Semi-Scripts, Blackletter, Modern Sans Serif, etc. Additionally, Mr. Solo would give me lists of alphabets to set for his SoloType catalog. He would write the sample lines of each font to match the style of 'feel' of each font. He later got tired of coming up with the sample lines each day and allowed me to use my imagination to make up the sample lines myself, and I set thousands of them in as many different typestyles.

Despite developing a very close professional relationship, Mr. Solo one day informed me that the job had ended. I had hoped he would hire me on permanently, but he had made it very clear from the onset that the job was temporary. I moved on, getting a typography job down in Hollywood, then returned to the Bay Area and worked in a couple of other type houses. The one day Mr. Solo, who was friends with my current employer, offered me a fulltime position as his apprentice, which I gladly accepted. That's when our professional relationship became additionally a personal friendship. I again worked on Dover books and samples for what would become the highly collectible SoloType's Cheap Catalog, which contained thousands of type sample lines, most of which I came up with myself. The earlier poster eluded to Mr. Solo's 'distorting device', which was his own invention, which he named the Altergraph. The Altergraph, which he personally trained me on, photomechanically modified lines of type into a variety of curves and arches. The other modification machine, which he trained me to use, was the Graphics Modifier. It was a commercially manufactured modification table that created outlines and dropshadows. Everything was done with using graphic arts film or photographic papers and the processes were quite time consuming, which is why the were so expensive. All the work done at SoloType was either for other typehouses, ad agencies or high-end designers.

I was accustomed to employers who would not turn down any job and promise them to clients, even when they knew the jobs could not be produced in the turnaround time being requested. I'm reminded of a cartoon from my days as a printing student at California Trade School in Hayward, California. It was this funny charter jumping around in circles, with a caption that read: Do you want me to rush this rush before the rush I'm rushing to rush now? Mr. Solo, on the other hand, had a quite different attitude. I can't begin to say how many times I would hear him tell a client on the phone, "No." That word was virtually unheard of in those days. He frequently turned down jobs that he either knew could not be produced in the required time or that he felt could be done by any average typehouse. He was, afterall, considered to be the world's foremost authority on the subject of antique and ornamental display. That's not just my opinion. One time during time with Mr. Solo he left me in charge of SoloType and flew to Chicago for a week to testify in a typestyle piracy suit in federal court. It was the federal judge who declared Mr. Solo the most knowledgable person in the world on the subject of type. I was beside myself that he would entrust me with doing all the jobs that came into SoloType during that week, and again, another time, when he and his first wife, Beverly, took a vacation to England. I distinctly recall how tickled he was when he went into a large bookstore in London and asked the clerk if she had any books by Dan Solo. She didn't know he was Dan Solo, but know who Dan Solo was immediately, and took him straight to a section that had all of his Dover Books.

He was a very wonderful man and treated me like a son, even buying a brand new Volkswagon Rabbit for me to use, so my wife could have our car during the day. He had already had an extremely interesting life before he started SoloType. As a child, he had collected hundreds of complete fonts of lead type before he ever thought of becoming a typographer. A little known fact is that Dan Solo was once a radio broadcaster and had, in fact, started the very first FM radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area. He had a dynamic, deep voice and always answered the phone, "Hello... Dan Solo." He was also an accomplished magician. He became a typographer when he purchased the Columbia Gazette in Columbia, California and the heart of the gold country. He produced the Gazette the old fashioned way, using his collection of antique metal type. He had confided to me that he planned to retire one day and turn SoloType over to me and I can only imagine how my life would have been different had that happened. Unfortunately, I had a turbulant marriage which I was trying desperately to save. My wife decided we had to move out of the area and I was forced to quit me job at SoloType. It broke my heart and, I think, his as well. He was gracious enough to credit me for my work in some of his books and catalogs and if you ever find one, you'll see my name in it. I, like the previous poster, last heard of Dan X. Solo and his later wife, working as an entertainer on a cruise ship line. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dan X. Solo: The Horse and Buggy Printer
[Gene Gables]

Gene Gables reviews Dan Solo's contributions. He writes: Dan X. Solo spent a lifetime building Solotype, one of the world's most interesting type collections. For three decades he ran his business with unparalleled character and panache. Type designers and graphic artists tend to fall into two categories. You either like ornate old typefaces or hate them. I'm a big fan -- the more ornate and over the top the better. So it was a terrific find when I came across a box of original Solotype catalogs, brochures, and other promotional material. The Solotype shop closed in the early 1990s, leaving a big hole in the availability of unique and unusual type designs. Dan X. Solo, who still lives in Alameda, California, was born in 1928. For his ninth birthday his grandfather gave him a small Kelsey letterpress, and he quickly became a self-described boy printer. He started collecting typefaces in earnest at age 14, and the Solotype collection officially began. After dropping out of high school, Solo became a radio announcer and sometime-actor. In 1949, the 21-year-old put together a magic act and toured the West Coast with some success. Along the way he continued to collect old typefaces, which were plentiful around his native Oakland and the San Francisco Bay area. In 1962, Solo decided to see if he could make a living from his type collection, which by then numbered about 1,000 unique fonts. He printed 4,000 catalogs, sent them to ad agencies around the country, and waited for the orders to come in. This flyer is from 1962 when the Oakland shop opened. The shop took off, as the '60s were a time of design experimentation and there was a keen interest among some designers in ornate and unusual type designs. Solo didn't just offer typesetting. He was a one-man consulting service on the history and appropriate use of his type designs. In 1974 Solo connected with Haywood Cirker, owner of Dover Publications, and a long relationship began that resulted in 30 books showing various type collections, mostly organized by era or theme. The Solotype catalog, reproduced by Dover, reached graphic artists all over the world and inspired a generation of type designers. The type designs weren't the only unusual thing about Solotype. Its business practices and the attitude that Solo fostered were unique. Here are several sections from early Solotype catalogs addressing the way Solo preferred (or insisted) on doing business. Unlike most type shops of the era, which were accustomed to being available to customers on demand, Solotype closed every year for the month of October. During this time, Solo traveled around the country and the world, collecting more type designs and fonts. In the early '90s, Dan X. Solo realized that the digital era was rendering his services obsolete. By that time, he had a collection of more than 13,000 type designs. During that decade he did convert many of his designs to digital format and sold them as collections through Dover, but the type business was changing, and bookstores were not the preferred distribution method for type. Since many of the designs in the Solotype collection are public domain and not associated with any active foundry, they do crop up here and there, mostly in low-priced, generic font collections. But of the thousands of Solotype designs, probably only a few hundred can be had in digital form from any foundry. Perhaps a future resurgence in historic typestyles will make it worthwhile for someone to digitize those that remain. The Solotype collection is an important and historically significant part of type history, even if considered lowbrow by some type purists. Some images scanned by Gables: i, ii, iii, iv, v. [Google] [More]  ⦿

David Koehne
[PaleAle's Fonts]

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Dick Pape
[Dan X. Solo: Digitizations by Dick Pape]

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Douglas Day

Creator of Bracelet Victorian (Tuscan Ornate, Victorian) New&Old in 2001. He writes: Scanned from Tschichold's "Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering" (Norton) and painstakingly digitized. For another typeface based on the same alphabet, see Romantiques (2002, Dieter Steffmann).

In 2013, he reappeared at Fontspace and posted these free Victorian / Western / circus style ornamental caps typefaces: Gardenia Victorian, Radiant Antique, Caliope Victorian. All three were scanned from Dan Solo's Victorian Display Alphabets in 2001.

Fontspace link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Edward Pelouze
[Boston Type Foundry]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Ernst Johnston (Edward) Lauschke

Nineteenth century engraver (b. Germany, 1872, d. 1944) in Chicago. He designed these typefaces:

  • Pekin (1888). This is an oriental simulation typeface first published in 1888 at the Great Western Foundry under the name Dormer. It was very novel at the time, and shows the mannerism of art nouveau. The name Pekin was given to it by BB&S after Great Western morphed into BB&S. The name Pekin was probably first given in 1923, but surely before 1925. McGrew says this: Pekin is one of many faces renamed by BB&S for their 1925 specimen book. Its original name was Dormer, patented by the Great Western foundry in 1888 and credited to Ernst Lauschke. It is a very novel face, basically a fine-line letter with most characters having a heavier accented portion in an unconventional place. Vertical strokes on some of the capitals extend downward like descenders. It was made only in two sizes, one of which was later plated by Type Founders of Phoenix, after ATF had recast it in 1954. For a digital revival of Pekin, see Pekin by Solotype.
  • Handcraft Title and Handcraft Wide Title. Mac McGrew: Handcraft is renamed by BB&S for its 1925 specimen book. Handcraft Title was designed by Ernst Lauschke in 1887 as Spenser; this was followed by Wide Spenser which became Handcraft Wide Title. With lowercase added a few years later, Spenser became Southey, and later Handcraft.
  • Brevet Normal (1887). A Victorian typeface revived in digital form by Dan Solo.
  • Additional typefaces at BBS: In 1891, Julius Schmohl and Ernst Lauschke designed an art nouveau and a Victorian face for BBS. Unnamed BBS typeface from 1887.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Farmer, Little&Co.
[A.D. Farmer]

New York-based foundry, also called White's Type Foundry and A.D. Farmer Foundry. It was created in New York in 1862, and sold to ATF in 1892. Many of its faces were digitized in recent years, such as the art nouveau typeface Palm (1887), which resurfaced as Palmetto (2005, Solotype Foundry). Arbor was revived by Nick Curtis as Surely You Jest NF (2005). The slab serif (almost wood type) faces Antique No. 2 and Antique Light Extended live on in digital form as Old Mac Donald NF (2011, Nick Curtis). Monotype's Scotch Roman MT [link] is based on a typeface from A.D. Farmer. The art nouveau typeface Vassar (1887) was recreated in digital form as Foxcroft and Foxcroft Shaded (2005, Nick Curtis). Specimen book (1867) can be consulted freely on-line. From that book: ornament of a horse and cart.

Catalogs published by Farmer include Specimens from the A. D. Farmer&Son Type Founding Co. Including Book, Newspaper and Jobbing Type, Brass Borders and Rules, with Complete Price List, &c, New York, 1897. Farmer and Little published The Reduced Price List and Latest Specimens of Printing Types Etc. (In an Abridged Form.) Cast by Farmer, Little&Co., Type Founders in New York in 1882.

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

Fonderie typographique Van Loey-Nouri
[Henri Van Loey]

Fonderie typographique Van Loey-Nouri was Henri Van Loey's foundry in Brussels around 1900. They published Spécimen des caractères (1905). One of their art nouveau faces from 1900 was digitized by Dan X. Solo as Welcome 1 (Solotype). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gene Gables
[Dan X. Solo: The Horse and Buggy Printer]

[More]  ⦿

Gerhard Marggraff

Type designer, graphic designer and painter, b. 1892, Dubrow. He lived in Berlin. He created the blackletter typeface Marggraff-Deutsch (1939, Schriftguss: leicht, halbfett, fett) and the script typeface Marggraff Kursiv (1928, followed by Marggraff Kursiv Zarte in 1929; at Schriftguss), and Marggraff Light Italic (1929, Schriftguss--the upstrokes in the g, r, m, n are thin and separate from the downstrokes). Some of his work. Marggraff Bold Script was digitized (and modified) by Dan X. Solo as Margie (Solotype). Solotype mentions the Dresden Foundry, not Schriftguss as the source of the latter face. Sometimes his first name is written Gerhardt. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Gibbs Mason

American designer of the art nouveau typeface Vanden Houten (1904, Keystone Foundry, Philadelphia). This font was remade by Dan X. Solo as Dutch Treat at Solotype. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Goudy versus Inland

P22 reports this story about the foundry's theft of a design by Goudy: In 1900 Frederick Goudy was commissioned by W.W. Denslow to letter his edition of Mother Goose stories for the McClure, Phillips Co. of New York. (Denslow was the Illustrator of the original Wizard of Oz and also an occasional Roycroft illustrator.) The lettering that Goudy designed featured short ascenders and descenders, as well as a tall x-height. Shortly thereafter the Inland type foundry of St. Louis released a typeface that was a direct copy of Goudy's lettering. Goudy seemed to be more offended that the font was named "Hearst" after the notorious newspaper mogul, than by the fact that they copied his designs. As Goudy had put it: "To my surprise, a little later on, the Inland Type foundry of St. Louis, without consultation with me, brought out a new type copied--not inspired--from my Denslow lettering, and added insult to injury by naming it "Hearst." Goudy's reaction was to create his own type typeface for release. The result of Goudy's attempt to outdo a copy of his design evolved into the Pabst type face. Created for the Pabst Brewing Company, this type design has some similarities to Hearst, but is clearly its own unique face. The ascenders are much taller than Hearst and the x-height is reduced. The distressed edging of the letters and the caps bear a similarity, but clearly these are two distinct faces. Five years later in 1907, Goudy's "Powell" typeface was created for the Mandel Brother department store in Chicago. This "Powell" typeface bears a closer similarity to "Hearst." That Hearst Roman typeface was later digitized by Dan Solo (Solotype) and by Nick Curtis in 2006 as Ragged Write NF. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Have Fun Fonts (was: Sobredosis)
[Pablo Mateu]

Have Fun Fonts (was: Sobredosis) is the free font foundry of Pablo Mateu (Mexico). Pablo created HFF Young Wanna (2012, a Western pair of faces based on Juanita from page 35 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), HFF Air Apparent (2012), Recto (2012, a hand-printed poster typeface), HFF Hunts Deco (2012, based on an alphabet designed by the Hunt Brothers in "Lettering of Today" published in 1935 and revised in 1941), Mala (2012, a Halloween font), A Mano Boldensada (2012, hand-printed), Masking Type (2012) and Test Font HF (2012).

In 2013, he designed the hand-drawn typefaces HFF Low Sun, A Mano Blaxtendida (fat finger style) and A Mano Regulold, and the art deco typeface HFF Zeldom Zen.

Fontspace link. Dafont link. Another Fontspace link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Have Fun with Fonts

Company (aka HFF) that offers free revival fonts.

Typefaces made in 2009: HFF Pessoas Lindas (based on Anita Lightface, from page 7 of Brushstroke and Free-Style Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo, first published by Dover Publications in 1977. Anita Lightface is also listed on page 88 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), HFF Ribbon, and HFF Kids Stuff (children's all caps font based on an alphabet created by Mary Mapes Dodge in St. Nicholas an Illustrated Magazine for Young People XXXIV). HFF Kids Stuff is based on the alphabet created by Mary Mapes Dodge in St. Nicholas an Illustrated Magazine for Young People XXXIV: Part 2: 667.

Dingbat fonts, all released in 2009: HFF Aqua Stencil, HFF Bird Stencil, HFF Floral Stencil, HFF Chinese Dragon.

Alphabet fonts from 2009, all based on faces found in Dan X. Solo's books (names in parentheses): HFF Black Steel (Acier Noir), HFF Clip Hanger (Convoy: a paperclip face), HFF Fire Dancer (Flamo), HFF Modern Strand (Strand), HFF Pessoas Lindas (Anita Lightface), HFF Splintered Dream (Split/Split Caps), HFF Whirly Whorl (Whitestone Scrawl).

Typefaces made in 2010: HFF Eye Sore (based on Grab Bag, page 82 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), HFF Quick Draw (based on Robard from page 76 of "Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts" by Dan X. Solo), HFF Iconic Ionic (based on Moderna Condensed from page 61 of "Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts" by Dan X. Solo), HFF Sultan of Swat (an art deco typeface based on Maharaja from page 57 of "Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts" by Dan X. Solo), HFF Ice Bergman (based on Casablanca Light Condensed from page 13 of "Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts" by Dan X. Solo; The Font Cpmany digitized the same typeface in 1992), HFF Fourth Rock (based on Mars Bounce from page 83 of Brushstroke and Free-Style Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo and also on page 92 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), HFF Pure Vain (based on Peruvian, from page 91 of Brushstroke and Free-Style Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo, first published by Dover Publications in 1977), HFF High Tension (based on Bamberg, from page 11 of "Circus Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts" by Dan X. Solo, first published by Dover Publications in 1989. Bamberg is also featured on page 32 of "The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces"). From page 73 of that same book, a font called Siamese by Dan Solo, we find a revival called HFF Thai Dye (Thai simulation face: based on Siamese in Special Effects and Topical Alphabets by Dan Solo). HFF Jammed Pack is based on Triple Condensed Gothic from page 91 of "Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts" by Dan X. Solo. Triple Condensed Gothic is also featured on page 166 of "The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces". For a commercial digitization of the same face, see Red Rooster.

Typefaces made in 2011: HFF Xmas Hoedown is a Western font based on Kid Ory B, from page 51 of Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo. Kid Ory B is also shown on page 37 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces; other digitizations of Kid Ory B include Tissot by Iza W, and Texarkana JNL by Jeff Levine), HFF Beer Van (a spurred typeface that is based on the font on pages 36 and 38 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces by Dan X. Solo, but with slightly different names), HFF Greek ExCon (based on Grecian Extra Condensed from page 33 of "The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces"), HFF Lasdof Twunyliven (read: last day of 2011; based on Herald Square from page 171 of "The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces").

Typefaces from 2012: RTA Ermine (dingbats), HFF Hunts Deco (based on an alphabet designed by the Hunt Brothers in "Lettering of Today" published in 1935 and revised in 1941), HFF Light Petals (based on Pastel (Bounce) from Brushstroke and Free-Style Alphabets (Dan X. Solo). Pastel was released by Filmotype as a phototype in the 1950s). HFF Air Apparent is based on Prince from page 92 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces.

Typefaces from 2013: RTA Cross (crosses), HFF Low Sun (free: based on Luzon Script on page 106 of the Solotype Catalog), HFF Zeldom Zen (a round display typeface based on an alphabet from a book by Harry R. Wright, published in 1950).

Typefaces from 2014: HDD Code Deco (art deco).

Download link. Another download link. Dafont link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Henri Van Loey
[Fonderie typographique Van Loey-Nouri]

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Herbert F. Van Brink
[Character]

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Keystone Type Foundry

Philadelphia-based foundry, 1888-1917. The history of this short-lived foundry was told by James Eckmann in The Keystone Type Foundry, 1888-1917: a reprint [from] Printing&graphic arts, volume VI, number 1, February 1958 (Lunenburg, Vermont: The Stinehour Press, 1958). Their work appeared in Keystone Type Foundry, 1901 (362 pages), Abridged specimen book, type: nickel-alloy on universal line comprising a price list of types, borders, leads and slugs, brass rule, brass galleys; miscellaneous cuts and general supplies for printers (1906, 636 pages, see also here, here and here), A book of Keystone type faces (2nd ed., Philadelphia, ca. 1920), Catalogue and specimen book. Keystone products, consisting of type, material, furniture, complete line of miscellaneous supplies for printers and publishers, machinery and wood goods (Philadelphia, ca. 1910), See also Keystone Products Catalogue and Specimen Book, Consisting of Type, Material, Furniture, Complete Line of Miscellaneous Supplies for Printers and Publishers, Machinery and Wood Goods (1915).

Typefaces: Admiral, Ayer (Mac McGrew: Ayer was introduced by Keystone Type Foundry in 1909, which said it was "named for F. Wayland Ayer, founder of Keystone Type Foundry and the great advertising agency which bears his name." The non-kerning italic was added in 1910.), Ben Franklin, Ben Franklin Condensed, Ben Franklin Open, Bulletin, Caslon Adbold, Caslon Adbold Extended, Caslon Adbold Extra Condensed, Caslon Bold, Caslon Bold Condensed, Caslon Bold Extended, Caslon Bold Italic, Caslon Lightface, Caslon Lightface Condensed, Caslon Lightface Italic, Caslon Title Extended, Charcoal, Charter Oak, Compressed Gothic, Condensed Lining Gothic, Crayonette, Elite Typewriter, Gothic Condensed No. 3, Gothic No. 102, Gothic No. 114, Harris Italic (1910), Harris Roman (1909), Herculean Gothic, Italia Condensed (1906), John Alden Decorative Initials (1906), John Hancock, John Hancock Condensed, John Hancock Extended, John Hancock Outline, Keystone Gothic, Laureate (1906: revived in 2012 by Isabel Urbina), Lining Antique [Keystone], New Model Remington Typewriter, Outline, Outline Condensed, Remington, Remington Typewriter, Round Gothic (1884), Skeleton Lining Gothic, Skeleton Lining Gothic No. 19, Smith Premier, Title Gothic [Title Gothic No. 9, Condensed Title Gothic No. 11], Venezia, Washington Text (1902, blackletter), Washington Text Shaded.

Digital pictures I took from the Specimen Book of Type (1903): Bulletin, Keystone Bikes, Boldface Cellini, Crayonette Open, Keystone Cyclers, Encore, Lining Antique, Lining Gothic, Outing Initials, Remington Typewriter, Remus, Ronde Initials, Salem, Venezia, Victoria Italic, Worcester. Catalog A-C, Catalog C-P, Catalog P-Z.

Digitizations:

  • The slab serif John Hancock (ca. 1903) and condensed slab serif John Hancock Condensed (ca. 1917, Lanston Monotype) were digitized as Hancock RR (1994) by Steve Jackaman (Red Rooster).
  • The Remington typewriter faces (ca. 1905) were digitized as Secret Service Typewriter RR (2002) by Steve Jackaman (Red Rooster).
  • Roman TyresRR (1997) was made by Steve Jackaman (Red Rooster).
  • Poor Richard RR is based on a Keystone design from 1919, namely Ben Franklin, Ben Franklin Condensed, Ben Franklin Open (named after Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard Almanack"). There is also a free font Poor Richard (1994, Projective Solutions).
  • Caslon FB (1992, Font Bureau) comes with this text: Our familiar Caslon Bold headletters were invented around the turn of the twentieth century in the United States and were only loosely based on William Caslons romans. The best of the Caslon Bolds originated at the Keystone Type Foundry of Philadelphia, whose Caslon Bold Condensed appeared about 1905, probably drawn by R.F. Burfeind. Jill Pichotta revised his Bold Condensed&drew the Bold Extra Condensed.
  • Gibbs Mason designed the art nouveau typeface Vanden Houten (1904) at Keystone. This typeface was remade by Dan X. Solo as Dutch Treat at Solotype.
  • Emerge BF (2009, John Bomparte) is a flare serif typeface that was inspired by Admiral, c.1900.
  • Old Softy NF (2010, Nick Curtis) is a soft round typeface based on Round Gothic (1884).

Commentaries by Mac McGrew:

  • On Harris Roman: Harris Roman was announced by Keystone Type Foundry in 1909. It was "named in honor of the late Joel Chandler Harris, author of Uncle Remus." It is a plain modernized roman, somewhat similar to Century Expanded. In 1910 Harris Italic was added; it was designed to be cast without kerns. Advertising claimed, "Non-kerning italics will save endless annoyances and losses resulting from broken letters, and the purchase price is the same as any other type of our make."
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Match&Kerosene
[Alex Sheldon]

Match&Kerosene is Alex Sheldon's Detroit-based graphic design and typographic illustration company, est. 2008.

Klingspor link. Behance link.

Typefaces designed by Sheldon (b. Michigan, 1984) include Slab Sheriff (2009), Western, Kerosene Boxley (2009, a multiline art deco revival of a Solotype font; some say that it is based on a pair of 1972 alphabets by Marcia Loeb called Zig Zag and Rainbow), Kerosene Woodtype (2009), Kerosene Retroface, Kerosene Stereo (2009, revival of an Italian typeface from 1869), Kerosene Killowatt, White Wolf (2009, condensed horror movie face).

Typefaces designed in 2011: Quimby (Copperplate Gothic style titling face), Black Bear (2011, straight-edged display family), Swifty (2011), Grizzly Bear (a set of 12 constructivist titling faces), Detroit (a modular family for superpositions), Prismatic (another superimposable multi-purpose family), Duotone (2011, Duotone is a layered font system that allows one to title two-tone headlines), Volcano Gothic (+Inline), Volcano Island (jungle look family), Lightyears. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

MyFonts: Solotype
[Dan X. Solo]

Dan X. Solo's Solotype fonts are now being sold at MyFonts. These wood type/Western/ headline/ Victorian collection includes Acantha, Bindweed, Dime Museum, Egyptian Oldstyle, Excelsis, Extravaganza, Rigney, Assay, Baraboo Banner, Beijing, Brevet (after a Victorian typeface from 1887 by Ernst Lauschke), Brussels, Cathedral, Cleopatra, Cognac, Crossroads, Dainty Lady, Dangerfield, Diablo, Dutch Treat, Grecian, Lord Mayor, Malibu, Minnesota, Moulin Rouge, Penny Arcade, Trixie, Valerie, and Zorro. Alaska is based on an 1890 design of Marder, Luse and co. Arcade imitates an 1888 design of Barnhart Brothers&Spindler. Bamboo (oriental simulation face) is based on a 1889 creation of Barnhart Brothers&Spindler. Behrens Antiqua and Behrens schrift are revival of early 20th century faces by Peter Behrens. Eccentric is a digitization of a 1898 typeface by Kingsley/ATF. Hansard is a revival of a display type published in 1887 by MacKellar, Smiths,&Jordan. Pekin is a digitization of a face, first designed by Ernst Lauschke in 1888 and issued by Barnhart Bros.&Spindler foundry in Chicago under the name Dormer, and revived by them in 1923 under the name Pekin. Charles Henry Beeler made a condensed sans serif issued by Mackellar, Smiths&Jordan foundry in 1887: it was digitally revived as Roundhead. Monument is a revival of a 1893 typeface by the Boston Type Foundry, but was also cast at the Central Type Foundry. Vienna Light is a delicate early 1900s type originally created by the German foundry of Schelter&Gieseke. Other designs: Bareback, Campaign (ca. 1970), Cigar Label (1997), Estienne, Farringdon (a western face), Goodfellow (digitization of wood type from 1895 found at Hamilton and probably due to W.H. Page), Harlem Text (blackletter), Houdini (ca. 1992), Memorial, Quadrille 2 (a simplified Tuscan face), Sparticus, Vanities (a Victorian type), Whirligig. In 2005, MyFonts added Margie (formal script based on Marggraff Bold Script by the Dresden foundry vormalig Brüder Butter, 1920s), Fancy Dan, Bamberg, Fat Face No. 20, French Ionic (quite ugly--based on an 1870 Clarendon derivative by the Cincinnati Type Foundry), Hearst Italic (based on a 1904 typeface by Carl Schraubstadter of the Inland Type Foundry), Hearst Roman (based on a typeface from the Inland Type Foundry allegedly stolen from a hand lettering job done by Goudy, acccording to Goudy himself), Tally Text (early photolettering type of the comic book style), Welcome 1 (based on Van Loey-Nouri's art nouveau typeface from 1900).

View Dan Solo's typefaces. Another page on Solotype. Dan Solo's typefaces listed in decreasing order of popularity. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Stencil faces]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2004]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2005]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2006]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2007]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2008]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2009]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2010]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis
[Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2011]

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Nick Curtis: Stencil faces
[Nick Curtis]

Nick Curtis designed these stencil faces:

  • Bo Diddlioni Stencil NF.
  • DeStencilNF (2003, free). Based on this poster.
  • Dittem Datum NF (2009).
  • East India Company NF (2011). A faithful revival of Tea Chest (1939, Robert Harling at Stephenson Blake).
  • Geodezyx NF (2008). An ultra-geometric stencil display face.
  • Graphic Stylin NF (2006). A script stencil typeface with an art nouveau feel.
  • Jeanneret NF (2011): after architect Le Corbusier, whose real name was Charles Edouard Jeanneret.
  • Loading Dock NF (2006). A stencil patterned after the lettering produced by the Marsh Stencil Making Machine.
  • Lyric Stencil (2008).
  • Matthews Modern Stencil NF (2004). Based on lettering artist Eric Matthews.
  • Mister Bones NF (2011). Based on Solotype's Alpha Midnight.
  • Odalisque Stencil (2008). An art deco font based on Morris Fuller Benton's Chic, 1927.
  • Pearson Stencil NF (2004). Based on a 1923 offering by F.A. Pearson in Ticket and showcard designing.
  • Shiver Me Timber NF (2006). An eroded stencil typeface based on old Victor Hammer designs.
  • Waxahachie WBW (2005). A Victorian stencil face.
  • Zuider Zee NF (2004). A strongly geometric stencil typeface based on a 1937 travel brochure for the Dutch Mails Shipping Company.
[Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2004
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2004, not listed elsewhere on these pages. Bayern Handschrift, De Rigueur NF, Refugio Rustic WBW, Refugio Refined WBW, Ponte Vecchio NF, Brazzaville NF (based on Congo, a 1910 font by Barnhart Brothers \& Spindler), Moonshine Script NF (a casual connected script patterned after an offering from the 1930s chapbook 60 Alphabets by The Hunt Brothers), West Coast Antics (based on a showing from Carl Holmes' 1950s book, ABC of Lettering), Nanki Poo NF (based on Mikado from the Boston Type Foundry), Picture Postcard NF (a Broadway style typeface based on work by lettering artist Alf Becker), Curly Shuffle NF (described as a mix of Alf Becker's style and Leslie Cabarga's), Hardy Har Har NF (based on Samoa from BB&S, 1900), Krazy Kracks NF (based on the so-called California style of lettering used extensively in travel posters of the 30s to the 50s. This version is based on its interpretation by Carl Holmes in a Walter T. Foster artbook entitled ABC of Lettering), Whoa Nelly NF (a comic book face--based on Dan X. Solo's Funhouse), Bushwacked, Cressida (triline face), New Boston (far West typeface of the "italian" kind), Rumble Seat, Kartoon Kutz 3&4 NF, Magic Twanger NF, Snoodle Toons NF, Beanie Kopter NF, Delysian NF (based on Greeting card from the 1923 catalog of BB&S), Mazurka NF (based on Swagger Capitals and Gothic Novelty title from the 1923 catalog of BB&S), Jungle Holiday Cuts NF (based on holiday ornaments by Carl S. Junge, 1929), Stone Soup NF (based on lettering for a 1925 Buster Keaton movie), Tintern Abbey NF (based on the lettering for a 1905 poster for the Austrian National Highway by artist Gustav Jahn), Period Borders NF, Parsnip and Parsnip Outline (Will Ransom designed the exemplar for this series for Barnhart Brothers&Spindler in the early 1900s---the typeface was originally named Parsons (1918), after the advertising director of a Chicago department store), Wurstwagen (suggested by a poster for beer, designed by German artist Ludwig Hohlwein around 1920), Jackson Park NF (1920s style), Kenosha Antique NF (from the 1903 Racine typeface of Barnhart Brothers&Spindler), Catty Wumpas (based on lettering of Ross F. George). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2005
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2005, not listed elsewhere on these pages. Chantilly Lace NF (2005: uppercase letters by Bergling and lowercase letters by Roland W. Paul), Edda MorganaNF (medieval English), Gnarly Dude NF (rough script based on material of Ross F. George), Whirled Peas NF (based on a typeface called Whitestone Scrawl by Dan X. Solo in his "Showcard Alphabets"), Cool Cat Jim NF (based on a 1953 headline by Jim Flora in Park East Magazine), Sulphur Springs WBW (bone font), Grand Rapids (based on a typeface named Archer from the 1905 specimen book from Barnhart Brothers&Spindler), Hasta La Pasta (designed after a typeface from a pre-1900 specimen book from the Central Type Foundry of St. Louis, called Spiral), La Coupole (based on lettering on a 1927 menu by prominent poster artists Razzia), Shadowlands (this is like Wilcox Initials from the 1992 Solotype Catalog), Possum Saltare NF (a Trajan column style caps face), Pismo Clambake NF (a connected formal script typeface after a Richard Gans handwriting typeface from 1933, Gloria), Ransom Clearcut NF (an extension of Will Ransom's 1920s caps-only typeface Clearcut Shaded Caps for BBS), Almost Heaven (sold in the early 1900s as Perfection), Goodbye Crewel World (stitching font), Jimbatz NF (dingbats inspired by album cover artist Jim Flora), Bad Dookie NF (from The Advertising Cartoon Clip Art Book, 1971), Maple Leaf Rag NF (revival of Nova Bold by Continental Typefounders), Surely You Jest NF (called Arbor in the 1890's type specimen catalog from Farmer, Little&Co), Merry Old Soul NF (a display typeface discovered in one of the many books on sign writing produced by Eric Matthews), Funky Tut NF (205; the caps are based on J.M. Bergling's Morocco (1914), and the lower cases on Bergling's Kermaic Text (1914)), Groove Thang NF (based on a font called Dado), Novadam Obese (geometric black modern typeface based on a logotype by the same name of Joan Trochut Blanchard, ca. 1940s), Smackeroo NF (2005, engraved US dollar-bill style typeface based on Steelplate, a monocase typeface from ca. 1900 by Barnhart Brothers&Spindler), Snooty Fox NF (an elegant typeface found in Pen&Brush Lettering and Practical Alphabets, Blandford Press, Ltd., London, 1929), Chez Nous (based on Card Italic from a 1930s Mergenthaler Linotype Company specimen book), Slapdash Deco NF (2005, based on a showcard alphabet presented by Cecil Wade in his Manual of Lettering), Rockin Roman NF (from Blandford Press' Pen&Brush Lettering and Practical Alphabets), Kunstgewerbe NF (artsy typeface after work by J.M. Bergling, 1914), Details Details NF (a geometric design from Pen and Brush Lettering and Practical Alphabets), Escondido NF (inspired by an Austrian travel poster designed by Johann Süssenbek in the 1930s), Ballyhaunis NF (based on Celtic lettering by Laurence Schall, early 1900s), Inglenook Corner NF (based on art nouveau lettering by Laurence Schall, early 1900s), Mohair Sam NF (caps based on letters of Samuel Welo, and lower case based on ATF's Romany Script), Partenkirchen NF (a Basque style display face), Helena Handbasket NF (after Antique Light, found in the 1888 edition of the James Conner & Sons United States Type Foundry specimen book), Kudos Kaps NF (2006: five nice ornamental caps and associated alphabet and border sets, including a Lombardic set, an engraved set; they are based on faces from Ludwig&Mayer). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2006
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2006, not listed elsewhere on these pages: Magic Lantern NF, Duly Noted NF (after an ATF typeface from 1912 called Freeahand), Got That Bling NF (a connected script based on the work of Al Mack, from his Lettering: Brush&Pen in the Single Stroke), Haarlem Nights NF (based on a 1920 Dutch poster for Public Placement Services by Johan Dijsktra), Architectuur NF (based on De Stijl type lettering by H. Th. Wijdeveld, 1925), Gandy Dancer NF (a revival of Tabard, ca. 1912, ATF), Pomfrit Dandy NF (based on Frys Ornamented No. 2 by Stephenson Blake), Smith Premier (Clean and Schmutzy) NF (a typewriter pair after the letters of the Smith Premier No. 3), ed Hot Mama NF (2006), Jumbo Mumbo NF (a revival of Independant done in 1930 by Collette and Dufour), Union Telegraph NF (2006), Major Production NF (which was followed in 2009 by Major Pro Extras NF), Teeny Boppin NF (gleaned from Schrifti Alphabeti, a book of Cyrillic alphabets published in Kiev in 1979), Rutin Tutin NF (based on Wild West lettering found in Schrifti Alphabeti, 1979), Jampact NF (2006, an ultra fat headline face), Beagle Boyz NF (a bouncy typeface based on a Cyrillic alphabet presented in the book Schrifti Alphabeti, 1979), Midtown Tessie NF and Downtown Tessie NF (mosaic tile faces), Scary Scrimshaw (based on a 1968 poster for a Doors concert), Speedball No1, Speedball No2 SW (2001), Speedball No3 (2001), Bellagio NF (an interpretation of Robert Wiebking's 1917 font Advertisers Gothic, designed for BB&S), High Society NF (2006, a fashion mag typeface based on an alphabet found in Lettering for the Commercial Artist by Blandford Press, 1946), Osiyo Dohitsu NF (based on letterforms in the Cherokee Syllabary, reputedly devised by Sequoyah in the early nineteenth century; it has petroglyphs as well), Micro Manager NF (pixel face), Paper Caper NF (2006), Shady Grove (a condensed version of Thorne Shaded), American Pi NF (2006: ATF ornaments from the catalogs between 1913-1934, including some designed by Will Bradley, Frederic Goudy and George Trenholm), The Donald NF (a hyper-curly decorative face), Boo Meringue NF (a Halloween font based on Lithotint (1897, ATF)), Lesser Arcana (a mystical type), Zyklop NF (2006), Deux Chasses NF (based on ATF's Thermotype), Bon Mot NF (based on Barnhart Brothers&Spindler's Engravers Upright Script), Munchkin Land NF (based on a work called Thor, issued by Frederic Wesselhoeft Ltd of London in the 1930s), Didgeree Doodle NF (2006, a curly cursive originally released as Bernhard Heavy Antique Cursive by the Bauersche Giesserei by Lucien Bernhard), Kudo Kaps One, Two, Three and Four NF (a total of eight classical initial caps faces), Crane Titling NF (medieval-inspired uppercase letters drawn by famed book illustrator Walter Crane with charming, if somewhat quirky, lowercase letters by J. W. Weekes), DecimoSexto NF (+italic) (includes Spanish Roman letters and Griffo style italics, both hand-drawn by Francisco Lucas in Madrid, 1577), Visillo Adornado (a caps typeface based on the typeface Vesta, originally designed by Albert Auspurg for H. Berthold AG, Berlin in 1926). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2007
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2007, not listed elsewhere on these pages: Dundee Castle NF (based on lettering by Harvey Hopkins Dunn, 1930), Sheik Of Araby NF (2007), Aethelred NF (a unicase typeface, with alternate characters in several of the lowercase positions, is patterned after Mosaik, designed by Martin Kausche for Schriftgiesserei Stempel in 1954; Sultan (2005, Canada Type) is also based on Mosaik). Cerulean NF (a sans based on Lining Gothic No. 71 (BBS and ATF, 1907)), Rimshot NF (script), Jaunty Gent NF (based on the upright connected script Forelle, aka Rheingold Kräftig, by Erich Mollowitz in 1936-1937 for the Hamburg foundry of J. D. Tennert&Sohn), Baby Cakes NF (a bubblegum face based on a 1974 release by Karlgeorg Hoefer at the Ludwig&Mayer foundry called Big Band), Amper Sans NF (after Hobby, a script designed in 1956 by Werner Rebhuhn for Schriftgießerei Genzsch&Heyse), Wacky Duck NF (2007), By George Titling NF (inspired by silent movie lettering), Dinky Rink NF (partially based on Steile Futura), Fuller Brush NF (a bouncy signage script from The New Lone Pine ABC of Showcard and Ticketwriting by Australian author C. Milnes), Tiddly Winks NF (2007), Iraan (a stars and stripes typeface based on the ATF typeface Rodeo), Haut Relief (a 3d typeface based on a 1960s typeface called Sculpture), Fiddle Sticks (based on West Banjo (Dave West, 1960s)), Djibouti (an African theme font modeled after African Queen (Dave West, 1960s), Wacky Duck NF (2007), Turing Car NF (2007, a monospaced typeface based on a lineprinter font from the 1960s, the Unisys 0776), Route 66 NF (based on the typefaces used on U.S. Highway signs from the 1930s to the 1950s), Anna Nicole NF (2007, based on the upright semiscript Mirabelle (1926, Wagner&Schmidt); Nick Curtis: Round, firm and fully-packed, it is sure to get attention anywhere it is used.), Keynote Speaker NF (an awkward blocky typeface patterned after Bloomsbury (1920s, P. M. Shanks&Sons)), Twitty Bird NF (2007, an architectural drawing font based on Dan X. Solo's Conway), Balder Dash NF (the caps are based on Breda-Gotisch (1928, H. Berthold AG) and the lowercase on Goudy Text)), Outer Loop NF (2007), Tutti Paffuti NF (after Stymie Black Flair by Dave West for Photolettering), Weedy Beasties NF (after a variation of Seymour Chwast's Blimp), Bully Pulpit NF (2007), Keepon Truckin NF (a 3d typeface based on Milton Glaser's Baby Fat). In the 1970s, Vincent Pacella made a Photolettering Egyptian headline typeface called Blackjack, which was digitized in 2007 by Nick Curtis as Flap Jacks NF. ITC Jeepers and Woodley Park (based on Naudin) won awards at the TDC2 Type Directors Club's Type Design Competition 2002. Artone (Seymour Chwast, 1968) was revived as Loose Caboose NF (2007). Edwin Sisty's upright curly semiscript Belcanto (1970s, Photolettering) was revived in 2007 by Nick Curtis as Glissando NF. F.W. Kleukens' Kleukens Antiqua (1910) was digitized by Nick as Kleukens Antiqua NF (2007). Holo Fernes NF (2007) is based on Christian Heinrich Kleukens' Judith Type (1923), a hookish hell-inspired face. Pudgy Puss (2007) is an ultra-fat modern display type based on Fat Face (Herb Lubalin, Tom Carnase). Omaha Bazoo (2007) is patterned after Viola Flare, issued by Franklin Photolettering in the 1970s. Lateral Incised NF (2007) is an engraved old style typeface originally released in 1929 as Gravure by the London foundry of C. W. Shortt. Tall Scrawl NF (2007) is an original Curtis hand-printed font. Alfred Riedel's Domino (Ludwig&Mayer, 1954) was revived as Idle Fancy NF (2007). Boxcar Willie NF (2007) is a quaint curly face. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2008
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2008, not listed elsewhere on these pages: Dave West's Nickelodeon was revived by Curtis as Lily Hilo NF (2008). Funky Rundkopf NF (2008) is an adaptation of an LED simulation font of Ray Larabie, called Dignity of Labour. Daffadowndilly NF (2007-2008) is based on art work by Alf Becker from the 1940s. Babes In Toyland NF (2008) has some of the Rennie Mackintosh charm and is based on "Sheet music for Babes in Toyland, USA, 1903". Anagram Shadow NF (2008) is based on handlettering from a 1928 poster for a steamship line by renowned British artist Austin Cooper. Kandinsky NF (2008) is based on shapes found on Kandinsky's painting Succession (1935). An experimental typeface by Jeremy Pettis, illustrating the concept of kangaroo, inspired Pal Joey NF (2008). One of René Knip's experiments, a unicase typeface with an Arab feel, was digitized by Nick Curtis as Turban Hey NF (2008). Calamity Jane (2008) is a stylish Edwardian script based on a 1930s logotype for the Theatre Moderne in Paris. Orion Radio NF (2008) is a 1930s style display typeface on an African theme. Quinceanera NF (2008) is a a new take on an old dry-transfer standard from the 70s named Barrio. Jobber Wacky NF (2008) is a bouncy handlettering font based on designs of Alan Denney found on greeting cards in the 1950s and 1960s. Franciscan Caps (2008) is based on a 1932 typeface by Frederic Goudy called Franciscan. Morning Glory (2008) is a simple display typeface that goes back to the Cleveland Type Foundry, 1893. Tickety Boo (2008) is a take on Goudy Fancy (or: Goudy Black Elongated Swash). Yo Quiero Taquitos uses letters taken from Rotalución Decorativa (Barcelona, 1940s), Disco 79 (2008, multiline), Eclectic Crumpany (2008, multiline monocase neon or paperclip typeface based on The Electric Company TV Show), Fire Down Below (2008, block gothic), Joufflou NF (2008, very fat), Bala Cynwyd NF (2001) is an Arts&Crafts style poster typeface inspired by lettering of Dard Hunter. Csiszarz Latein NF (2008) recreates an old typeface (ca. 1910) of J.V. Csiszarz. Owah Tagu Siam NF (2008) is a faux Thai font. Langoustine Rouge NF (2008) is based on Dan Solo's Sorbonne. Cecil Wade again provided inspiration for Bloc Party NF (2008). My Little Eye NF (2008) is an elegant piano key font. Roundabout NF (2008) is rounded octagonal. Neubank NF (2008) is Nick Curtis's take on Bank Gothic. Warp Three NF (2008) is a Bank Gothic-style family with an uppercase as in Agency Gothic (1932-1933, Morris Fuller Benton) and a lowercase from Square Gothic (1888, James Conner). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2009
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2009, not listed elsewhere on these pages: Society Page NF (semi-script based on Morris Fuller Benton's Announcement, 1916), Glyphix One NF (dingbats), Glyphix Two NF (dingbats), Velveteen Round NF (based on Vellvé's only font, 1971), Steno Stout NF (the venerable Underwood Victoria typewriter on steroids), Diosa Rubia NF (condensed headline face), Mono Amono NF (octagonal), Turista Flaca NF (based on Baltimore Type Foundry's Tourist Extra Condensed), Boop Boop NF (based on handlettering found on Hallmark Studio Cards of the 1950s), Samosata NF (based on Bernhard Gothic), Waddem Choo NF (based on Tschichold's Transito from 1931), Jane Plain NF (architectural blueprint style), Hacky Sack NF (a zany typeface based on Ross F. George's Stunt Roman), Free Holeys NF (after the 1972 Letraset font Beans by Dieter Zembsch), Kingstown NF (semiscript), Kudos Kaps NF (2006: five nice ornamental caps and associated alphabet and border sets, including a Lombardic set, an engraved set; they are based on faces from Ludwig&Mayer), Melvin Eustace NF (handlettered), Weekly Bazaar NF (based on Harpers by the Central Type Foundry), Really Big Shoe NF (after a Cleveland Type Foundry typeface called Oxford), Bellwether Antique NF (after a 1913 typeface by Georg Belwe), Garmisch Rund NF (inspired by Rundgotisch, Emil Rudolf Weiss, 1937), Whitefriars NF (based on a font from the Blackfriars Type Foundry in London), Society Page NF (a curly serif typeface based on Morris Fuller Benton's Announcement Roman, designed for American Type Founders in 1917), USA Resolute NF (a unicase headline typeface based on Morris Fuller Benton's Eagle, ATF, 1934), Saturday Morning Toast (2001, based on the logotype font of the Saturday Evening Post from the 1920s), Examiner NF (based on Dwiggins' Metro from the 1930s). Hans Lijklema's Free Font Index has a CD which contains AirstreamNF-Italic, CalamityJaneNF-Bold, CalamityJaneNF, DaddyLonglegsNF, HamburgerHeavenNF, HeavyTrippNF, HutSutRalstonNF (2001), OrionRadioNF, ParkLaneNF, PhattPhreddyNF, RhumbaScriptNF (a silent movie font), Riot Squad NF (2000, after Otto Heim). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2010
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2010, not listed elsewhere on these pages.

Typefaces made in 2010: Conners Corners NF (2010: gleaned from the 1888 specimen books of James Conner's Sons United States Type Foundry), Tumbling Dice NF and Banner Year NF (both were done after scroll typefaces featured in the 1869 MacKellar Smiths and Jordan specimen book), Standing Room Only NF (after Broadway, designed by Morris Fuller Benton for ATF in 1928, originally named Broadway Poster), Proud Mary NF (a plump typeface based on Joseph Churchward's Marianna), Slapsie Maxi NF (based on a Carl Holmes alphabet found in Holmes's ABC of Lettering), Umbriago NF (trying to do a Cooper Black Swash Italic), Picaro NF (based on Harlequin), Palo Pinto NF (based on Pacella Vega Extended 10, a 1960s typeface by Vincent Pacella), Cartella NF (a 3d beveled shadow typeface based on a Morris Fuller Benton 1934 offering for American Type Founders called Poster Gothic), Pracht Antiqua NF (a faithful rendering of the cuddly headline script typeface Pracht Antiqua Schmallfett, which was designed by Carl Pracht for the Norddeutsche Schriftgießerei in 1942), Gitfiddler NF (a futuristic oblique typeface based on the lettering on a package of Gibson guitar strings from the 1950s) , Seta Reta NF (after Walter Diethelm's 1965 VGC typeface Arrow), Kleukens Kursiv NF (after Kleukens Scriptura, 1926 by F.W. Kleukens), Kallilu NF (a display face, after George Piscitelle's VGC typeface Thomac from the 1960s), Occidental Tourist NF (an avant-garde sans inspired by Dave West's Futura Casual), Schelter Grotesk NF (after Schelter's Breite Grotesk, 1886), Vuvuzela NF (a casual, almost sign-painted, and nearly African display face), Block Party NF (2008,, a 3d face), Cromwell NF (a faithful digitization of Cromwell, 1913, Morris Fuller Benton, ATF), Liguria NF (2010, after a typeface found in a Nebiolo specimen book, ca. 1900), Pony Express NF (2010, after Palmer and Rey's Courier from 1885), Linndale Square NF (a beefed up version of Geometric, 1885, Cleveland Type Foundry---a typewriter style face), Binghamton NF was inspired by the wedge-serifed angular typeface Bingham (Vincent Patella, PLINC). Albert Kapr designed Faust in 1959, so Nick's derived sans typeface is called Kaprice NF. Double D NF (2010, +Fill, +Outline) is a 3d beveled typeface based on Dave Davison's Dimensional from the 1970s. Old Softy NF (2010) is a rounded typeface based on Round Gothic (Keystone Type Foundry, 1884 catalog). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Nick Curtis: Typefaces from 2011
[Nick Curtis]

Typefaces made by Nick Curtis from 2011, not listed elsewhere on these pages: Jersey City NF (modeled after Times Gothic (1905, ATF)), Petty Despot NF (2011, also modeled after Times Gothic, and possibly renamed from Jersey City NF after Berthold---yes, the same Berthold again---complained about the name Jersey since one of its fonts by Gustav Jaeger was named Jersey. This is my educated guess..., and two thumbs up to Nick for picking the appropriate name Petty Despot NF). Olde Megrat NF is patterned after Antikva Margaret, designed by Zoltán Nagy for VGC in the mid-60s. Herkimer Bunrab NF is an upright scriptish typeface with bunnyears that is based on Hercules (1926, Amsterdam Typefoundry). Blackbarry NF (2011) is a faithful revival of Deutsch Black (1966, Barry Deutsch, VGC), a unicase piano key typeface. Bindlestiff NF (2011), which won the 2011 Devroye Memorial Medal for funniest typeface name, revives Schmallfette Binder Style (1959, Joseph Binder, Stempel AG), a squarish tightly set headline face. Decked Out NF (2011) is a fat inline typeface modeled on Dektiv in Homage to the Alphabet. Bazoo Tow NF (2011) is a fun fattish headline typeface that is a faithful reroduction of Basuto (1927, Stanley Baxter for Stephenson Blake). Are You Shaw NF (2011) is an all-caps blackboard bold typeface inspired by Pygmalion, a typeface found in Homage to the Aplhabet. Hoodoo U NF (2011) is a roly-poly romp through the alphabet, based on Jürgen Riebling's irrepressible Mr. Big from the 1970s. Big, bold, bubbly and a little brash, it's a natural choice for happy headlines. The handlettered Mikeys Roman NF (2011) has an uppercase based on the work of Mike Stevens, and a lowercase based on the work of Alf Becker. Outgribe NF (2011) is a rough, raw typeface that is based on the lettering in Ben Shahn's iconic poster protesting the execution of Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in 1927. Nellie Kay NF (2011) is a monoline script face, based on an example by Ross F. George. Shaq Attack NF (2011) is a wooden plank style or brushy typeface inspired by an alphabet of Alf R. Becker. Relampago NF (2011) revives Hans Möhring's bilined typeface Elegante Lichte (1928). Squirrely Shirley NF (2011) is a bouncy typeface based on Phoenix (unknown creator) in Schriftatlas. Spread Out NF (2011) is modeled after Ross F. George's Split Caps. Salzburger Plakat NF (2011) is based on an Austrian winter sports festival poster from 1907 by Swiss poster designer Otto Baumberger (1889-1961). Rightly So NF (2011) is a squarish typeface based on Geometric Gothic (1884, Palmer and Rey)---it is hard to imagine that this almost pixelish style was around at that epoch. Kenotaph NF (2011) is a condensed headline slab serif modeled after Stymie Obelisk (1930s, Morris Fuller Benton). Vasari NF (2011) is based on Ancient Gothic (1891, William W. Jackson, Keystone Type Foundry). Moslem (Boston Type Foundry) was revived as Suffiya NF (2011). Looky Cookie NF (2011) has eyes placed on the glyphs. Iago NF (2011) is a powerful headline sans inspired by two ATF faces from the 1880s, Othello and ATF Black Caps. Big Bag NF (2011) is called an industrial-strength titling face by Nick Curtis---it has design elements of Hans Eduard Meier's Syntax Antiqua. Highpoint Gothic NF (after Morris Fuller Benton's 1932-1935 typeface Raleigh Gothic Condensed). Fernburner NF is an all caps shadow face, modeled after Hans Bohn's 1929 typeface Orplid. Planscribe NF is based on types used by the Leroy Automatic Lettering Machine, a tool for architects. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Pablo Mateu
[Have Fun Fonts (was: Sobredosis)]

[More]  ⦿

PaleAle's Fonts
[David Koehne]

Dingbat and scanbat fonts by David Koehne: Aboutface, Airwars, AmericanWoman, Bacall, Bogie, Centerfoldsdingbats, DecoDings (2000, by Jeri Ingalls), GlimmerQueen, GraumansChinese, HaveSomeFaith, Heartbreak, LookingBuffDingbat, MatchbookAds01, NightMoves, ProlongedGazedingbat, SpikeYourDrink, Strut2, Strut, UncaPale2, Xenafont, Gentlemen, Mandy, Milking, Solos, Visitation. Fontsanon has EveInitials (2000, the gorgeous caps used at Fontsanon), Heartbreak (2000, picture font), GourmetDisplay (1999, converted from the Solotype catalog), UncaPale1 (2000), UncaPale2 (2000), TarantellaDisplay (1999, based on a font in Dan Solo's catalog). Alternate URL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Postsadness Fonts

A small very selective but interesting archive. It has SPADORE by Sebastian Boschert (1998, a Novella lookalike), PS Bluegum Forest by Tris Nguyen for Postsadness, 1998: better than Burton's Nightmare, and very close to Solotype's Glorietta), Mayonaise by ¡eM pleH (1998), InfiniteDingbats by Shaun Kardinal (1998), SantasSleigh (a Novella lookalike), and Mayonaise (1998) and Mayo (1998) by ¡eM pleH (1998). Smashing Pumpkins fonts are archived here as well: pick up Graceful Swans by Shaun Kardinal, based on Constructivist from P22, Bank Gothic, BatmanForever, Intimacy, Graphis, LatinExtraCondensed, ElectraCondensed (a Font Bureau Romeo Medium Condensed lookalike also known as FZ Basic---of course, Electra itself is Winkow's original on which Romeo was based), Tonite (Cochin Italic lookalike), Infinit Dingbats (1998) and VI University. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Solopedia (was: Solotype Catalog spreadsheet)

The Solopedia (previously known as the Solotype Catalog spreadsheet) attempts to document the digital versions of typefaces featured in the Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces by Dan X. Solo (Dover Publications, Inc., 1992.) The Solopedia also covers the various alphabet books authored by Dan X. solo, the digital fonts from the CDs that came with the alphabet books, and commercial fonts digitized by Dan X. Solo from his collection of metal types. Fontana started the Solopedia and posted it in Excel spreadsheet (XLS) format at annexcafe.fonts. Additional entries or matches were suggested by patrons of the newsgroup. Character brought the spreadsheet to alt.binaries.fonts which generated interest among those who frequent the newsgroup. The Solopedia is being updated in both annexcafe.fonts and alt.binaries.fonts. The term Solopedia was first used by La Vie Dansante to refer to the spreadsheet and is now used to refer to the Solotype Catalog spreadsheet. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Solotype
[Dan X. Solo]

Dover Press sells Oakland's Dan X. Solo's digitizations. Dan Solo (b. 1928, d. 2012) has collected over 13,000 sets of metal fonts, starting when he was 9 years old and growing up in Oakland, CA. Finally, in 2002, he stopped doing that and began converting all of his fonts to computer type. He printed 30 books on fonts (with Dover), [including The solotype catalog of 4,147 display typefaces] and created hundreds of fonts. In 2007, he retired from the font business.

Robert Trogman writes: I know Dan X. Solo personally. He ran a typographic studio in Berkeley for over 30 years. He had a large collection of film fonts, including some of my own. He created thousands of fonts and is now retired and is an avocational prestigitator. Copyrights have run out on most of his fonts. He also protected himself by creating pseudonyms on the questionable font names. Stuart Sandler confirms that many of the fonts in Solo's Dover books are in fact from the Filmotype collection, which Stuart is digitizing right now.

Gene Gable writes: Dan Solo of Solotype in Berkeley was experimenting with photo type as early as 1945 and started doing optical special effects in the early '60s. And a number of the larger display-type shops developed their own techniques. But in terms of opening up new markets for display type (and giving designers more control over type setting), Visual Graphics and Letraset lead the way. These companies were proud of, and promoted, the fact that that their products could be used by non-typesetters with little training.

MyFonts sells these faces under the name Solotype (the company is in Alameda, CA): Acantha, Assay, Baraboo Banner, Beijing, Bindweed, Brevet (after a Victorian original by Ernst Laushke, 1887), Brussels, Cathedral, Cleopatra, Cognac, Crossroads, Dainty Lady, Dangerfield, Diablo, Dime Museum, Dutch Treat, Egyptian Oldstyle, Excelsis, Extravaganza, Grecian, Lord Mayor, Malibu, Minnesota, Moulin Rouge, Penny Arcade, Rigney, Trixie, Valerie, Zorro.

Bio. Bio.

He writes about himself: Dan X. Solo The Solotype Archive was begun in 1942 when I was 14. I was a kid printer for several years before that. At 16, after a quick three months of training, I dropped out of school and went to work full time as a radio actor and announcer in San Francisco. (Easy to get jobs in those days, due to the war-induced manpower shortage.) In 1949 and 1950, I created a magic show which played West Coast theatres with some success. After that, back to broadcasting. By 1962, I was completely burned out on radio, so I decided to see if I could make a living with my collection of antique types, which numbered about a thousand fonts at that time. In 1962, I sent out 4,000 catalogs showing the type to ad agencies all over the U.S. The timing was perfect (no thanks to me) because there was developing at that time a renewed interest in the old types. Business took off immediately. The Solotype collection was one of four commercial collections at the time, but I seemed to have been more aggressive in marketing than the other chaps. (Well, Morgan Press certainly knew how to market.) Two years into the business, I began to collect alphabets on paper for conversion to photo lettering, which was just becoming mainstream in the type business. We closed the shop for a month every year and went on a type hunt, mostly in Europe where there didn't seem to be much competition among collectors. Other typographers couldn't understand how we could do this, but I believe it made people appreciate the resource we offered even more. Over the years, the collection became quite large. When I closed Solotype a couple of years ago, I got rid of about half the archive (because the fonts were dull, or already digitized, or for a variety of other reasons) leaving me with about 6,000 fonts on paper or film. In 1974, I began to supply Dover Publications with mechanicals for books of 100 alphabets on a particular theme. I did 30 of these books over the years, and 30 more of printers' ornaments, borders, and so forth. Sometime in the 1990s, Dover asked me to digitize books of 24 fonts each, to be sold with a disk in the back. I did 12 of these. The Dover relationship came to an end when Haywood Cirker, the owner and my special friend, died and the company was sold to another publisher. Dover felt that they had covered the type field thoroughly. Now in my old age, my wife and I have a mindreading act that is great fun and good for the ego. Even so, when not traveling, I digitize type for relaxation and enjoyment, but have made no effort to sell it. Until now.

A list of some digitized fonts:

  • Art Deco: Advertisers Gothic Light, Alex, Beverly Hills, Boul Mich, Cabaret (2003, as in Murder She Wrote), Capone Light, Chic 9after Morris Fuller Benton's Chic, 1927), Clyde, Eagle Bold, Eagle Narrow, Eden Bold, Eden Light, French Flash, Gallia, Graybar Book, Grock, Matra, Modernique (art deco), Parasol, Parisian, Phoenix American, Plaza Suite, Publicity Gothic, Salut, Stymie Obelisk, Zeppelin.
  • Victorian: Anglo, Arboret, Campanile, Chorus Girl, Fancy Celtic, Ferdinand, Floral Latin, Glorietta, Grant Antique, Gutenberg, Hogarth, Jagged, Katherine Bold, Lafayette, Meisteringer, Olympian, Phidian, Ringlet (1998, a Victorian typeface after an 1882 original by Hermann Ihlenburg), Romanesque, Rubens, Stereopticon, Templar, Wedlock, Zinco.
  • Script/Cursive: Amapola, Artists Script, Carpenters Script, Certificate Script, Commercial Script, Conway (an architectural script), Elegance, Engrossing Script, Figaro, Flare, Gloria Script, Hanover, Helvetica Cursive, Holly, Kunsteler Bold, Liberty, Manuscript, Orion Script, Pantagraph Script (+No2, +No3), Park Avenue, Romany Script, Trafton Script, Typo Upright, University Script, Virginia Antique.
  • Art Nouveau: Ambrosia, Argus, Artistik, Auriol, Baldur, Bocklin, Carmen, Childs, Edda Black, Excelsior, Francomia, Giraldon, Harrington, Isadora, Metropolitan, Murillo, Oceana, Odessa, Orbit Antique, Palmetto (2005; based on a 1887 typeface called Palm from the A.D. Farmer Foundry), Siegfried, Skjald, Spartana, Titania.
  • Gothic/Medieval: Academy Text, American Uncial, Antique Black, Becker Bold, Bradley, Castlemar, Celebration Text Fancy, Church Text, Engravers Old English, Frederick Text, Freehand, Hingham Text, Initials-Bradley and Caxton, Kanzlei Light, Lautenbach, Lautenbach Fancy Caps, Libra, Morris Black, Nicholini Broadpen, Rhapsodie Swash Caps, Scottford Uncial, Solemnis, Washington Text, Wedding Text.
  • Celtic: Anglo Text, Camden Text, Chappel Text, Cimbrian, Colchester Black, Durer Gothic, Durwent, Fenwick, Genzsch Initials, Gloucester Initials, Gutenberg Gothic, Hansa Gothic, Harrowgate, Kaiser Gothic, Kings Cross, Konisburg, Malvern, Medici Text, Middlesex, Progressive Text, Tudor Text, Warwick, Westminster Gothic, Yonkers.
  • Special-Effects Display Fonts: Azteca Condensed, Buddha (oriental simulation face, after a Schelter&Giesecke type), Burst, Campaign (1970), Chinatown (oriental simulation), Cigar Label (1997-2002), Colonial Dame, Contract Banner (2004, a take on Mezzotint from 1880)Direction, Fillet, Filmstar (1999), Firebug, Headhunter, Hollywood Lights, Igloo Solid, Import, Lariat, Needlepoint, Old Glory, Protest, Rustic, Scimitar (Arabic simulation face), Scoreboard, Skyline, Starburst, Sundown Shadow, Tableau, Tonight, Xerxes.
See also here.

The Solotype Catalog is a file with information on Dan Solo's typefaces, annotated with remarks about name equivalences and digitizations. The original file was due to Thibaudeau, but typophiles on alt.binaries.fonts have added to it in 2010. PDF version. Excel version. Text version.

Images of other selected typefaces: Agency Gothic, Alpha Midnight, Alpha Twilight, Anita Lightface (1977), Art Deco Display Alphabets, Ashley Crawford, Ashley Inline, Astur, Bamberg, Banco, Beans, Blackline, Bobo Bold, Braggadocio, Broadway Engraved, Busorama Bold, Busorama Light, Bust, Charger, Checkmate, Colonel Hoople, Corral, Dudley P Narrow, Dynamo, Earth, Eclipse, Empire, Ewie, Fat Cat, Fatso, Festival, Futura Black, Futura Inline, Gillies Gothic Bold, Greeting Monotone, Grooviest Gothic, Hess Neobold, Hotline, Huxley Vertical, Inkwell Black, Joanna Solotype, Joyce Black, Koloss, Lampoon, Mania, Mania Contour A, Mania Contour B, Margit, Mindy Highlight, Modernistic, Monograms Stencil, Mossman, Neon, Neuland (+Inline), Phosphor, Piccadilly, Pickfair, Polly, Prismania P, Quote, Rhythm Bold, Shady Deal, Sheet Steel, Sinaloa.

View Dan Solo's typefaces. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Solotype Catalog

A large catalog of the typefaces shown in Dan X. Solo's books, annotated with remarks about name equivalences and digitizations. The original file was due to Thibaudeau, but typophiles on alt.binaries.fonts have added to it in 2010. PDF version. Excel version. Text version. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Toto

Quezon City (Philippines)-based designer of revivals and opportunistic typefaces, who is quite active on newsgroups like alt.binaries.fonts. His production is impressive:

  • Typefaces from Dan Solo's books: Pluto Outline (2012), a 3d beveled typeface from page 82 of Solo's Outline Alphabets. K22 Angular Text (2012, an interpretation of Herman Ihlenburg's 1884 Victorian typeface Angular Text Mackellar, Smiths and Jordan), K22 Helve Cursive (based on Helvetica Serif by Dan Solo; other digitizations include Pen Tip (WSI) and Renania (Intellcta)), K22 Spiral Swash (Victorian), K22 Athenian Wide (2011: K22 Athenian Wide is Athenian Wide on page 5 of Circus Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo; see also Tobias SSK), K22 TriLine Gothic (2011, a multiline art deco typeface based on Ross F. George's TriLine Gothic from 1956), K22 Timbuctu (2011: this is the Arabic simulation typeface Timbuctu on page 73 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces and on page 95 of Special Effects and Topical Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo), K22 Didoni (2011, + Swash: a fat typeface based on Didoni from page 33 of Swash Letter Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo and also on page 140 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces), K22 K22 Eureka (2010, based on Eureka from Dan X. Solo's book "Circus Alphabets, 100 Complete Fonts"), K22 Monastic (2010, based on Monastic from Victorian Display Alphabets by Dan X. Solo), Solo Ornaments (2003, based on Solo's books), K22 Eclair (2010, a decorative Western typeface Toto found in Dan X. Solo's book on Victorian alphabets, but which in fact dates back to Hans Brehmer in 1868), K22 Karnak Deco (2009, a slab serif based on Karnak Deco from the Moderne Alphabets by Dan X. Solo and published by Dover Publications in 1999).
  • Revivals of Letraset phototypes: K22 Lucifer No. 1 (2012, a beveled neon-look face).
  • Typefaces from 101 Alphabets (W. Ben. Hunt and Ed. C. Hunt, The Bruce Publishing Company, New York, 1958): Saisa (2011, art deco face), K22 Amihan (2011, an art deco face, after this original).
  • MICR fonts: K22 GKW Computer (2011, a MICR font which is based on KW Computer from ATF, and looks very similar to Moore Computer), Auto Mission (2011, after Auto Mission was derived from the MICR font Automation Shaded on page 3 of Solo's Special Effects and Topical Alphabets, and is more complete than Otto Mason SH, the Soft Horizon digitization of Automation).
  • Fonts based on work by Ross F. George: K22 TriLine Gothic (2011) is based on Tri-Line Gothic by Ross F. George in Speedball Text Book, 17th Edition, 1956.
  • K22 Xanthus (2012, based on Xanthus Computer, a dry transfer (or rub-on) font from Mecanorma).
  • K22 Stile Ballmer (2011, after an art deco typeface made by Walter Ballmer for Olivetti), Mallary (2011, based on Mallary from page 43 of Dan X. Solo's Moderne Alphabets).
  • K22 Landi Linear (2011, after Nebiolo's Landi Linear).
  • Le Pochoir (2011, an art deco stencil typeface (à la Futura Stencil) based on an alphabet from Plate 40 of La Lettre dans la Peinture et la Publicité by Jean Joveneaux, Paris, 1987), Le Pochoir Creux (2011), Lettre dans le decor (2011, based on an alphabet from "La Lettre dans le Decor et la Publicité Modernes").
  • Splash Gordon (2011, +Inline; after the title of Flash Gordon, the movie).
  • Soccer shirt fonts: Brooks Chile (2011, used by Chile in the 2010 world cup), SwitchImage FC Copenhagen (2011, used by FC Kopenhagen), Azmie WC2010 South Korea (2010), SwitchimageACMilan (2010), FCBarcelona (2010), Azmie WC2010 United States (2010), Azmie WC2010 England (2010), Azmie WC2010 Australia (2010), Azmie WC2010Brazil (2010, based on a vector image by Kuala Lumpur-based Azmie for the Brazilian World Cup team), Azmie WC2010Portugal, Azmie WC2010Netherlands, Azmie2Slovenija-2010, Real Madrid 2011 (2010), ABFonts RCD Mallorca 2012 (based on the shirts of Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, for the 2012-2013 season).
  • K22 EricGill Shadow (2011, after Gill's 1929 face, Gill Sans Shadow 338; and K22 EricGill Shadow Line, an inline version).
  • Sajou Fancy Gothic (2011, based on pages 3 and 4 of Sajou No. 236, a late 19th century French embroidery booklet).
  • RAWB (2010, ultra fat family).
  • Linyat Bilog (2010). A geometric monoline typeface.
  • K22 Ambelyn Condensed (2010, based on Ambelyn Condensed, page 2 of Condensed Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts by Dan X. Solo and also page 21 of The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces where it is called Ambelyn), K22 Spiral Swash (2010, based on Spiral Swash from Dan X. Solo's Swash Letter Alphabets (p79)).
  • Art Jam MakingFaces (2003, a great dingbat font based on designs found in Image Club Graphics' volume 30, called Art Jam).
  • Town Sketches Bandstand (2003, based on volume 35 (Sketches On The Town)).
  • Fonts based on Aridi's designs: Nabel Initials (2005, based on Marwan Aridi's Nabel from the Initial Caps Vol I), Anabel (2005, a simpler version of Nabel Initials), Blister Caps (2005, based on the Blister set from the Aridi Initial Caps Vol. 1), RegalAlt, RegalInitials (2005, based on the Regal set from the Aridi Initial Caps Vol. I), SpringAlt, SpringInitials (2005, based on the Spring set from the Aridi Initial Caps Vol. I), VictorianaAlt, VictorianaInitials (2005, based on the Victoriana set from the Aridi Initial Caps Vol. III), Tuscan Initials (2005, based on more of Marwan Aridi's alphabets), Napoli Initials (2009, more Aridi capitals), Gothic Initials (2009, Aridi-based), Romant Initials (2009, Aridi-based), Royal Initials (2009, Aridi-based), Stone Initials (2009, also based on Aridi).
  • K22 You Know Who (2004, dingbats based on Dark Mark from the Harry Potter books).
  • Gidget Cameo (2004).
  • K22 Xerxes (2003, a stone carving typeface).
  • Dover Birds (2012, based on the Birds Alphabet Coloring Book by Ruth Soffer, Dover Publications).
  • K22 Spotty Face (2012, +Cyrillic) is a dot matrix font based on Tony Huggett's Spotty (Zipatone).
  • K22 Gadget Lined (2012) is an art deco typeface based on Gadget Lined by Peter Bennett at Zipatone. See also K22 Gadget (2014).
  • K22 Lawenta (2012). A teepee-styled typeface (check also Nick Curtis's Wigwam NF). He says: The font is based on the alphabet on page 63 of 101 Alphabets by W. Ben. Hunt and Ed. C. Hunt (The Bruce Publishing Company, New York, 1958).
  • K22 My Didot (2012). This is one of three known digitizations of CBS Didot.
  • K22 Plural (2013) is a revival of the op-art font Plural made in 1971 by Vicente Rojo for the Mexican magazine Plural.
Alternate URL. Fontspace link. Partial catalog from 2010. Dafont link. Abstract Fonts link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Tris Nguyen

Designer at Postsadness Fonts of PS Bluegum Forest (1998). It is claimed to be better than Burton's Nightmare, and very close to Solotype's Glorietta. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Type Founders of Chicago (or: Castcraft)

Foundry, est. Chicago in 1936. It moved from Hubbard Street in Chicago to a suburb after a few decades---to Skokie and/or Niles. The name changed to Castcraft [3649 W Chase Ave Skokie, IL 60026], and then to Castcraft Software Inc. It owned a comprehensive library of fonts, all with extended character sets for multi-language typography. OptiFont is a trademark filed in 1990 by Fredric J. Kreiter of Castcraft. Castcraft sold a CD-ROM Type Library Volume 1 at 200 USD. Its entire font collection was sold for 1000 USD. It also made some custom fonts. Most post-1990 fonts have the prefix OPTI. For example, OPTI-Peking is an oriental simulation font. OPTI-Favrile is a copy of Tom Carnase's Favrile (WTC).

A visitor warned me that there is absolutely zero security when you order from this outfit, so you are warned--this is a dangerous site! It seems that Manny Kreiter (d. 2005) was the last President&CEO, and that his family (Abe, Harry and Ned Kreiter) have been at it since the days of metal type (1936) starting as Type Founders of Chicago. I found this on their pages: Castcraft has licensing [sic] the entire 20,000 TypeFaces from "Type Films of Chicago" and the entire "Solotype Alphabets" collection. Mike Yanega claims that most of their fonts are clearly not original any more than most of Bitstream's are original, and like them they re-name many of their fonts to avoid copyright issues. Their fonts all appear to be a 'dead collection' of copies of relatively old designs that have already appeared in many other collections from the likes of WSI and SSi.

In 2010, John Brandt reports: Castcraft, aka Type Founders of Chicago, moved decades ago from Hubbard St in Chicago to a close-in suburb (Skokie? Niles?) and was still operating within the past few years when I happened to drive by. I failed to find any current incarnation, but they used several names even years ago as a prominent pirate. Besides pirated fonts (Typositor to later, generally poor digital), they were a big metal vendor (I have a partial metal set of Helvetica gifted as they left downtown in the 1970s), and also had a guy (whose name escapes me) who did fabulous high-end signage, from sand-blasted glass to the created-on-building inscribed metal logo for a well-known Michigan Ave mall. Longtime owner Manny Kreiter died in 2005, but whether Boomie or any of the others who may still be around kept it going is unknown. Aside from simply having ANY version of their many offerings, most would consider their collection worthless. Anyone who has a digital "OPTIfont" and a font editor can readily view the problems, including usually several times too many Bezier points within any character. I counted 78 control points on a minimal character, for instance, that should have had less than a dozen.

Listing of Castcraft fonts (compiled by myself). The 802 fonts listed here are all dated between 1990 and 1994. I know there are at least 1,000 digital fonts made by them, so my list is incomplete.

Typophile discussion of Castcraft. OPTI Castcraft equivalence list by Philippedada [last update May 2012].

Some download links: i, ii. A revival includes Dick Pape's free font Bon Aire (2011), which revives Castcraft's Bon Aire.

OPTI Fonts Archive. List of equivalences of Castcraft names. List of Castcraft typefaces as of July 2014. [Google] [More]  ⦿