10 line Lydian Bold Condensed

Warren Chappell designed Lydian Bold Condensed eight years after designing Lydian and its italic. Though the original weights are easily the most popular modulated sans serifs of American origin, the Bold Condensed weight is, in my opinion, much more compelling.

Gimme a Sign

12 line Signal Black

The identity of this face has eluded me for two years – thank God for The Encyclopedia of Type Faces! The genius of this classic is in the organization under three main sections: Romans, Lineales (Sans Serifs), and Scripts. I had been unable to locate Signal in McGrew’s American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century because it’s buried in Appendix II: Popular Imports. I assumed, rather naively, that a face cut into wood probably originated in the States (hello. . .  Futura!?). According to Jaspert, Berry, and Johnson, Signal was designed in 1931 by W. Wege for the great Berlin based type foundry, Berthold. I will sleep much better tonight having solved this mystery.

This nearly-monoline capital G is cut into the side grain; unfortunately, no manufacturer’s imprint is present.


10 line Kabel

A wood version of the popular metal face designed by Rudolf Koch. This font was cut by The Hamilton Wood Type Company, Two Rivers, Wisconsin. According to Kelly, the imprint on the capital A (see image below) was used by Hamilton after 1891. Kabel (the original metal version) was released by the Klingspor foundry in 1927.