Fair Warning

8 line Brush

Notice the body has been cut (by the manufacturer) to accommodate the angled body of lowercase letters that may follow. However, the left side (right side in the picture) is 90 degrees to the baseline – a warning to typesetters: do not set Brush in all capitals!

Whoa, Nelly!

30 line Gothic Tuscan No. 3

Rob Roy Kelly wrote of the importance of the wood type titling system and its peculiar consistency – most manufacturers adhered to the primary categories of Roman, Antique, and Gothic, with secondary and tertiary styles being derivative of the primaries. Kelly also agreed with Nicolete Gray that Tuscans represented a separate category that should be considered according to design characteristics such as serifs, notches, bulges, etc.

Contrary to the consistency of which Kelly wrote, Gothic Tuscan No. 3 seems to have an identity crisis. While it clearly derives from the primary category of Gothic, even William H. Page, in his 1888 Specimens was inconsistent in titling faces with median points. As previously posted (“So Sharp” January 28, 2010) a scan from the 1888 Specimens of The Wm. H. Page Wood Type Co. titles the condensed Gothic face with bracketed median points shown here as Gothic Tuscan No. 3:

While in a different section, a Gothic with unbracketed median points is called Gothic Pointed:


8 line Aldine Expanded

Aldine is another subcategory of Antique. William H. Page patented the design around 1870; Aldine Expanded appeared in 1872. The serifs are significantly heavier than the stems and conspicuously bracketed. Despite its impractical width – some characters, like the capital W, are more than twice as wide as they are tall – the Aldine faces were used extensively in poster printing throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century. The strong figure/ground relationship inherent to this design creates a wonderfully dynamic tension on the page. Sadly, my capitals only font is incomplete. Missing B, D, E, H, L, M, R, S, and Y.