Last weekend, at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum Wayzgoose, I had the long awaited pleasure of meeting Bill Jones, of Virgin Wood Type fame, in person. Bill and his wife Geri McCormick are good people doing great things for the wood type and letterpress printing community.
Visit the Virgin Wood Type website to get your very own font of Mansard Extra Bold, or any of the other 20 plus faces Bill is cutting in high quality, end grain maple, using a combination of traditional and contemporary tools and techniques.
Not to be mistaken with Howland…
Weighing in at 3 picas tall and 6p8 (read 6 picas, 8 points) wide – over twice as wide as it is tall – this capital letter P comes from one of my favorite petite fonts. The excellent condition of the font belies its age. According to the imprint, shown stamped into the side of the capital A’s, this type was likely manufactured between 1867–1890.
The Poster Gothic Series, as manufactured by Hamilton Manufacturing Company, was cut in multiple widths in solid face and outline – like the Republic Gothic Series posted on 02/19/10 – allowing for two-color (or three, depending on the transparency of the inks) work.
30 line (5 inches!) Grecian Condensed
“Grecian was one of the significant poster faces of the [nineteenth] century,” wrote Rob Roy Kelly. Not bad for a design that Nicolete Gray described as “founded on the simple idea of taking the corner off the letter.”¹ Derived from the Antiques, Grecian shares the same heavy unbracketed serifs, but is differentiated by chamfered sides and square/rectangular counters. The earliest wood versions of Grecian (it first appeared in specimens of the English type foundries in the 1840s) were shown in the 1846 wood type catalog of Wells and Webb. Early versions, including Condensed, Extra Condensed, and X Condensed Open were designed without lowercase. My font is capitals only – plus two exclamation points. Unfortunately, no manufacturer’s stamp is present.
¹ Nicolete Gray, Nineteenth Century Ornamented Typefaces, 1976