Archived entries for capital Q

15 line No. 507

picture and printed proof of 15 line No. 507 wood type capital letter Q

Antique Tuscan X Condensed No. 11

picture and printed proof of Antique Tuscan X Condensed No. 11 wood type capital letter Q

20 line Antique XX Condensed

picture and printed proof of 20 line Antique XX Condensed wood type capital letter Q

30/33 line Futura Bold

Accommodating the descending tail requires three additional picas. All other capitals in this font are 30 picas.

8 line Clarendon Light Face X Condensed

12 line Roman X Condensed

5 line Aetna

20 line Tuscan Egyptian

10 line Kabel

15 line Gothic No. 630

18 line Gothic No. 266

4 line Gothic Bold

On Cue

8 line Aldine Expanded

Converse to traditional text typefaces, Aldine Expanded’s horizontal strokes outweigh the vertical. The adorable smirk of a tail extending off to the right of this very wide character makes close spacing of the requisite QU (or Qu) combination impossible without physically removing part of the body of the sort – this method of kerning is frequently seen in wood type on the capital A’s, L’s, T’s, Y’s, etc.

“I never joke about my work 007”

12 line unknown Gothic Bold Condensed

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly special about this font of wood type. At 12 lines (2 inches) the size is useful, but not impressive. It’s pantograph-routed from the side grain so it was cheaper to produce. The lack of patina and rough edges indicate that it’s relatively new. Though its bold, squarish letterforms are more reminiscent of European sans serifs/grotesques than the American gothics, this font is nothing extraordinary – except for this Q. I’ve searched through American Wood Type: 1828-1900, Nineteenth Century Ornamented Typefaces, and American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, but I could not find a match for this design (probably because the design postdates the first two sources). If anyone knows the name of this face and/or manufacturer, I’d love to hear from you.

Because of its scarcity in English, the letter Q has historically been a form where type designers have taken some liberties – a kind of apology for the quiet, rather lonely life to which it is fated. Quite often, a face can be identified instantly by its Q – see the sweeping elegance of Garamond, the ostentatiousness of Baskerville, or the calligraphic flair of Electra. The tail on this wood letter could hardly be simpler, extending down from the southern bowl with just enough of an angle to lead the eye into the next letter. Maybe it’s this no-nonsense, lack of pretension that makes this a favorite among the characters in my collection.

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