Produced by Morgans & Wilcox, Newton is a variation of the lineal Gothic characterized by mansard style terminals (I can’t help but think of the old Pizza Hut logo). Because this is the only character I have, I can’t be sure that it’s Newton. This Y could also be from a nearly identical face, called No. 123, produced by Hamilton Manufacturing Co. There’s one significant difference between the two. Take a look at the scans of each and tell me what you see.
Special thanks to Unicorn Graphics for posting scans of their 1890 Morgans & Wilcox Wood Type Catalog.
The following image of No. 123 was scanned from the incredible Shooting Star Press facsimile of Hamilton’s Specimens of Wood Type (No. 17).
So what’s the difference? Which do you prefer, and why?
12 line No. 202
As I spent over 20 hours working in the Book Arts Studio over the weekend, I thought a guest appearance from the wood type collection at work would be appropriate. While perusing the cases for a capital Y I came across this 12 line No. 202 from Hamilton Manufacturing Company. The comma and the Y had clearly been kerned together and were still nestled side by side in the case.
This design seems to suffer from an identity crisis. Its roots are Gothic, but the modulated strokes and flaring, almost wedge-shaped serifs draw from the Latin Antiques. The cap of the comma wouldn’t look out of place in a font of Concave Tuscan. And then there’s that flourish on the Y that extends above the cap line – there’s no mistaking the influence of the Arts & Crafts movement and the “artistic printing” that was all the rage in the 1870s through ‘80s.
15 line Brush
Robert E. Smith designed Brush in 1942 as part of a campaign by the American Type Foundry to replace script faces produced earlier in the century.
When taken out of context, this capital Y reverts to a bold, gestural brush stroke. Warping of this end grain block made it difficult to get a solid proof, further emphasizing the calligraphic nature of the design.