– – – – –
2010 has been a great year for wood type, and typography in general. But don’t take my word for it, read Paul Shaw’s “Top 10 Typographic Events of 2010.” No offense Mr. Shaw, but I would certainly include the establishment of a new wood type manufacturer in that list.
Thank you to all the LD readers and commenters, I’m really excited for the promise of 2011!
Though the same line height as the Y posted August 3, this compact character packs a paltry punch. One way to create hierarchy and rhythm within a word or phrase set in all caps is to begin with a heavier version of the same style typeface, a trick I used in the dateline on the Glade showposter I designed and printed earlier this year.
This image was scanned from “Woodtype: selective emphasis for fine typography, by Hamilton,” a simple, boldly designed (leaning heavily – and anachronistically – on modernistic tropes) specimen book from 1960 that attempted (halfheartedly, imho) to prove modern relevance of an obsolete industry.
There is no manufacturer’s imprint on the capital A’s of this font, and since all wood type producers had versions of Clarendon(s) it’s nearly impossible to determine dates or provenance. Close examination of this character reveals subtle clues – slightly angled terminals, varied counters – that indicate correct orientation.
12 line Antique Double Outlined Shade
Wells & Webb called this face Antique Ornamented in their 1849 specimen. Rob Roy Kelly called it Antique Double Outlined Shade. I call it freaking amazing. Unfortunately, I could not find a manufacturer’s imprint and type design piracy was as prevalent in the nineteenth century as the twenty first, so I don’t know if this font originated with Wells & Webb.
I have to admit, I have wanted to show proofs of this font every day, but ultimately decided that since starting with one of my rarest fonts (see 10 line Gothic Condensed Octagon Shade, posted on January 2) I should finish the first showing of the alphabet just as strong. Kelly explained that the specimen included in his book was printed from types at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The proof that you see here was printed from type that resides in case number 25 of the 2/3 sized double-tier flat-top Hamilton wood type cabinet in my living room.