Last night I installed a small show at Alchemy. Lauren helped me hang twelve new prints, plus two completed last year. The main attraction of the show, entitled Hyperbole For Sale, is the immense “Super, Extra, Ultra, Mega!” At 19.75 x 27.5 inches, it’s easily the largest print I’ve made, and it was only possible because of the fabulous Vandercook SP20 at the Book Arts Studio.
Super, Extra, Ultra, Mega! on press
The first line is 30 line Grecian Condensed; second is 20 line French Clarendon; Ultra is set in 24 line Gothic X Condensed (the only type used for this piece not from my collection); and last but not least is 15 line Antique Tuscan.
Printing on the SP20, photo courtesy Lauren Huber
Seeing Cooper Black at this size always makes me smile. This numeral 4 was amongst an assortment of mismatched wood type purchased from an ebay seller a number of years ago.
The original metal face was released in 1920 by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler. It’s overwhelming popularity meant it would inevitably be copied by every foundry and wood type manufacturer. I have a PDF of a Hamilton Manufacturing Co. catalog from 1938 (I’m pretty sure it appeared as wood type years earlier) showing specimens of Cooper Black, Cooper Black Italic, Cooper Black Condensed, Cooper Black Extra Condensed, Cooper Black Double Extra Condensed, and Cooper Black Highlight.
15 line Broad-Stroke Cursive
According to Mac McGrew, this typeface was produced by both Lanston (American) Monotype and English Monotype, though the latter called it Script Bold. Script faces, particularly in metal type, are rather delicate – the kerns (the part of the letterform that hangs over the body or slug) damage easily. Broad-Stroke Cursive was designed without kerned characters, adding to its durability.
This exclamation point, or bang, looks like it’s dodging a punch!
20 line unknown Tuscan?
Alright all you typographic supersleuths, I could use some help with this one. This exclamation mark, or bang, came with a font of Tuscan Egyptian (see “Walk Like an Egyptian”) that I purchased last year. The closest I can find to a match is Gothic Tuscan No. 6, shown on pg. 123, bottom left, of my Da Capo Press edition of American Wood Type. However, the upper stroke and dot of the Gothic Tuscan No. 6 have straight sides, where the sides of the character shown here are clearly concave. Since the knobs – or dots as they’re called in Page’s 1888 specimen – added to the Gothic were also used to embellish a bracketed Antique called Arcadian, I’m curious if this exclamation mark belongs to that face?