Bernhard Gothic was among the first American sans serif typefaces designed to compete with its exponentially more popular European contemporaries, Futura and Kabel. Lucien Bernhard designed this namesake Gothic in 1929–30 for ATF. Though it was never copied and renamed (possibly it was a little too quirky) by other metal type foundries, some weights of Bernhard Gothic were cut in wood by the Hamilton Manufacturing Co.
Letters typically get all the glory on this blog so I thought I’d introduce the newest addition to the collection with this glorious numeral four. Rob Roy Kelly identified three “primary faces”—Roman, Antique, and Gothic—each of which spawned innumerable derivative designs. Until now I was missing a Roman. Besides filling a large gap in the collection, this 12 line Roman X Condensed brings another manufacturer—Bill, Stark & Company—to the mix.
Horatio and Jeremiah Bill learned wood type manufacturing while employed by Edwin Allen. The brothers Bill ventured out on their own around 1850 and in the 3–4 years they were in business, they made quite an impression. In fact, they were the only wood type manufacturers to exhibit at the New York World’s Fair.
6 line Poster Gothic No. 738 – Class R
This 4 is from a caps and figures font of side grain wood type. The face was identified with the help of Nick Sherman’s Flickr set Type specimen books at Hamilton (thanks Nick, that’s a valuable resource!). I wish I also had the solid No. 737 – Class N.