It All Started Here

12 line Peerless No. 1

In 2003, I moved into a coveted corner desk in the graphic design graduate studio at Indiana University, Bloomington. As I was cleaning my new home away from home I found two wood letters in the back of one of the desk drawers. I didn’t think anything of the discovery – the graphic design department has an amazing letterpress studio and an enviable collection of wood type. I assumed that the letters had been borrowed from the shop and forgotten. So I handed them over to one of my mentors, Paul Brown, with the explanation that I had found them in my new desk. He thanked me for returning them and I went about my business, eventually forgetting all about the letters.

Several weeks passed. Then one day when I was puttering about in the letterpress shop, Paul stopped by and handed the aforementioned wood letters to me. A thorough search was conducted, he explained, but these letters did not belong to any of the fonts in the shop and so they were mine – what a stand-up guy! Thus began my obsession. Thanks, Paul.

This router cut, end grain sort is the only character I have from a typeface Morgans & Wilcox called Peerless No. 1, and The Hamilton Manufacturing Co. called No. 305.

Bottom of the block showing the grain