Neon is a three-dimensional inline sans serif with rounded terminals and an unusual left-hand shadow. According to Mac McGrew, it was designed in 1936 by Willy Schaefer for the German foundry, C. E. Weber. The National Type Foundry, of Pittsburgh (later to become the Neon Type Foundry), copied the face and made it available in the U.S.
Archived entries for sort
Kelly and Shields suggest that Modified Gothic originated with Hamilton and made its first appearance as wood type in Hamilton’s New Designs in End Wood Type, from 1897.
I received this sort (a single block of type) — along with H, T, and M sorts from different faces — in a door prize raffle during the 2011 Wayzgoose at Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum. The prizes were generously donated by type and printing enthusiast extraordinaire, Dave Peat.
According to the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection website, this design was patented by William H. Page in 1880. The Hamilton Manufacturing Company called its (nearly identical) version, No. 167. Morgans & Wilcox showed this face (with very slight variations) as Keystone in their wood type catalog from 1890. This is, in my opinion, one of the sexier non-Tuscan, non-ornamental wood type designs – wish I had more than a couple sorts.
I found this H while going through some sorts. It caught my attention because the stems seemed significantly shorter than usual. When I looked closer under better light, I noticed that the bracketed points that distinguished this character as Tuscan No. 3 were removed, relegating this once capital fellow to life as a Gothic, sans serif.
The Poster Gothic series was cut in multiple widths in both solid and outline versions. When the solid and outline of the same width were cut from the same pantograph setup the characters could be printed to align for two-color work.
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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!
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?
Jenson Old Style was cut in wood by Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, with permission from American Type Founders. The original metal version, produced by Dickinson Type Foundry (part of ATF) of Boston, was based on William Morris’ Golden Type, which was in turn a crude version of the types cut by the masterful Nicolas Jenson.