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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 5

Type Specimens

page 37

Type Specimens.

We have received from Messrs Schelter & Giesecke, Leipzig, through Messrs Seegner, Langguth, & Co., of Auckland, skeleton sample-fonts of two series of their modern faces, already noted and commended in these pages. Both series are complete with figures, and are provided with French and German accents, but printers will miss the £, a very important character in English work. They are on the regular German bodies, but we understand that they are cast also on the American point-system. The 10·, or « korpus » body, equals 11·, or small-pica, English. The first series is the Renaissance-Gothic, in true German style, and one of the best ornamental faces produced in late years. It combines the most graceful features of the Gothic with the legibility of Roman. It is produced in six sizes. The following is a synopsis of the characters, from which it will be seen that there are many duplicate forms, and no fewer than four varieties of the letter S. There are also ch, fl, and fi, but we have these only in the larger sizes. In all but the largest size, the diæresis is cast on a kern above the capitals; in the 48· it is supplied separately. The other series is the Künstler-Grotesk It is a modification of some late American styles, with more artistic taste, and with less exuberance of flourish. From the following synopsis of characters, it will be seen that it is abundantly supplied with is a feature that we have not noticed in any former design. The small letters are very deeply shouldered off at head and foot, which is necessary, owing to the numerous kerns. The following are the sizes aof which specimens have come to hand. We notice two other sizes, 8· and 16·, in the specimen-book. These faces have become very popular in England, and figure largely in recent fine work. We do not doubt that they will find a good market in the colonies also.

Genzsch & Heyse, Hamburg, have engraved a very thick-faced old-style roman, which, among the great variety of old-styles lately produced, possesses a striking individuality and value of its own. It resembles the first Caslon's faces more than any other that we have seen. It bears the name of Römische Antiqua, and is shown in ten sizes, 10· to 72·.

The Schwabacher face, the latest modern representative of the round Gothic, or Lettre de Somme, one of the oldest faces known in typography, is evidently increasing in favor. The house of Kloberg, Leipzig, show a very complete series, ordinary, moderately heavy, heavy, and shaded. Of the first and second, eleven sizes are shown. 6· to 48·; of the third, fourteen sizes, 6· to 96·, and of the ornamental, five sizes, 18· to 48·. All are complete with figures, and beautiful and regular in cut.

The Lindsay Foundry show Combination Letters, in three sizes, 5-, 7-, and 9-line agate ( = ruby, or 5½-point). The style is familiar to all readers of American dailies. It is an advertisers' invention, to drive the proverbial coach-and-four through the rule prohibiting anything in advertisements larger than the body-letter. Such letters are not well formed, and have an uneven look, each being built up from a different unit; but they have the advantage of carrying the same quantity of color as the rest of the page, thereby differing from the awful poster-types sometimes used. The designing and sketching them takes considerable time, and it has been customary for newspaper comps, having once set them, to keep them standing. The new letters, (of which our examples are imitations), will be much handier than the composite characters.

The Keystone Foundry have brought out a seventh section of their characteristic borders. It contains 21 characters, and its chief feature is a strapwork combination—one of those really rare things in type design, a novelty—and a good one. The Johnson Foundry's Crayon is a style that never seems to harmonize with any other letter, yet it has been twice imitated and varied by the Keystone Foundry. Crayonette Open is the name of a series intended to work either separately in two-color register with the Crayonette. It is in four sizes.

The Lindsay Foundry send us specimens of Old Style Antique No. 3 five sizes, 24· to 60·. A bold and well-cut letter, with lowercase, occupying a middle ground between ordinary old-style and latin. The x is cut in reverse, the thick stroke being from right to left. Maria, seven sizes, from 14· (؟why not 12·?) to 60·, is an exceedingly thin latin, something like the extra-condensed Façade, with lowercase. A very useful series.

page 38

Farmer, Little, & Co. show in five sizes, 12· to 36·, Oblique Gothic, a sloping sanserif with lowercase, differing from all preceding letters of the same style in its extreme thinness.

Cadet is the name of a pretty and sharp-cut Old English, with a touch of the Flemish style, brought out by the Boston Foundry. It is in three sizes, 16· to 36·, and other sizes are in hand.

H. C. Hansen, Boston, shows some neatly-cut brass Braces and Half-Braces, and some good quadrant Rule Corners, 18· and 24·, for various faces of rule.

The Central Foundry shows eight sizes, 6· to 48·, of DeVinne, a heavy old-style Roman. In several points, as in the cap M, R, and S, it departs from the accepted model. The M in particular is bad, the v portion being reduced almost to a horizontal line. There is an alternative S; there may also be an alternative M, but it is not shown. If founders would only show an entire alphabet of each letter, with all extra and duplicate sorts, practical printers would bless them. Page after page of the American specimen-books is filled with jokes—often very foolish. A display line is right enough, to show how a letter looks in actual use, but the critical printer likes to know just what he is buying. French Old-Style No. 2 is now completed up to 72·, making thirteen sizes—a fine series. Jefferson, five sizes, 36· to 72·, is a condensed form of the Washington, filling an intermediate place between that letter and the Lafayette. It is sure to beome popular.