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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Recent Specimens

page 127

Recent Specimens.

We have to thank Messrs Farmer, Little, and Co., of Beekman-street, New York, for a quarto book of « Supplementary Specimens in Roman, Old Style, and Job Faces, containing all additions to the large specimen-book. » All the new faces it contains have been noted and described by us from month to month. The last page contains, printed in blue, some very pretty specimens of new geometrical tint-grounds, Nos. 31-38, which are supplied either on brass or metal, any size required. We would much like to have the « large » specimen-book —we have more than once wished to be able to make reference to it in our articles on « Design. » For instance, we believe that this firm was the first to bring out a series of illustrated initials, and open initial ornaments, of the style which has lately come so much into vogue; but the sole ground for that impression is our recollection of a supplement in an early volume of the London Printers' Register.— This month's mail brings us a pretty little miniature specimen-book, in which the latest styles are displayed, each with a page to itself, and embodying a pun on the name of the letter, as, for example:— « Like all benefactors of the human race, Franklin Extended to all nations the rights won for his own. » The only face that we have not already noted is « Ascot, » an eccentric old-style which a few years ago would have been regarded as a wild creation, but which, compared with some recent Americanisms, is a model of plainness and decorum.

A very pretty little cloth-bound volume comes to us from the Cleveland Foundry, Ohio. It is not the first that we have had from this house, though it is the best, and with most of the lines shown in the book we are familiar. Such as have come out during the past four years we have noted from time to time in this column. The book begins with modern and old-style romans and German founts, and runs through all varieties of plain and fancy job-type, borders, brass-rule, and cuts, finishing up with an illustrated catalogue of printing-office requisites.

We have a neat pocket specimen-book of the late designs of the Boston and Central Typefoundries, nearly all of which, and all the latest, have been noted by us as they appeared.

Marder, Luse, and Co. show a good roman (No. 18), nonpareil, minion, and brevier, clear and solid face, very suitable for newspaper work; also a light-faced bold roman of old-fashioned cut, called « Caxton 01d-style. » No size smaller than pica is shown, and the letter is suggestive of Benton, Waldo, and Co.'s « self-spacing » old style, particularly in the italic, which has horizontal serifs, and is just the roman sloped. « Mansfield » is an eccentric of almost uniform thickness, like, and yet unlike, the « Art Gothic. » It is in five sizes, 12 to 48; it has certain peculiarities of its own, and is capable of effective use; but we think that there should be already enough of this description of letter to satisfy the most exacting printer. « Marine, » in six sizes (12 to 60), is a kind of « Mother Hubbard, » with lower-case. A legible, though somewhat crooked style. Only specimen lines can give true ideas of the characteristic quality of designs in which there is any real novelty.

« Caxton Old-style » is a body-fount shown on 12-point body in the Printers' Album. The name is of course quite arbitrary, as it bears no resemblance to anything Caxton ever printed. It has the old-style features exaggerated, something like the « Ronaldson, » full in face and wide in set, and has a peculiarity in the form of the cap M, the central point of which comes only half down the letter. The W, which might be expected to correspond, is of the usual form.

The Boston Typefoundry shows « Façade Condensed. » It is an extra-thin variety of a face that has met with much favor; and the series is very complete, ten sizes being shown, on bodies ranging from 10 to 60.

« Columbia, » by the Union Typefoundry, Chicago, is a high-waisted rough sans, possessing no novel character of its own, being merely the « Foster Gothic » somewhat condensed. It is in four sizes, 12 to 39. The same foundry shows a « Fringe » Border, on 24-point. There are two characters, running-piece and corner, both square. It is roughly-cut, and a disagreeable white where the pieces come together marks it off in squares.

The Dickinson Foundry shows « Algonquin, » and « Algonquin Shaded. » The first is a very heavy letter in the « Lafayette » style, but more ornamental; the second is open-faced, with slanting band across the centre, and heavy shade. The two register exactly, and look well when the solid face is worked as a tint with the open style. The letter, which has lower-case and figures, is shown on bodies of 42, 48, and 60.