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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Recent Specimens

page 27

Recent Specimens

Mr. Emil Berger, Leipzig-Reudnitz, sends us a parcel of fine specimens, with some of which, however, he has been forestalled by his home agent, Mr Wesselhoeft, as acknowledged by us in our November number. We note a series of 14 hands holding scrolls, after the style of those brought out last year by the Johnson Foundry. They are not, however, the same, and Nos. 26-27 hold a rod with ornamental ends, from which is suspended a curtain or banner. These two corners may be effectively used in combination with any variety of banner or drapery fringe. The hands are all of large size, and are beautifully designed and engraved.—A double sheet shows nine very fine electro designs for memo heads. They are all good. No. 1648, a neat device for a printer, octavo size, may also be had for quarto. No. 1643 is very artistic, and shows a locomotive issuing from a tunnel and a steamer on a stormy sea. « Zeitungs-Einfassungen » Nos. 567-8, are certainly original ideas in the way of borders—striped balls upright and in perspective, and pyramids and six-sided prisms shown at various angles. The contrasts of black and white are strong, and the general effect more curious than pleasing. Border 565—a scroll adorned with various figures—we have already noticed, but we cannot forbear to remark upon the beautiful and tasteful manner in which it is displayed on a quadruple sheet, and brought out with delicate tints. The title-page of the firm's octavo specimen-book is enclosed with the parcel. It is bordered with Series No. 560, in colors and tints, and is a beautiful piece of of work. Border 561 (73 characters) is a well-designed and artistic series of line-ornaments, with end- and centre-pieces. Some of the characters (28 for instance) would, we think, have been more useful if cast in two pieces instead of one. As they are, they cannot be used symmetrically without doubling the centre ornament.

From J. John Söhne, Hamburg, we have specimens of two new faces of ornamental type. Nos. 173-5, is an open shaded antique, in outline perfectly plain, with sharply-bracketed serifs, and with light ornamentation on the face—an appropriate style where a large and bold but light letter is required. 176-9 are four sizes of a pretty cursive style, suitable for circulars. Its general effect is similar to some recent Yankee styles now in favor; but the letters are more gracefully and correctly formed, and it is not likely to go so soon out of fashion.

Several references have been made in these columns to the novelties produced by the Keystone Foundry, Philadelphia, as shown in American exchanges. Last mail brought us a parcel of sheets of body-founts, job letters, and borders, some of which we have described already. The « Keystone Old-style » is a series very like the « Ronaldson, » of clean and even cut, and with a less pronounced slope to the serifs. It is very complete, in seven sizes, rising by single points from nonpareil to pica. There is also a variety of good modern faces for book and news work, from 5½ to 12-point. One series is furnished with the following logotypes:—The, the, that, and, tion, ing. « Poster ionic, » five sizes, 12- to 36-point, is one of the best of its class—bold and legible without being too black and heavy. « Lining Gothic » is a moderately heavy sans, in twelve sizes, five of which are cast to line on 6-point body. « Latin Antique » with lower-case is another excellent series. The smallest, 5-point, is cast on 6-point body, and the caps work well as small-caps with the 6 point. « Pen Writer, » an original script, we have already noted. Like the other American founders, this firm has produced an unlovely « Type-writer, » the Remington type being taken as the model. « Basic, » four sizes, 12- to 36-point, with lower-case, is a beautifully-cut ornamented, suitable for the finer class of cheque-work. It is cut as fine as a steel-plate engraving—the letter in a close tint, surrounded by a white line, and outlined with a hair-line, heavily shaded in black on the right—thus producing a three-color effect. The printer who does not keep his rollers in perfect order and use the best ink, would do well to avoid this series. The « Keystone Combination Border, » 55 characters, in three sections, is the prettiest and most delicate arrangement of tint designs that we have yet seen. It would require the finest presswork to show to advantnge. Many of the pieces appear to have been produced by the geometrical lathe. Its adaptations, as shown in the five pages of specimens, are endless; but many of the characters, if ordered in sufficient quantity, are capable of forming striking and original running borders. We would specially indicate characters 27, 37, 47, and 52, with their appropriate corners. Five sheets are occupied with specimens of standard brass rule, which is supplied in graduated lengths, and provided with appropriate brass corners, 9 in all, to a nonpareil em. The Keystone Foundry claims to have invented a nickel-alloy (« the best in the world » ), from which all their types are cast.

Sir Charles Reed & Sons send us a double sheet containing a series of twenty four head- and tail-pieces, « selected from the masterpieces of the printers of the 16th and 17th centuries. » The set would be a very useful acquisition to any office where bookwork is undertaken. It may seem strange that printers to-day should go back to the infancy of the art for models of ornament; but it must be remembered that the earliest printers imitated the best work of the scribes at a time when book-decoration was at its highest excellence, and ranked among the fine arts.

The Union Typefoundry show in four sizes, caps only, « American Old-Style, » which for downright ugliness could hardly be excelled. It is after the fashion of the uncouth engravers' work which disfigures the cover of nearly every American magazine.

« Aurora » is the name of an open old-style latin, caps only, brought out in five sizes by Schelter & Giesecke. The face is tinted at the head, softening to white at the foot, and the interspaces are lightly ornamented. The type is cast for two-color work, but the specimen before us is in black only. The effect is neat and artistic.

Barnhart Bros. & Spindler show under the name of « Racine, » in eight sizes, a modified French-faced old-style titling. The letter is about medium width, but light and somewhat meagre. It is not pleasant to the eye. The characteristic features of the French style are caricatured; the curves are flattened; the centre line of the E and F (as in dozens of recent Yankee founts) is brought nearly close to the top; so is the bar of the A and H; while on the other hand the loop of the R comes nearly to the foot of the letter.