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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Recent Specimens

page 95

Recent Specimens.

The Cleveland Foundry send us two sheets showing « Euclid, » a new style, in six sizes. It is rather a pretty flourished roman, a lighter-faced variation of the « Elberon » of the same foundry, with the addition of large flourished initials. We have already given our opinion that these initials on L-shaped body, with long streamers, are a mistake. The series before us is the least open to objection of any of the kind—some of the caps thus adorned, as the B and the 0, are really graceful; but the majority are not. The E, F, and T, are ugly. The founts are supplied independently of the initials, and as these double the cost, the economical printer will do without them. We see that several American houses claim to have secured mechanical patents for L-shaped and mortised types. As we have handled types made on this principle for thirty years past, we are at a loss to know wherein the patentable novelty consists.—The same house shows two new styles, suitable for circulars, and both light, almost hair-line. We think we can trace the delicate touch of the designer of « Ivy, » « Acadian, » and « Cirrous, » in these graceful letters. « Waverley » is very like « Ivy, » with the old-style character introduced, and with plain capitals, and « Litho » is a somewhat similar style, with more exuberance of curve and flourish, to allow for which the lower-case letters are reduced in size—the 18-point characters being smaller in the face than those of 12-point « Waverley. »

« Crystal » (three sizes) is a notion from Farmer, Little, & Co. There are no curves on the letters, the 0, for example, being lozenge-shaped, two sides thick and two thin. All the letters are more or less distorted, except the I, V, and W, cap and lower-case, and these, being normal, seem to belong to another fount. We do not like the style. The idea is not altogether original, being a variation on Bruces' style 541 (1883) and 1556 (1884).

« Sarah » is one of the latest productions of the Lindsay Foundry, New York. It is a very thin heavy-faced latin, without lower-case, and is shown in four sizes, 12- to 24-point. It is an original-looking face, and can be recommended as thoroughly serviceable.

Messrs Allison & Smith, of the Franklin Type Foundry, Cincinnati, have brought out under the name of « Gothic No. 1 » a fine series of heavy sans with lower-case. It is in ten sizes, from 5-point (on 6-point body, lining with the next size), up to 48-point. This is a letter that will outlast—in all ways—a score of the crooked and distorted shapes that may now be seen in every specimen-book.

Barnhart Bros. & Spindler show in five series « Orbit, » a letter with lower-case, a good deal resembling MacKellar's « Culdee. » The figures are good, but are out of keeping with the eccentric style of the type, being in the plain « Doric » fashion.

The Union Typefoundry, Chicago, has produced a series of « Pilot » ornaments, containing five characters. Four of the five are conventionalized flowers, more suitable for isolated ornaments than borders. Each of the five is a different size, and apparently on different body. The smallest, in pica, is a simple border-design in hair-line. From a very small central circle runs an upright cross, upon which two squares are drawn.

The Dickinson Foundry show a condensed series of their « Tocsin » (a very light old style fancy roman titling). Under the name of « Skjald » they show a « cranky » style, which is the same as their « Typothetæ, » with the addition of appropriate lower-case. There is a decided originality about this letter, which distinguishes it from the hundred or more Yankee eccentrics which are mere imitations of such letters as the « Harper, » « Century, » and « Modoc. »

Messrs V. & J. Figgins send us another specimen-sheet, completing the series of their « Artistic Novelties. » Six beautifully-designed corners are shown in two sizes. There are centres also—a neat vignette for concert programmes, in two sizes, a regatta ornament, to occupy the whole foreground of a large card, and a landscape vignette for the bottom centre of a page. The founders say, « All these corners and centres are designed and drawn by English artists under our directions. »

The Keystone Foundry, Philadelphia, show in three sizes « Cellini, » a pretty and quaint light-faced wide flourished roman. They also show three more sections of their beautiful « Keystone » combination, bringing the total number of characters up to 124. This is the most original and beautiful combination yet produced in the United States. It affords an endless variety of tints, borders, and headpieces. The only fault we can find with it is the extreme delicacy of pattern in some of the pieces, to which only the most careful presswork could do justice.

« The new and original Dragon Border » (37 characters), by the John Ryan Company, Baltimore, is a somewhat barbaric combination. Good combinations and tints may be formed from some of the characters; but we do not much admire the « dragon » pieces. Klinkhardt has long since done the same thing better in his « Künstler » border (series 57), a combination that never became popular.

Genzsch & Heyse, Hamburg, show a second series of their « Inserat » combination—an arrangement of solid black squares, lozenges, &c, in 3-, 6-, and 12-point—37 characters in all. In tint-work or gold-printing, this border would produce good effects; but such is not its primary intention. It is intended for those gloomy borders in black which disfigure Continental newspapers, and are apparently the delight of foreign advertisers.

Schelter & Giesecke show a fine collection of signature-flourishes, to attach to script lines at the foot of circulars. They are bold and free, and the largest of them are about three inches in length.