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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 8

Type Specimens

page 4

Type Specimens.

Barnhart Bros. & Spindler, in the latest number of the Typefounder, show an unusual collection of novelties. The Pantagraph script is an upright condensed style, firmly and gracefully cut. There is a moderate amount of flourish in the caps, but no wildness nor eccentricity. In four sizes, 24· to 60·, and an 18· face is in preparation. This is a style with a decided character of its own, and the full series would be a desirable acquisition to any printer. Two « contour » or outline faces — the Acme Open and Fair Open, correspond with the solid faces Acme and Fair, and are in hair-line outline. There must be a demand for these light faces in the States, as so many have appeared during late years, but we rarely meet them in actual use. Probably they are chiefly used as outlines in color work. The Acme Open series is in five sizes, 12· to 40·; the Fair in four, 12· to 36·. Canton, ten sizes, 6· to 60·, resembles the popular DeVinne, and has the same kind of ugly R. Its chief point of distinction lies in the very acute-angled serifs of the m, n, u, and similar letters—a feature we do not admire. Mayo, eight sizes, 6· to 24·, caps only, is a good style. It is a wide and rather heavy oblique sans, with just an indication of the latin style. It is quite impossible to describe its characteristic features. We think that the delicate indication of a serif to the H, T, &c., is rather a disadvantage than otherwise, as liable to wear off in use. About a dozen styles are added to the somewhat heavy 12· Unique borders; but none deserving any special note. Midway Midgets is a series of 36 comic vignettes in outline, about an inch long. Excepting No. 2, the Ferris wheel, they are all caricature representations of various nationalities. As they are well drawn, with a considerable amount of humor, they are likely to become popular.

Messrs Palmer & Rey, San Francisco, have added to their original faces a very neat and graceful letter for circulars entitled Tristan Italic. In character it is something between a ronde and an old-style italic. Ornament is subordinated to legibility, and the letter may rank with the best faces of its class. It is in five sizes, 8· to 24·, and the two largest are provided with a second series of extra-flourished initials.

Some « booklet » specimens, in which we note two or three novelties, reach us from the Central Foundry, St. Louis. Modern Antique Wide is a face with a general resemblance to the Bold Latin of the St. Louis Foundry, but appreciably lighter in face, and with very slight distinction in width between the light lines and body-marks. In this respect it differs from their former face entitled Modern Antique. Several new borders have been added to the 12· series; No. 73, a simple irregular waved line, about 2· thick, is very neat and serviceable. Stellar Ornaments, light outline stars, 8 characters only, are a pretty series of corner and centre pieces.

The Patent Typefounding Company, London, have added to their Floral Art Initials (shown in our issue for February, 1893), a third and smaller series, about seven ems in depth. As single letters are supplied at a shiiling each, it is a cheap set. Equally cheap is the smaller of the two sizes of new Vignette Initials, about seven ems in depth; the larger size about ten ems. The letters are very similar to the earlier series, and like it, are supplied if required, for two colors; but a landscape sketch takes the place of the floral background. Two series of Art Ornaments, four and six characters respectively, represent flowers — the corolla merely, no leaves nor stems—scattered loosely over the work. They are very pretty. For series No. 2, four tint characters for color work are provided.

A sheet of new Vignettes, 36 in number, some of which we are able to show in the present issue, has reached us from Messrs Schelter & Giesecke, Leipzig. While they are marked by the artistic skill characterising the productions of this well-known house, few of them, we think, would be of much service to the colonial printer. The two game subjects, 10945, shown on this page, and 10946, on page 6, are excellent examples of animal-drawing, and the engraver's work is finely executed. The rampant goats with the liquor — familiar bacchanalian emblems in Germany — would only puzzle the ordinary reader. The signification of « §11 » on the goblet is unknown to us. If it were « §21, » it would serve to indicate the exultation of the liquor trade at the clause which they contrived to have « secretly, silently, and surreptitiously » inserted in the last New Zealand act. These designs are shown in two sizes. Seven of the blocks are comic studies of frogs: our readers will appreciate their humor. Among the miscellaneous vignettes are conventional representations of various heavenly bodies, some in silhouette, surrounded by rays; two graceful winged figures of Fame, with wreath and palm; a really artistic study of a lamp, the drawing brought out by a narrow solid panel background (11576), and four very pretty little mortised vignettes (11584–87), suitable for the insertion of initial, monogram, « Finis, » &c.

Now that nearly every founder is producing heavy-faced scripts and italics, there seems little room for originality; but in their new face, Pionier, Messrs Genzsch & Heyse, of Hamburg, have really produced a novelty. There is little of the script character about this style, which is really a heavy backslope latin italic. In carrying out such an idea, it would have been quite possible to produce a type of great ugliness—in Pionier, on the contrary, each letter is well shaped.