APA Prop Card

I’m not sure how many people actually read the news blog, so I feel safe that posting my APA prop card here won’t be too much of a spoiler. Gonna mail them off this weekend.

Blackletter Achievement Unlocked!

I was able to get all three sizes of Engraver’s Old English Text — 12, 24 and 48pt. After the auction ended on eBay, the seller contacted me to let me know he also had 60, 42 and 18pt available. Far from just having the token blackletter, I may have a nice set of sizes to choose from!

Pic of the 24pt, although it doesn’t look much different than the others digitally. : )

Attempted Blackletter Acquisition

I’ve always said a letterpress shop needs a good blackletter — or “Germanic” or “gothic” to some people — and I might be able to acquire a set of Engraver’s Old English Text in a cascade of sizes. The 12pt already arrived, I’m waiting to bid on a font of 24pt, and there’s a 48pt waiting for me at Skyline’s miscellaneous fonts store. Here’s a pic of the 12pt:

And a pic of the 48pt:

Homemade Wood Type

One of my renters, Gwen Holbrow, has been working on creating her own home-brew woodtype with various fun technological toys. Here’s a summation of her project:

[T]oday I tested my homemade type, and it printed great. I’m quite pleased. I made some 12 pica Modified Gothic XX Condensed, pretty much identical to your wood type labeled Semi Serif. The material (Sintra on an MDF base) is too soft, though, and dents very easily. But I have proof of concept. It feels like a new superpower. Now I just need endgrain maple…

When asked for more details, she gladly expanded on the process:

I used a scanned version of the proof page from Rob Roy Kelly’s wood type book, traced and expanded it in Illustrator, cleaned that up a little (more would have been better), imported the vectors into Vcarve to create a toolpath, carved it on a ShopBot CNC router and cut the letters apart on a table saw and chop saw by eyeball. Oh, and I also used the CNC router to plane down the 3/4″ MDF a little and then glued 1/8″ plywood to one side and Sintra to the other to try to get the total to .918. It ended up higher, and not super even, but the material is soft enough so that it worked. It took the machine between five and six hours to carve the letters, the chips stuck to the Sintra and needed hours more of hand removal at the end, and there are a lot of things I would do differently another time. But I did get something printable, which is pretty cool! And the process should work with hardwood if I can get some. I was thinking of making some fatface next, I love those, but since you have that Bodoni Ultra, I don’t have to! But I could probably produce a few matching letters if needed. And now I understand why new wood type is so expensive.

Eventually, if I get to a better product, I might sell some, and I’m going to try lino next. Can you perhaps ask if anyone knows any arborists or lumber people who would sell rough cross-section slices of maple or fruitwood trunks or branches, 1-2″ thick? Even firewood could work if it’s not split small, and I could slice that myself. The tree places I’ve called so far only save oak and pine, and send the maple and wild cherry through the chipper! Plus they clearly think I’m crazy. 🙂

New Type Has Been Distributed!

Finally had the time and job cases to distribute all the type I’d gotten in over the last couple months. Here are some shots of the faces and process. The new type includes:

Goudy Heavyface 48pt
Century Schoolbook Italic 18pt
Typewriter 12pt (monospaced)
Airport Black 48pt
Airport Black 36pt
Airport Black 30pt
Airport Black 24pt
Bodoni Extra Bold Condensed (wood)
DeVinne (wood)

More Metal Type

I probably have too much metal type in the library now, but this particular chunk of lead was available for a steal, so I decided to jump on it. It’s Goudy Heavyface, a nice black titling font. Incidentally, I’ve always wondered how Goudy pronounced his name, so I looked it up: it’s “Goudy” with the “ou” pronounced as in “out”. The more you know!

Of course, there are plenty of people out there for whom the phrase “too much type” does not actually parse as a valid English sentence.

More stuff from the MIT IAP class…

Quick shot of some of the excellent work printed last week, if you’re not already following the Instagram. We may be setting up an exhibit of the work produced in an MIT space, I’ll keep you posted about that. It’s also possible we’ll be doing more stuff for MIT. : )