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A Tally of Types

Indices : Books : A Tally of Types

A Tally of Types was first published in 1953 as a ‘Christmas Book’ by Cambridge University Press. It consisted of a series of short essays on a number of (English) Monotype typefaces in use at Cambridge. The essays on individual types were set in the type in question. There was also a general essay on Monotype’s type development up to 1922. The author was Stanley Morison. As a source of strictly accurate historical material, the book is not always to be relied upon: there are elements of publicity and of self-publicity which are not always consistent with strict historical accuracy. (For instance, it is widely believed that the account Morison gives of the design of Times New Roman is not to be accepted at face value; nor his account of the design of Bembo italic.) Nevertheless, the book is a useful and interesting source of information on Monotype faces in the first half of the twentieth century.

In 1973 a revised edition was produced by CUP, with contributions from P M Handover, Netty Hoeflake, Harry Carter, Nicholas Baker and John Dreyfus which added essays on some additional typefaces, and included some notes which added to, or corrected, Morison’s essays.

A third edition, a facsimile of the second but with a new introduction by Mike Parker, was published by David R Godine in 1999.