Minnesota Daily 1939 font

My girlfriend works at the mn daily. She has a treasure trove of old newspapers available to her (wonderful for me) and we’re wondering y’alls thoughts.


mn daily


That is great. Looks like Coronet’s more attractive sister.

Looks like a Metro underneath, but the ‘a’ is two-storied.

Funny, I thought we were trying to ID the masthead font but then I noticed all these posts about Metro and figured out everybody was shooting for the teeny little font below it.

Regarding the masthead, it could be Coronet but the cap ‘T’ is so home rolled, I wonder if it’s a one off job that somebody did a while back to slightly alter Coronet — That ‘D’ is unmistakable.

Now regarding the font below, I got another chuckle since it so closely matches my Lionel Family which was inspired by lettering I found in an old Lionel Train repair manual. I’m attaching a sample for your consideration. It’s my first serious text face and I’m quite fond of it.

Upon a critique by Matthew Carter, he insisted there was no reason for this font to exist because Futura already existed :D

(Insert sound of exasperation here)

Sure, while the Lionel lower-case bears a lot of similarity to Futura, the upper-case and numerals have a very distinctive (and pleasant) personality.

And perusing Matthew Carter’s faces, especially the slight differences between New Century Schoolbook and Miller, I think what we have here is a slight case of the pot calling the kettle derivative.

MSS by WAD was the Typophile Chapbook XVII, 1947.
(The original Typophiles, that is.) But that was pretty
much just essays by Dwiggins. Your Metro sample is
from page 224 of the second volume from the set of
Typophile Chapbooks XXXV and XXXVI, Postscripts on
. This was begun shortly after WAD’s death
as a commemorative and was published a couple
years later in 1960.

— K.

BTW, I’ll probably be showing images of some of WAD’s
original ink sketches for Metro as part of my TypeCon

Oh, and my guess on that nameplate is that it was
done up as a logotype (original meaning of the word),
one piece of metal (maybe a zinc?), based on Coronet,
but taking advantage of the single piece to make the
script fully connecting. (Look at the ending curves of
the two n’s — each slightly different.) I suspect that it
would have been impossible to space this tight as a
font of individual sorts. Even on an angled body.

Middleton designed Coronet for Ludlow in 1937, so
it would have been au courant.

— K.

This is slightly off topic, but as Kent mentioned the original Typophiles…

I’ve got a friend who works down at the New York Public
Library as an archivist. She just began work on a recent
aquisition of a truckload of The Typophiles corresponence,
sketches, chaps etc. She’s made it plain that I’m the only
one who’s allowed to view it once the work is done! No,
share the wealth. I’ll put up an announcement when it’s
available to view.



The sub-line, I have as Intertype Vogue Bold. A very popular sans right through to the end of letterpress in the late sixties in our area (newspaper). Mac McGrew dates the light and bold weights as being made by Intertype in 1930. Medium and Extrabold coming in later years. Mac’s book, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, is an Oak Knoll publication, still available, case bound and perfect bound. It’s a fine thing to have if for no other reason than to be able to satisfy one’s self about identifying the naggingly familiar types that show up and drive us crazy.

My guess is that the masthead proper is a piece of good hand-lettering.


What is the original typophiles?

The original Typophiles are still around.

Thanks for the link, John.

I had no idea this Typophile is anything less than original.

Karen —

This here Typophile is certainly original — i.e., nothing
else like it. But for those who are familiar with the older,
New York Typophiles club (they figure prominently in
the history of mid-20th-century American typography
and printing, with many notable members), it’s a little
odd to reconcile the similar use of the name. That’s all.

Thanks for the link, John. I knew they were still active.
Didn’t know they had finally put up a site.

— K.

Stephen, I would love an ID on this one myself. Although I’m pretty sure I’ve passed my [quota] for type buying through the year 2005.

The script seems to be handlettered. Look at the repeated letters: n, a, e, i. (Plus, from my persuals through my college newspaper’s archives, I’ve noticed the masthead was handlettered/illustrated up until they went with Avant Garde in the ’70s.)

It’s sad they don’t use something like that now instead of trying the WSJ look. My college newspaper uses Utopia caps for its banner. Boring.

That does look close to Metro, but if it is they are using the alternate ‘a’.

Cool. Thanks guys, if anyone else can pinpoint it more let me know. i’ll see if i can pull out some more fonts to test your knowledge and satisfy my curiosity.


Hmm. Sorry to contradict, guys, but that sans doesn’t
look like Metro to me. Granted, it’s a small sample. But
the tail of the Metro g continues further around the
curve, and so does the top of the a; the Metro s has
a more closed aperture top and bottom; the Metro w is
slightly narrower and quite idiosyncratic, with unequal
interior and exterior angles; and the overall x-height
of Metro is proportionately a little larger.

This looks more like an import to me. I’m thinking
probably Erbar. Unfortunately, there are no good online
samples, as there has not yet been a digitization of the
original Erbar, not that I’m aware of.

— K.

Hey now I said “if”


And speaking of Erbar, why hasn’t anyone done a proper full-blown digitization yet?

Here’s a sample of Metro from the Typophile’s book on Dwiggins.


Bold “g” and “z” are great!
What’s this book (name, author, etc.)?

MSS on WAD — Typophiles, 1947 — I think. Kent?