Looking for Vogue

bshaykin's picture

No, not the magazine

eomine's picture

I don't know where you got the (printed) sample above, but it looks just like a Futura "rip-off" to me.
The Special No. 3 set is very close to Kabel. Maybe you should just use them (Futura, Kabel).

About the New Yorker typeface, I'm not sure, but I think it's FB Eagle.
I'll check for you in the next days.

hawk's picture


please more info about the specimen book - year? publisher? editor?

David Hamuel

.00's picture


The New yorker Typeface is not FB Eagle, but something that was done custom for them that was influenced by Vogue.

There are two Vogue typefaces listed in the Encyclopaedia of Typefaces, Jaspert, Berry & Johnson.

A Light Titling face by Stephenson Blake from 1929 and the Multi-weight Intertype geometric-sans that you are all referring to. No date is give for the latter.

Mark Simonson's picture

According to the McGrew book, Vogue was cut in 1930 for Vogue magazine and later released generally. It differs from Futura in a number of ways. The caps are the full decender height, the lowercase a is two-story in the lighter weights. The most distinctive characters are the uppercase G, M, and Q.

A lot of typefaces back then, including Vogue, Metro, Gill, and Tempo, had alternate characters available to allow them to pass as Futura or Kabel. Linotype's Spartan (their version of Futura) also had an alternate two-story a. Monotype also had a Kabel look-alike called Sans Serif that had alternates to make it look like Futura or Bernhard Gothic, plus some really neat rounded capitals designed by Sol Hess.

hrant's picture

> The caps are the full decender height

Heavy. ;-)


Mark Simonson's picture

Ha! Not only did I spell it wrong, I used the wrong word. I meant ascender, of course. A clear example of how two wrongs don't make a right.

Mark Simonson's picture

Hey, check out the quote marks in Vogue: The normal ones are straight and the ones in the alternate sets are mirrored.

Nick Shinn's picture

I've seen the light version in some old publications, and it's more distinctive vis-a-vis the European sanses, than the bold shown here. It has an almost cartoony roundness, expecially in the lc "a", and the i has a huge dot. The short tail on the lc "g" is distinctive in all weights.

OK, I'm not aware of any digital versions either.

bshaykin's picture

Thanks for all of your help so far. The specimen book is called INTERTYPE FACES.
© 1958 by Intertype Company, A Division of Harris-Intertype Corporation, Brooklyn, New York.

hawk's picture

ah ha. the Harris bros. alfred & charles. Intertype merged with Harris-Seybold in 1957.

in that context - there's no "rip off" etc., etc.,

David Hamuel

bshaykin's picture

Here's a lighter weight. Check out Special No. 8...

eomine's picture

James M. designed a custom typeface for Vanity Fair magazine, apparently inspired in Vogue too.

And it's really close to the New Yorker typeface. Is it the same typeface for both magazines?

bshaykin's picture

Nice catch, Eduardo. And so coy, James.

treacyfaces's picture

Hi, Jim -

From McGrew's marvelous book, p. 185:

Irvin, Mono (8-30pt), private

IRVIN is a very unusual typeface, used for many years for the distinctive heads in the New Yorker magazine. It was designed in 1925 by Rea Irvin, first art director of the magazine, (...)

The specimen on the facing page, showing only A-Z, &, ~, $, 1-0, ?!()[], cent, period, comma, single open and single closing quotation marks.

(But that doesn't necessarily mean that was the complete fount, according to Mr. McGrew.)

The use of caps for IRVIN was the author's.

Quoted from 'American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century', by Mac McGrew, 1986, 1993, Oak Knoll Books. ISBN 0-938768-34-4

Copyright 1986, 1993 by Mac McGrew.

In hardcover, was it US$70., new?
I don't recall and it's not on the jacket.

Anyone know how much like it the '90s revival FF NewYorkerType meant to be?

Doesn't appear to be a tracing, just heavily inspired by the original. There's much more untoward modulation than in Irvin the Original.

Comparing the two, I prefer Irvin the Original's predictibility in roughness and weighting.


treacyfaces's picture

By the way, regarding Intertype's eventual fate:

This from an ad in an American publication Printer's Hot Line
on 18 September 1991.

Intertype merged with Mergenthaler

It's always sad to see a century of leadership end in such typographic disarray.

A goodbye ad, of sorts, and not even with historic Intertype types!

Anyway, can Intertype's Vogue now be found cast in digital form at Linotype?


treacyfaces's picture


If a digital Intertype Vogue isn't avalable from Linotype, then you might want to throw your hands in the air and buy Font Bureau's cut of 'Noble'.

It appears to be faithful to N.V. Lettergieterij "Amsterdam" (formerly) N. Tetterode's original 'Nobel'.

That has a similar attitude - same slightly non-geometric softness overall, even though O and similar are optically round.

And unless I missed it, it's minus the delightful Q with the vertical tail, and the Futura-like e.

(McGrew's book mentions that Vogue was apparently inspired by Renner's developmental work on Futura, right up to and including those alternate lowercase characters you show.)

The Encyclopaedia of Type Faces listing for Noble actually hints at a relationship between Tetterode (Amsterdam) and Intertype, but I don't recall. The showing it uses is from Tetterode's specimen of 1930-32, yet it lists the face's release as 1929.

Nobel might be a good substitute.

And although I don't like to recommend OS fonts, in this case, if Vogue isn't available, then (sigh!) the OS font 'Century Gothic' might also be a good match for you.

It also misses the vertically tailed Q, but has the Futura-like e.

Overall, seems directly derived from Vogue. Or Noble. Or both....


hrant's picture

Wasn't Intertype more of a second-tier bandwagon-jumping foundry?


treacyfaces's picture

>Wasn't Intertype more of a second-tier
>bandwagon-jumping foundry?

Hard to tell. There were worse offenders at the time. Some who prefer the Linotype or the ATF or the Continental of the day might say it was second-tier. Or worse.

After all, while Intertype Vogue might have been inspired by the hype surrounding Futura, it's not Futura. And the original Noble (Noble Grotesque) is neither of them.

And, astonishingly, look how Intertype Vogue has managed to stand exclusively even today. (I would have never guessed that, but I've never paid much attention to Intertype Vogue.)

I think Tiffany Wardle's July 26 post above summed it up well: Everybody wanted a piece of the pie.

The positive thing was (and is), they nearly always created something different; they didn't just clone verbatim.


hrant's picture

In case anybody's looking for a copy, bookfinder.com is showing multiple (used) ones available, starting from $25.


treacyfaces's picture

Jim -

Excellent! Thanks. A perfect insight.


kentlew's picture

>They all did the same thing when Garamond was rediscovered and made into useable type by a modern-day foundry shortly after the turn of 1900. I can't remember who was first.

I'm pretty sure it was ATF who did it first in 1918, drawn by M. F. Benton after designs in the Imprimerie Nationale later attributed to Jannon.

-- K.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Century Gothic is an amusing suggestion, given its history.

Since we were talking about knockoffs, this one is a particularly amusing story. Monotype's knockoff of Futura was called 20th Century. When Microsoft was trying to produce metrically-equivalent designs for the PostScript "base 35" fonts, back in the early 90s, Monotype refit 20th Century to match the metrics (and to a lesser degree the design) of Avant Garde. This new creation was called Century Gothic.


gerald_giampa's picture


A matter of historical record.

20th Century is a knockoff, just as you say. Sol Hess of the Lanston Monotype Machine Company in Philadelphia guided the guilty pencil.

But 20th Century was not the handiwork of "English Monotype".

I have nothing to add to your comments below however. Lanston had no part in the "project?" you are speaking of.


Thomas Phinney

"When Microsoft was trying to produce metrically-equivalent designs for the PostScript "base 35" fonts, back in the early 90s, Monotype refit 20th Century to match the metrics (and to a lesser degree the design) of Avant Garde. This new creation was called Century Gothic."

Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

treacyfaces's picture

>>Century Gothic is an amusing suggestion, given its history.

>Since we were talking about knockoffs,
>this one is a particularly amusing story.
>Monotype's knockoff of Futura was called
>20th Century. When Microsoft was trying
>to produce metrically-equivalent designs
>for the PostScript "base 35" fonts, back
>in the early 90s, Monotype refit 20th Century
>to match the metrics (and to a lesser degree
>the design) of Avant Garde. This new creation
>was called Century Gothic.

I remember it well (although not particularly dewy-eyed).


I recall leaning into framed specimens of it, Corsiva and others at one of the type exhibits organized within the Seybold shows the year of Century Gothic's debut, and being asked by the originators, "well, what do you think of it?!"....

Well, what is one supposed to think?

I'd forgotten about that metrics-matching, and the pyrotechnics it caused at the time, helping keep burning the 'Base 35' licensing fight.

I recall thinking what a coarse and seemingly unretouched set of fonts those knockoffs were.

Really, I didn't recommend it lightly, but unless someone chimes in from Heidelberg/Linotype to say that they've made Intertype Vogue available, the Century Gothic seemed the best bet.

Noble is not a bad option, but not quite the same in the respects that make Vogue, Vogue.

I've actually had to use Century Gothic for a design project (cleaning up someone else's work for a client). For what it is, it's not too terrible. Of course, I prefer spacing to be somewhat better than its.

I appreciate you pointing that out, Thomas. And you too, Gerald.

The 20th Century design aside, Sol Hess sure did some lovely work.


bshaykin's picture

Thanks to the last Type ID Pop Quiz, I just rediscovered Neutraface from House.

The Titling weights are pretty similar to Vogue's Special No. 5...

Miss Tiffany's picture


This isn't a rip-off, but it does show what occurred during the first part of the 20th century in the world of typeface design. Geometric sans serifs were all the rage, and every foundry wanted a piece of the pie. For instance, Monotype wanted Gill, Linotype wanted Dwiggins, and yes there was also Renner's Futura and Kabel (and I'm sure otheres I'm forgetting.

I don't know the history of this typeface, but I'm sure someone will come around soon enough to educate us.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The Bolder weight reminds me of GQ's original flag. Hmm there's a bit of sleuthing to do.

anonymous's picture

The heading type for The New Yorker is named Irvine, presumably the name of the lettering artist who hand- splashed it in the pre-thirties. Lanson Monotype cut a series of sizes--without Mac McGrew's book at hand--I think from 14 to 36 point. These matrices were for the exclusive use of The New Yorker. I am reasonably certain that Monotype never attempted to sell them to the general public.

In recent years Rich Hopkins, who produces The Newsletter of The American Typecasting Fellowship aproached The New Yorker with the request that they supply him with information about the type so that he could include an article about it in The Newsletter. They very vigorously declined! I think they feel very protective of it. It's hard to blame them when so many designers have "borrowed" it to create logotypes.

If you can dig up Mac's book, you can get the full details if you are interested.

Jim Rimmer

anonymous's picture

Joe Treacy

I am pretty sure the Hardcover price new was $70 US. I believe the perfect-bound was about $49. My case-bounbd was a gift from a buddy. It's been a favorite gift indeed.

Jim Rimmer

anonymous's picture


If you have ever sat with two old uncles at family gatherings and heard them argue over the relative merits of Ford over Chevrolet, that is what it was like between operators of Linotype and Intertype machines.

Although the the places I worked back in the fifties and sixties favored Lonotype, Intertypes were very respected and considered by some to be more refined machines.

personally, I thought them both to marvels of engineering and performance.

As far as the typefaces (matrices) they produced for their machines. Many printers preferred those of Intertype. They both pinched designs from each other a certain amount, but so did all the composing machine manufacturers; Monotype and Ludlow. And of course none of these makers hesitated to produce designs based on those of the true had metal type foundries. As Tiffany Wardle has noted, every typemaker on the planet was in a headlong rush to come out with a geometric sans. They all did the same thing when Garamond was rediscovered and made into useable type by a modern-day foundry shortly after the turn of 1900. I can't remember who was first. Isn't it funny, though how digital makers are still doing the same thing with Garamond? (I have my version too).

I don't think Intertype was thought of as an interloper, except by a few old "uncles" who started out with Linotype.

I did have the opportunity to operate one of two Intertype machines back about 1960 at the Williams Lake Tribune; a weekly paper and job printing shop in the Cariboo (Cowboy country) in the interior of British Columbia.

Jim Rimmer

anonymous's picture

I just spotted your posts regarding Vogue via a google search. I'm a graphic design masters student at Yale who is embarking on digitizing Vogue. I'd be interested to send you some samples and get feedback as it evolves. The first time I saw Vogue in an old type specimen book it intrigued me; I love the humanist style drawing and the similarities to schoolyard primer type. I'm glad there are others who seem to love it too. Email me at emily.lessard@yale.edu if you're interested in giving feedback or have some information to share.

anonymous's picture

Joseph Treacy asks about a presumed relationship between Intertype an Lettergieterij Amsterdam.

Well, there was a 'warm business relationship': LA/Tetterode sold Intertypes and Intertype matrices in Holland and Belgium, and provided type designs to be rendered in Intertype matrices. Among these S.H. de Roos's De Roos Romein en Cursief (Roman and Italic), his Egmont, and Dick Dooijes' Mercator.
A similar warm business relationship existed between Monotype UK and the type foundry of Joh. Enschede in Haarlem, employer of Jan van Krimpen. This is the reason that Monotype matrices exist for Lutetia, but not for de Roos' Hollandsche Medieaval or Dooijes' wonderful sans serif Mercator.

Does anyone know if casting handletter from Intertype/Linotype matrices has ever been attempted? It would of course require a specialized hand-mould, or an adapted Monotype caster...

bob corrigan's picture

As I've posted elsewhere, I'm keenly interested in a digital version of Intertype Vogue. I've made some attempts to copy it from scanned pages of the specimen book - to no effect. Thanks for your reply.


vista bill's picture

Yea! After searching for Vogue for several years, I happened upon "Am Sans" at daFont yesterday. Volker Busse digitized the font (using a few characters from Futura). I'm really pleased since I was beginning to think this font had been lost forever. Volker's font used a few of the special no. 2 characters and, unfortunately, a Futura question mark. I'm really pleased to find this gem! Here's the link at daFont: http://www.dafont.com/am-sans.font


bob corrigan's picture

This is terrific news - in early use of the font it doesn't adhere perfectly to Vogue (for a few quick notes, refer to http://acknak.blogspot.com/2007/11/am-sans-digital-version-of-intertype....)

But it's close.

I'd love to see someone really take a crack at a true digital version someday...but until then, this will do nicely.

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