Wood Type

*Disclaimer: This is literally my first rodeo. Brand new member, first post ever. I admire and respect you guys already and the work that you do. I know I have a lot to learn, and that's why I'm here.

Have you ever tried to find something and realized that Google is completely useless when you have no idea what the thing is called, and not the slightest inkling of where to begin?

Well, I got lucky and stumbled upon one example today: Brothers Word Logos. But I hate to think this might be the only example out there. I'm looking for fonts that contain prefab ornamental AND's and THE's, even if the typeface is perhaps a bit kitchy.

P22 type foundry and the Hamilton Wood Type Museum are pleased to present their latest collaborative digital font release via Hamilton Wood Type Foundry (HWT): HWT Van Lanen, by renown type designer Matthew Carter.

Matthew Carter has had a long career as an innovative type designer. He received the 2010 MacAurthur Fellowship award, and in 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian National Design Awards. Carter was trained as one of the last type designers to cut punches for metal type production. He has designed type for most technologies with the exception of wood type until 2009 when he was commissioned to create a new original type design by the Hamilton Wood Type Museum.

HWT Gothic Round is the newest release from the Hamilton Wood Type Foundry. Gothic Round was first introduced as wood type by the George Nesbitt Co. in 1838. The font is a softened variation of a standard heavy Gothic typeface. The style evokes a much more recent history of the 1960s and 70s and can be seen in such places as donut shops and on children's toys as well as inspiration for such fonts as VAG Rounded.

Gothic Round has not previously been available as a digital font until now. The font was digitized by Miguel Sousa from a wide variety of historical sources, including visits to the Cary Collection at RIT (Rochester, NY), WNY Book Arts Center (Buffalo, NY) and the Hamilton Wood Type Museum (Two Rivers, WI). The result is a very solid and contemporary font with a 175 year history.

HWT Slab features two styles-Antique and Columbian. These two extra bold fonts are classic slab serif wood type styles with one detail of difference. Columbian is an extra bold Clarendon wood type that was manufactured by many of the wood type manufacturers in the late 19th century. "Clarendons" feature bracketed or rounded serif joins whereas "Antique" was a class of typefaces that features squared off slab serifs. Some type designs have only minor differences from others. The Columbian design is essentially identical to Wm. Page & Co.'s "Antique no. 4", with the difference being the bracketed serifs.

This late 19th century design conjures up early 20th century Dutch DeStijl lettering with a mostly strict adherence to right angles and minimal stroke modulation. Geometric began its life as a metal typeface from the Central Type Foundry, circa 1884. Soon after, this design was officially licensed to Morgan & Wilcox and was shown in their 1890 catalog in Regular, Light and Condensed Light variations. After acquiring Morgan & Wilcox, Hamilton Manufacturing offered Geometric Light Face Condensed as their own No 3020 and the Geometric Light Face as No 3021.

The Republic Gothic series was among the last original wood type designs manufactured by Hamilton Manufacturing Co. It was first shown in Hamilton's New Gothic Faces in Wood Type (c. 1920). The design features a sans-serif style reminiscent of brush-formed letters popular with sign painters of the era.

Arabesque and Bon Air, two alphabets from two different centuries, are not what most people immediately think of when they think "wood type". These quirky script fonts simulate hand lettering from very different eras and are now brought into the digital age for the first time ever. A third font, Catchwords , brings a classic printshop resource into the digital designer's toolbox.

Detailed information regarding these releases, including the "Making Of The Font" feature, can be found at the Hamilton Wood Type Foundry website: here.

Check out my last realise:


Introducing The Wood Type Collection from Mateusz Machalski Borutta. This is a wonderful, warm and weathered hand made set of typefaces designed by Mateusz Machalski. Inspiration for this collection comes from wooden letterpress blocks and other old technologies used for traditional printing techniques. The Wood Type Collection supports 40 different languages and contains over 6,000 glyphs. The family consists of 7 typefaces in 14 different styles, comprising of both regular and italic variations.


you can buy it on:


For Immediate Release:
Buffalo, NY USA- November 2, 2012

The Hamilton Wood Type Foundry announces two new fonts- HWT Antique Tuscan No. 9 and HWT Borders One…and a newly redesigned HWT Foundry site.

HWT Antique Tuscan No. 9 is a very condensed 19th century Tuscan style wood type design with a full character set and ligatures. This design was first shown by Wm H Page Co in 1859 and is the first digital version of this font to include a lowercase and extended European character set.


I was wondering if anyone recognized this type which appeared in a Russian book (Tango with Cows) in 1914. I think it is probably wood due to its size, but also I think that probably is based on a German design for roman (all the other types in the book have roman equivalents which were manufactured [if not originally designed by] german foundries.).


P22 Ruffcut is the newest addition to the Sherwood Collection of historical and period-based fonts by Ted Staunton. It is an antique wood type style that evokes the look and feel of type used in the design of poster-sized advertisements for circus, fairground and like events in the late 19th century. It is inspired by the memories of printing letterpress posters on an old cast-iron flatbed press where the oversized posters were usually composed directly on the bed of the press using mostly wood type as large as two feet high. The Ruffcut Set contains 2 styles, Plain and Woody for that more authentic look, in basic OpenType format. Ruffcut is optimal for a wide array of decorative uses including signage and posters.

Having trouble finding any information on this poster type, printed in 1912 advertising Titanic. I would much appreciate some help identifying it and even gathering any other examples of it in use.




I'm new to this site so apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong area.

Some of you might be interested in a project I recently launched on Kickstarter.com called LetterMpress.

It's a virtual letterpress for the iPad. It features authentic wood type and a Vandercook proofing press. 

I've included some screen shots.

Here is the link to the project page:


This set of two woodtype improvisations, is printed in silver ink on Plike, the new sheet from Gruppo Cordenons.
The two designs are printed on the same sheet (8"x6.375"), but can be cut apart to make two 4" postcards.
(If I can find that perforating rule, I may perf them, but I don't know how well they would separate.)

These designs are printed directly with type from our original 19th century Wood Type collection, along with small icons and copperplate cuts. They are 'improvisations' made in the moment, and printed on stock off cut from other jobs.

We're offering the last few prints of this one-off broadsheet, just in time for your Wood Type loving Valentine!
All proceeds support the Dubuque Book Arts Center at SlowPrint Letterpress!

Please see the Etsy listing

"Love is an endless mystery for it has nothing else to explain it."
quotation from "Fireflies" by Nobel Prize winning Indian Poet Rabindranath Tagore

kegler's picture

Wood Type Specimen prints

My recent project of helping to start up a non-profit book arts center and community letterpress printshop has evolved a bit into coming up with methods of self sufficiency, One of which is via our Etsy site offering items produced on premises using our collection as raw material. We have had great feedback regarding our printing of specimen sheets from some of our wood type dating back to the mid 1800s

Pardon the sales pitch, but these DO make great gifts for typophiles!

All proceeds of sales help support the programs of the WNY Book Arts Center. Thank you.

Bloom.Aar's picture

Old wood type specimens

I've been looking for a variety of good fonts that are based off old wood type specimens from the good 'ol days. I knew this would be the place to ask. Anyone know of some good digitally revived wood type fonts?


For those interested in 19th century wood type and decorative typefaces, a reissue is now available of Rob Roy Kelly's classic book: American Wood Type 1828-1900. The book has been out of print for about 30 years, but it is still considered the definitive work on American wood type. The reissue includes a new foreword by David Shields, Design Curator of the Rob Roy Kelly Wood Type Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, discussing the renewed interest in the subject since the mid-1990s as well as ongoing research into the history of wood type. In addition, the reissue includes the essay “Search and Research” by Rob Roy Kelly about the many years he spent pursuing wood type fonts, researching their origins, and writing and producing his book.

An experiment in satire expressed through typographic style. This recent quote from a Muslim cleric seemed custom made for the format of a Wild West wanted poster. I based the typography on actual fonts from old posters and contemporary wood-type fonts, but rendered it in walnut ink, then added my own faux Asian-Farsee brush calligraphy. Apologies to the purists, at least the text is exact, as lifted from one of the many inexact translations available at online news sites and on the crumpled up front page of the Times at my local coffee shop.

I think type ID is the right spot for this, though I set it myself with an alphabet from withoutwalls.com.

Now the client wants to see it in a real typeface. Does anyone know of any that are similar? At least in weight and height? I love this but there's just no way they'll go for it unless it's a font.

Thank you! I

Syndicate content Syndicate content