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I made a hand-mold (video)

A short film illustrating the process of making the mold, engraving a sample matrix and casting my very first letter.


Idea: Creating a simplified version of a traditional hand-mold that faithfully served 15th-19th century typefounders and printers. This will be a centerpiece of my portable foundry. The plan is to cast some ancient Cyrillic and Glagolitic type.

Greek letterpress Typefaces

Hello everyrone!

I'm doing some research on the origin and history of greek typefaces used after 1800.

Most greek faces (even the ones used in Greece) were cut by european typefoundries, but I don't have access to their specimens.

Can anyone give me a lead, or even scan for me such specimens?

Thank you,
Achilles Tzallas

Word Logos? Prefab Articles? I give up...THE and AND!

*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.

Letterpress Correspondence Cards

Looking for a classy print-related Christmas gift? (Sorry, UK only).

I am offering proper letterpress correspondence cards, printed using Intertype or Ludlow slugs, instead of the usual computer-generated photo-polymer.

Printed on super-thick 400gsm card, six styles are available (please ignore the slight variance between the digital fonts used for illustration and the real fonts named in the examples).

I have access to possibly the largest collection of Ludlow and Intertype matrices in the UK, so if you don't like the six example styles, take a look at the huge on-line catalogue of available founts.

The price of £80 per 100, with envelopes, includes proof and delivery.

Take a look here: http://j.mp/1dk9Jcy

Dave Hughes

Here's a weird one...

Found these letters in "Philadelphia" on the title page of an old book. The page was printed in one color letterpress.

The letterforms reminded me of some that I saw in Hill's Manual of Business Forms. There are 2 versions of what Thos Hill called "Brush Letters". I've included them for reference in case it helps, but I'm really looking for the name of the typeface used to print this word "Philadelphia"

Any help or leads of any kind are welcome and appreciated.

All my best,

March Metal Type News

The March edition of the Metal Type newsletter is now out. Click this link to take a look at the video: http://j.mp/k5KA95

As well as the usual site news, there's footage of the Adana 8X5 Hot Foil platen that I have recently restored to working condition.

If you don't already get newsletters from Metal Type, you can subscribe here: http://bit.ly/n3wkjc

Don't forget that it's free to place an ad on Metal Type Classifieds. Anything print-related can be posted. For Sale or Wanted, even print-related services. It is now possible to post pictures, and links to your own page or Etsy shop: http://j.mp/UeZUyC

All the Best
Dave Hughes
York, UK

Modern Beginner's Guide to Letterpress

It has been suggested, many times, that the letterpress hobby could do with a modern guide-book aimed at the absolute beginner.

I have made an attempt to produce such a guide. Aimed at the beginner who would like to start printing from home “First Steps in Letterpress” runs through the purchase, setting up and running of a table-top platen press.

It gives the beginner an idea of the range of products that can be produced using the letterpress process, and the various methods of producing them. Traditional typesetting, photo polymer and lino printing are covered.

The book has a “Reference Section” listing suppliers of everything the beginner may need, both in the USA and UK.


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:


1920's hardbound book cover

I've looked everywhere for this, online, old type specimen books and I simply can't recognize it.

A letterpress printer friend of mine suggested it could be a customisation on Windsor or Hallamshire Old Style, but I think it maybe quite a big customisation for a book binder.

The book was published in London, around 1924.

Any help on this is much appreciated,

September Metal Type News

The September edition of the Metal Type newsletter is now out.

Plenty to tell you about, as usual, plus a look at some items that arrived in the post.

This month's "extra footage" is of the Bradford Jowett van, a British van (from Yorkshire) that was produced between 1946 and 1953. Find out what "extras" an additional £38 for the Deluxe version would have bought you in those days!

Click here to take a look at this month’s video:

Some of you may know that I've been working on an ebook called "Printers' Tales" that I'm hoping to make available on the Amazon Kindle in the very near future. The idea is to give some of the stories from the website a more permanent home, and, hopefully, take them to a wider audience.

Help the WNY Book Arts Center Get Wood(type)

The subject line is theirs, not mine. (Clever, though.) For as little as $1.00 you can help the WNY Book Arts Center purchase a rare treasure trove of Woodtype via Kickstart. http://kck.st/hbVYiJ

I'm not sure if someone listed this already, but a search of the site comes up empty. Tiffany Wardle de Sousa posted it on her facebook page and I've reposted it around. They're up a few hundred from the other day, so something's working.

From the posting at Kickstart:

1890s type


Hello! Long time lurker, first-time poster...

I am designing a book where I want the pages to have the feel of a book from the 1880s and 1890s. I am looking for a good typeface to use for the body copy that has a slight irregular, letterpress feel to it.

So far I have found: Old Times American
but this seems more in keeping with a newspaper or periodical than a book.

And: Archetype
which I like a lot but I am not sure whether it is from the right era

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Wood Sans, Condensed, Gothic, Antique

Need some help Identifying this font:


It's from the letterpress lab at the university of oregon. It is 15 pica sans serif. It is not labeled, and it bares no foundry stamp or company insignia. It is most likely older than 1965, and could be as old as 1900.

It only exists in caps, although there are a few varying figures. (two types of A's, etc.) I tried to pick the figures with a similar grain pattern, the thought being that they would be of the safe shipment of type.

It is possible that this font has not been digitized, but any help you guys can offer would be amazing!

Your thoughts on Bernhard Modern Roman Bold

Hello Typophiles,

I am a letterpress printer, a hobbyist who works mostly with metal foundry type. As such, my choices of typeface are limited. In fact, I often find myself designing pieces to suit the type I have rather than procuring type for a preconceived design.

I’m planning a large broadside – in the 11-by-17-inch range – with a short poem on the subject of sleeping too late on Saturday. It’s a contemporary poem, but the diction is a little nineteenth-century and the tone is romantic but restrained.

C.C. Stern Type Foundry, Portland, OR

My son, a recent transplant to Portland OR, alerted his type-geek dad to the http://C.C. Stern Type Foundry, a volunteer-run working museum, offering public programs to preserve the craft of type casting, and to educate and inspire a new generation of printers and students of printing history.

Here are some photos he took at their open house on March 26, 2011:

Monotype keyboard

Monotype mat case

Visitors at open house March 26, 2011.

Anyone Recognize this Pre-1850 Transitional Condensed/Compressed Serif Display

You may recognize this as being the First Edition of Moby Dick printed in New York 1851. I am hoping to source typefaces that are from the period that have a very close DNA.

Monotype Modern seems like a logical relative but I cannot find anything condensed/compressed enough.

Your help on this is greatly appreciated.


P.S. Please omit the conjunction "OR," from your type identification.

P.P.S. My apologies if I am not using the word "Transitional" properly.

LetterMpress Project Launched on Kickstarter.com



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:


Wood Type Improv Postcards - Silver on Bordeaux

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.