Frederick W. Goudy (1865 – 1947) was a leading American typographic artist and book designer, born in Bloomington, Illonois, U.S..
He worked primarily in New York City and was employed by American Type Foundry and Monotype.
Goudy’s best known designs are ITC Berkeley Oldstyle, Goudy Modern, Goudy Sans, Cloister Initials and Goudy Trajan.
Here is his tribute to the art of type and typography.
I AM TYPE.
Of my earliest ancestry neither history nor relics remain. The wedge-shaped symbols impressed in plastic clay by Babylonian builders in the dim past foreshadowed me: from them, on through the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians, down to the beautiful manuscript letters of the medieval scribes, I was in the making.
With the golden vision of the ingenious Gutenberg, who first applied the principle of casting me in metal, the profound art of printing with movable types was born.
Cold, rigid and implacable I may be, yet the first impress of my face brought the Divine Word to countless thousands. I bring into the light of day the precious stores of knowledge and wisdom long hidden in the grave of ignorance.
I coin for you the enchanting tale, the philosopher’s moralising and the poet’s fantasies; I enable you to exchange the irksome hours that come, at times, to everyone, for sweet and happy hours with books – golden urns filled with all the manna of the past.
In books, I present to you a portion of the eternal mind caught in its progress through the world, stamped in an instant and preserved for eternity. Through me, Socrates and Plato, Chaucer and Bards become your faithful friends who ever surround you and minister to you.
I am the leaden army that conquers the world. I am type.
Images by Ellis & Co, Sutton (Photograph) & Walker and Boutall (Engraving). Source: Catalogue of the William Blades Library (1899)
William Blades (5 December 1824 – 27 April 1890), English printer and bibliographer, was born at Clapham, London.
In 1840 he was apprenticed to his father’s printing business in London, being subsequently taken into partnership.
The firm was afterwards known as Blades, East & Blades. His interest in printing led him to make a study of the volumes produced by Caxton’s press, and of the early history of printing in England.
His Life and Typography of William Caxton, England’s First Printer, was published in 1861-1863, and the conclusions which he set forth were arrived at by a careful examination of types in the early books, each class of type being traced from its first use to the time when, spoilt by wear, it passed out of Caxton’s hands.
Some 450 volumes from the Caxton Press were thus carefully compared and classified in chronological order.
Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges (1891)
In 1877 Blades took an active part in organizing the Caxton celebration, and strongly supported the foundation of the Library Association.
He was a keen collector of old books, prints and medals. His publications relate chiefly to the early history of printing, the Enemies of Books, his most popular work, being produced in 1880.
On his death, his library was acquired by the St Bride Foundation as the initial collection of the library.
The Ludlow was the main machine for headline composition in the newspaper industry.
A compositor assembled matrices for one line of headline or display by hand in a “Ludlow composing stick.”
The composing stick was locked in to the top of the machine and a molten lead casting pot swung around from below to inject the matrices with molten lead.
Ludlow type was cast type-high like all other type, but to save metal and expedite cooling, most sizes were cast on a 12-pt slug, with massive cantilevers hanging over the top and bottom, which were supported on high spacing slugs.
The spacing slugs could be cast on the Ludlow machine using a solid blank Ludlow stick or an Elrod-Ludlow caster.
The Ludlow was also ideally suited for jobbing work and with its large array of type faces was great for display work and small jobs like wedding invitations, business cards etc.
A very versatile Typesetting machine and a great recycler of used Ludlow type.
Bertha Goudy was a bookkeeper when she married a fellow bookkeeper, Frederic William Goudy (1865-1947), in 1897.
Fred Goudy would later become arguably the most admired and well-known of American twentieth-century type designers.
The posthumous tributes which appeared in Bookmaking on the Distaff Side (1937), and Bertha S. Goudy, First Lady of Printing (1958) make it clear, however, that her contributions were of the greatest significance to their joint enterprises.
Bertha herself, for example, cut their 24-point Deepdene italic design, and set the type for much of the output of the Village Press, which they founded together with Will Ransom, in 1903. Printing, an Essay by William Morris & Emery Walker, was their first publication, and their designs continue Morris’s revival of fine craftsmanship in the book arts.
Fred Goudy’s own touching tribute to his wife reveals her importance to him and to their work:
To me she was “my beloved helpmate.” She encouraged me when my own courage faltered; uncomplaining she endured the privations and vicissitudes of our early companionship; her intelligent and ready counsel I welcomed and valued; her consummate craftsmanship made possible many difficult undertakings.
She ever sought to minimize any exploitation of her great attainments, that the acclaim which rightfully belonged to her should come, instead, to me.
For two-score years she unselfishly aided me in every way in my work in the fields of type design and typography, and enabled me to secure a measure of success which alone could never have been mine.
The typographer, writer, and historian of printing Beatrice Warde was educated at Barnard College, Columbia, where she developed an interest in calligraphy and letterforms.
From 1921-1925 Warde was the assistant librarian at the American Type Founders Company, pursuing her research into typefaces and the history of printing.
In 1925 she married the book and type designer Frederic Warde, Director of Printing at the Princeton University Press. The couple moved to Europe, where Beatrice worked on The Fleuron: A Journal of Typography, then edited by Stanley Morison.
Her reputation was established by an article she published in the 1926 issue The Fleuron, written under the pseudonym “Paul Beaujon,” which traced types mistakenly attributed to Garamond back to Jean Jannon of Sedan.
In 1927 she became editor of The Monotype Recorder, in London. Beatrice Warde was a believer in the power of the printed word to defend freedom, and she designed and printed her famous manifesto, This Is A Printing Office, in 1932, using Eric Gill’s Perpetua typeface.
She rejected the avant-garde in typography, believing that classical forms provided a “clearly polished window” through which ideas could be communicated.
The Crystal Goblet: Sixteen Essays on Typography (1955) is an anthology of her writings.
I first fell in love with the Garamond typeface in my first year of apprenticeship because the Ludlow Company put out a very passable version of this wonderful typeface for their typesetting machine.
Here is a short article on Claude Garamond.
Born in Paris, France, Garamond started his career out as an apprentice for the Parisian punch-cutter and printer, Antoine Augereau in 1510 . It was during this early part of the 16th century that Garamond and his peers found that the typography industry required unique multi-talented people.
This way they could produce fine books. Many of the printers during that time period were able to master all or most of the artistic and technical skills of book production from type design to bookbinding. Claude Garamond was first to specialise in type design, punch cutting, and type-founding in Paris as a service to many famous publishers.
After a decade of success with his types all over Europe, King Francois I of France demanded that Garamond produce a Greek typeface, which later became known as “Grecs du Roi”.
The three fonts were modeled after the handwriting of Angelos Vergetios, and cut the largest size first, on a 16 point body. All three original sets of Royal Greek punches are preserved at the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris, France.
In 1545 Garamond became his own publisher, featuring his own types including a new italic. His first book published was Pia et religiosa Meditatio of David Chambellan. As publisher, Claude Garamond relied on his creativity harnessed by reasoned discipline to produce superbly well crafted products.
He modeled his book publishing style after the classic works of the Venetian printers who catered to the absolute elites of high society.
He admired and emulated the works of Aldus Manutius. Garamond insisted on clarity in design, generous page margins, quality composition, paper and printing , which was always accentuated with superb binding.
Because of the soundness of Garamond’s designs his typefaces have historical staying power, and they are likely to remain the day-to-day tools of professional typographers, as long as western civilization survives.
Reading a well set Garamond text page is almost effortless, a fact that has been well known to book designers for over 450 years.
Claude Garamond’s contribution to typography was vast, a true renaissance man.
Creating perfection in the type that he crafted his life will live on through his contribution to typography.
There aren’t many typefaces as well-known or divisive as Helvetica.
“Lots of people love it. Lots of people hate it. I love it and hate it at the same time,” says Jop van Bennekom, the creative director and co-founder of Fantastic Man magazine.
Originally developed by the Swiss designer Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann in 1957, the font has been the subject of a MoMA exhibition and a documentary, and was the typeface of choice for many designers, among them Hedi Slimane.
But the font could be about to change, with Helvetica Now: a redesign to help it survive in the internet age.
Monotype Imaging Holdings – the world’s largest type company, which owns the licensing rights – undertook a five-year design process to update all of Helvetica’s characters.
Charles Nix, says the typeface needed to evolve to stay relevant in digital contexts. “Typefaces must cope with every manner of output and device: high- and low-res, gigantic and tiny, so looking at the technology of today and the applications that require legible text, the move to Helvetica Now is natural.
”The redesign comes after Google, Apple and other digital companies’ creation of their own, more versatile takes on the typeface that were easier to read on smaller surfaces such as an Apple Watch.
Van Bennekom says, despite its status as a modern classic, the typeface was suffering in the smartphone era. “My first reaction [to the redesign] was: ‘Oh my God?’” he says. “But so many people are interacting with design on their smartphones that Helvetica wasn’t really competing any more.”
The graphic designer Mark Farrow believes Helvetica was due a renaissance. “There was a period where it had been done to death. It was everywhere. But you can’t look at it and not think it looks great.