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About different version of Monotype specimen book

Friday January 16th, 2004, par Andréas Schweizer

15.1.2004 22:47, « Andreas Schweizer » wrote :

Hi, we are starting to scan John’s Cornelisse:

" Monotype specimen book", and "List of special sorts" published by the Lanston Monotype Corporation, LTD. Any other more recent exemplary owned by someone on the list ?

We just started with John a new section dedicated to computer to caster project. Any interest to contribute to this section ? Help will welcome. SPIP is a multilingual content management and easy to start and publish !

Best regards

Andreas Schweizer

Ecomusée Voltaire 25 rue du Vuache 1201 Genève-switzerland


15.1.2004 22:47, « Hans-Ulrich Frey » wrote :

hello Andreas,

Yes, we have a collection of several specimenbooks including the very> rare (in europe) american Typeface-book. For the UK-Fonts you have to consult newer and older ones because in every issue there are a lot of recent fonts and some older are missing.

Hans-Ulrich Frey Offizin Parnassia CH-7315 Vättis Switzerland

***** Hello Hans,

After scanning john’a exemplary, we will complet with yours if you agree. For computer ton caster we will build a data base with all units for all characters inclued special sorts.

Andreas Schweizer

Ecomusée Voltaire 25 rue du Vuache 1201 Genève-switzerland


As Hans-Ulrich has pointed out, the difficulty with the Monotype Specimen Book is that it is loose-leaf, with pages added and removed, so you may need to look at several, in order to get a complete set of sheets.

Annoyingly, the sheets appear only to be dated when a revision is issued, so one has no way of knowing the original date. It is not even the date of issue of the binder, since this will contain sheets issued earlier - apart from the very first Specimen Book, of course.

I have an oldish UK book, c 1937, and a newer one, c 1972 (which I bought direct from Monotype at Salfords). Neither are complete, since both lack withdrawn faces. The printed style of the specimen sheet changes over the years - for example for some years some of the sheets included a small history of the face - and for example the earlier pages have a frame of double rule around the specimen. Various different addresses for the Corporation were printed at the foot: London, Paris, Berlin for example, which sometime also include ’printed in Great Britain’ etc. Sometimes it just says ’Printed in Great Britain by the Monotype Corporation...’ with no mention of Paris or Berlin. Sometimes there is nothing at all. And of course the later style printed this down the back edge. I suspect that dates can be attributed to these changes in style, but they may just be whims of the printer. And of course, The Lanston Monotype Corporation was changed to The Monotype Corporation in 1931, so anything printed as from Lanston Monotype Corporation must be pre 1931. The title page and introductory sheets of my early Specimen Book are Lanston Monotype, but none of the actual specimen pages are so labelled - so presumably some of my undated pages with no printer shown at the foot are pre 1931.

And also, the non-Latin faces are in a separate Specimen Book - though I don’t know if this was always so. My copy is fairly new, 1977 but with sheets going back to 1960.

My typeface list at http://members.aol.com/typecaster/numb.htm lists in numerical order all the Monotype hot metal faces that I have been able to identify so far, so that may help you see what sheets you are missing. There is an alphabetic version of the list as well.

A few of the faces were private commissions, so may not have public specimen sheets.

I presume there are no copyright issues involved with scanning Monotype specimen sheets for internet publication???? Monotype Typography does still exist at Salfords, after all, even though it is all digital now.

David Bolton The Alembic Press, Oxford, UK




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