Get the Wood Out!

Malcolm Dean spent many years assembling his incredible wood type collection, and it’s still a work in progress–or it can be, for some appreciative soul or institution.  “What I learned is that a collection, like any work of art, is alive, and grows and changes according to the attention you give it,” he says. “If I had the time, I’d cull some sections of the collection, and build others up, especially the strong simple faces I like best–the antiques, the gothics, the early Page fonts, and especially those of Vanderburgh & Wells. I’d gradually move the collection toward the goal I once had in mind: a thousand fonts that represent the designs I most love.” But he no longer has the time. Now, he’d like to find a good home for the collection with someone “who will appreciate it, and care for it, and carry it forward.”

He is looking for a buyer.
  
The collection as it stands now is about one third historic and fancy fonts, one third modern 20th century fonts, and one third gothics. It fills eleven cabinets, including three large Hamilton wood type cabinets, seven regular Hamilton cabinets, and one roll-top cabinet. Also included are two smaller collections, one of borders, catchwords, and ornaments, and one of sorts, as well as several wood type catalogs and books and a 36-inch wood type composing stick from the old print shop at St. Meinrad’s Abbey Press.

To obtain a PDF prospectus offering of his massive and impressive holdings contact Mr. Dean at malcolmdean@mac.com. What are your favorite sources of wood type? Do share them with us here.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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