Novel Novelty Types

Has anyone ever tallied definitively the actual number of typefaces ever designed or copied so slightly that they can be called “original?” In statistical terms, the total must be more than a lot. Those of us who “love type” continually find new ones in old manuals, specimen books and instructional guides. For this chilly day, these five adaptations warm the bottom of my heart, if not for the face itself, than owing to the arrangement on the page.


For more essays on typography, check out Steven Heller’s Texts on Type, which contains more than 50 important writings about the history, aesthetics, and practice on type design. And if you don’t have one already, be sure to order a copy of Alex W. White’s Thinking in Type: The Practical Philosophy of Typography.

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