• Steven Heller

The Legacy of Type Design History

While rummaging through my old, forgotten type history files, I came across a cache of American Printing History Association newsletters. This one from 1988 includes a fascinating biographical essay on two more or less forgotten 19th-century type designers: the prolific Herman Ihlenburg, whose over 80 ornamental typefaces, including Arboret (a Victorian gem that in the late ’60s was a very popular phototype), and John F. Cummings, whose curlicued Kismet was also the rage in the pre-psychedelic days. Cummings also designed Satanic, which echoes some more righteous ecclesiastic faces.


Herman Ihlenburg.


John F. Cummings.


The American Printing History Association is one of those rare organizations that has a history of preserving history. Although I haven’t received the newsletter or its journal in ages, it is still actively making printing and type design history come alive. Go here for more.


#AmericanPrintingHistoryAssociation #DailyHeller #StevenHeller

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