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The Classic Tradition of Lanston Type

Digital type maker P22 type foundry Inc. has brought the Lanston Type Company on board. As a division of P22, Lanston Type joins International House of Fonts (IHOF) and the Sherwood Collection as a distinct component of the P22 company. This acquisition adds a major collection of significantly important historical type designs to P22's already impressive overall offerings.

Lanston Type's rich history dates back to 1887 when Tolbert Lanston received his first patent for a mechanical typesetting device. Later refinements led to the Monotype casting machine and the emergence of the Lanston Monotype Company as one of the most renowned type supply companies in the world. The Monotype caster was revolutionary and along with other automated typesetting machines helped to usher in a new age of printing technology. Typesetting had, until this time, remained the same as Gutenberg's first hand-set movable type.

In the late 1800s, Tolbert Lanston licensed his technology to an English sister company and became a major international force. Lanston grew rapidly with America's pre-eminent type designer, Frederic Goudy, holding the position of art director from 1920-1947. The Philadelphia-based Lanston Monotype eventually parted ways with its English counterpart. English Monotype became simply known as Monotype from that time forth. Lanston was acquired by American Type Founders in 1969. After a series of other owners, the company found its way to master printer Gerald Giampa, who moved it to Prince Edward Island in 1988. During its time of transition, Lanston continued supplying the American market for monotype casters until January 21, 2000, when the hot-metal component of Lanston was tragically destroyed by a tidal wave.

Sampling of Classic Styles from Lanston

Frederick W. Goudy was appointed Art Director of the Lanston Monotype Machine Company of Philadelphia May 18th 1920. Goudy worked in that capacity for 29 years. See: Frederick Goudy info.

Goudy Initials - GOUDY INITIALS; Soon after the 1918 release of Frederic W. Goudy 's book, The Alphabet, Goudy was encouraged to design a complete alphabet of new initials modelled after the floriated ďA' which he designed to introduce the text. Curiously, Goudy did not think of the design as type in the strictest sense, but rather thought of the initials as typecuts. See: Goudy Initials info.

Goudy Village No. 2 -- DRAWN AND CUT by Frederic Goudy in 1932, followed in 1934 by his ancillary italic. Lanston╣s offering is unquestionably the most authentic digital version of this much loved Goudy typeface. See: Goudy Village info.

Caslon Oldstyle This particular edition on Caslon had a printing and distribution of over 33,000 copies. See: Caslon Oldstyle info.

Bodoni Number 175 GIAMBATTISTA BODONI created this modern typeface in 1790 which served as the structural model for Sol Hess's faithful rendition. See: Bodoni Number 175 info.

Bodoni Bold Number 175 BODONI BOLD, No.175 was drawn by Dave Farey as an ancillary bold for Lanston's Bodoni No.175. See: Lanston's Bodoni info. (PDF)

BODONI 26 has gained immense respect in the industry. Several typographical web sites use the description 'beautiful'. See: BODONI 26 info. (PDF)

Gerald Giampa Giampa was one of the earliest developers of PostScript fonts. After the loss, he focused on digitization to an even greater extent. Under his stewardship, Lanston's classic faces were digitized in a style that was true to the sources, which are the brass and lead patterns from which the metal type was made. The past few years have seen Giampa and Lanston travel from Canada to Finland, and back again. Now, Lanston has completed another journey back to the United States to come under the care of a new steward: P22. Giampa is answering the call of the sea. He has traded his type founder's hat for that of a ship's captain to sail the northern Pacific coast. During his shore leaves, Giampa will act as typographic consultant to Lanston-P22. Giampa states: "I am pleased that Lanston has found a new home with P22. The company offers a great resource to the design world because of its attention to detail and to the history of its fonts."

P22 type foundry was formed 10 years ago as an answer to a question raised by Richard Kegler's master's thesis project on artist Marcel Duchamp: Where can one find a font of an artist's handwriting that looks authentic? In 1994, there was no answer to this question, so Kegler decided to create his own. Since that first font -Duchamp- P22 has gone on to develop over 300 fonts, many in close cooperation with artists' estates and museums, such as the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the London Transport Museum. P22 has focused on historically accurate fonts based on handwriting, unique lettering, or other important alphabets that had never previously existed in digital -- or even, in most cases, metal -- form.

P22 expanded in 2001 with the formation of International House of Fonts (IHOF), a showcase for independent type designers from around the globe, including Germany, Japan, Hungary, Canada, and Liechtenstein. In 2003, P22 added Sherwood Type as another distinctive division with a historical focus.

P22 studios will remaster Lanston's existing digital designs and release them periodically throughout 2005. Additional classic Lanston fonts will follow. The addition of Lanston type fills a gap for text fonts in the P22 type libraries which, until now, have focused on display and decorative types. The classic designs of Frederic Goudy and Sol Hess, along with newer designs by such contemporary masters as Jim Rimmer, Dave Farey, and Gerald Giampa, added to P22's combined type libraries results in a total of over 500 high quality original fonts and makes P22's type collection one of the most diverse available in the market today.

For some truly memorable visits to classic type styles you must visit Lanston Type Foundry soon.


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