RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection lends historic metal type

Centaur fonts will be used by the Dale Guild Type Foundry

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This Centaur is not related to Greek mythology, but it is a historic typeface that is considered to be one of the great-grandparents of today’s fonts. Designed by Bruce Rogers in 1910, the type is based on Renaissance models and often considered the most elegant and noblest of all the Roman fonts.

RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection houses the original moulds and is lending Rogers’ matrices for the Centaur, or “Museum Capitals,” to The Dale Guild Type Foundry in New Jersey so new foundry type can be cast from them. Engraved by Robert Weibking in 1914 for use by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, this is the first-ever publicly available casting from these noteworthy matrices.

Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at The Wallace Center, says: “The Cary Collection is excited to be working with the Dale Guild to bring Centaur type back into circulation. The project is a perfect example of how our collection serves not only to preserve typographic history, but to make it accessible and relevant to today’s artists.”

Assistant curator Amelia Hugill-Fontanel adds: “The analogy that I use to help explain the process is that famous historic photographs didn’t exist unless the negatives were first imaged. The matrix is the ‘negative’ of a character for a typeface cast in metal. The amazing thing is that these matrices still exist and RIT is the keeper of them.”

For more information, call 585-475-3961 or go to http://library.rit.edu/cary.