Plain Wood Type Faces

...Roman Extended. Nesbitt, 1838

....Gothic. Nesbitt, 1838


...Roman. Wells & Webb, 1849


....Antique. Nesbitt, 1838




The primary display faces, Gothic, Roman, and Antique had been on the typographical scene for a number of years before the introduction of mass produced wood type. Nesbitt’s 1838 specimen book shows all three primary faces in condensed and expanded styles, which portend the multitude of interpretations to follow.

Besides having several handsome style variations, Antique served as the parent letterform for many significant secondary faces. Antique and Gothic with their derivative faces accounted for the vast majority of all display types produced in the nineteenth century.

Decorative interpretations of Gothic were fewer than those of either Antique or Roman, but many of its secondary faces received decorative textural treatment with machine ornament and enjoyed great popularity in the trade.

The Gothics achieved their greatest period of exploitation after 1870 and carried over into the twentieth century as a dominant letterform. A curious interpretation of Gothic was shown by Debow in the forties. With round letters constructed from a circle, it forecast the symmetry of the modern Futuras.





..Gothic Star
..Page, 1872