Chromatic Wood (and Metal) Type

Example of chromatic type
Example of chromatic type
Dikko Faust working at a Letterpress.
Dikko Faust
Examples of metal type
Examples of metal type
Chromatic type demos
Examples of wood type
Examples of wood type

Event Info

This class will take place on:

  • Mon, June 21st, 2:00–4:00pm ET

In this session of Hands-on History of Type, Dikko Faust will focus on Chromatic Wood (and metal) Type. In class, Faust will use three colors from two matching pieces of type to demonstrate intricate overlaps. This process was created by Edwin Allen in the 1840’s and was made popular again by William H. Page in 1874. In 1920 this art form was nearly lost, but has since made a comeback in the 2000’s. Faust will show different selections from various type catalogs (some online, some photographed in rare book libraries).

If Bodoni & Didot are “modern” everything that came after must be “postmodern.” This series of workshops, Zoomed from Purgatory Pie Press, will investigate the last two centuries of innovative letterpress, type design and type making – pantograph/router wood type, increasingly automated metal casting. The rise of postering, advertising and their evolving styles/rules. Type setting and word spacing styles. Demonstrations, discussions, resources.

This class is part of the Hands-on History of Type series in collaboration with Purgatory Pie Press.

Required Materials

  • Unidentified type in students’ collections, if any.
  • If you have examples to share, please bring them.

In-print suggested book list:

  • Mac McGrew – American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll
  • Maurice Annenberg, etc. – Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs, Oak Knoll
  • Rob Roy Kelly – American Wood Type 1828-1900 Liber Apertus Press
  • Esther K Smith – Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. Rizzoli

About the Instructor

Dikko Faust founded Purgatory Pie Press when he was doing grad work with Walter Hamady at University of Wisconsin in 1977. He taught Letterpress and Typography at the Center for Book Arts, as well as School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union, Princeton, Rutgers, and workshops throughout the US, Canada, England and Germany. In these workshops, he also offers his services as Type Detective, identifying UTF’s (unidentified typefaces). For recreational reading, he prefers old type catalogs. He did extensive research for Esther K Smith’s Rizzoli reprint of William H Page’s Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders &c. Purgatory Pie Press has exhibited at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University and many other art centers throughout the world, including more than a dozen Center for Book Arts exhibitions– starting with CBA’s 5 year anniversary exhibition.

All images courtesy of the instructor.

In order to best serve our community near and far, many of our online classes are pay-what-you-can. While each class has a suggested price, we wish to make our educational programming as economically accessible as possible as well as to make sure our students feel fulfilled in their creative processes outside of the studio. The amount you choose to pay goes directly toward our instructors and toward creating scholarship opportunities for the future.

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