Linotype Type Designs Rescued

Linotype Type Designs Rescued!

When British Linotype closed, its collection of original type design drawings was left to moulder in the company's buildings in a suburb of Manchester. Over 100,000 drawings were salvaged from an impending demolition several years ago and have been on the market in various ways ever since, including being sold individually at flea markets, online, and as home decor. They even made a 2014 appearance on the BBC’s version of Antiques Roadshow.  Letterform Archive is honored to have secured about 60,800 original drawings, comprising at least 600 complete fonts. Not only will this collection be protected from further dispersal, but it will eventually be accessible to Archive visitors in its most natural and illuminating state: as full typeface sets, each with all its uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and punctuation.

Letterform Archive was founded by Rob Saunders, a collector of the letter arts for over 40 years, as a place to share his private collection with the public. They opened to visitors in February 2015 and now offer hands-on access to a curated collection of over 40,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning 2,000 years of history.  They are located in San Francisco.  Check them out at:  

In the Archive's news story (, is a link to a video made from a Linotype promotional film made in 1961 which shows the process of matrix production from face design to punching matrices.  The video is "The Eighth Wonder".  Skip to 9:25 for the segment about drawing and matrix making.

(Source: Letterform Archive web site)


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