Woodletter samples from the Typoretum

I am in the midst of taking proofs of my entire collection of woodletter and it has become a monumental undertaking! In the meantime I have designed and printed a poster that, although not exhaustive, shows the primary type styles held within my collection.

The range of type styles is matched by the wide range of woods from which the letters are carved and each alphabet has its own unique qualities and cutting style. Some of the older wooden typefaces within my collection are even hand carved, rather than having been routed on a machine such as those used in the woodletter factory of DeLittle’s of York.

A few samples from my collection of antique wooden type.

The type styles shown on this sample sheet are as follows: Gill Sans, Latin Elongated, Old Style Grotesque, Expanded Antique, Elongated Sans Surryphs, Decorated French Antique, Decorated Sans Surryphs, Pointed Antique, Antique Old Style Bold, Expanded Grotesque, Bold Latin, Ornamented Wide Latin, French Antique and Grotesque.


  1. Posted April 16, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Nice poster, Justin. If you’ll excuse one piece of pedantry, I query the use of ‘patina’ to describe wood letter. Sellers of single sorts on ebay seem particular culprits, and I’ve even seen ‘patination’.

    From dictionary.com:
    1. a film or incrustation, usually green, produced by oxidation on the surface of old bronze and often esteemed as being of ornamental value.
    2. a similar film or coloring appearing gradually on some other substance.
    3. a surface calcification of implements, usu. indicating great age.

  2. Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Smashing poster, Justin, and lovely to see in the LEG submission.

    Responding to Phil: printers have words full of special meaning, and minor pedantry is what stops us being sloppy or simply using the word ‘thing’ for everything we use! Is there a correct word to describe the fingerprint-like patterns that each letter carries?

  3. Justin Knopp
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Phil – I do agree with your suggestion, so I have deleted the offending word ‘patina’ and have replaced it with ‘qualities’, which is a little more woolly, but certainly more appropriate.

  4. Alan
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I love it! The words read like some sort of mad Dadaist tabloid headline.

  5. Jack
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Would you consider selling me a copy of this poster? I love it. If so, email me.

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