News for February

Last month we diverted a fair amount of time and attention to engineering
and repair of the machinery, but still got a couple of castings done.  We offer  Collection No. 30:  a company or so of doughboys, and some flags, in observance of the centennial of the Great War.  Have your own private army!   And  Cochin 24pt  is back in stock.

Now the bad news.   The US Postal Service implemented a fairly hefty price increase in January.   About a decade ago, when Flat Rate Boxes were first introduced, Skyline adopted a flat rate shipping policy—any order, anywhere in the USA, for $8, which is what an FRB cost to mail at that time.   Despite annual postage increases, we have NEVER raised our flat shipping charge.   (International orders go at actual cost.)  Our philosophy is to keep it simple for our customers and subsidize the cost, and that has been good business.   Well folks, something’s gotta give eventually, and that time has come.   Effective today the domestic flat shipping charge is $10.00—and that’s still several dollars below our cost.  So take advantage of this subsidized shipping and
send us a big order!

The Mono-Blox we released in December has been extraordinarily popular.  Stock is down to 24 fonts and may sell out, so don’t delay.   And we have plenty more good stuff planned for this year, so stay tuned.

Collection 030

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News for January

Our first casting for the new year 2016 has a story behind it. When I was a kid growing up in Boulder, Colorado, my father had a small store-front printing shop with handset type, platen job presses, and one small offset press. He sold it before I was old enough to do anything but get underfoot, but we had a Kelsey 5×8 and a few fonts of utility type at home, and in 1962 that’s where I began my lifelong love affair with letterpress printing.

One of the things knocking around the shop was some correspondence between Dad and a man named Charles Broad, who called himself “Mr. Antique”, and was casting revivals of old type faces from the 19th century under his business name Typefounders of Phoenix. Now in those days, typographical styles were very austere, favoring plain gothics like Spartan and Helvetica.  I spent hours marveling over the dozens of elaborate, ornate and bizarre fonts on Charlie’s specimen sheet.  In my daydreams, I imagined that if I could have just one, it would be Argent.

Dad never did buy any of the type. Charlie died in 1965 and Typefounders of Phoenix ceased to exist–but fortunately the matrix collection survived, passing to Los Angeles Type Founders and then Barco in Chicago. Now here it is more than half a century later, and in some kind of living fantasy, I find myself the de facto heir of Charlie Broad. Having established my own type foundry, and later succeeded in buying out Barco, the entire Phoenix matrix library is now in our vault. This legacy is something we have taken very seriously, proceeding to cast the antique type faces where Charlie left off.  Meanwhile the Letterpress Revival has flourished, and with it a fascination with the type faces of old.

And so the fullness of time has come and Skyline is proud to present a casting of Argent in 24pt. Issued by Cleveland Type Foundry in 1883, no face more perfectly exemplifies the typographical trends of the late 19th century: elaborate, florid, and shaded, it includes logotypes and arabesque ornaments specific to the face.  If this one doesn’t stir your interest, then you’re a typographical philistine!


But we didn’t stop to congratulate ourselves for long.  Also new this month is Charcoal in 24pt, a novelty face released in 1899 by Keystone Type Foundry. You are cordially invited to view specimens and details of these and all our other Fonts, Borders, Initials and Collections in the newly updated Specimen Book & Catalog.

Happy New Year from the Skyline crew.


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News for December

Sometime back in the 1930s, Monotype had the bright idea of offering a set of six (6) matrices to make 12 point type in geometric solids that could be combined to build rudimentary letterforms in 60 point.  This project immediately disappeared into oblivion, but it may have inspired ATF’s later invention of Alpha-Blox, a product that was both successful and far more sophisticated.  At Skyline we get regular inquiries about the Alpha-Blox, but alas, without the matrices, we are of course unable to cast them.  It did, however, cause us to go back and look at the forgotten Monotype mats in a different way.  The use of modular “blox” to build both letterforms and decorative designs seems to be growing in popularity right now, thanks in large part to the phenomenal letterpress artwork of Jen Farrell at Starshaped Press in Chicago.  So we did a methodical search of the matrix vault, and came up with not only the original six mats, but 12 other compatible mats for geometric solid elements.  Thus began a project that took the self-evident name “Mono-Blox”.  Jen graciously agreed to collaborate with Skyline on this, so once casting was all completed, the project was handed off to Starshaped to design and print the labels and specimen cards.  Today we officially unveil  Collection No. 29, Mono-Blox!  (Orders are now being accepted, and will be shipped once fonting and packaging are completed, sometime next week.)


But wait, there’s more!  We also present a new antique revival, Tuscan Ornate, in 24pt.  This classic 19th century face originated in England about 1850.  And back in stock is McMurtrie Title, 24pt.  We did a capitals-only casting of this quite rare font some years ago, but now are able to offer the full title font of caps, points and figures.

Tuscan Ornate


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News for November

October’s Los Angeles Printers Fair at the International Printing Museum was a great success, and Skyline enjoyed record sales!  IPM is talking about expanding the Fair to a two-day event next year, so save the date—the first weekend in October.

It is with great pleasure that we unveil this month’s new offering: Troyer Ornaments, cast from nothing less than the original American Type Founders matrices.  This is a series of decorative elements drawn by Austrian artist Johannes Troyer for ATF.  They were released in 1953, and enjoyed enormous popularity.  This spectacular series is now once again available, in 36pt, presented in Skyline Collections No. 31, 32 and 33.  We’ve done a full write-up on Troyer and how the matrices came to Skyline; it includes ATF’s original showing and can be found on the STF web site, Type & Borders page.

And back in stock with a second casting at last is the long-awaited Arboret Ornament Suite.  See our newly updated 3-volume online Specimen Book & Catalog for details on the above, and all our Fonts, Borders, Initials and Collections.  Other noteworthy projects are already in progress for next month, so stay tuned—and don’t forget to sign up (at the right) for automatic updates.


Collection 031


Collection 032


Collection 033

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News for October

New this month is Park Avenue, in 18pt, a standard face that should be in every printing office.

Park Avenue
What–you already have it?  OK, no surprise there.  Just wait till you see what we’re casting up for next month; save your shekels!

Recast and back in stock is Border No. U-13, the delicate and lovely antique Spiral Rose; and Della Robbia in 14pt.  (Also now available is a Lowercase Supplement for this font, which we have not offered before, so technically it’s a new item.)

Gotta go, we’re just loading up to launch for the Los Angeles Printers Fair.  Hope to see you there!

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News for September

New this month is Nova Script in 18pt.  This delicate semi-formal face was designed for Intertype in 1937 by George Trenholm. We also present ornamental Border No. G-73, a two-element filigree that might just work very nicely with the Nova.  Back in stock: Parisian, Nestor Script, and Border No. 121.

Nova Script

Border G-073

Don’t miss the 7th Annual Los Angeles Printers Fair coming up on Saturday, October 3! This event, held at the International Printing Museum, just gets bigger and better every year.  Skyline will be there as always, with one of the largest booths and plenty of new type for sale. For further info:

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Now You Can Receive Automatic Email Notifications

Many customers have told us over the years that they would like to be notified of all new Skyline castings.  We haven’t had a mailing list as such up to now, but our new web site now has that capability.  Just click on the Subscribe button to the right, and you’ll get an automatic email whenever we post something new.

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