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News for November

Another new moon, another new casting from Skyline.  Behold Collection No. 43: a set of twelve different ornaments, all cast on 12pt em-body, from a bunch of old foundry matrices recently obtained from India.  The source of these designs is not known but some of the other matrices in this fortuitous acquisition were the Primula Ornaments originating with Typefoundry Amsterdam.  These elements are quite possibly from there also, or English Monotype.  The Indian-made mats are rather irregular but we’re making the best of them.

Back in stock (finally!) is Crayonette in 12pt.  This project was begun over a year and a half ago and proved to be very challenging.  Most of the first production was rejected due to inconsistent alignment, which was traced to a small broken internal part in the casting machine’s matrix holder.  There were further problems with the makeup production and some of that had to be rejected.  But eventually we prevailed, as we usually do, and now there are 50 new fonts on the shelf ready to go.  (Zip Code 25550, are you there?)

We do normally produce more than this in a month’s time.  Much of our labors in October were invested in a major overhaul of the Skyline web site.  Dinosaurs though we are (living and working quite happily amidst early 20th-century machinery), it has not escaped our notice that the rest of the world is barreling headlong into the future–and that many of our customers increasingly live their lives through small hand-held electronic devices.  Though our present web site was launched only two years ago, and was a vast improvement over the original do-it-yourself mashup it replaced, the time has come to make Skyline accessible via the technology of the day, complete with an electronic shopping cart.  (A sneak preview was leaked on Facebook and received a surprising amount of good press.)  The new site is in the final stages of development and we plan to pull the trigger some time this month.  Stay tuned for an unscheduled announcement.

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News for October

Fresh off the caster, another 19th century gem from the Charlie Broad matrix collection: French Clarendon Extended, in 6 point.  Here, let me save you the trouble– “Six point!?!?  Why the heck would they cast that in such a small, useless size!?”  The answer is, that’s the one and only size in which dear old Charlie made matrices for this face.  At Skyline we are determined to cast every face in the collection, so it was either now or later.  In planning this project we figured nobody would ever want to set it solid in 6 point (except maybe NRBY, but we all know he’s crazy), so it’s cast on 12 point body for ease of composition.

We also present Border No. U-7, in 12 point, for your printing pleasure.  The runner element was a stray matrix of unknown origin and we selected the em-body solid diamond as a corner to complement it.

Clear the road, we’re packin’ up the ol’ Typemobile for a run to the 9th Annual Los Angeles Printers Fair!  It will be held Saturday, October 14 at the famous International Printing Museum in Carson–it’s huge, don’t miss it.  Full info can be found at  Stop by our tables, say hello, and take home some shiny new type.

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News for September

This month we are pleased to present the fruit of labors begun here back in the late spring. The University of California is doing a project involving hand-press reproductions of 17th-century English ballad broadsides, and contacted Skyline in search of type.  We were fortunate to have Cloister Black in the matrix vault, which very closely matched the face originally used, and doubly fortunate to have matrices for special characters, including German accents and the archaic long-s and its ligatures.  A commission ensued and we did full-font castings in both 14 and 24 point. Here’s the 14:

In the larger size there are two different variants of the archaic specials: lining and descending.

Altogether the font contains 102 characters.  The casting of 70 fonts took 10 full days and amounted to 42,656 individual types with a total weight of 574 lbs.  We now have plenty of both sizes on the shelf, should you have an urge to do up Shakespeare or other material from that era.  Here’s the 24.

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News for August

Just back from a successful mission to the Wayzgoose in L.A., where type sales at the Swap Meet were good.  Our southwest heat wave finally broke in mid-July and the rainy season commenced—the most glorious time of year here.  Didn’t get back to casting right away though, because Skyline has acquired some offsite storage/workshop property and we needed to do some work on that to prepare it for use.  It’s located in nearby Grapevine Industrial Park.  To commemorate our expansion, for August we present Border No. 675, a two-element grapevine design in 18pt.  (Price Code D)

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News for July

We’ve been standing down from foundry operations for a couple of weeks now, due to unrelenting heat.  Prescott is in Arizona’s central highlands, and at 5400 ft elevation, we don’t often get temps over 90.  But there’s been a record string of 100+ degree days, and that ain’t no kinda weather for typecasting!  Then the Goodwin Fire struck 25 miles south of here.  Our casterman T.H. lives down that way and was ordered to evacuate.  As of today it’s still burning, but the army of firefighters has mostly gained control and it should all be over pretty soon.

We were able to complete one new project before all of the above; an example of the “Egyptian” faces that enjoyed great popularity in the mid-19th century.  It’s cast from matrices in the Charlie Broad collection.  He called it Egyptian Shaded Extended, but you won’t find it in any old specimen books.  In researching it, the trail ultimately led to Dan Solo, who in the late 20th century created popular optical fonts from a multitude of type faces old and new.  The evidence indicates that these mats were cut from Solo’s face named Galena.  A lowercase is shown for it, but those mats were not cut, so we’re calling it Galena Title (24pt).

We’ll be back in production when conditions permit, and keep on delivering the good stuff.  Meanwhile, come July 20, Pack Your Box With Five Dozen Liquor Jugs and head to California for the 2017 APA Wayzgoose  at the International Printing Museum!  It’s open to all friends of letterpress.  Skyline will be there presenting a hands-on Typecasting Seminar and of course peddling all manner of shiny new type at the Swap Meet.  Everything you need to know is online at  (BTW we have an extra bunk at Motel 6 available—send an email if you’d like to roomshare.)  See you there!

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News for June

It seems like we spend half our time doing maintenance, repairs and problem-solving to keep these venerable old casters running—but every month we manage to have something worthwhile to show for it.  So let’s go railroadin’! In Collection No. 44 we present that famous old Figgins train, as shown in the 1887 specimen of England’s type foundry by that name.  There are two sizes of it (24 & 30pt) in the Collection.  They are identical in design except that in the smaller size the locomotive has been reversed and is now westbound.  Lots of multiples for each piece.

On the next track we find Collection No. 45: eight different locomotives, all 19th century, and again plenty of multiples.

For printing your tickets and timetables, here’s 18 point Pacific, a delightful Victorian released by American Type Founders in 1892, their first year in existence as an amalgamation of numerous regional foundries.

At Skyline we have never linked or endorsed any other business on our web site.  But there’s a first time for everything, and Josef Beery’s little Book Beetle is so —uh,—impressive, that we can’t help but urge you to check it out.  It’s a neat little tabletop wooden hand press that he has designed, put into production, and is selling quite reasonably.  (This was brought to our attention by a customer who pointed out that he was recommending Skyline type in the Book Beetle instruction manual.)  When you have a minute, take a look at his cool web site,, and we’ll see you next month.

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News for May

This month we took a diversion from our usual obsession with antique revivals and made a foray into the typographically fertile land of pre-Nazi Germany—and came back with Homewood in 36pt for your printing pleasure.  This unique face originated as a variant of Metropolis, which is a classic example of the forward-looking and rapidly-changing design styles happening in Germany at that time.  The matrices used for this casting are those of the recutting of Metropolis Lined done by Baltotype in the 1940s.

Back in stock by popular demand: Keynote in 24 pt and Della Robbia 18pt.

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News for April

Times being what they are, it seems only appropriate for us to offer something peculiarly suited to all our left-leaning printer friends.  Behold: 24pt  Delraye,  a face that goes all the way back to the days of Whigs and Mugwumps (the philosophies of which could also be viewed as strangely apropos these days!). This backslanted, oblique, shadowed face actually originated with the Figgins type foundry in England.  You can use it to print titles on manifestos, petitions, and propaganda leaflets.   Tories be warned—don’t stare at it too long or you might start listing to port.

Moreover, furthermore, and withal, say hello to another 19th century face,  Thunderbird Extra Condensed  in 48pt. This being the largest size we are able to produce at Skyline, it complements our previous casting of T-bird XC in 36.  Plenty of both are in stock.

Our third new item this month is  Collection No. 42.  It’s an array of stuff specific to the printing craft, including a gaggle of those cute little colonial printers.  And there are a couple of things in here just for our Canadian friends.

Happy Spring—the days are growing longer, and time is running out on your excuse that it’s too cold in the shop to print!

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News for March

Last month’s Border No. U-6 has been positively identified by one of our sharp customers as Element #26 of the Central Type Foundry’s spectacular Floriated Border, as shown in their 1892 specimen.  Thanks, Laura.

For this month’s new font we present Figaro in 36pt.  Better known in the U.S. as “Old Towne”, it was a 1940 design from British Monotype.  The face is one more version of French Clarendon Condensed which was enormously popular in the mid-19th century—and now for us in America, it’s strongly reminiscent of the old west.

Back in stock: Cloister Old Style 18pt and Arboret No. 2, 24pt.

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News for February

Fun with Explosives!  That’s what we’re calling Collection No. 40, new this month for your convenience in blowing things up.   And we’ve done three more new borders in the Floor-Sweepings-From-The-Matrix-Vault Series: Border No. U-6, a single-element antique floral (there’s undoubtedly a story behind this; perhaps it’s one piece of an elaborate 19th-century ornamental set).  Border No. U-15 is a dainty little thing that looks delicate but is a single element, 6 x 36 points, easy to compose.  And then there’s the heavy-handed Border No. U-16 in 36pt, also one element.  Attila the Hun used this one on his wedding invitation.

Back in stock after too long an absence is the favorite antique Tuscan Graille.  Press on, and have a fine Ground Hog Day!


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News for January

We’re calling this month’s new stuff “Floor Sweepings from the Matrix Vault”.   Collections No. 37, 38, 39, and 41 all consist of single-element ornaments, oddballs, orphans, and designs that just don’t fit in with anything else we have.  No. 37 was done from four matrices we got from a defunct foundry in India, including a lotus blossom, their version of a hippie-flower, and Ganesha, the Hindu elephant-god who is revered as the remover of obstacles and patron of new beginnings, and of letters and learning.  The three calligraphic flourishes in No. 38 are actually ATF designs.  The other ornate decorators probably originated with 19th-century type faces, and that sine wave is likely a chemical or mathematical symbol.  The special-occasion goodies in No. 39 are matrices from Barco Type, which Skyline bought out some years ago.  In No. 41 you can figure out for yourself what they are and what to do with them.  The two martinis could be overprinted chromatically.  Here’s your chance to get creative!


Back in stock now is the very popular Tuscan Floral in 36 point.  (That ornate end-bracket in Collection No. 38 would go beautifully with it.)

From the beginning, our philosophy at Skyline has been to preserve and perpetuate the ancient and esoteric craft of typefounding, and to keep new type within reach of all in the letterpress community.  In general our prices have been about half of those of our friends at M&H Type, the country’s oldest and largest foundry.  As 2016 draws to a close, however, the numbers reveal that our costs have exceeded revenue for the year.  Therefore the current revision of our online Specimen Book & Catalog reflects an incremental price increase.  We sincerely thank all our customers for your continued friendship and loyalty.

And so commences another loop around the sun in our Spaceship Earth, the 2017th since counting began.  May it be a journey of fellowship, successes and our best printing ever!

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News for December

Our two press-restoration projects have been successfully completed and as of yesterday, the business of typecasting has resumed.  In progress at the moment is a restock of Tuscan Floral.  While doing up a routine third casting of Border No. 88, casterman T.H. Groves let his imagination get loose and started talking about what one might do design-wise with this two-element border, especially if there were multiple complementary sizes at hand.  It is, after all, a modular sort of thing, which of course is all the rage in metal type right now!  So in addition to the 36-point restock, we hereby present Border No. 88 and Border No. 89 in 18-point.  (The single element No. 89 is simply the corner piece used with No. 88.)  You can see our experimentation with it for the label, but that only suggests what could be created with a supply of the three borders in two sizes.   Who wants to be the first to try it?

December is upon us, the cooler weather is good for typecasting, and we have an endless list of cool stuff to cast going into the new year.  As always, so many matrices, so little time!

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News for November

We’ve slacked off from typecasting of late, to direct our time and efforts to working on machinery.  In addition to bringing another casting machine up to operating condition (not quite there yet) we’re doing complete restorations of two presses: a 1954 Vandercook No. 4 and a 1901 Chandler & Price 8 x 12.  These were both rescued here in Arizona from distressed situations—the C&P was holding up a mailbox out on a nearby highway!  Nevertheless we continue our longstanding policy of presenting at least one new casting every month.  So for your printing pleasure, November’s offering is Border No. F-1202 in 36pt.


Some years ago we cast Neuland and its companion Inline in a variety of sizes.  They sold well, and supplies were exhausted within a couple of years.  They’re long overdue for restock and this month we’re pleased to announce Neuland 24pt and Neuland Inline 18pt as the first two.  Also back in stock is Collection No. 3, a rather remarkable set of six “stacking” ornaments, each of which is furnished in both decorative and solid versions, allowing for chromatic use
if you so choose.

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News for October

This will be brief, and a couple of days early, because we’re launching early tomorrow morning for the Los Angeles Printers Fair.  It’s gotta be the single largest Letterpress event in the country, and nothing short of spectacular!  Skyline will be on deck with our full line of Fonts, Borders, Initials and Collections. Full info is available at:

Hope to see you there!

New for this month is Border No. G-24, a big frilly 2-element thing.  And back in stock is the ever-popular Motto.  Press on—


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News for September

In developing the intricate Alpha-Blox presentation box over the past few months, we gained a fair amount of woodworking experience.  And this has led to the realization that it would be comparatively easy to produce the wooden item that printers use most: imposing furniture.  So as of this month, we do!
It’s kiln-dried birchwood, precision cut, sanded, and hand-rubbed with boiled linseed oil.  The length of each piece is stamped on the end.  This is the way it was done in the old days, and the tradition is carried on at Skyline.  You can get
a single piece or a full set—see the new Furniture page for details.

But we’re still a type foundry, first and foremost.  New this month is a face so rare it’s not even shown in McGrew: Caption in 30pt. Introduced around 1940 by Mergenthaler Linotype, it was not a success, and quickly fell into obscurity.  I’ll bet even Rick von Holdt doesn’t have this one.


Leaves, leaves, and more leaves!  Just in time for autumn (or spring, depending on your hemisphere and ink color), we invite you to have a maple-leaf-fest with our new 36pt Border No. F-1631.  Or bury yourself in oak leaves and acorns with 24pt Border No. G-69, and let your significant other try to figure out which nut is you.  Lastly, Border No. F-1617: this elegant 24pt three-piece foliage border was designed by Rudolph Ruzicka to go with his Fairfield type face.  Skyline salutes John Horn who made this one possible by furnishing the matrices.

Border F-1631

Border G-69

Border F-1617

Celebrate International Letterpress Day on 9/18—print something!

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News for August

We often get requests to cast this or that typeface.  Sometimes the matrices are in our vault, sometimes not—sometimes we can take on a custom project, and sometimes we decline.  The request most often received is for a certain set of combinable decorative elements produced in the 1940s by American Type Founders.  I had no idea whether these matrices had survived the 1992 ATF liquidation auction, and if so, where they were—and up until recently, Skyline did not have the necessary hardware to produce type from ATF’s style of foundry mats.  Then I became aware that the mats had in fact survived, and were safe in the collection of a longtime friend and fellow typefounder.  This gentleman graciously agreed to make them available.  Casting proved to be a major undertaking, and we’ve been working on it in deep secrecy for several months.
But the curtain can now be raised, and we proudly roll out Alpha-Blox in 36pt.

Coll 34-11

Coll 34-13

It was understood from the beginning that a product this extraordinary called for very special packaging, something like a treasure chest.  We have two Hammond Glider saws in our shop and I had often toyed with the idea of using this precision instrument to replicate the finger-jointed wooden accessory boxes that originally came with our Thompson Type Casters.  So I proceeded to sketch out some ideas and do a little experimenting.  Many days and many buckets of discarded box parts later, I had what I considered an acceptable prototype.  More refined examples followed, and the process was captured in full detail to enable quantity production.  The finished product is a felt-lined birchwood box, 7½ x 13½ inches, with brass hinges and latch, and gold foil-stamped legend.  To the left and right sides of the type are compartments where quotation quads (not included) may be kept for use in composition, with each side able to accommodate 26 em-body quads.  A card is furnished, printed on Skyline’s 1890 Chandler & Price press, that shows all the various elements and their layout (yep, just like Whitman’s chocolates).  The box and contents weigh in at 15¾ lbs.

Coll 34-14

A link to ATF’s original 1944 specimen may be found on the Type & Borders page.  Alpha-Blox were made in three sizes, of which this is the largest.  They consist of two different sets of designs: the Linear, with 19 elements, and the Reverse, with 23.  These are all represented in the Skyline set in the exact proportions that were used by ATF, with a total count of 220 pieces.

Pricing for the Alpha-Blox Boxed Set is $295.00.  Purchasers have the option of adding a second full set of type, packed in bulk, for a total price of $495.00.  (Due to the amount of time and labor involved in fabrication, there is a limit of one boxed set per person until we’re sure we can keep up.)

Back in stock: Grimaldi in 24pt.

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News for June

We are indebted to the inimitable Graham Moss for this month’s new gem, Border No. U-14.  Quite some time ago, Graham very generously sent a set of three antique foundry matrices to Skyline for us to evaluate for casting.  It was determined that they would have to be re-engineered in order for us to cast them.  After lengthy consideration of all possibilities, this was carefully accomplished, and 50 fonts were produced.  It may be that there were other elements to the design besides these.  The source of the border and the mats is unknown, but Graham does have some type from them bearing the Stephenson-Blake pinmark.  If you can make a positive ID, do let us know and we’ll publish it.

Border U-14

But wait, there’s more!  By special request we present the Granjon Arabesque Fleurons in 18pt.  These six versatile ornaments have classical beauty and can be combined in as many ways as you can imagine; we have shown just a few here in the form composed to print the box label:

Collection 035

Our third and final new casting for this month is Border No. G-20 in 24pt.  Back in stock again are Dresden, Tangier, Umbra, Border U-9 and Collection No. 10.  So get printing, and we’ll see you soon at the APA Wayzgoose in St. Louis!  (See for details.)

Border G-020

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News for May

Here’s a new 19th century revival that’s a must-have: Thunderbird Extra Condensed in full-face 36pt.  Dating to about 1860, it was the quintessential type of the Civil War and the Old West.  Imagine all the fun you could have
with a font (or two).

Thunderbird XC 36

Now jumping ahead seventy years, Monotype came out with a new variation on one of their existing faces, with a name that exemplifies the style trend of the day—Streamline.  We are pleased to offer a new casting of this eye-grabbing type in 36pt (the only size ever cut).  The design consists of only the 26 capitals.


And we’ve saved what may be the best for last: we are proud to present as Collection No. 36 the complete set of all 22 Primula Ornaments in 12 pt.  These lovely decorative elements were designed by Typefoundry Amsterdam about 1950 and cast in three sizes; this is the second-largest.  Use singly, use in lines as border, use in creative combinations.  Do not overuse.

Collection 036

All of the above are on the shelf and ready to ship—and as always, we’re busy working on more great projects this month.  Press on.

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News for April

Good, bad, or ugly, it was a historic type face: released in Germany by Bauer Foundry in the 1920s, it was met with acceptance in the USA and arguably triggered the subsequent rise to primacy of the plain gothics–Spartan, Airport, 20th Century, Helvetica.   For April we present  Futura in 18 point.


Ready for a shot of border euphoria?  Pick up the new Border U-4, hot off the caster!  The origin of this striking and refreshing 14 point design is unknown, but the unfinished electrodeposited matrices came from the estate of Paul Hayden Duensing.  We finished them up by careful hand-lapping and took them into production.  A European design, perhaps?  If anyone can identify the source of this border, by all means let us know so we can give proper historical credit.

Border U-4

And while on that size we did up three new Monotype designs as well: Borders No. 117, 1424, and 1425.  The first two of these are single-element borders, and we invite you to check out the different effects achieved in the specimens just by using multiple orientations of the type.

Border 0117

Border 1424

Border 1425

We were caught with our pants down (uh, typographically speaking, that is) last year when our 16pt Jessen Schrift sold out before it was even released.  So we’ve done a second casting and it’s now back in stock—yes, with lowercase supplements available too.

And now it’s time to pack our box with five dozen liquor jugs and head for the Bay Area Printers Fair on Saturday, April 9.  This growing event was excellent last year, and we’ll be there with plenty of new type for sale.  For details go to the San Jose Printers Guild at  See you there!

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News for March

In our never-ending quest to revive history’s rare, obscure, and unusual type faces, we’re proud to present a casting of  Card Italic  in its centennial year.  This novelty face was issued in 1915 by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company as (according to McGrew) a copy of Amsterdam’s Ella Italic.  We hope it will find a warm welcome in 21st century letterpress.  Being a face that no reasonable person would set in all-capitals, the font scheme is biased toward fewer caps and more lowercase.  (This is a Skyline innovation without precedent at any other type foundry, to our knowledge.)

Card Italic

By popular demand we have done another run of Jessen Schrift in 16pt.  Full fonts and lowercase supplements will both be available (and of course will align with the previous casting).  This is completed but not yet packaged, so it won’t be available for purchase until April—but we want to give you a heads-up and get the word out so you can plan accordingly.  We’re trying to get ahead of the curve and do restock castings before an item is sold out, and several borders that were running low had proactive recastings in February.

The sun is warm here in Arizona, the sky blue, and the fruit trees surrounding the foundry building are in full bloom.  We have exciting new projects planned for this year, as well as trips to four Printer’s Fairs.  Happy Spring!

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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.)

Monoblox Specimen act size


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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News for August

We’ve been busy since returning from the great Chicago Wayzgoose! Two new fonts this month:  Jessen Schrift in 16pt.  This is one of Rudolph Koch’s designs, released in 1930 for the Klingspor Foundry, and intended for Bible printing.  It’s an unusual hybrid of romanized capitals and blackletter lowercase with several stylized alternate characters and a handcrafted look.  (The name is in honor of Peter Jessen who was a major figure in the book arts of 19th century Germany.)  This casting was primarily a commission job, but many other printers expressed interest, so production was scaled up.  Even with a substantial amount of extra type included in the casting for stock, orders have continued to come in.  In addition to full fonts, a double lowercase supplement was also produced–and is already sold out.  There are a few full fonts still available, however, and these will be sold first-come, so do not hesitate.

Jessen Schrift 16
The second new release, Post Oldstyle Roman No. 2, 18pt, is a fine example of the “rugged” typography in fashion at the turn of the 20th century.  The designer was E. J. Kitson, a staff artist at The Saturday Evening Post, who created this face in 1900.

Post Oldstyle Roman No. 2

And lastly we present Border No. F-816 in 24pt.  It’s a bold, attention-grabbing byzantine design for which we just got the matrices.

Border F-816

The following type faces have been recast, and are back in stock available for purchase once again:  Della Robbia 36pt, and Trocadero 18pt.

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News for June/July

Our new antique revival for this month is Salem in 24pt. A rather rare face, first released in 1901 by the historic Keystone Type Foundry, its intentionally quaint letterforms make it a unique and versatile novelty face.


Back in stock:
Lexington; Border No. 776 and Border No. U-8.

Skyline will be closed June 19 – July 13 for our pilgrimage to the APA Chicago Wayzgoose.  This promises to be a grand event, open to all friends of letterpress printing.  For full information, go to

A comprehensive selection of fonts, borders, initials and Collections will be available at the Skyline sales table.

Stop by and say hello!