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.
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.
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.
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.
The following type faces have been recast, and are back in stock available for purchase once again: Della Robbia 36pt, and Trocadero 18pt.
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 2015wayzgoose.apa-letterpress.com
A comprehensive selection of fonts, borders, initials and Collections will be available at the Skyline sales table.