Monday, August 23, 2010

Mysteries of typecasting


  1. How would you describe this typeface? It looks like a bold elite. I've encountered it a couple of times: on a Smith-Corona Galaxie II and a Princess 300. I'm not sure what the official name is.

    Rather meta to be typecasting about typecasting! But indeed, it is fun. I'm looking forward to spotting a scanner in the thrift store so I can typecast from home as well, instead of sneaking it in at work. It's a pity digital cameras don't work as well, but I suppose that is where the effort really comes in.

  2. Thanks, Adwoa.

    I'm a professional philosopher, it's my job to go meta. :)

    I don't know what Olivetti called this typeface. The size is slightly larger than elite (11.5 characters per inch). The style is similar to typefaces on other typewriters that imitate printing type by, among other things, making the vertical lines a little thicker than the horizontal ones. I believe Oliver got this started in 1912 with its "Printype." Much later, Olympia created the similar "Congress" typeface, which I have on an SM8. I also have a Princess and Byron that use print-like type.

    If you're lucky enough to be able to use a carbon ribbon on one of these typewriters, the typing can be almost as crisp and elegant as laser printing. (The Lexikon won't work with a carbon ribbon, because the ribbon advances too slowly and characters overlap, making an inconsistent impression.)

    I've created TrueType fonts based on Oliver Printype (with cloth ribbon), Olympia Congress (with carbon ribbon), and the Byron typeface (2 versions, cloth and carbon). E-mail me ( if you'd like to have the fonts.