Wood Type

Art Gothic

MURDER-Scan-2-300x87by Jim Thompson, IPM Board of Trustees

The wood-type for June is called Art Gothic. It is an unconventional typeface designed in the mid 1880s by Gustav Schroeder. As a young metal engraver in Germany he was approached by two German Americans who convinced him to move to St Louis and work for them at the Central Type Foundry. He had a long and successful career resulting in dozens of metal typeface designs.

When Art Gothic was introduced in 1887 it caused quite a stir, becoming both highly praised and severely criticized simultaneously. Those who praised it won out and Art Gothic became quite popular in its era. It was later copied into wood-type. Our sample “MURDER” is a 10-line version from a wood-type with no manufacturer’s stamp. The design however is very similar to that of Morgans & Wilcox.

In recent years Art Gothic has regained some modest popularity. It was used in the title of the 1980s TV show “Murder, She Wrote” starring Angela Lansbury and also can be found on a poster subtitle (“sail with the tide”) as part of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction in Disneyland, both of which are shown below.

Disneyland-225x300 Murder-She-Wrote-300x300