Wood Type

Gothic No. 5

joyous-300x123by Jim Thompson, IPM Board of Trustees

The wood-type for October was Hobo and it featured all curved edges. This month we go in the opposite direction with a wood-type called Gothic No. 5. It features all exterior straight edges, even for the curved letters. Any interior curves edges remain curved. As can be seen in our example “JOYOUS” the corners of the normally curved portions are all angled, and the expected curves are approximated with a series of straight lines. According to wood-type historian Rob Roy Kelly, the use of angled corners was first done in the 1830s by Leavenworth (a wood-type pioneer). The angled corner typeface did not become popular until much later when Page introduced his version (No.173) in 1879. Shortly thereafter it was produced by several manufacturers in several sizes and variations including lightface, condensed, and expanded. Our sample is a 12 line condensed version from an unidentified manufacturer.