The typography world says goodbye –
an obituary for Mike Parker

Mike Parker, long-time Director for Font Development at Mergenthaler Linotype (USA), died in February of this year.

Born in England in 1929, he began his typographic career at the age of 30. He worked under Jackson Burke as an assistant at Linotype, sorting letters of various fonts. Over the years, he worked himself upwards to the post of Director for Font Development. Thanks to him, fonts like Helvetica and Snell Roundhand found their way to Linotype; in this way, he helped the company establish itself as an international leader in fonts.

At 52, Parker and Matthew Carter founded the company Bitstream, the first company in the world to specialize exclusively in the digital sale of fonts.

With his sense for fonts, Parker was a pioneer in the font world until the very end. He was a font designer, consultant and historian even at 85 years of age.

Parker leaves behind a great legacy, which the international community of typography fans will remember for a long time.

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Vivacious, dynamic and robust:
the calligraphic font Excritura

Excritura is the third typeface to be published by Spanish typographic designer Alex Camacho. This handwritten-like italic has its own individual personality and stands out in comparison with more typical calligraphic fonts thanks to the unusual styling.
The result is a calligraphic typeface that is reminiscent of the architectural exuberance of Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí’s obsession with vigorous, organic forms and motifs drawn from nature represented the principal inspiration for Alex Camacho’s concept.
The font not only exhibits considerable contrasts in terms of stroke thickness but also accommodates ornamental embellishments, idiosyncratic line terminals and has a large x-height to enhance legibility. This all provides Excritura with an agreeable dynamism and vivacity. Although the attractive details of the font come across more effectively in the larger point sizes, Excritura is still readily legible at 10 pt and greater and can thus also be used to set shorter texts.

Visit for more information on Excritura and to read an interesting interview with Alex Camacho.

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Typecasting carries on in Darmstadt

The last months have been very critical of the continued existence of the type casting department in the Darmstadt Museum “Haus der Industriekultur.” The owner of the production and distribution company “Schriftenservice Stempel” has dissolved the company end of 2011.

Rainer Gerstenberg, who operates the machines for over 25 years in Darmstadt, has taken over all the machines and matrices and can now cast and distribute the lead types, stamping types and short types under the name “Druckerei Gerstenberg”.

The range of hotmetal typefaces is very large. He can cast and deliver the faces from the former D. Stempel AG, Nebiolo, Deberny & Peignot, Olive, Klingspor and Haas.


Druckerei Gerstenberg

1. Wartegässchen 41
60598 Frankfurt/Main

Fon 069 / 68 16 10
Fax 069 / 65 00 70 08
Mobil 01 60/7 00 64 49
[email protected]

Anniversary for Font Aid V: Made For Japan

Just to remind you that there is still help needed in Japan. You can support them with purchasing this font. The revenue goes directly to this charity.

Here are more details:
In March of 2011, the Society of Typographic Aficionados began organizing a collaborative project which united the typographic and design communities. The goal of Font Aid V: Made For Japan was to raise funds to expedite relief efforts after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Nearly 300 contributors from 45 countries sent in over 500 glyphs in a single week.

Behind the scenes, volunteers Neil Summerour, Silas Dilworth, Delve Withrington, and Grant Hutchinson were working hard to assemble the typeface in Adobe Illustrator and Fontlab. The sheer number of submissions coupled with the complexity of some of the designs caused unforeseen delays in completing the typeface. The team not only managed the immense influx of submissions, they also had several technical hurdles to overcome and multiple content reviews to mitigate before the final version of the font could be produced. Several months after the project was initiated, Font Aid V: Made For Japan was finally ready for distribution.

With the help of Sogo Japan, all profits from sales of this typeface will be delivered directly to organizations in Japan, such as Second Hand and AMDA International (Association of Medical Doctors of Asia). Sogo Japan strives to help circumvent regular international charity channels and the inefficiencies associated with them.

You can purchase your support copy here

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More Linotype Machines on display

View the lines of Linotype machines in the „Haus für Industriekultur e.V.“ in Darmstadt

In Darmstadt, about 30 minutes south of Frankfurt, close to the main train station you can find the „Haus für Industriekultur e.V.“ They have 13 restored Linotype machines all in full operation on display. You can get a demonstration and they even typeset you books.

Linotype birthday

Matrice from the Linotype

The Linotype machine needed matrices. And that is something special. The shape and the teeth of the matrices has never changed. She ran from the first to the last machine in the magazines and even all competitors used the same matrices and sets of teeth, so as to always be replaceable. Even later in the transition to other technologies the Linotype customers demanded, that the type should look exactly like the hot metal version. One reason that there are

typefaces, which have in the Roman version and the Italic and Bold using the same width of the letters.

Linotype Museum in Schopfheim

I was with Doug Wilson, the maker of the Linotype Film, in Schopfheim at the Linotype Museum.
I was totally astonished. Such a large number of Linotype machines. There are a total of 48 functional Linotype machine in an incredibly good and clean state. The Museum Society Schopfheim offers in the rooms of a former shoe factory, an insight into almost all models of the Linotype. Plus, they have Russian models and Intertype and Neotype and other machines like  Monotype, Ludlow and Typograph are on display.

A myriad of matrices in various magazines and spare parts stored neatly sorted in the cupboards.
The Linotype paradise for any lover of print and Linotype machines.
I am happy to report more about that later.

The row of the latest Linotype models. on the right in front there is the green russion version

The row of the latest Linotype models. on the right in front there is the green russion version

Doug Wilson (left) with the collector of the Linotype machines Klaus Max Trefzer. In the background a Linotype built 1936 . burned during WW2 and rebuilt in the GDR in Erfurt. They gave it a green color like all other russian machines.

For those of you who are visiting the southpart of Germany at the swiss and french border I can only recommend that you stop by and visit this little jewel.

More information at