Pattern for Goudy Old Style (Typeface Series number: 291), 10 point
Pattern for Goudy Old Style (Typeface Series number: 291), 10 point. Copper plate backed with lead. In original wooden tray. Manufactured by Monotype Corporation.
A Monotype pattern is a copper-faced plate bearing, in relief, the shape of a right-reading character or symbol. It is about 3" square and ¼" thick, having a character raised 1/16" on its face. It bears lines denoting clearance and sidewalls, also figures denoting series and size of type. They used to be made in two sizes: ¼ size of the drawing for type sizes up to 24pt, and 3/8 size of the drawing for type sizes over 24pt. The pattern was used as a guide when cutting punches on a punch-cutting machine. If a metal typeface was produced in five sizes, for example, there were not necessarily new patterns made for each size. However, in the case of Caslon Series 128, there were sets of patterns made for each individual size. The punch was stamped into a piece of phosphor bronze that made a matrix from which type could be cast.
Frederic Goudy (1865–1947) was one of America’s best known and most prolific type designers of metal type. Goudy’s work, like that of his fellow American, Bruce Rogers, linked the era of the great private presses with that of the typographical revivals of the 1920s. Goudy Old Style was first cut in 1915 for traditional founders American Typefounders and is regarded by many critics as one of his finest designs. It became available for use on Monotype machines from 1930 onwards. As with so many of his faces, Goudy began to design this face with historical models in mind. The capitals were modelled on Renaissance lettering, but as also often happened, the finished design bore little relation to the model. However it is notable for the strong imprint of the designer’s personality and the skilful adaptation to the purpose for which it was intended.
The roundness of the letters and the flowing curves are characteristic of Goudy’s work. The very short descenders and the evenness of colour contribute to the very practical qualities of the typeface. Apparently the designer regretted the shortness of the descenders. The serifs are small and not sharp; the ‘Q’ has an external tail; and the ear of the ‘g’ flicks upwards.
The Monotype Corporation manufactured 16 sizes from 6pt to 72pt between 1930 and 1940. Sales were good and particularly high for 8pt, 10pt and 12pt. A companion bold with italic is also available.