Wooden printing type has been around as long as typography itself, but it wasn’t until a series of relatively simple inventions in the 1800s made it practical to manufacture on a mass scale. These advances provided printers with larger type than was available in metal, spurring the richly typographic culture of the 19th century with its circus posters, theatre broadsides, and sensational advertising.
A variety of production processes have been employed to create wood type since then, each with their own influence on the practice of typeface design. Even today, modern makers are incorporating digital technology to produce their own large printing type. Through an examination of these processes, including a current project with the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, Nick Sherman will give some perspective on the shape of wood type.
About Nick Sherman
Nick Sherman is a Brooklyn-based typographer working with Font Bureau and Webtype, where he promotes fonts for use both in print and online. He previously worked at MyFonts, where he overhauled the promotional material and web design for the world’s largest collection of fonts.
His various projects include Fonts In Use, Woodtyper, Pizza Rules!, Specimenism, and a personal photo journal. Nick co-curated the Wood Type Evolved exhibition and has designed, manufactured, and printed several of his own wood type designs. He serves on the artistic board of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum as well as the advisory committee of the Type Directors Club. He is both a graduate and consultant of the Type@Cooper typeface design program.
Additionally, Nick contributes to typography sites such as Typographica and We Love Typography, and has taught undergraduate typography at MassArt. He is an active member in the Society of Printers, ATypI, and American Printing History Association. Originally from Cape Cod and Boston, he is also a skateboarder, pizza enthusiast, musician, and classic horror film buff.