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
He is a co-founder of Fonts In Use and a columnist at A List Apart. He serves on the board of directors for the Type Directors Club as well as the artistic board for the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. He is both a graduate and consultant for the Type@Cooper typeface design program at Cooper Union.
Nick graduated with honors from the Graphic Design program at MassArt in Boston, where he also taught undergraduate typography. He previously worked at MyFonts, overhauling the web design and promotional material for the world’s largest collection of fonts. Some of his other projects include Woodtyper, Pizza Rules!, Specimenism, and a personal photo journal. He also participates in the Kaiju Big Battel live monster wrestling group.
Nick is an active member in the Society of Printers, ATypI, and American Printing History Association. Originally from Cape Cod, he is also a skateboarder, pizza enthusiast, printer, musician, and classic horror film buff.