What are the Typewriter Fonts & Typefaces?
The Typewriter world is beyond magical, and yes, when you dive into this world, there is no way out as when you start exploring these beautiful machines, you will exploring the different types of typewriter, typewriter history, rare typewriters, scarce typewriters, uncommon colours, and finally, typewriter fonts.
Typewriter fonts is a world by it self as we have been working with them since 2016 and we have been able to restore a lot of machines with special typefaces.
In this Blog, i will be sharing with you Special & Original Documents that we have, issued by Typewriter companies illustrating the Typefaces they fitted on the typewriters.
First of all, i wish to explain the meaning of CPI as we will use it a lot as you read through.
"CPI" is Character by Inch. indicating the size of a font.
For example, when i say, its 10CPI, it means, the typeface size is 10 typed characters in one inch ( 2.5cm in metric measurement).
The Bigger the CPI, the Smaller is the size of the font. therefore, a 13CPI typeface is smaller than the 10CPI.
Other way to describe the Size is saying, 10 pts/inch that is equivalent to to 10CPI.
The most common typefaces models are Elite Typeface (Usually 11 or 12 CPI) and PICA typeface (usually 10CPI). there are found on the majority of the typewriters and can be easily found on any machine.
The first Typewriter model i want to tackle is the Hammond typewriters.
Hammond typewriters did use a special removable curved shuttle on their machines and this will allow you to change the typeface of your typewriter by simply changing the shuttle.
The Hammond typewriters company issued the following shuttle:
- Petite Gothic
- Miniature Roman
- Small Roman
- Medium Roman
- Print type
- Large Roman
- Medium Gothic
- Large Gothic
- Gothic italic
- Special Gothic
- Small Italic
- Medium Italic
- Law Italic
- Russian italic
- German Text
- Hebrew Large
The Picture below will show a rare specimen of all of the above typewriter typefaces and fonts.
The other Typewriter company that had a nice set of typefaces was Olympia Typewriters.
We are lucky to have the original manual that shows all the typewriter fonts & typefaces used by the Olympia company.
One of the interesting facts about german machines, and specially Olympia, the key heads are numbered to identify the type of the typewriter typeface and compare it to the booklet pictures above.
for example, if you find 84 on the key head, it means the typeface is Congress Elite 11CPI. and so on.
Typefaces are as follows.
- Diamond # 3 - 17 Pitch
- Manuscript #4 - 17 Pitch
- Elite #8 - 11 Pitch
- PICA #12 - 10 Pitch
- Bulletin #28 - 10 Pitch
- Double Gothic #30 - 12 Pitch
- Italic PICA #31 - 10 Pitch
- Double Gothic PICA #32 - 10 Pitch
- Professional Elite #41 - 11 Pitch
- Large PICA #51 - 10 Pitch
- Modern Elite #66 - 12 Pitch
- Modern PICA #67 - 10 Pitch
- Script #69 - 11 Pitch
- Senatorial #71 - 11 Pitch
- Script #75 - 11 Pitch
- Congress PICA #83 - 10 Pitch
- Congress Elite #84 - 11 Pitch
- Elite #87 - 12 Pitch
- Congress Elite #88 - 12 Pitch
- Italic Elite #89 - 11 Pitch
- Modern Congress PICA #91 - 10 Pitch
- Capitals #95 - 10 Pitch
- Modern Congress Elite # 98 - 12 Pitch
As we Dive through the names and types of Typewriter fonts and typefaces, we have to admit that the Royal Company have always had a special set of typewriter typefaces that are now a favourite for many of the typewriter enthusiast, me included, as many will love to type with the uncommon vogue typeface that was brilliantly designed & looks great on letters and journals.
Royal had the following typefaces as per their scarce booklet that belongs to our collection:
- Modern PICA - Exclusive Royal Type
- Intermediate PICA - Slightly larger than regular
- Large PICA - Largest size PICA type
- PICA Italic -
- PICA Multi-graph
- PICA single Gothic - Used for Billing
- PICA double Gothic - for loose Lead Records
- Elite (10 Pitch)
- Elite Multi-graph
- Large Elite
- Small Elite
- Elite Single Gothic Modified
- Elite Single Gothic
- Elite double Gothic
- Executive - mainly for Executive correspondence.
- Vogue - for distinctive personal writing - One of my favourite.
- Medium Roman Single Gothic Pin Point
- Small Pin Point & PICA Gothic
- Medium Roman
- Medium Roman Italic
- Medium Roman Gothic & Medium Roman Single Gothic Pin Point
- Medium Roman Single Gothic
- Medium Roman Double Gothic
- Mono-Face - Lack of Ceriphs provide spaces between Letters,
- Great Primer
- BOOK - Shaded typeface to correspond to printing.
- Old English - Similar to the German Farktur typeface
Finally, i kept this document for last as it contains all the British Imperial Typewriter company typefaces. I had it it with one of my Typewriters and i was delighted to see the variety the company had offered to its clients as i have always thought it is limited to PICA, Elite, and rarely large Roman.
Imperial Company offered the following typefaces or typewriter fonts:
- Large ROMAN - personally love it
- PICA Italic
- Shaded FACE
- Large Gothic - did not see any of this typeface ever on an imperial machine.
- Pin Point
- PICA Gothic
- Bulletin - Extra Large Typeface
- Great Primer - Same as in Royal Typefaces.
- Bijou - for extreme condensation of letters in one document.
- Elite Gothic
- Gayton - Never seen it before but it is so special with reduced serifs and looks like a straight Italic typeface.
Kindly note, currently and as i am writing this Blog, i have the three Imperial desk typewriters model 50 with italic, Pin Point and finally one Telegraph typewriter that types in special large Characters and not mentioned in these booklets.
Thank you and hope you like the information.
I had to place a bookmark quickly. I would hate to lose this useful information, something I have been searching for for ages. Thank you so much.
What a wonderful resource! Thank you!
Thank you for your efforts putting this together. Searching for a match on a Royal HH typeface, I FINALLY found it here as modern pica. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with knowing the name of each typeface? The 1939 Royal Advertisement that Richard Polt utilized mentions 50 distinct typefaces available at the time – amazing.
Vogue is my favorite typeface! The nostalgia associated with its nouveau styling gives me all the feels.