Anatomy of ATF Type
What is a Type Foundry? A company that makes type.
One of the foremost in the US was American Type Foundries (ATF), founded in 1892 when 23 independent type foundries consolidated. These foundries were brought together for several reasons, one being that the Linotype, which produced a line of type, was introduced a few years earlier and was cutting into the sales of hand set type. Another was that the type produced by the various foundries was not systematic — point sizes and baselines varied between companies.
ATF standardized type. Nineteen-twenty-nine was the company’s most profitable year. From there it only declined and its number of typeface offerings did as well. In the early 1950s phototype was on its way of taking over as the predominant typesetting method, cutting into foundry type’s profits even more. In 1958 ATF introduced a phototypesetting machine along with variety of faces on phototypesetting discs. | Read more >
New Building Update
We are in possession of the new (well, new to us) building in Haverhill — 15 Thornton Avenue, Haverhill, MA 01832, to be exact [map]. Renovations are underway to make this a world class printing museum — and we have visited many throughout the world to compare and inspire. We’re currently replacing the 40 year old linoleum with richer, feet-easy materials. A wall has to come down to give us better flow and an expanded store. View our progress >
Our first open library will have comfortable seating, video screens for historic graphic arts movies, and we will be able to continuously open to members. The second library will house the Linotype library as well as other historic materials — our font masters, rare books and memorabilia in a secure airy space. The second library is being fully funded by a generous individual donation.
We are asking your help by donating to the rest of the renovations or fully funding individual projects such as new, detailed signage and self-guided tour materials, exterior paint and roof maintenance. Read our contribution overview (pdf) and make a secure donation online.
Coming in 2016:
2016 TYPE SALES
- Summer – TBA
- Sat., September 24th
- Sat., November 19th
A Night at the Museum with PINE
(Printing Industries of New England)
6pm Tuesday, September 13
The Last TANY Reunion
(Typographers Association of NY)
APHA New England
Saturday, December 3rd
Lunch and Meeting
APHA Lieberman Memorial Lecture
Noted type designer: Matthew Carter
The Museum will now display the Fowler, Hogan, Hidy, as well as new exhibits.
With more conference rooms, we can now host company meetings, events, dinners, and receptions.
- Front conference room: 6–8 people
- Typographic Library: 14 people
- Main meeting room: 50–60 people
- Romano Library: 8–10 people
- Gallery: receptions and dinners for 40–60 people
Remembering Hermann Zapf (November 8, 1918–June 4, 2015)
By Frank Romano
Hermann Zapf was the preeminent worldwide typeface designer and calligrapher who lived in Darmstadt, Germany. He was married to calligrapher and typeface designer Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. His typefaces include Palatino and Optima.
I first met him in 1960. I was the mail boy at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn, NY and was delivering the mail to his cubicle on the 8th floor. He was adapting Palatino for the Linofilm. One day I got up the nerve to ask “Mr Zapf, what do you do?” He replied, “I correct the errors of my youth.” For example, the lowercase y had a curved calligraphic descender. He straightened it out. Those who stole Palatino from the hot metal version had something different from those who stole it from the phototypesetting version.
The Museum of Printing is supported in part by grants from Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill & Merrimack Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a State Agency.