Custom Wood or Metal Type

Any advice on where to find / commission a new set of custom type (in a modern font like Bebas)? Either wood or metal.

Or has anyone made photopolymer plates and then cut out each letter and glued to wood blocks to create your own set of type?

Thanks in advance for your input and advice.

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There are a number of people on here experimenting with cutting new wood type. I think new metal type is more difficult to develop b/c of the technical expertise needed, but maybe someone with the Dale Guild would be better to talk to about that.

The guys at Lead Graffiti are making new wood type. There’s also Virgin Wood Type. Both can be found through searching the site.

Thanks so much jonsel.

In addition to The Dale Guild (as mentioned earlier), I believe that Ed Rayher of the Swamp Press Letter Foundry can cut matrices for metal type (and of course cast from them).

David M. MacMillan

For a list of every currently active typefoundry I’m aware of:

I have been making new faces in wood type. The key is getting a good set of patterns made. I have been using vector outline files and a laser cutter to make the originals.

A font like Bebas is copyrighted and is covered by a license agreement. You would need permission of the owner/publisher of the font to use the digital font to make wood fonts. With permission it is very easy to go from the computer to wood.

I have a short video on my site showing the process of mounting the originals and cutting type.


Here is some info on the project that has taken most of Micah’s time down at The Dale Guild over the last months- a custom cutting of a proprietary typeface for Russell Maret.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress (and The Dale Guild)
Brooklyn, NY

Actually this raises a bit of an issue of taking a typeface and manufacturing it in wood type.

I looked up Bebas and it appears to be a free typeface. This is the licensing agreement below.

Flat-it License

This license can also be found at this permalink:

All fonts copyright Flat-it(

This is a freeware typeface. This means that you can use it on your commercial or non-commercial works for free.

But here is a list of things you could do, Only if you want to:

* Mail me about your works
* Link
* Send me a sample of the work you did using my typeface
* Mail me some print material you did using my typeface
* Credit “Flat-it”on your work
* Smile

to contact [email protected] in JAPAN

Ryoichi Tsunekawa

While I wouldn’t argue that legally you might not be able to take Bebas, make it into wood type and sell it commercially, I don’t see anything in the licensing agreement that would keep you from having YOUR FREE COPY made into wood. Or with you contracting me to make you a case of wood type.

Just for the record, I don’t think that would apply to other typefaces, especially those you buy. I just looked at the licensing agreement from House Industries (friends of ours) and clearly buying one of their typefaces and making it into wood seems to possibly violate a couple of the rules. I’ve sent them a note to ask about it. I’ll let you know what they say.

You can read the House Industries licensing agreement at