9pt type?

So here’s one for the masters. I have a drawer of type marked “10pt Roman Text 400a. Today while setting a form I ran out of spacing in the drawer and reached for some other 10pt spacing to fill in the, well space, only to find 10pt spacing too big. Perplexed I grabbed some 8pt spacing but it was too small.

At any rate, having never seen a 9pt font I thought I’d ask here if anyone knew what the deal may be?

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Yes, 9 pt. type does exist. Your font is probably well over 100 years old and was cast before sizes were standardized. Before standardization, body sizes differed from foundry to foundry. By today’s standards, I have very old fonts which equate to sizes like 17 1/2 pt., etc.

The general rule for dealing with spacing for them is to go with the next smaller standard size. Not ideal, but you obviously can’t go larger.


Without going to my reference books, I “think” the standardization was adopted sometime after the Great Chicago Fire. Several foundries were destroyed in that fire and it was a good time to try to get standardization started as they all had to be rebuilt from scratch.

18 point en quad turned sideways?

[edit] Nah, Rick is spot on.

Thanks Rick. Bummer is the set is HUGE—in great shape— but only has 10 quads! Perhaps I’ll see if I can get someone to make spacing. Thanks for the info!

David, I decided to just try the 18pt on it’s side today. It works perfect! Thanks for mentioning it.