Printer’s gatherings

There is a posting in the Classifieds section under Sticky dated May 3 that talks about the upcoming Amalgamated Printers’ Association Wayzgoose in Phoenix, AZ.

I would highly recommend this to anyone that could possibly get there. The comradery, discussions, swap meet, auction, etc are simply unsurpassed for a letterpress good time. There will even be a Sunday visit to the Skyline Type Foundry in Prescott. Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be a member to attend.

I will be leading a discussion group on Friday and my subject will be Morris Fuller Benton - Type Designer, Fact or Fiction? I lean heavily in the direction that he probably designed little, if any, of the typefaces credited to him. That should be enough to stir the pot and tweek your interest.

Check it out if you are able. It usually just doesn’t get any better than this.

Rick von Holdt
The Foolproof Press

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Foolproof546, Do you know of the book by Patricia Cost.
“The Bentons” 2011 james


Yes. And you should also know about the more recent book by Juliet Shen. Juliet’s flaw is that she has assumed that MFB actually designed all of the faces credited to him. She even assumes what his thought patterns were. How interesting since there is not a scrap of evidence to show that MFB ever single-handedly designed a single face. He oversaw a large design department and there were specific procedures and committees to move typeface design through the ATF system. Juliet often wonders why MFB was given so little credit in his lifetime. In fact, MFB was NEVER accepted as, or given credit for, being a typeface designer by his peers.

But why spoil a good discussion before it happens? I don’t think I’ll need body armor.

Just one little point to make. The reason that MFB is officially listed as the designer of so many ATF faces on their pattent applications is that they were inevitably produced by a whole team of people and since Benton headed the department, it was ATF’s policy to list him as the designer.


Shen’s book would seem to be available in two forms:

In a printed edition for $450:

One copy is currently listed for sale online (by Powell’s Chicago, at that price).

As submitted for her M.A. thesis, as a PDF for free:

David M.