First post! - Is this a good deal? Typeface

Hi everyone! I am new at posting here, but been following you guys for a while. I am in the process of acquiring a 10x15 c&p, and I have been searching for some type so I can start using my new press…

I came across this CL ad with random lead. -

Is this worth looking into? or is it overpriced? What should I offer for it?

Thanks for you time guys!

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Seems to be gone already!

hmm, I still see it.. I actually contacted him and here what he has:

Box of bulk letterpress type. I believe it’s goudy font. $50
(box is 8.5 x 8.5 x 5”, weights approx 40lbs).

Green type box with set of type (upper & lowercase) $30 including box.

Two small trays of borders and spacers. $60 including trays.

Large green type case (33”x 16.5”) $35.

Two California Job cases. $60 each including borders/spacers in case.

$260 FIRM takes it ALL (Cash only please).

I’d be cautious, since now days deep impression is the thing to do.. (very bad — presses weren’t designed for hard hitting and they are very old metal). Could be smashed or wore out.

Looks like a pretty overpriced package to me. The two 2/3 cases, one double cap case and one California case, under the blue 3-drawer cardboard box (“large green type case”) would probably be worth at most $20 each and the metal in them may or may not be useable type. The “large green type case” I would consider basically worthless unless it contains gold. The two dingbat cases might together be worth $50 if the contents are desirable, rare, and in good condition — but they don’t look like that in the photos. The cardboard box full of pi, at $1.20 per pound if the weight is right, may be useable type or may be scrap. If it’s a nice font of Goudy OS that could be worth the price of $50, but you first have to sort it into a California case. The quad case in the background would be useful if you had a lot of fonts of various sizes and needed more quads than their cases would hold — but it’s empty and MAYBE worth $10. To me the total value of that lot would be about $50 to $100 max.


Not a $260 package by any stretch of the imagination. Out of that lot, the most valuable things are the cases.

I’d say $100 would be pushing it, better to keep looking for a better deal.

If the Goudy is complete and in good shape, then it’s easily worth $50. But that’s a big if.

Otherwise I would advise you to wait until you find a better deal. You can get some very good deals on type - if the typeface isn’t too rare and you are willing to bargain.

If you have the cash, you might also consider buying a couple of starter sets from M and H Type:


You might want to try refreshing your browser- when I click that ad it say it was deleted.

Going off thread a little here but I have a query for posters upthread who used the name ‘Goudy’ for a font with no additional qualifiing words, and the one poster who equated it with Goudy Old Style. Does this imply that ‘Goudy’ automatically equals Goudy Old Style in the US?

Here in the UK F.W.Goudy’s various faces (plus the type company designed faces that bore his name but were not actually designed by him) were nothing like as popular as in the US. Perhaps this causes UK printers to use the full names of each of his faces (and the type company designed faces named after him).

I ask because we have a particular regard for Goudy’s designs and our house faces are Goudy Old Style + italic, and Goudy Text (both quite uncommon in the UK). We also have oddments of other Goudy faces such as Goudy Bold and Pabst Olsstyle (the last being rare in the UK), and collect occasional other examples as they come our way.

An excellent illustration of how uncommon Goudy’s type designs were / are in the UK is to compare Jaspert Berry & Johnson (the UK equivalent of McGrew) with McGrew: the former has only a modest selection of his designs whereas the latter is much more comprehensive. Monotype were the main distributor of his designs in the UK.

Its a pity that it costs so much to ship type from the US to the UK!

So, does ‘Goudy’ automatically equal Goudy Old Style in the US?

Speaking of the top of my head, I would agree with you. Many in the US refer to Goudy Old Style as Goudy because it is perhaps one of the more available fonts he designed. It is unfortunate however as he also created Goudy Text, Goudy Thirty, Goudy Modern and more. Kennerley, Pabst, Packard, Califorian or California Old Style and Italian Old Style are some of the others of over 100. Pabst and Packard are hard to find in the US also.

Ah! Thanks longdaypress! It’s interesting to learn that Goudy Old Style is the quintessential F.W.Goudy face in the US due to being the most available of his designs. None of Goudy’s designs sold widely in the UK. This probably reelcts the specifically American feel to most of them. Goudy Old Style was one of the relatively better sellers. Goudy Catalogue may have sold better in the UK but it’s Goudy-inspired rather than a genuine Goudy design (Morris F.Benton designed it for ATF as a medium weight face to complement Goudy Old Style).

Packard was an ATF adaptation of an Oswald Cooper design, not a Goudy design. Packard Bold (also ATF) bears some resemblance to Pabst Oldstyle but has a more hand-drawn feel. Goudy Extra Bold (designed by Benton for ATF, not by Goudy himself) somewhat resembles Cooper Black and Packard Bold - were you possibly thinking of this when you typed ‘Packard’?

Goudy in his autobiography listed116 designs in all but a few were never commercially cast, and a few were cast only in small volumes or were limited to specific users.

I was intrigued to learn that Pabst (I presume you mean Pabst Oldstyle; there was also a Pabst Extra Bold that resembed Cooper Black) is uncommon in the US - this makes it all the more surprising that it was marked in the UK at all.

Various current US type casters offer an enticing range of Goudy designs and of Goudy-inspired designs but I’ve so far resisted the temptation to try and ‘complete the set’!

I’ll step in here and say that Pabst Oldstyle is not that hard to find here in the US and in fact the Monumental Type Foundry in St. Louis (Bob Magill) has cast some in the past few years. And perhaps (?) still has some fonts in stock.

Of special interest to those interested in type is the fact that there are TWO versions of Pabst Oldstyle that are cast in metal. ATF first offered Pabst Oldstyle, as designed by Goudy, in 1902. Ten years later Monotype cut its own version and offered it also. The two are distinctly different.

In the Monotype version, the capitals are significantly narrower and the lowercase is a lot wider! A truly bizarre departure.


Yes, Rick, when looking Pabst Oldstyle up in McGrew, I noticed the significant difference in measure between the ATF and Monotype versions, and the seeming inversion of measure of lower case in proportion to upper case between the two companies’ versions. Being located in the UK, we inevitably have the Monotype version. I prefer the wide measure of the Monotype lower case but concur with you that it would sit more appropriately with the ATF upper case.

McGrew’s illustration seems to show a lower case ‘t’ misaligned on the body in the Monotype version. Our Monotype font has a ‘t’ that aligns with the other letters, confirming that the version illustrated in McGrew has an error of some sort.

Thanks for pointing out the two versions!