Commisioning Wooden Type

Hi, I am trying to start up a Press just outside of Canberra in Australia. And ideally i would like to work with wooden type. at 36pt the typefaces I am interested in are Univers, Futura and Gill Sans. Does anyone know someone who makes wooden type that i can commission to make me a set? And what price range I am looking at?

Thanks, Millan

Log in to reply   10 replies so far

I take it you have just won the national lottery. :)

haha, @platenprinter i was just informed at how expensive the wooden type is. I was given a beautiful furnival letterpress.

If you are looking for 36pt type, metal is probably the way to go. All the typefaces you mentioned are available in metal, which will be a lot cheaper than wood.

There are a small number of people who make new wood type, but 36 pts is very small for wood type and it seems a waste of resources given the availability of metal founts.

You could try these guys.

Melbourne Printing Museum will cast you new metal type (looks like they have the typefaces you mentioned) and post it to you, or maybe you’d like to make the trip? Have a look at their website:

Hope this helps!

Thanks heaps for the heads up guys, @blueberi ill check tu the Melbourne Printing Museum good tip

M P L Very brave first quest, (not so much *toe in the water* more like jumping in at the deep end without a lifesaver) but full marks for the *outside the box* thinking.
One or Two little tips/gimmicks, so that you dont give up too quick, when you learn? a lot of others do as well, hang in there.!!
As Kimaboe implies, Generally, at least here in U.K. (with a few exceptions) Wood Type/Poster Type was only cut from 72 point (6 line) upwards, there was virtually no upper limit, i.e. in our Museum Print Shop, there is letters at least 18” high, Maths D I Y? some still printable on the Columban Press.!!
Before the final demise of L/Press, there was being produced, founts of wood based type, End Grain, Hardwood, BUT faced with plastic, about 1/8” thickness to Type High, performed perfectly on virtually every thing, from Arab Platens up to Wharfedale Cylinders.!!
There are a few (maybe more) here in U.K. experimenting with reproducing wood type, (Inc Myself) 2 stumbling blocks, (A) end grain hardwood(s) are a little hard to source, (B) a few of us have, Printers precision saws, with Routing attatchments, mine included BUT lacking Pantograph facilities, as yet.???
We can produce perfect *slab sided Sans Serif images* from perfect height, end grain, hardwood, the router works perfectly as a planer/thicknesser, (still with 8 fingers & 2 thumbs, so far) the last *inner Apex of cap *A* etc are finished by hand, not perfect but as good (possibly) as original well used wood letter, without cracks,! which to some was the Charm?? etc.
M P L as your original quest was to try to run with traditional Wood Letter, persevere a little, I am sure some 2 years or more ago I briefly spoke with, one or two of your Countrymen, re wood letter, repro, They were possibly teasing me and others about *Oz* Hardwoods.??
Resort to Metal type if you have To, evetually. Good Luck, Mick..

Hey Mick,

Thanks heaps for your help. Ill try to keep the dream alive with the wooden type. But i think for the moment i may have to slide and settle for lead. Just to get Raspincho Press of the ground.

However in the future for the press i hope to be setup to do broadsheet poster sized letterpress work. So have no fear there will be room for large wooden type soon.

again thanks for your help, im only new to BriarPress and am very impressed by the response to my question.its nice to know an international letterpress community exists that is so happy to share their knowledge with the younger and in experienced of us. as a 22 year old about to take a passionate gamble in the world of the traditional letterpress printing of artist books. Responses like yours is very reassuring.

Many thanks,

Millan, well done for standing at the bottom of a steep learning curve with The TOP in sight,!!! It really is a terrific kick when you pull your first impression, on a letterpress machine, wether it be a baby Adana, Sigwalt, Kelsey, or a bigger Poster press, invariably older than the learner, a good % age of the *new ones* seem to be impressed or brainwashed into Deep impression, Rubbish stock, (i.e. blotting paper in disguise?) and Photo polymer plates, etc.on Beautiful Machines from another age, some times Ancient & Modern meet sucessfully, but after reading so many posts implying to the contrary, some question, will it ever be good, perhaps the modern day Designers, Typograhers, Layout Artists, etc. should ascertain the Limitations of Authentic Letterpress.??
Example:- with all the will in the world, but without the computor knowing the limitations of L/press machines, and without info which is reasonably well documented that, overall impresson area is generally only about 60/65% of chase size and that *kiss impression* on letterpress was the *norm* NOT smashing it through the stock, BRAILLE was invented for that.
Some machines, designed and built many years after the birth of Kelsey,s Sigwalts etc etc.were/are capable of Crash Numbering, Deep impression, Cutting/Creasing, Perfing, Embossing etc. but, as in the case of H/berg Platens, have Safety Devices (shear collars) for this very reason.? How many times do we see, the *Senior Citizens* of the L/Press world with busted castings, broken handles etc, who should shoulder the responsibility and the blame.???
Millan, apologies for the Epistle, if I bring down a Holocaust on my head , fear not, everybody may learn something.!!!
You will have to sort *the Wheat from Chaff* Hang in there, assimilate everything, work out what is best for your chosen route,
My Alleged, (possibly) niche is Monotype, I convinced myself that I knew a bit, perhaps, I blew in Bawling at the outbreak of WW II “”” last year A lady came into our Museum Print Shop, Amberley, Sussex U.K,!! Ten Yrs. ahead of me, worked on Sub Assemblies for Monotype Machines, 70 years ago,!!! After 1&1/2 hours they, had to tear us apart , The Lady to catch up with her kinfolk in the Museums, Cafe, and Myself to demo, the *Monotype* running >>> Millan, that is the sort of devotion and knowledge that is dissapearing far too quickly, (the Lady,s) not mine, needs to go onward, Hang in there, pass it on, S A P, if only 1% of the Alleged membership of B. P. pick up on it, that will be excellent.
Again Good luck, Mick.

Millan Pintos -Lopez I had Virgin Wood Type cut 3 sizes of Rugged/ Neuland last year which I thought was very affordable and reasonable for these times. best james