Ludlow Typefaces

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Sooo, I inherited a bunch of Ludlow mats from my father after he passed. A lot of them are scattered or were dumped in a bucket, and I’m having trouble identifying them. Most of the fonts I can identify (but not all of them), and I don’t know how to identify point sizes.

Any suggestions? Thank you!

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Ludlow made a gauge which could be placed alongside the mat which would indicate the point size and reference numbers which could be used to identify the font series of the mats.

I know that someone in recent years reproduced that gauge and the chart for use by folks in identifying mats, but I don’t know if it is still available. Anyone else know if the list is still available?

If no longer available, I’d be willing to make a scan of the original tool which you could print and cut out for use in identifying the mats. It would immediately identify the size, but you’d have to ask here for what the font series codes represent (unless you could obtain the list).

John Henry

Don Black is the one who made a new copy of the mat identifier tool and it’s sold together with the corresponding List

Dave Seat ( and Don Black ( both sell (or sold) reproduction gauges. Both come with a chart which correlates gauge (line) readings to typefaces (though the two tables differ in minor details). The gauge also indicates point size. Don has published his version of this table, along with photographs of his reproduction gauge, at:

It is, in my opinion, well worth acquiring a metal version of the gauge. Last time I checked, the prices that both Dave and Don were asking were quite reasonable when you consider the expense of having a batch of low-volume items of this kind manufactured.

A reprint of one of the hardcover editions of the Ludlow specimen book is available online here:

For a salesman’s-eye view of the matrix fonts available, see the “Confidential Information for Ludlow Salesmen” book, online here:

For historical completeness… The original gauge was Ludlow Tool no. T-4600, in stainless steel. The paper version of this was published by Phil Driscoll, and to the best of my knowledge is no longer available.

David M.

Mr. Henry, thanks for your graciousness in your offer. It is very much appreciated, sir.

Dr. Mohr and Mr. MacMillan, thank you for your leads. Don Black had the the exact item I needed (I followed Mr. MacMillan’s link), and the item was there!

Thank you all for your response! There’s not a lot of resources out there for this type of stuff (pun not intended); it means a lot that you took the time to get this information to me.


Sugar Schultz