Goudy Cloister Initials

Are the matrices for Goudy Cloister Initials still in existence and is anybody producing type? I would dearly love a set of these in a large size 36 to 72pt however have yet to see even one letter appear anywhere for sale. The best I have been able to obtain have been a couple of poor quality stereotypes that print very badly on my Alexandra press.

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Some of the mats went to the Smithsonian. I don’t know what is available through the Dale Guild, but they don’t do anything as large as 72 point.
Giampa did digitize them as complex eps files. P22, who now markets Giampa’s “Lanston Type Company” work, has simplified the designs as a digital font:
http://www.p22.com/lanston/goudyinitials.html

The 72 point Barth caster hasn’t been run in years and likely will never be run again. It still has a 72 point Cloister initial Z in the channel where the mould ejects through the trimming knives- the last character Edward cast on the machine before he passed away.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress/The Dale Guild
Brooklyn, NY

That is quite fitting really that a Z is still in the guys machine seeing as he is now sleeping !

Indianapolis Electrotype (the last?) is gone isn’t it? A pristine set of 72 Cloister initials would be worth electrotyping.

How much would a complete set be worth?

Indianapolis Electrotype closed seven years ago. I have been in contact recently with Phil Johnson who was one of the owners and he is working on restoring a C&P 8x12. Other than that, no more new electrotypes. Both Dale Guild and M&H Type have been experimenting with making electrotypes for type casting, but that’s a whole different application. I saw an initial electro at M&H recently and it was pretty impressive. The younger guys seem willing to try out the old techniques and that may be the hope for continuing availability of cast type, but not the 72 pt Cloister Initials.

Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the chances of finding a set of large Cloister initials is pretty slim. Perhaps the holy grail of type? There are digital versions but I really don’t want to go down the polymer plate avenue. With a hand press I aim to stay with type and traditional techniques.

I imagine that if anyone ever did cast new type they would be knocked over in the rush to buy. Massie initials are very nice (and I am going to get a couple of sets of those) but they pale by comparison to Cloister.

Another route is to use the digital versions to make plates in copper or magnesium/zinc and saw them to exact size to use as loose type. You will probably end up with a much more rugged piece than the original typemetal versions.

It puts one to wonder when some enterprising typecaster will build something that can cast 72 pt (or whatever) with the effectiveness of a pivotal caster, but in a safer design. Since I don’t cast on anything more complicated than a linecaster, I won’t say how practical that might be.

I wouldn’t turn down a copper photoengravings from a digital file or a good repro proof. I have a full set of the 72 point initials, but am sure at least two characters have dings. I don’t have the two-color tint blocks either (those that are reversed for the character, do have the solid blocks).
The problem with the current P22 offering is that they simplified the design. Might be OK for 36 point, but at 120 point?

Alan Waring has the 72 point solid tint blocks for the Cloister initials in his eBay store. These don’t have the letter knocked out, but are just a solid type high 72 point quad. Looking at the 1923 ATF specimen, this was the only tint block available.

http://bit.ly/x35SVM

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

I made scans from a printed set way back, I just checked, I still have the complete eps files. Tint blocks are easy to do.

This can be made into polymerplate, mounted type high. Or with some patience and time I can cut the mat and cast it on Ludlow.

image: Cloister A.jpg

Cloister A.jpg

@fritz1. How can I get in touch with PHIL Johnson? I am interested in buying a bewel clamp saw and I heard that he might have some of them for sale. Thank you! [email protected].

There is a set (48 pts) on eBay:

http://tinyurl.com/c2s4z2k

I have a full set of the Lanston eps files that I obtained from Gerald about 9 years ago. These can be scaled without loss of resolution. If somebody is interested in making metal versions, perhaps these files would be of use.

Robishepherd,
I would be interested in having those emailed over to me if you don’t mind. I want to see how etching on a zinc plate will work out.

I can be reached through Briarpress of course :)

This might come in a bit late for this subject but it would seem the Typofix or Taylor single letter casters might be just the thing to salvage a few sorts of this rare font.If you can get hold of either of these two little gadgets you might be able to replicate them. See my earlier posting on the typofix for photos.
I have at last found one of these units and the owners have agreed to lend it to me for testing. I’ll post some pictures when I have had a try of it.

I am not at all familiar with the Typofix or Taylor single letter casters, but I find it hard to imagine that they could deal with a 72 pt. character. At that size, it becomes a very different animal. Theo had such a difficult time casting 72 pt. characters that he simply gave up and refused to do it anymore. Rick Hopkins also cast 72 pt. Cloister Initials many years ago (I think on a Monotype Supercaster?) and I recall him saying that it was a difficult proposition to properly get that much metal into the mold without having hollow spots and bubbles inside. In fact, I remeber him selling fonts at a discount because he couldn’t guarantee the solidity of the body of each cast character.

I am by no means well versed on the typecasting process, but this is a factor that does ring a bell with me.

Rick

Really, a sorts caster is just not going to cast anything approaching the quality of what ATF did at any size, but especially in display sizes. Best thing would be an electrotype (which aren’t available anymore), or a copper photoengraving (which are).

Attached a picture of cast letter which I used to cast on a Supercaster in germany in the 80’s.

On a Foundry caster you have such a tremendous pressure requirement to cast a clean 72 body.

You won’t be able to pull it off with a Taylor.

Having it done in etched metal and mounting it on typemetal for typehigh would be a way to go.

Finally the image

image: Supercaster.png

Supercaster.png

to Typenut

Thank you for pics of Monotype from Supercaster.
At the daily newspaper where I worked, we were using similar product, up to 72 point. Severe problem, stereotyping resulted in a sink in the face, we cut some samples, found there was an air bubble just under the face.

Anyone else had that problem? — thankfully more than 40 years in the past for us! [Replaced with Nebitype and Elrod.] But a general understanding of casting principles may be of help if a similar problem crops up.

The compositors did not do the casting of the single types, that was the task of the engineers; but the stereotyper suffered the bruised fingers from stamping type-characters into the flong. Should he have used some kind of tongs and a mallet?

[I like to encourage people to think basics, sometimes a solution emerges.]

Alan.

to Typenut

Thank you for pics of Monotype from Supercaster.
At the daily newspaper where I worked, we were using similar product, up to 72 point. Severe problem, stereotyping resulted in a sink in the face, we cut some samples, found there was an air bubble just under the face.

Anyone else had that problem? — thankfully more than 40 years in the past for us! [Replaced with Nebitype and Elrod.] But a general understanding of casting principles may be of help if a similar problem crops up.

The compositors did not do the casting of the single types, that was the task of the engineers; but the stereotyper suffered the bruised fingers from stamping type-characters into the flong. Should he have used some kind of tongs and a mallet?

[I like to encourage people to think basics, sometimes a solution emerges.]

Alan.

Does anyone else (other than the two already posted) have the EPS for Goudy Cloister? I would be interested in getting a copy of them!

Brian

I have an eps file, send me an email [email protected]

Wow. I had no idea that these initial caps were so rare.

We are working on redrawing the Cloister Initials (LTC Goudy Initials) so they are closer to the originals and can hold up at very large sizes. We will also be offering layered versions for multi-color options.

The more relevant part of this is that in looking for source artwork, we went down the road of “what if” and may well be arranging a casting of 120pt. Cloister Initials. If anyone is interested, please let me know. This will likely be a one time limited casting and quantity will depend on the level of interest.

More details on this project soon…

image: 120pt Clositer Initials Mats

120pt Clositer Initials Mats

The casting has started for the 120 point Cloister Initials. Pre-orders are being accepted until
June 25th https://www.p22.com/merchandise-Cloister_initials

For more info: https://www.behance.net/gallery/17665337/Casting-Metal-Type-Cloister-Ini...

That’s very cool! I hope you find some buyers. I truly wish I had the money for a set. Good luck on the project!

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Looks like a great project. The 120 pt version is magnificent. I scanned the page out of the 1917 supplement to the 1912 American Specimen Book of Type Styles and it is here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/14246893128/

and this shows the detail that is lacking in P-22’s “simplified” version available digitally. There is a subtle shift in pricing in the past 97 years, but that is a trifle.

Fritz