Anyone know the name of this Italic typeface?

Hello all - wondering if anyone knows the name of this typeface. I checked in a few catalogs and the closest I came was Cloister Old Style Italic and Goudy Cursive…but no luck. Thanks for your help in tracking it down!

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Image didn’t attach - here it is!

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That lc “y” ought to be diagnostic — I’ve never seen one like that before. The problem is finding a specimen book with full alphabets.


The “y” really is distinctive! I haven’t seen anything like it, either - and none of the specimen books I have shown it.


Several other characters have the distinctive tail which is shown on the l.c. “y”, but are shown in two alternative styles.

Certainly makes an attractive fount,


The type definitely has “Goudyesque” qualities, in some of the lowercase and cap characters, but I haven’t been able to locate it in my lists.


Look to European foundry specimens. I doubt you will find the German alternate l.c.”r” cast at many American foundries.
And as much as Goudy used the swash, he didn’t invent it.

The inclusion of the “pound” sign also indicates that this is a European font.


This has all the hallmarks of a late 1960s to late 1970s design. Unfortunately my British type catalogues tail off in the late 1960s just a little too late to potentially show this design.

Some of the alternative lower case forms are very script-like - note the ‘r’ and ‘w’ especially.

Parallel_imp - I concur, there is a strong suggestion in this face of European influence.

Seabornpress - this style of descender on lower case ‘y’ is not infrequently seen on mid twentieth century Dutch and German faces.

I’ve trawled Jaspert, Berry & Johnson, Stephenson Blake down to 1969 (my youngest catalogue) British Monotype derivatives such as Riscatype down to the late 1960s (ditto) and drawn a blank.

The face lacks the slight asymetry of Cooper Black - the apparent similarity owes much to the weight of the face than to the letter forms. A closer comparison might be drawn with Bookman Bold italic (Miller & Richard).

The abundance of spirals in the swashes is, I feel, a hallmark of what were at the time very contemporary designs brought out in the early and mid 1970s. Most had a very short commercial life due to being too rigidly ‘on-fashion’ (thus rapidly falling from use as fashion changed) and due to the obsolescence of letterpress. Consequently, one would need to have catalogues from just the right few years to confirm the identity and origin of this face. An example would be Loose New Roman bt Schaedler -

Seabornpress - what is the form of the nick and are there any pin marks?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think this is a very clumsy interpretation of a Caslon or Old Face type. The alternate characters are lacking uniformity with the rest of the characters, and the swash letters are extremely forced - kind of like they were just tacked on to existing characters. The figures are simply awful, the 4 and 7 look like they are from an entirely different font. It shares no characteristics with Cooper Black or the lighter-faced Cooper, and the only character that looks similar to Bookman is the cap R. It is a mash-up of type design and looks like the designer picked characteristics of a number of different types and tried to squeeze them all into one.


The Free Presse : Here’s a photo from the side of the nick(s) - there are no pin marks that I could find, unfortunately.

Thanks for your help so far, everyone! I don’t have any European specimen books so I hit a bit of a dead end there. I didn’t realize this would be quite so hard to figure out, thought I was just missing an obvious one like usual!

image: P6130924.jpg


Thanks for the photo seabornpress. It doesn’t remind me of any obvious UK foundries’ nicks, further suggesting it may be European.

Seabornpress and all

The style of digits (numbers) shown here is sometimes referred to as “lower-case”. 123456 is, obviously, “upper-case”. I prefer the “upper-case”, being easier to read (unlike alphabet), but it may be simply familiarity. I was startled the first time I saw this style of numerals, not aligning horizontally. I like the fount.


Interesting note about the digits - does anyone know of some large European foundries whose specimen books I might look through to attempt an ID? I don’t even know where to begin.

Alan -
There are two styles of numerals, lining and non-lining. The lining are all equal height and are the most common. The non-lining as shown in this font are actually easier to read when set en-masse as in a financial statement or directory, etc.

And - much classier I might add.


The non-lining style is sometimes referred to as “ranging”, and actually look much better when set along with text in a document or book page. The lining numerals just shout at you when set amongst type lines in lowercase.

John Henry

Rich Hopkins (who in addition to his work as a typefounder and private press printer has been a commercial printer all his life) wrote of these figures and their nomenclature in his “Typographic Curiosities No. 17 - A New Look at the Proper Use of Numerals” (2007). If you can find it, it’s a charming little booklet well worth having.

Summarizing it briefly, he discovered that while he had always understood “ranging” in the same sense that John Henry described above, when he actually dug a little deeper he could find only evidence for the OPPOSITE usage. In particular, examples from the instructional literature of English Monotype indicate “ranging” for all-in-a-line and “non-ranging” for at-various-levels. He was unable to find an example from the published American literature to support what he had always thought to be the standard American usage.

Indeed, he found such a confusion of terminology with these and other terms that he says that in his own usage he now avoids the issue and confines himself to entirely different terms (“titling” for the figures which line up evenly, and “text” for those which do not).

(He then continues with a fine little study of the the typographical niceties of using both of these styles of figures, at times in the same work.)

David M.

Just to add to the confusion, in modern (digital) typeface creation, the numbers that are all on a shared baseline with identical heights, etc. are usually called tabular or lining figures and the ones that have parts descending or ascending and differing heights are called proportional or old-style. Personally, I think tabular and proportional are quite good descriptions of them based on usage.

One little addition, re Lining and Non Lining figures, Until redundancy I worked for Ditchling Press, (Successor To St. Dominic,s Press, And Eric Gill etc) and as My employer was Mr Laurence Pepler Grandson Of H.D.C. and Confidante/Partner, (or whatever I know not) of Eric Gill!!! On occasions, upon ordering a specific range of Diecases, from the Corporation (Monotype) in Redhill Surrey, was, enclosed advice, re alternative figures Lining/Non lining availability for specific type faces, with reference to their relationship to the “x” height of the typeface in question. It was of not much significance, then or now!? I only cast the type to the spec as per the Job Docket!!! BUT on several occasions was able to visit the Corporation in Redhill including the Drawing Office and assumed that as Pictures of Eric Gill, and many other,s were metaphorically keeping an eye on things, Ditchling Press was used as a Guinea Pig or a sales pitch!!!! I DEFINATELY DO NOT remember myself or the other shift, Caster Operator, getting a penny a week raise in pay, thats for sure, for field trials etc ???>> H.D.C.and Eric???still hoping, For a couple of Groats, or the odd Sovereign or 2, or just the odd 1943 Penny, would do nicely Sir!!!

Let’s get back to the original querry to find the name of this typeface. Too many threads lately seem to be getting hijacked and end up way off topic.

I looked through all of my European sources (I don’t have a large selection, but can usually find most European faces) but didn’t even come close to finding this.

I agree with everything that The Free Press posted above. I also do not recognize the nick locations shown in the second photo. Perhaps if someone in Europe could confirm which foundry cast that particular nick placement, it would be a good start to further slueth out this face.


I’ve just acquired a copy of The ATF Desk Book from 1901… and there on Pages 232-233b is a thing with that distinctive ‘y’ and the swirly alternative caps - and it is called Touraine Old Style Italic. It doesn’t appear quite as bold as the image (but that could be a function of the printing or reproduction of the photograph) - and the $ has two slashes through it instead of the one in the specimen. The number of pound signs and lack of accents makes me think the font is of English or British Commonwealth origin rather than ‘European’. Perhaps a version from there of the ATF font?

What a splendid identification! Thanks. And your intuition that the type might be English in its origin seems to be confirmed by the evidence.

Touraine doesn’t seem to appear in the 1893 through 1897 ATF specimens which have been digitized (and I don’t think it is in the 1892, though that one doesn’t have an index). It does appear in the 1898 and 1900 Desk Books. These are online at The Hathi Trust (and Google Books). The Hathi catalog record for the 1898 Desk Book is:

and for the 1900:

I’ve assembled PDFs of the Touraine O.S. Italic which are *temporarily * online at:

Somewhere in this posting, tweaked and shrunk down to fit on BriarPress, *should* be images of the pages.

The 1900 showing notes specifically: “Patent applied for in U.S. and registered in England.”

By the 1906 American Line Type Book, it was gone.

David M.

image: atf-1898-502-touraine.jpg


image: atf-1898-503-touraine.jpg


image: atf-1900-282-touraine.jpg


image: atf-1900-283-touraine.jpg


image: atf-1900-284-touraine.jpg


image: atf-1900-285-touraine.jpg


How useful a name is. Touraine O.S. Italic appears in Annenberg’s “Typographical Journey through the Inland Printer” (where he reprints the July 1898 showing; this volume of the IP has not yet been digitized).

If you go to the Google Books advanced search page at:

and enter in the “with the exact phrase” box:

touraine old style italic

You’ll find that it
- was shown in the 1910 Chicago Manual of Style
- was shown in The Printer and Bookmaker for in 1898
(which Google thinks is the Inland Printer and American
Lithographer - but that history is complicated).
- was shown in Vol. 26 of The Inland Printer (in a different
ad entirely)
- was shown in the 1903 Damon & Peets specimen (this is

But there are some differences between this ATF face and the one which started this discussion. I’ll attach the July 1898 showing (via Annenberg). Note the ‘z’, which is quite quirky and not the same as the ‘z’ in the first photograph above.

David M.

image: inland-printer-v021-n4-1898-07-touraine-from-annenberg.jpg


I’ve collected the known (so far) references for ATF’s Touraine O. S. Italic in a slightly more permanent location, at:

None of the specimens give a complete showing, of course - that wasn’t the general practice in this period.

I find I rather like it - it’s just quirky enough.

David M.

I find myself wondering what ligature pairs they may have had. It would be fun to see Crazy or Dizzy set with this font.

Thank you so much for all your sleuthing, everyone!

Touraine Old Style Italic was patented by J.W. Phinney in 1898. Read the full story here:

P.S. The brand-new Type Heritage Chapel [forums] is now in service. Topics are organized for font-by-font discussion of digital revivals, so please drop in and join us!


To leave no stone unturned, the 1950 Penrose Annual has a reference to the typeface Touraine on page 20. This is an entirely different Touraine and unfortunately there is no example of it shown.

Here is a quote from the book - “In France the foundry of Deberny & Peignot have made certain modifications to their Peignot type (on which comments appeared in the 1938 volume of The Penrose Annual). Eight new characters have been provided and the type is called Touraine. It was used to print a French edition of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, a copy of which was shown at this year’s International Exhibition of Book Design. Despite the new characters, this fount is still quite unsuitable for bookwork.”


I’ll be shutting down the computer now and stepping back a hundred years as I will head to Printers’ Hall in Mt. Pleasant to get the shop ready and to help operate it during the Annual Old Threshers Reunion. I won’t be looking at a computer screen again until after Labor Day.



I recently discovered that ATF’s Touraine Italic patented by J.W. Phinney in 1898 looks *exactly* like Couleé Italique Elzevirienne shown by Beaudoire & Cie|Fonderie Générale (Paris) in or before 1896–see for yourself:

The Internet equips type historians with the power to compare digital specimens with matching ones originating elsewhere on Planet Earth.

When personal memorization of field-marks matches one specimen with another, it gets v-e-r-y interesting!


Hi Anna,

The first clue that it was probably “liberated” from an earlier French font is the fact that the ATF specimen page shown above says that it was “Modeled by Jean Goujon, a French artist” and also shows it set in French. A lot of interesting clues and facts can occasionally be gleaned from actually reading the copy on the specimen pages.