Wednesday, November 11, 2015

After A Century a Celebrated Typeface Reemerges From The Thames

The Doves Press type recovered from the River Thames
(photograph by Sam Armstrong, via Typespec)

Since its founding in 1900, the Doves Press adhered to a simple, elegant type that was commissioned in1899 from celebrated punchcutter Edward Prince. But when the partnership of Emery Walker and T. J. Cobden-Sanderson collapsed bitterly in 1909 Cobden-Sanderson made about 170 secret trips during which he dumped 2600 pounds of their collaborative brand’s type in the River Thames. He wrote: “It is my wish that the Doves Press type shall never be subjected to the use of a machine other than the human hand, in composition, or to a press pulled otherwise than by the hand and arm of man or woman.”

Detail of the the Doves Press type sifted from the Thames, with a stray bullet (via Typespec)

However, nearly a century later 150 pieces of the lost Doves Press type were recovered by divers late last year.
The updated digital facsimile of the Doves Press type is available at Typespec.

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