Hell Roarin' Print Shop

Hell Roarin' Print Shop
1897 Chandler & Price at the Museum's Print Shop

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Type Twofers

Wood type will sometimes come with a two-for-one deal. This means that occasionally a letter (which usually has a flat back) will actually have another letter on its back or sometimes even an image. These have been coined Type Twofers and they are a fun thing to discover.

Most type, according to Hatch Show Print, "will not be carved on both sides, mainly because if a letter was needed, it would just be ordered as a sort from the type manufacturer, or, one of the designers could carve a sort using a piece of the type-high wood that was always on hand (for designing poster imagery)."

I own a set of wood type that came with 3 type twofers.

O=5, ffi=N, H=A
I feel no preciousness to this font because it's actually quite banged up and I've had to make great efforts for it print, mostly because a lot of the letters are not type high (0.918"). So when I needed one more "e" in order to spell something correctly, it was not heart wrenching to pick a letter that was the same width and carve my own. If it was a nicer set/font I probably would not carve it on the back of a letter, but would grab a piece of linoleum and make it that way. 

I chose an "S" to carve the new "e" in. The green tape is to bump up the original "e" to type high.

In the process of carving it. 

Final result, it ended up printing OK
I definitely did not match the "e" with the finesse that the original had, but it worked for the print I was doing!

If you would like to see more examples of twofers you can search Instagram for #typetwofers


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