|My friend Evan looks over the Kelmscott|
Chaucer during a visit to the
San Francisco Library's Rare Book Collection
|Two page spread of the Chaucer|
|Detail from one illustration in the Chaucer|
One of the other books that we were shown was a Specimen Book from The American Type Founders Company. This book would be sent out to printers so they could see what fonts ATF had and order them. Basically, this was an advertisement for type, albeit one that was a little larger than a big city phone book!
ATF and William Morris were rivals, and Morris would not license his fonts to the ATF Co. But Morris' designs were extremely popular, and ATF wasn't going to let a little thing like licensing get in the way of a huge profit. So ATF would just create "look-alike" fonts and embellishments for their clients to order. Being British, Morris had no claim on the American reproductions although he wrote them scathing letters and did contact his barristers. Even back then, "knock offs" existed.
|The ATF Co. Specimen book|
|Detail of the inside of the ATF Specimen Book,|
featuring Wm. Morris "look alike" fonts