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Doug Wilson


Doug Wilson
Last Active
  • Re: Merchant of Alphabets

    You can find more about Reginald Orcutt's activities in this book: Paradigms Lost: The Life and Deaths of the Printed Word by William J. Sonn, though it appears that, by and large, it reiterates much from Merchant of Alphabets. An entire set of galleys is available on Google Books.
    This is great background information -- thanks!"reginald+orcutt"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjgsv3bxrrRAhVLr1QKHfQFDywQ6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q="reginald orcutt"&f=false 
  • Re: TYPE "A Magazine for People Curious About Fonts"

    Is it tactless to ask how much the subscription rate is going to be?

    Not tactless. We haven't officially set the annual price but want to make sure it is affordable. Likely in the $30 USD range.
  • TYPE "A Magazine for People Curious About Fonts"

    I'm excited to announce that Roger Black and I have launched a website/blog for our new publication "TYPE."

    This website is just the beginning of our plans. From our "About" page:

    TYPE is a quarterly print magazine and website that exists to inform and delight with stories from the world of typography and design. TYPE is a new publication for people who love fonts, typography, calligraphy, lettering, sign painting—letterforms of all kinds.

    Our focus is on the people behind the letterforms. We’ll tell their stories, and have some fun along the way. We are as enthralled by the future of typography as we are of the past. TYPE will talk about current trends, best practices, and the inspirational past with wit, charm, and a bit of a critical eye.

    This website will be updated daily and the first, printed issue of TYPE will be released in Spring 2017.


    I'm sure some are asking: "What happened to 'Typographics' that Roger announced back in June 2016?" and TYPE is what "Typographics" has become. We decided to change the name to make it more inclusive and to clear up any confusion between the conference (which we still support) and the magazine. 

    Part of what makes TYPE unique is that we are completely independent of any foundry, organization, conference, or school. This independence means that we can write about type and design without any conflicts of interest or need to lean towards a specific line of thought. Of course, we will have sponsors and advertisers but no one controls the editorial content.


    Our goal with TYPE is to make a magazine about the people in the type community but not get lost in the "type-nerd" world too much. We want our audience to not only be type-nerds but also people that use type and want to learn more such as graphic designers and web designers. So, less technical manual and more personal stories.

    Of course, knowing the TypeDrawers community, I'm sure we won't be in-depth enough for some of you but I hope you take a look at our website and sign up for a free copy of the first printed issue. If you have something that you would like to share (an upcoming release, designers using type in a unique way, etc.) feel free to send me a message at:

  • Re: Merchant of Alphabets

    An update (for those of you following along): I emailed Penguin Randomhouse (who now owns Knopf, which owns Doubleday Doran) and they said the following: 

    "We don't seem to hold any rights to this title, but it was published by Jarrold Publishing (UK) after us, you should try them."

    So, I've sent off another email to see if Jarrold has anything on it.
  • Merchant of Alphabets

    A few years ago (due to my research for "Linotype: The Film) I came across the book "Merchant of Alphabets" by Reginald Orcutt. It is a fascinating book published in 1945 about Orcutt's work and travels selling Linotypes around the world.

    As you can read in the attached image, he visited at least 77 countries in the first half of the 20th century and tells great stories of travel, adventure, and includes a bit of typographic history. I am personally fascinated by his description of travel in the days of steamships, clippers, and telegrams.

    The book is an auto-biography written in the charming, old-timey style of a travelogue. Orcutt comes across as an ambassador of Mergenthaler Linotype in the classiest of sense of the term.

    Anyway, I'm considering trying to publish the whole book online, just for fun and to share with others.

    A few questions:

    1 - Is anyone interested in this subject or book?

    2 - Would you read a chapter per week as some sort of series of posts?

    3 - Where should I publish something like this? Medium? Personal blog (which I don't have)?

    4 - Any idea of issues with copyright? The book was published in 1945 by Doubleday, Doran and Company (which has now merged with Knopf). It is not on Google Books as far as I can tell.

    Please be honest either way -- I'm not going to get offended if no one is interested. Maybe it is dumb idea, who knows?