Phototype services around the world

We all know US phototype services like PLINC and Solotype, but what phototype services were available in other countries? I found a description of someone ordering phototype in the UK in the 1970's but I can't dig up any records of the existence of UK photptype services. The type that was ordered never appeared in any US phototype catalogs.


  • Florian HardwigFlorian Hardwig Posts: 245
    edited April 2021
    A few services in the UK that come to mind:
    • Photoscript, founded by Robert Norton in 1963. In 1968 at 21 Tower St, London
    • Face Photosetting, started in 1968 by John McConnell and Chris Dubber. Located in c.1969 at 22 Newman St, London. Later named Face Type Ltd. and Face Ronchetti Ltd.
    • Conways, in 1974 at 12/13 Molyneux St, London
    • The Quick Brown Fox Co. Ltd., founded by Tony Mayers in Manchester in 1979. With offices in London and Edinburgh. My understanding is that this company was affiliated with the Typeshop chain started by Brendel & Pabst in Düsseldorf, Germany before 1968.
    I believe these were the main players for display/headline typesetting, but I’m eager to learn more.
    Curious to hear what type the mentioned order was about!
  • Rod MacDonald ran the Lettering Inc franchise in Canada for many years. Otherwise, you can check and see if Headliners, Inc or Lettergraphics ran any international bureaus. I suspect most would've explored a North American territory as most of their fonts didn't contain accents which would've needed to be manually stripped in during the typesetting process.
  • Great list from Florian. Also Filmcomposition in London.
  • Otherwise, you can check and see if Headliners, Inc or Lettergraphics ran any international bureaus.
    As far as West Germany is concerned, Headliners, Inc or Lettergraphics didn’t have any bureaus there. Rather, their range of typefaces was made available under license through local typesetting services. Typically this came with regional exclusivity, e.g. the Headliners program was available in Frankfurt/Main exclusively through Typeshop, while it was offered in Stuttgart from Stulle, and in Hamburg from Lichtsatz Centrum, etc. I assume this was similar for other West European countries, e.g. Conways in London carried faces by Lettergraphics.
  • Studio Hollenstein, Paris.
  • In the booklet, Faces from Letraset, Mike Daines also lists Alphabet among the London houses, but I don’t know anything about that company.

    BTW, just got a set of “Text” books from Filmcomposition and they are very finely made relative to most phototype catalogs. Will be on my Flickr soon, but here’s a Georg Salden snippet.
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