Commonwealth

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Roger Seganti 2 years, 7 months ago.

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December 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM #5883

Anna

CommonwealthCommonwealth, an unpatented dual-case “mystery face,” was apparently introduced by the H.C. Hansen TF of Boston [HTF]. No historian known to THP has discussed it, and the earliest known commercial specimen is shown in Hansen’s 1903 catalog.

THP’s Featured Article on John F. Cumming [JFC] establishes that he was the staff punch-cutter for the Dickinson/ATF Boston TF from August 1884¹ until perhaps October 1896. Furthermore, he was the only known punch-cutter in New England after 1891,¹ when Alexander Phemister of DTF retired¹ and Julius Herriet Jr. left the Boston TF and returned to New York.¹·²

This stylized latin did not yet exist when William E. Loy published his research on JFC in July 1898.² The next year, JFC designed, cut and patented Viking#, which he assigned to HTF [USPTO D30916]. Under the circumstances, it is nearly certain that he also cut Commonwealth. Whether he, Ludwig S. Ipsen or someone else designed it may never be known.

¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, Volumes 22-25. June 1898 (Phemister), July 1898 (Cumming), July 1899 (Herriet).
²After JFC left the Boston TF in 1884, BTF employed no staff punch-cutter until 1886, when BTF Agent J.K. Rogers hired Herriet.

Specimens Available

Preliminary view of full charset and commercial specimen
Hard-copy scans of preliminary view, grayscale @1200 dpi


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April 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM #8765

Roger Seganti

If there are no problems I would like to work on this revival. Will keep you updated on the results.
cheers Roger


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April 30, 2014 at 8:08 AM #8808

Anna

Thank you, Roger! Hey, nice avatar!


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May 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM #9020

Roger Seganti

Nearly finished to digitize the basic glyphs in vector shapes of the typeface revival Commonwealth.
I was thinking to call this revival “Communis”, in the meantime just a small update on some information
I was able to put together.

Found another specimen sheet online from the 1909 H.C.Hansen Type Foundry Catalogue;
“A Book of Types, Borders, Ornaments, Brass Rules, Printing Materials & the like
for Printerdom.”
Commonwealth page 136.

Letterpress Typeface Commonwealth

Put all this info together on these 2 pics.

Letterpress Typeface Commonwealth

Letterpress Typeface Commonwealth

Roger


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May 7, 2014 at 3:25 AM #9235

Anna

It looks great, Roger…

… and lot easier to digitize than Argent—it was brave to choose such a difficult job for your first font. Since you persisted with Commonwealth, it seems that you’re “hooked” on revivals!
____

Found another specimen sheet online from the 1909 H.C.Hansen Type Foundry Catalogue; “A Book of Types, Borders, Ornaments, Brass Rules, Printing Materials & the like for Printerdom.”

Annenberg wrote that this specimen book is “rated one of the best that has ever been produced, comparable to the American Typefounders Company and Barnhart Brothers & Spindler.” Please share the link for this famous specimen book! I followed google links for hours and found nothing downloadable.


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May 7, 2014 at 4:47 AM #9251

Roger Seganti

Hi, here is the link for the catalogue;
1909. A Book of Types, Borders, Ornaments,
Brass Rules, Printing Materials & the like
for Printerdom
H.C. Hansen Type Foundry.
Commonwealth page 136.
Fig.4
Downloadable. Utrecht University Library

1909. A Book of Types

roger


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May 7, 2014 at 4:49 AM #9252

Roger Seganti

Finished to vectorize in eps shapes the revival commonwealth, I have called it Communis.

Just the basic glyphs, added a few new characters, will extend with some Latin Supplement
and Latin Extended A/B simply adding the grave and acute to the letters.

Any suggestions for improvement before I start “fonting” with FontCreator is appreciated.

Planned the task this time, so it was fairly easy to extended the family. Had some fun so
I put an artistic touch, and I created a hybrid (got the ispiration from the Gothic Nation typeface)
Communis Nation and Communis Nation Open. Screenshots below;

Communis Regular

Communis Regular

Communis Open

Communis Open

Communis Outlined

Communis Outline

Communis Outlined Bold

Communis Outline Bold

Communis Nation

Communis Nation

Communis Nation Open

Communis NationOpen

Roger


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May 7, 2014 at 8:38 AM #9323

Anna

Bravo, Roger!

THP Partners, please respond to this humble request for guidance from a very promising colleague!

P.S. Thanks so much for the link—I can’t wait to examine this catalog!


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May 7, 2014 at 9:41 PM #9337

Robert

Congratulations on this typeface and expanding into a family especially the last two with the stars and stripes for 3 color work, this gives a patriotic look.
Robert


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May 13, 2014 at 12:11 PM #9496

Roger Seganti

Finished the vector shapes of the commonwealth revival with the minimum extended characters.

With some glyphs had to use some imagination to recreate, any suggestions for improvement
of the style or proportions are welcome.

Basic Glyphs

Communis Glyph Set01

Extended Glyphs

Communis Glyph Set02

Extended Glyphs

Communis GlyphSet03

roger


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May 14, 2014 at 12:37 AM #9498

Robert

I wonder would the addition of some alternate versions of the lower case h, m, n, x and y make this face easier to use with certain letter combinations?

Yours Truly,
Robert


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May 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM #9589

Roger Seganti

Thanks Robert, will look into that during the fonting process.


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September 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM #15972

Roger Seganti

I have finished to “font” the typeface revival Commonwealth, 204 glyths and I have submitted it to the Type Heritage Project.

Communis Character Set

If anyone would like to review or test the Open Type Font Communis, please contact Anna of THP.
thanks
roger seganti


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September 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM #15978

Anna

Many thanks, Roger!

I would be glad to deliver your work to other Chapel Members who might offer suggestions. For my own needs, it’s already perfect.


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September 25, 2014 at 6:14 AM #16090

Anna

Hi Roger,

Robert has expressed interest in critiquing your lovely font, so I uploaded it to his dropbox folder.

In the meantime, a couple of thoughts occur to me…

The tradename

For English-speaking folks, Communis is easily mistaken for Communist. This coincidence may push some negative political “buttons” and alienate potential buyers. Maybe Community would be more appealing?

Fair Warning… I’m not a developer—I know only what I’ve read or heard!

It looks like the font is “truetype flavor,” which means (among other things) that the curve path is the opposite of “postscript flavor.” Back in the 1990s when truetype was first developed by Apple and Microsoft, it was said that the TT format is best for www display and PS is best for print. Duh… Something about “hinting.”

One thing I know for certain is that Alan (a mac user) has a great deal of trouble with his own native postscript fonts—when he converts them to truetype (with Fontographer), the outlines change in unacceptable ways. On the other hand, Robert (FontLab, windows) does not have this problem.

This link leads to the best info I could find, and it isn’t very clear:
http://www.adobe.com/type/browser/info/formats.html

Postscript flavor is the default for FontLab. If FontCreator Pro offers this option, you may want to try it, compare the results and let us know what you think..


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September 27, 2014 at 4:49 AM #16124

Roger Seganti

Hi Anna

Looking forward to hear some critiques/opinion from Robert.

Yes I must admit, when doing a google search I did see that the name communis was exchanged with an existing font called “communist”.

So I was thinking to change the tradename to Opes = “wealth” in latin.

Fontcreator 7.5 Pro can only export in OpenType and webfont (WOFF). The 8.0 version released in June has also the CFF-based exporting, hope to upgrade next week and try to compare the results of the postscript format.

Roger Seganti


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September 27, 2014 at 10:53 PM #16156

Robert

Nicely done! How about an alternate version of the lowercase h to match the lowercase n, as well as some alternate versions of the lowercase m and n to match the original lowercase h, and alternate forms of the lowercase x and y.

Yours truly,
Robert


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September 28, 2014 at 2:03 PM #16249

Roger Seganti

Hi Robert, thanks for sharing your expertise with this feedback, very much appreciated.
Worked on these alternatives, might stil work a little on the x&y.
all the best Roger


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September 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM #16274

Anna

Hi Roger,

Your new alternates are wonderful—I’m so happy that THP has connected you and Robert!

Anna: So I was thinking to change the tradename to Opes = “wealth” in latin.

Sorry, Roger…

The English word Commonwealth (capitalized) is about a group of like-minded people who establish a government to pursue mutual philosophical goals. Examples: The British Commonwealth, certain US States (former British Colonies) that adopted a special kind of charter after the American Revolutionary War [1775–1783] (Commonwealths of Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc.).

So it’s really more about “common” than “wealth.” Also, a Latin title may be a bit too obscure for your potential customers—most of them probably will be English-speaking.

I hate bothering you with a detail that may seem insignificant. I do it only because the right name is SO important to your presentation, and it’s better to avoid a problem than to fix it later.

A wise friend once advised me, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” How true!!!

Thanks again for your extraordinary work to preserve 19th-century types for digital posterity, Anna


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September 30, 2014 at 3:44 AM #16300

Roger Seganti

Hi Anna thanks for your suggestions, I am a little stuck with the naming, I agree with your thoughts;
“You never have a second chance to make a first impression.”
COMMUNITY Font already exits so I might go for these names “Commonweal” or simply “Common”
Roger Seganti


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September 30, 2014 at 7:01 AM #16314

Anna

Hi Roger,

I’ve been thinking about the right name and just hatched an idea that you may like:

Common Sense, the title of a pamphlet written by British citizen/Philadelphia patriot Thomas Paine in 1776. Some historians say he was the true Father of the American Revolution because his words inspired so many colonists to declare independence.

Too bad he didn’t live in Boston, huh?  Besides sounding like the original tradename, common sense is a popular “buzz-word” today. I googled “common sense font” and found nada.

Besides Community, Roget’s Thesaurus and The Word Book offer these (not googled): Commemoration, Communication (dingbats exist), Commendation, Commitment, Commonality, Citizen, Citizenry, Citizenship, The Commons (urban public space), Collaboration… plus dozens of others.

Maybe other Chapel Members can suggest the perfect new name for the perfect revival of Hansen’s Commonwealth?


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October 1, 2014 at 4:18 AM #16391

Roger Seganti

Hi Anna, thanks so much for your input. I like the “buzzword” Common Sense, it seems appropriate for the Commonwealth revival.


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