Tangier

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  jch02140 1 year, 6 months ago.

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August 3, 2015 at 3:12 PM #23055

jch02140

Tangier originated as Ornamented No. 43 from the James Conner & Sons foundry c. 1857.
Curious if there are any revival done to this typeface?


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August 4, 2015 at 12:13 AM #23060

Anna

Yes, McGrew writes that Tangier originated as Conner Ornamented No. 43, c1857.¹ Personally, I don’t believe it!* This face (designer unknown) was patented in July–September 1881 by James M. Conner [USPTO D12456]. Commercially, it would have been far “ahead of its time” in the US nearly a quarter-century earlier.

*McGrew did not profess historical knowledge of 19th-century types (hence the super-specific title of his “bible”!). Perhaps the specimen donor provided this (mis?)information.

Of course, it is possible that this face was shown by Conner as early as the mid-1850s and retro-patented in 1881. James Conner Sr. died in 1861, when only Bruce TF principals had applied for type design patents since 1842 (Single Exception: National, designed by Julius Herriet Sr. and patented by L. Johnson in 1856). His son, James M. Conner, applied for the first (approved) Conner-assigned design patent in 1872 and did so routinely thereafter.

Conclusion. If Conner’s Tangier was consistently offered for sale between c1857 and 1872, it challenges the imagination to wonder why the design was not patented by J.M. Conner until nearly a decade later.
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While this European tuscan genré was notably preceded in the UK by Henry Caslon (Scroll, 1841) and in the US by Herman Ihlenburg/MSJ (Minarette and Byzantine, 1868), it did not attract widespread commercial success in the US until the 1880s.

McGrew’s partial specimen matches the unfortunately faint patent exhibit. A better one is shown in Solo’s Victorian Dover book,² and/or the one-liner in the DXS Catalog³ may suffice to provide the curlicue details:

TangierTangier

My scanner died awhile back, and I haven’t yet replaced it. So the original semi-naked thumbnail was extracted from the Catalog of Skyline Type Foundry, which serves today’s letterpress operators.

Thanks to jch02140’s interest, this “dilly of a doozy” will be added to the THP Wish-List. Hhmmmm… Do I recall correctly that Alan once expressed interest in reviving it?

¹McGrew, M. (1993): American Metal Types of the Twentieth Century (Second, Revised Edition), page 343. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
²Solo, D.X. [Editor](1976): Victorian Display Alphabets|100 Complete Fonts, page 93. Dover Publications, Inc. (Minneola, NY).
³Solo, D.X. [Editor](1992): The Solotype Catalog of 4,417 Display Typefaces, page 14. Dover Publications, Inc. (Minneola, NY).


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August 5, 2015 at 3:37 AM #23107

Robert

To Miss Anna:

I have scanned a better quality image of Tangier, taken from the Graphic Compositions, Inc. phototype specimen books I ordered back in 1996. Please find it in my secure dropbox folder.

Yours truly,
Robert


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August 6, 2015 at 1:31 AM #23110

Anna

Thanks for this *fabulous* specimen, Robert! The extras are amazing—besides £, ß and diphthongs, there are even tiny numerals for building fractions with a special slash.

Here’s hoping that this spectacular face will be revived someday…


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August 12, 2015 at 10:55 AM #23197

Alan Jay Prescott

I am going to attempt Tangier after I finish Elmo series. Solo’s specimen is unfortunately typeset in the round, so it is going to be a lot of extra work rotating the letterforms to work on them. If you could pass me the Donona specimen, perhaps it is better to work with. In any case, the extra glyphs would be invaluable for me. Is it okay to work on this face, or has someone else started it? Any other specimens out there are rare and probably poorly rendered, but they would be appreciated. Thanks again, all!


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August 13, 2015 at 12:23 AM #23200

Anna

Hi Alan,

You will LUV Robert’s specimen (check your dropbox folder)! For your historical amusement, the patent exhibit is also enclosed, along with the plainer one published by Skyline.

Good luck with this project—it looks v-e-r-y challenging. Good thing you “warmed up” with Katherine and Black Cap, huh?


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August 13, 2015 at 7:51 PM #23240

Alan Jay Prescott

OMG…yes, Tangier will take me to the edge of my abilities. Robert’s scans are excellent, and the fantastic character set is outstanding.


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August 21, 2015 at 2:03 PM #23451

Alan Jay Prescott

All the base characters have been drawn as of yesterday. This is a beautifully rendered face that had outstanding consistency, a worthy rival to many of the best forms of the day. Still, in the interest of preserving this typeface for posterity and ensuring its modern usage, I’ve brought even greater harmony to the base forms to reflect what the artist would have done had the tools been available: stem thickness, serif consistency, cap and x heights, descender. The incredible sample Robert provided has diacritic marks as well, and this is going to be a doozy of a face.

Today I’m working on the large external and internal doodads and trying to bring some uniformity to them without sacrificing the hand-drawn nature of this beauty. After that, the outlines, then the shadows, then the fine gingerbread as the last and most excruciating task. Stand by!


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September 2, 2015 at 5:56 AM #23591

Anna

I *like* your thought that the harmony you intend to apply to this revival is “what the artist would have done had the tools been available.”

It is SO true that, when conjured by the right wizard (like you!), ever-so-subtle digital magic can “improve” a 19th-century type design in a way that would delight the original creator.

One can only imagine the guidance that this anonymous type designer may whisper to you as his “spirit” engages in your work on this extraordinary font.

Tangier is truly a masterpiece of its genré. This revival will be a v-e-r-y important one.


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September 10, 2015 at 12:20 PM #23697

Alan Jay Prescott

Progress on Tangier, just a teaser so far…


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Attachments:
September 10, 2015 at 11:06 PM #23703

Robert

To Mr. Alan Prescott:

Nicely done down to fine detail.

Yours truly,
Robert


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September 11, 2015 at 2:53 AM #23707

Anna

OMG… This is just *spectacular,* Alan!!!


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September 12, 2015 at 5:23 PM #23769

Alan Jay Prescott

Thanks, Anna and Robert. I post below the complete set of 26 caps to show you the progress so far:


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September 13, 2015 at 12:43 AM #23772

jch02140

Dear Mr. Alan Prescott,

The progress looks really great so far. :)

Best Regards,
Johney


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October 22, 2015 at 7:01 PM #25413

Alan Jay Prescott

Tangier has been revived as Tanglewood PDS:

Tanglewood


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October 24, 2015 at 3:47 AM #25465

Robert

To Mr. Alan Prescott:

Beautifully done on this gem of a masterpiece.

Yours truly,
Robert


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October 25, 2015 at 2:55 PM #25562

jch02140

Do you think it would be better to split the florish as its own layer?… Just curious if it is possible for this font as chromatic as an option?…

This is fabulous Alan. I can’t wait to buy this when the bazaar opens.


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