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Welcome! Forums Revivals T Tinted

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Robert 2 years, 4 months ago.

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January 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM #6877

Alan Jay Prescott

1886, MacKellar Smiths & Jordan

I am interested in reviving this face. Does anyone know whether this has been done?

May 16, 2014 at 2:25 AM #9608


If Tinted has been digitally archived for posterity, the revival escaped my notice…

Charles H. Beeler, Jr. [1855–1899+] practically grew up at the Johnson TF (forerunner of MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan): from age four, he “hung out” there with his father, an engraver who worked with Edwin C. Ruthven

So it is not surprising that rights to the types discussed here were assigned to MSJ. In fact, with the exception of two patented faces assigned to the Bruce (New York) and Keystone (Philadelphia) TFs, all of his known designs were properties of MSJ or ATF Philadelphia.

By 1874, reference to type tradenames was prohibited from applications for design patents—historians must identify them by matching patent specimens with commercial ones. In 1882–1890, Beeler patented four easily confused MSJ faces: three “shaded” ones featuring hatched surfaces and a fourth (Steelplate Gothic) with “ray shading.”

For the record, they are shown below with their correct tradenames according to MSJ’s 1892 catalog

StencilStencil (c.f. Garfield)³
USPTO D13474, October–December 1882

Steelplate Gothic
USPTO D15811, July 1884–February 1885

USPTO D16425, October–December 1885

USPTO D20103, July–August 1890

¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, December 1899.
²c.f. Johnston, A.M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editors] (2009): William E. Loy|Nineteenth-Century American Design­ers and Engravers of Type, page 125. Oak Knoll Books (New Castle, DE).
³Solo, D.X. (1992): The Solotype Catalog of 4,417 Display Typefaces, page 63. Dover Publications, Inc. (Minneola, NY).

June 15, 2014 at 2:44 PM #10957

Alan Jay Prescott

Am in the process of reviving Tinted in all original metal sizes: Pica, Three-Line Nonpareil, Two-Line Pica, Five-Line Nonpareil, and Three-Line Pica (12, 18, 24, 30, 36-point respectively). Each font is designed in such a fashion that when the graphic designer selects a point size, all five fonts can remain in that selected point size and will render with consistent shading effects.

The shading in the original metal is identically spaced in all sizes, thus five separate fonts must be designed with subtle differences. It was masterfully done by the original cutter and makes us realize all over again the incredible talent that once existed. In drawing these different designs, the original mathematics of the designer have magically come to light. Coming soon to a text box near you.

June 15, 2014 at 11:43 PM #10961


WOW! Tinted is a handsome face indeed. It looks like you’ve picked another tuffie loaded with four control points per hatch-line.

Few people on Earth would undertake the Herculean tasks that you seem to like best. The part about retaining nuances of the original sizes sounds like magic. Who knew that Mr. Beeler was a mathematician too?

June 22, 2014 at 12:11 AM #11653

Michael Hurley

Honestly, he probably wasn’t. There were gauges specifically for spacing lining evenly that were regularly used by draughtsmen and engravers. Very handy.

June 22, 2014 at 9:44 AM #11696


Thanks for this very interesting info, Michael.

Worst-Case Scenario

Maybe it’s more difficult to create hatching and “ray shading” lines as vector images than as metal type. Most of this technical stuff is ‘way over my head—the only part I understand is that each glyph must be a unit with only one attribute [fill=black by default].

This means that every hatch or ray line is realistically a rectangle joined to the [typically heavier] outline or surface attributes, so each one must have four control points [one at each corner].

It takes a LOTTA technical [and apparently math!] skills to translate this info into a platform-independent [Macintosh vs Windows] OpenType font with extras like alternate Latin letterforms, Cyrillic and Greek substitutes that will not crash a computer because of huge filesize bloated by the crazy number of control points.

Few? No? revival developers who are not THP Partners have even attempted to produce fonts with such challenging features. Other examples besides Tinted:

Crayon, Argent, Ornamented No. 1079, Zebra, Ornamented No. 1077, Roman Ornamented.

November 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM #17907

Alan Jay Prescott

Wow…this is the typeface that nearly broke me into bite-sized pieces. It is, at last, finished as promised. It has turned out to be one of the most Byzantine projects I have ever attempted and it is unlikely I will accept another challenge like this for myself any time soon. The story is a long one and I won’t tell it here because it will interest only the geekiest among type developers. I have created an article/essay on this particular challenge and will submit it somewhere online if anyone is interested in learning about how to approach this sort of endeavor…or to abandon the idea if he/she does not have the kind of time I make available for it.

I don’t see a way currently to convert these outlines into TrueType without destroying the nuances, so they remain in Fontographer databases and PostScript outlines. Thus, Mac-only right now, but a true beauty. It has a gazillion control points, and yet each font is only the caps, numerals and some punctuation that did not previously exist: period, colon, question, exclam, parens, hyphen. I had a great example to scan, but none of the sizes had anything like a full character set and the numerals only existed in 6-point type. Altogether I had examples of 11 glyphs for 36pt., 15 for 30pt., 19 for 24pt., 20 for 18pt., and 28 for 6pt.

I will post a sample here and a link to Flickr soon.

November 15, 2014 at 5:22 PM #18085

Alan Jay Prescott

Please note that the machine font for each Tinted font is separate and that it is sized within the software to be in proper relation to the others; i.e. the actual outlines grow in size from Pica to Three-Line Pica in their proper proportions. Here is a link to my Flickr specimens for Tinted (called “Tinting PDS”):

November 16, 2014 at 8:07 AM #18120


OMG Alan—this font series is awesome!

You’ve outdone yourself again (as always). Every project you choose is even harder than the last one, and “nobody does it better”!

For scholars and collectors of today and typographers of the future, I thank you for your commitment. No one else would endure such excruciating pains to preserve the variations among the original sizes:

Pica=12 points
Three-line nonpariel=18 points
Two-line pica=24 points
Five-line nonpariel=30 points
Three-line pica=36 points

Incidentally… MSJ’s size system was “inherited” from Ben Franklin, who learned about it while US Ambassador to France in 1778–1785. It became the US standard in October 1886 and was adopted in the UK soon after.

P.S. Why not chill for awhile and unwind by knocking out a few “easy” ones without hatching?

November 17, 2014 at 10:10 PM #18198


To Mr. Alan Prescott:
Great job on this one. making five different styles that is digitizing them in the way they were cast.

Yours truly,


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