I'm desperately searching a font like this, used for a splendid Italian gardening book dating to the Seventies, of which you can see some pages. Please help me if you can, it’s driving me quite mad!
La font è Ronaldson, bellissima sì. Saluti e proseguo in inglese per gli amici. I don’t know of a digital version. Ronaldson was amalgamated with Caxton to produce Tiffany, but the result is obviously something else (heavier, slanted e bar, etc.). Another font which has further features in common, especially in the italics, is Binny Old Style (Binny was Ronaldson’s business partner). You can find these on Myfonts.
Copyright of Ronaldson lies with P22/Lanston (but it’s just a name for now).
Magnificent typeface. Can you please tell us a bit more about it, mhsmith? Who designed it originally? Was it ever digitized?
In the ATF book it says that it was originally an 1884 font for MS&J, and Monotype, Keystone and Linotype copied it. Linotype called it Old Style #7.
Sorry, I guess I was typing the previous post at the same time you were typing yours. Thanks for the info. I would love to see full alphabet samples of this.
Rebecca, you know more than me about the history of the font. The best sample I know is at the top of this page. You’ll find u&lc + figures in Rookledge’s Typefinder (No. 72), but roman only as usual. Always fascinating to see that a face so peculiar when observed in detail is actually splendidly clear and legible in text print. Please, will you digitise it? I’m not in the type business and I’d have no opportunity for using it, but I’d love to know it exists for others to use. Cheers!
I will try to find good specimen to digitize from. I’ve been looking for a good text face to do. Patrick has been working on a text face — an Egyptian — for a while, and he’s been telling me to do a text face as well. This one looks ideal. I hope I can find decent specimens for Ronaldson. Would be a nice break from the scripts and deco fonts. If I do get good specimens, I promise to have a good digitization of it some time this summer. Thanks again!
Linotype Old Style No. 7 still exists, but without the “alternates” that have the projecting serifs:
also Bitstream’s Bruce Old Style (George Bruce’s Son & Co. 1869; redesign Sol Hess at Lanston Monotype 1907):
Binny Old Style was originally cut in Scotland 1863; redesign named for Binny 1887; redesigned also by Sol Hess 1908
I have old (fragile) showings of Ronaldson (by competitor called Penn Old Style) but complete only up to 12 point, a restricted showing up to 24 point -- please indicate if you are interested
BTW the headings (sample above) are mixed in with De Vinne Condensed
I am very interested, Philippe. I would certainly appreciate any samples you have. My email address is rebecca at canadatype dot com. Thanks very much!
Thanks for Linotype Old Style No. 7 and Bruce Old Style. They also deserve to be seen more often, but still, the dynamic serifs, sharp bends and low contrast make all the difference in Ronaldson. I’ll continue to look forward to seeing it back.
As for samples, I wonder if Michele might have or find any others. I have a feeling I’ve read this face more than once in 20th cent. Italian books before I even began thinking about type. I’ll check my own library.
Knew it, I’ve found one book already (unless it’s Penn: how similar are they, Philippe?). It’s got roman and italic and old style figures in two or three sizes (something like 8, 10 and 12), plus a few letters in one size of bold, some small caps. The inking isn’t first rate but OK. Can it be of any use? On the whole, I must say Simone’s book looks rather better.
Monotype Ronaldson is also illustrated in Jaspert, Berry & Johnson, Encycl. of Typefaces: one size, regular weight, roman (with figures) and italic (without).
The same book points out that Mergenthaler Linotype Old Style no.1 (repeat 1) “may be converted to Ronaldson” by changing only C, E, F, G, L, S and T (i.e. all the slanted serif letters).
Penn is just another foundry’s copy of Ronaldson -- sold by Geo. Damon & Sons, NYC -- Damon used to make type “furniture” for making printing forms (including brass rules and corners) and sold things (made by others) like type, presses, cutting and folding machines, perforators, wire stitchers, punching machines and saw trimmers -- all for printers
Just Googling around for Ronaldson:
Arion Press published a book in Ronaldson in 2004 (E. Wharton, Age of Innocence), but with a different italic.
Here is someone called Stephen O. Saxe (sos at WESTNETdotCOM) who owns the face in foundry type, and a little discussion.
Here is Charles Murdock commenting wickedly on the face ca. 1920: "In my publications I followed a somewhat severe style of typography, especially priding myself on the possession of a complete series of genuine old-style faces cast in Philadelphia from moulds cut a hundred and seventy years ago. In these latter days a few bold men have tried to improve on this classic. One Ronaldson especially departed from the simplicity and dignity of the cut approved by Caxton, Aldus, and Elzevir, and substituted for the beautiful terminal of, say the capital T, two ridiculous curled points. I resented it passionately, and frequently remarked that a printer who would use Ronaldson old-style would not hesitate to eat his pie with a knife. One day Professor Howison (I think his dog “Socrates” was with him) came into my office and inquired if I had a cut of old-style type that had curved terminals on the capital Ts. I had no idea why he asked the question; I might have supposed that he wanted the face, but I replied somewhat warmly that I had not, that I had never allowed it in the shop, to which he replied with a chuckle, “Good! I was afraid I might get them.”"
Thanks for the extra info and links, mhsmith. That last one was funny. Murdock may not be a bad idea for the name of a Ronaldson revival, but it may be too mean a payback.
It looks like finding sources for this project isn’t going to be as difficult as I thought. Thanks to Philippe’s samples and the notes posted here, I should have enough to at least start something. So I’ll definitely be working on it from next month and on.
Thanks guys. I appreciate your information and samples very much. This will be my very first text face, and I’ll do my best. Wish me luck.
Good luck Rebec! I would love to know when it’s done (or how it’s getting on, or if there’s any other way of helping you with it). My email is: msmith AT enc DOT sorbonne DOT fr. Cheers!
I wish you more than luck, Rebecca -- success! If you make the Linotype alternates (defaults would be the name now) also, it’ll be two faces. I don’t think you have to ask permission.
Thanks a lot to anyone for your help, really I didn’t think to interest so much people! Following your suggestions, I went in search for Binny Old Style and Old Style 7, and in my opinion the nearest is Old Style 7. But now I hear that Rebec is trying to make a Ronaldson revival... If you need, I can give you more samples from the book I posted first...
Anyway, good luck, and again thanks a lot to anyone!!
P.S. let me know when the project is done! please!
Just in case someone on the forum remembers and is still interested in this fascinating font: have come across another one that has quite a lot in common with Ronaldson (originating more or less in the same period): ITC Cushing. Pity it’s so condensed, esp. the capitals, and the italics aren’t quite as interesting. Haven’t tried it out in text but could look nice and comfortable.
Is anyone digitizing Ronaldson Old Style? I have an excellent source - an 1896 book published by MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan (type founders) who originated the face. The book is printed in 16 point Ronaldson Old Style.
Please contact me if you are interested
Excellent! You should write to Rebecca: she is still working on it. She gave her e-mail in one of her posts above: rebecca AT canadatype DOT com.
PS for them of the magic powers: maybe sos222 means someone should e-mail him/her? I don’t have access to his/her e-mail.
PS I’ve just realized who sos must be, i.e. Stephen Saxe--whose e-mail was originally posted on this thread by myself. I’m writing to him.
PPS Back to square one. The westnet.com address isn’t valid anymore, my e-mail bounced. Tried another one I found googling Steve Saxe, at optonline.net, bounced too. Help!
Hi mhsmith - yes I’m Steve Saxe. My current address is sos22 AT optonline DOT net. Thanks for your replies - I did e-mail Rebec, as you suggested. I’m very interested in Ronaldson and have long wanted to see it digitized.
No, I’ve checked the address ten times. Never mind. Maybe a temporary problem with the server.
Hi all. Just wanted to let everyone know that digitizing Ronaldson Oldstyle is under way, and we’re anticipating beta-testing for it to start some time in November. Philipe, thanks again for the scans. Marc, your diligence and follow-up prove you’re a true type fan.
Rebecca, we all are looking forward to seeing your Ronaldson Oldstyle finished.
We expect your work!
Akira from Japan
This was one of my favourite threads, pity it should end with such a rude addition. I wish a moderator would wipe it out.
Don’t consider it rude m -- it isn’t as if she/he is asking for a commercial copy to be given over. Canada Type hasn’t released a copy of the font yet -(and it has been almost 2 years) - and some one wants to use it. That alphabet was here way before we were. Many old fonts are at Moorstation for the taking - many have been made for us to use -- without our paying for them. Others after they were shareware, went to foundries that redrew them and now charge us for them.
It goes on and on and on.
At least it is a question - and not a demand.
And who knows, maybe someone does know of an alternative that can be used.
Keep tuned to this thread....
Many people have been asking us about it, and it’s been in the works for about 2 years now, but we kept insisting that we will not release it before it’s perfect. It’s the least we owe to such a historical typeface. But now I’m happy to report that the Ronaldson family will be released this coming January. It will be our first major release for 2008.
OK, I was just being a bit sentimental. If you think it’s fine, Heron, then I suppose it is. Cause when it isn’t, I know you are the best around here at freebooter-bashing.
Sorry JL. But anyway, I don’t know of a free lookalike.
Oh good, Rebec is back too! Thanks for that JL.
Hello Rebecca! Still eagerly looking forward to Ronaldson or Socrates or whatever you decide to call it.
See M - it worked out -- Rebecca has reported in to tell us when it will be released.... told you to stay tuned. LOL
This is good news indeed! Rebecca, when Ronaldson is released, I hope some mention will be made in the promotional literature that it was originally engraved by Alexander Kay in 1884 for the MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan type foundry. Kay, who was born in Edinburgh in 1827, considered it his best typeface.
Certainly! There will be much more information in there as well. In the course of this adventure we got in touch with Alexander Kay’s descendants and received much valuable input (and specimens!) about him from them. They’ve been anticipating the release of the Ronaldson family as well.
22 months later Ronaldson is done, and it’s gorgeous!
Thanks and praise to Rebecca!
Look out for it very soon on Myfonts.
Was quite a great project. We just finished packing it for release, and I already miss it!
Thanks a lot to all the great people on this forum for their help. I hope you like our digital Ronaldson.
The font family should be up on MyFonts early next week, I think.
Excellent! It’s a beauty.
It’s great beyond all my expectations.
Thank you very much, Rebecca!
I never saw this thread until now and I think it’s neat. This site really has serious font makers, I checked out that PDF sample and it was amazing... perfect rendition when compared to the original posted sample.
When people make the letters in a project like this, what program is used to draw the vector letters? Illustrator or something similar? Or some special type drawing program? (sorry for offtopic)
oh dag, that’s really pro... I actually know some of these fonts. I had to use Showboat on a sign a few months ago. I hope whoever first installed it paid for it :) She clearly works hard. Nice stuff Rebecca.
Congratulations Rebecca - this looks like a fantastic font. I hope it brings you much success.
And I love the long detailed description.