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Submitted on Apr 29, 2006
by simone.chisena@*.it

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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!
Simone

3378d 9h 20m 21s ago

Responses

mhsmith:

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).

3378d 8h 46m 30s ago
rebec:

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.

3378d 8h 36m 45s ago
rebec:

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.

3378d 8h 26m 49s ago
mhsmith:

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!

3378d 8h 15m 57s ago
rebec:

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!

3378d 8h 3m 25s ago
mhsmith:

Hurray for Ron and Rebec!

3378d 7h 52m 28s ago
philippedada:

Linotype Old Style No. 7 still exists, but without the “alternates” that have the projecting serifs:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/old-style-7/roman/

also Bitstream’s Bruce Old Style (George Bruce’s Son & Co. 1869; redesign Sol Hess at Lanston Monotype 1907):
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/bitstream/bruce-old-style/roman/

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

3378d 6h 1m 23s ago
rebec:

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!

3378d 3h 41m 56s ago
mhsmith:

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.

3378d 1h 56m 46s ago
philippedada:

forgot to mention that my showings only have lining figures, not old style

3378d 1h 25m 31s ago
mhsmith:

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).

3378d 1h 17m 13s ago
philippedada:

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

3378d 1h 3m 8s ago
mhsmith:

Case marked solved.

3378d 40m 24s ago
mhsmith:

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.”"

3378d 8m 1s ago
rebec:

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.

3377d 7h 38m 12s ago
mhsmith:

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!

3377d 4h 10m 28s ago
philippedada:

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.

3376d 18h 31m 29s ago
simone.chisena@*.it:

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!!
Simone

P.S. let me know when the project is done! please!

3376d 16h 14m 41s ago
mhsmith:

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.

3252d 1h 37m 34s ago
sos222:

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

3250d 5h 7m 20s ago
mhsmith:

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.
Cheers!

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.

3250d 4h 43m 23s ago
mhsmith:

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.

3250d 3h 29m 17s ago
mhsmith:

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!

3250d 3h 17m 1s ago
sos222:

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.

3250d 23m 11s ago
mhsmith:

Oh good! Wonder why optonline bounced my e-mail. Never mind.

3249d 17h 45m 57s ago
sos222:

My user name here is sos222 but my email name is sos22. Perhaps you typed 222. -Steve

3249d 13h 48m 40s ago
mhsmith:

Tried both. Never mind.

3249d 13h 40m 29s ago
J-Louise Heron:

perhaps you tried .com instead of .net?

3249d 13h 34m 42s ago
mhsmith:

No, I’ve checked the address ten times. Never mind. Maybe a temporary problem with the server.

3249d 12h 26m 39s ago
rebec:

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.

3249d 7h 57m 6s ago
Akira1975:

Rebecca, we all are looking forward to seeing your Ronaldson Oldstyle finished.
We expect your work!

Akira from Japan

3249d 7h 21m 34s ago
jlcarneiro:

Is there any known free similar alternative?

2779d 10h 34m 50s ago
mhsmith:

This was one of my favourite threads, pity it should end with such a rude addition. I wish a moderator would wipe it out.

2779d 10h 8m 51s ago
J-Louise Heron:

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....

2779d 9h 55m 36s ago
rebec:

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.

2779d 9h 31m 51s ago
mhsmith:

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.

2779d 9h 29m 16s ago
J-Louise Heron:

See M - it worked out -- Rebecca has reported in to tell us when it will be released.... told you to stay tuned. LOL

2779d 9h 10m 50s ago
mhsmith:

Told you this was a nice thread.

2779d 8h 42m 38s ago
sos222:

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.
-Steve

2779d 6h 6m 55s ago
rebec:

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.

2779d 5h 55m 12s ago
philippedada:

Yaaaaas! Thank you Rebecca for letting us know when your Ronaldson will emerge.

2779d 3h 48m 9s ago
mhsmith:

22 months later Ronaldson is done, and it’s gorgeous!

Thanks and praise to Rebecca!

Look out for it very soon on Myfonts.

2721d 17h 12m 48s ago
philippedada:

just was also notified -- it looks great!

2721d 17h 1m 44s ago
simone.chisena@*.it:

(no message)

2721d 12h 35m 1s ago
rebec:

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.

2721d 11h 24m 15s ago
Eyehawk:

When will the rest of us get to see it?

2721d 8h 34m 28s ago
rebec:
2721d 8h 20m 12s ago
Akira1975:

Excellent! It’s a beauty.

It’s great beyond all my expectations.

Thank you very much, Rebecca!

2718d 23h 14m 51s ago
creedo:

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)

2718d 23h 2m 29s ago
mrodi:

hi creedo, rebec (Rebecca) works at Canada Type, see her work.

I think that one of the favourite software of the professionals is FontLab

BTW @ Rebecca: Ronaldson is awesome, thanks for it. I’m waiting the release!

2718d 22h 55m 31s ago
creedo:

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.

2718d 20h 3m 50s ago
Akira1975:
2716d 22h 41m 47s ago
Mark-R:

Congratulations Rebecca - this looks like a fantastic font. I hope it brings you much success.

And I love the long detailed description.

2716d 20h 41m 5s ago
rebec:

Thanks all. It really couldn’t have happened without this forum and the great people on it.

2716d 12h 11m 12s ago
jlcarneiro:

Great job!

2716d 12h 8m 32s ago

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