Philip Bouwsma’s Symposium Pro is a wide Carolingian script that can be set simply or with a wide range of flourishes. It takes its inspiration from the scriptoria of the twelfth century, particularly in Spain, where Christians, Muslims and Jews lived harmoniously in a brilliant culture for two centuries. As manuscripts were translated and copied to meet the Western demand for classical texts, calligraphic elements from Arabic and Hebrew spread throughout Europe, sparking a proliferation of new styles that brought the simple book hand to a higher level. Symposium Pro spans a broad range of time and space, from the court of Charlemagne to the Arabian nights and Renaissance Florence.
On April 29, 2006, Simone Chisena uploaded to the WhatTheFont forum a scanned two-page spread from a 1970s Italian gardening book, asking for the identity of the face used on those pages. Rebecca Alaccari had been spending her daily lunch hour at that forum for a few weeks then. The face used on the pages was identified as the American classic Ronaldson Old Style, a MacKellar, Smith & Jordan metal face dating back to 1884. Ronaldson Old Style was never digitized. A conversation about it started on the forum, and the rest was a great 22-month adventure in type history, the result of which is this digital version of what was the best selling and most unique American text face of the nineteenth century, all the way into the 1920s.
Designed in 1928 by Alessandro Butti under the direction of Raffaello Bertieri for the Nebiolo foundry, Paganini defies standard categorization. While it definitely is a classic foundry text face with obvious roots in the “oldstyle” of the Italian renaissance, its contrast reveals a clear underlying modern influence.
Filmotype Harmony was the first connecting handwritten script face released by Filmotype in 1950 originally designed by Ray Baker. Ray designed Harmony as a proof of concept that the Filmotype machine could be used to typeset convincing connecting scripts and it went on to become Filmotype’s most popular.
Among the very first handwritten script fonts offered by Filmotype in the beginning of the 1950s, Filmotype LaSalle was designed by Ray Baker, a former Lettering Inc employee at the time who named the face after LaSalle street in downtown Chicago.