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Alexander Kay

Born Alexander Thompson MacKaye in Scotland. Apprenticed to a bookbinding tools manufacturer. Went to London in 1850 and worked for punch-cutting expert John Skirving, where he cut typefaces for prominent English typefounders, such as Henry Caslon, Vincent Figgins, and the Stephenson Blake company. Took the offer of a full time position at the L. Johnson & Co. in Philadelphia in 1854, where he changed his surname from MacKaye to Kay. He stayed with L. Johnson & Co (later Binny & Ronaldson, then MacKellar, Smith & Jordan) for 40 years, until he lost much of his sight to cataract. He also spent several years engraving dies for minting coins at the Philadelphia mint.

Of the many Roman faces Alexander Kay designed and cut in Philadelphia, his most famous are Binny Old Style and Ronaldson Old Style.


Personal details

  • From: United States of America
  • Born: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1827
  • Died: Philadelphia, 1905
  • What he does: Type Design, Punchcutting

3 font families by Alexander Kay

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2 font styles from $35.00
Beloved Groucho joked with a mix of zany quips.


4 font styles from $19.95
Perhaps President Clinton’s amazing sax skills will be judged quite favorably.
Fitzronald Fitzronald


3 font styles from $29.95
A good quick jab of a pen may vex Will Shortz.
Ronaldson™ Ronaldson™