Masonic Temple Typeface

hyphen8's picture

Hey, how is everyone?

Just wanted to get some opinions on a project I think I'm about to undertake...

My dayjob is housed in an old Masonic temple, circa 1915. No traces of what it used to be remain, except for the entire upper floor! Each room is labeled above the doorway, "ASSEMBLY HALL", "RECREATION", etc. When I examine the lettering, I can see the brush strokes--how would this kind of lettering be accomplished in 1915? Templates? (Really precise) Freehand? Just curious, because if templates were used that probably means they were mass-produced and there would be little purpose in working with them.

Thanks everyone.

seanglenn's picture

Probably hand-painted, using ruled lines to keep the type level. Most hand-painted letters were loosely based on exisiting typefaces, altered in order to fit their intended use (condensed, extended, etc.) and usually the widths were based on the width of the brush used to paint them. As with all things, there are exceptions to every rule, and some hand-painted letters are 100% unique and some are exact copies from type specimen books.

glutton's picture

Paul, any chance that you could post some photos?

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