Art of Woodtype

kegler's picture

I don't think this has been mentioned here, but a new book on Wood Type has been independently published in December.
I just ordered a copy so I can't say how it compares to the Rob Roy Kelley books, but the photos of the actual type next to printed proofs is a nice touch. There is an animated preview video on the site

dezcom's picture

There seems to be more than a splinter of interest in this.


speter's picture

Oh, Chris, you wood make a joke like that. How could you knot?

dezcom's picture

Sorry if it goes against your grain.


speter's picture

I knew if you were board, you'd post another pun. Or else you'd pine after it all evening long. (I guess you saw that coming.) Be careful, though, doing this too often might give you shingles!

peterf's picture

I've posted a bit of a review on my site at

Have been corresponding with Greg Ruffa, the author/publisher. Greg also redrew all the type in the book.
Yes. From scratch... each of the wood faces was redrawn in Illustrator for the 'specimen' on the verso pages...
That is, the photos are on one page, and his renderings on the facing page... not printed proofs!

Of course, the question arises of publishing them as fonts, but I really don't know if there would be an economic return on the investment. Many of the faces don't have numerals, for examples, and rarely have more than a couple of 'points', barely a $ to be found. So, to make them 'commercially' viable, a substantial amount of work would have to be done.

Any thoughts on this from the community?


Peter (Almost Free Letterpress!) - Galena, Illinois

paulstonier's picture

I still need to catch myself up and study the Rob Roy Kelley books. I've heard great thing about them, just never had a chance to read them. I love those gorgeous photos of the sets of type.

Hope everything is going great in Buffalo, Mr. Kegler.

kegler's picture

Hello Paul,
Sorry I only occasionally visit Typophile
Things are going great but I am spending more time on the Ludlow Typograph than on FontLab.

The woodtype book has a few factual "issues" (IE futura bold was not a circa 1900 woodtype design) and I would have preferred seeing actual warts-and-all printed proofs of the type next to the photos instead of outline renderings, but it is still a must have book.

tamye's picture

I just received my copy yesterday. Haven't had time to read it - I'm waiting to devour it with coffee and plenty of free time... but I did glance at every page and looked up a couple of things I was particularly interested in.

I've also had some correspondence with the author, Greg Ruffa, about one of the types in the book. He is so pleasant and passionate about this subject, and has lots more info in his head than any book could ever demonstrate. He humbly admits to some factual errors and inconsistencies that often plague labors of love, but those don't deter from the overall product. As a wood type freak who can't afford to get all the Morgan Press and RRK and even rarer specimens...

I'm very pleased with my purchase.

fi's picture

Why does the website looks like it was made out of metal?

dezcom's picture

Is it hot metal?


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