Looking to identify an Arts and Crafts style font

So I'm attempting to identify a font that appears in the cover graphics on the covers and spines of original editions of Everyman's Library. These appeared in the 1906-1928 period, incorporated into graphics designed by Reginald Knowles. I've tried to find a specific font but to no avail. It is possible this was a font designed specifically for the graphics, or a combination of more than one font. On the other had, it may be well known, but I can't figure it out, and have not found any information online. I have scanned some of the artwork; the artwork looks a little rough (gold gilt impressed into a leatherette surface), though it is possible this was done intentionally for a rustic look. I've isolated a few lines end removed most of the surround artwork. I'm looking to clean up the artwork and lettering as part of a project I'm working on, and any help identifying the fot would be greatly appreciated.

jeff

DPape's picture

It looks handwritten as every duplicate letter is unique.

vicvalis's picture

It's possible, looking at it again I see that "Everyman" (as in Everyman's Library) is a slightly different and more formal font, while the rest of it is a little more cassual. If I get the chance I'll post the second line of text tomorrow, but it is possible it is hand-done for the original artwork, and I may just have to mix and match characters from existing fonts. The tops of the "L"s going off to the right is something I didn't see in many fonts in my original search... I know nothing about fonts myself, but if this is a common thing and has a common name, let me know and it might help me identify it. Thanks,

jeff

bowfinpw's picture

The most similar font I could find was Nick Curtis's Gandy Dancer NF, his revival of an old ATF face called Tabard, from 1912. Other sort of similar styles were Fonthead's El Franco a recreation of 16th century lettering; and A Scholtz fonts number called Figment. I tried to pick hand-made-looking type, like your sample.

I agree with Dick that the cover lettering you posted seems hand-made, possibly a lino cut.

- Mike Yanega

vicvalis's picture

The original scan was from a heavily textured leather-type book cover material, so some of the hand-made quality may be a result of that. Of course, since they knew it would go onto a heavily textured surface, they probably weren't so worried about how perfect the letters were on the original engraving. I'll look at the fonts you suggested.

jeff

vicvalis's picture

...and of course it's only after I go to all the trouble that I find a reference in A Companion to the History of the Book to the hand-lettered titles and art of Reginald Knowles. So that answers that question... probably based on a real font, but customized to fit the page. Thanks all!

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