Frederic W. Goudy

1865–1947

Frederic W. Goudy was perhaps the most prolific American type designer of his time. He claimed 123 designs (counting every roman/italic pair as two). His sometimes uneven styles were all based on aspects of his own writing hand, so a certain repetition distinguishes all of his unique body of work. He supported himself with several printing businesses, then in 1920 joined Lanston Monotype as art director, a position that he occupied until his death in 1947, when he was succeeded by his close friend and collaborator, Sol Hess.

Font Bureau has cut Goudy’s final pair of major series, Village, 1936, and Californian, 1938. The two can be said to summarize his style. Goudy had started Village in 1932 to bring his early ideas up to date, adding the italic for his own satisfaction. In the early nineties David Berlow expanded this model of Goudy’s mature work into a ten-part series, initially prepared for Esquire.

In 1938 Goudy designed California Oldstyle for the University of California Press. In 1958 Lanston Monotype issued it generally as Californian. In 1988 Carol Twombly digitized the roman for Font Bureau. Berlow later revised it, adding italic and small caps; Jane Patterson designed the Bold. In 1999, assisted by Richard Lipton & Jill Pichotta, David Berlow designed the Black.


Related Fonts
· Californian FB
· Village