Skip to content
Apr 27 / Scott

Tubbs and Company Fonts

A good friend, who knows of my love for Wood type and type specimen books, loaned me his original copy of the 1905 Tubbs Manufacturing Company Wood Type and Borders book. This is one of the gems in any collection for letterpress printers or old men like me who are cutters of wood type.

On one of my trips to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin I took research photos of catchwords, stars, and ornaments from their collection of type specimen books.  The trouble with taking photos out of books is the lens distortion and lighting. I try to use historical materials in my designs. For several years now I have using Adobe Illustrator to trace and correct these photos and make patterns for cutting wood type. My friend knew it was hard to get usable images in bad lighting.

The Tubbs book is full of beautiful old wood type designs. I could take photos with a copy stand and studio lighting. The modern trend in designing computer fonts and giving them unusual names has a historical foundation. Tubbs came up with the Tubbs Foxy Grandpa Series.  The page even included a drawing of what they consider to be the “Foxy Grandpa”

I especially like that the center of the uppercase and lowercase “O” slant in opposite directions. I have already created 7 new catchwords and ornament patterns from the Tubbs #5 Specimen Book. When I finish some existing orders I hope to  start cutting more wood type to sell based on this book.


Leave a Comment