Italian Old Style

Frederic Goudy’s Italian Old Style typeface as published in the Lanston Monotype Machine Company’s Italian Old Style, A New Type by Frederic W. Goudy, designed by the eminent American typographer and type and book designer Bruce Rogers and printed in Mount Vernon, N.Y., in a second edition of 11,000 copies by William Edwin Rudge in 1924.

Italian Old Style was designed by Goudy for Lanston Monotype of Philadelphia in 1924, and is based on early Venetian types of the latter part of the fifteenth century. In the printer’s note, Bruce Rogers observes that the new typeface “reminds me most strongly and admirably of Ratdolt’s fine Roman.” To present the type, Rogers chose text from English bibliographer Thomas Frognall Dibdin’s 1817 dialogue, The Bibliographical Decameron, stating that:

The conversation … was chosen partly for its own pleasant quality and partly because of its appropriateness to the purpose of this pamphlet… . the charm of [Dibdin’s] style is as engaging as ever and his taste in printing as unimpeachable; and this brief account of seven early Venetian printers, with its islands of text and oceans of commentary, supplies just the right material for displaying Mr. Goudy’s Italian Old Style under various requirements of composition.

For the type specimen displays, Rogers selects the traditional phrase “A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” to present the Roman fonts, but for the italics he used the amusing variations on the phrase “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs before five dozen FOXY JUDGES CRACK VALUABLE PEACH WINE & QUIZ ME.”



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