Have you heard of the Doves Type? Designed by Thomas James Cobden Sanderson and engraver Emery Walker, in London, at the turn of the 20th century. To cut a long story short, the two men disagreed about its use. As a result, Cobden-Sanderson threw 2,600lb of metal into the River Thames from Hammersmith Bridge. Now, after three years of research, making drawings based on the original source material, designer Robert Green has released a digital version of the lost metal Doves Press Font. This was made possible by the discovery in the River Thames 2013 of a portion of the original metal type.
I know as a journalist I am probably more aware of typeface than your average reader. I’ve been involved in many magazine re-designs during my career, and the thing that gets people most excited during the process is the choice of font. It not only is the ‘handwriting’ of the design, it makes the design most easily recognisable, but it also has a dramatic effect on how easy it is to read a newspaper or magazine article. Get it wrong, and changes are made very rapidly before the reader complaints start to roll in.
What newspaper do you read?The Times – The Times newspaper commissioned its own font, Times New Roman [above], in 1931, after it was criticised for being badly printed and typographically antiquated. Ouch. The Guardian – uses a family of fonts called Guardian Egyptian, again, especially designed for the newspaper. This is the newspaper title. The New York Times – the logo is Old English Regular [above]
The typeface I used most often is Times New Roman, sometimes Arial [below] if I want a something simple. Times New Roman is universally preferred for submitting manuscripts.For more about the Doves Type, read this article from Creative Review magazine.
For Doves Type specifications from Typespec, click here.