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Lanston Californian Typeface Digitization
LTC Californian™
Original Lanston Production design No. 300
Frederic Goudy designed Californian as a private commission for the University of California at Berkeley in 1939. This face is often considered to be the finest type design from the prolific Goudy. Californian was later released by Lanston Monotype for general use by designers and printers.
The lead patterns were part of the very few physical materials that survived the tragic disposition of most of the original Lanston Monotype matrices and patterns. The full story of all that happened has yet to have a fully reliable telling: that is for another time.
The patterns however were the source material from where Gerald Giampa derived his digital versions of Lanston fonts. Most of the Lanston fonts created between 1989-2000 were done this way. When P22 acquired the Lanston Company in 2004, the Californian patterns were already proofed on newsprint.
Many digitizations of metal type are often criticized for being too light or spindly for digital or offset output. The reason often cited is that metal type does account for some ink gain when printed letterpress that doesn't happen the same way in offset. To accommodate both purists who want the original to set type in photopolymer and print via letterpress, and digital uses, there is a Text and a Display version of the Californian Roman and Italic. The Display follows the original outlines based on the production patterns seen above, while the text version adds a little bit of weight to improve legibility at small sizes.
Other original specimens were referenced in the digitization of the Californian fonts. Type designer Paul Hunt digitized these materials and added Central European accents and additional characters for the Pro versions.
Other artifacts of the metal version of Californian exist and we thought you might like to see things like this Monotype case and keyboard arrangement map seen above.
Lanston Californian Typeface Digitization
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P22 Type Foundry

Lanston Californian Typeface Digitization

The digitizing of Frederic Goudy's Californian typefaces from the original metal patterns
19
633
0
Published: