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End User License Agreement


This End User License Agreement (the “Agreement” “EULA,” “License,” “Agreement” or “License Agreement”) is a legal agreement between the Licensee (you) and Schwartzco, Inc., d/b/a Commercial Type (collectively, “Commercial Type”) and becomes a binding contract between you and Commercial Type when you access, install and/or use the Commercial Type Font Software (“Font Software” or “Fonts”). This Agreement governs the terms of use the Font Software and the design of the Fonts embodied therein (collectively, “Font Software”), for, among other uses, use in multi-use methods, large scale multi-user commercial uses, as well as simple uses such as individual desktop only uses. This License also controls the use and distribution of any media, electronic documentation, updates, add-ons, artwork, web services and/or the form of proprietary technology used to implement use of the Fonts as exists now or in the future. This Agreement becomes effective (a) when you “accept license agreement,” or when you open the electronic file in which the Font Software is contained. If you do not wish to enter into this Agreement, do not purchase, access, download and/or install or otherwise use the Font Software.

What this section means

Please read this document carefully, because you agree to its terms by installing the font software.


(a) Upon payment in full, Commercial Type will grant you a non-exclusive, terminable License to the Font Software that accompanies this EULA. Use of the Font Software is limited to the specific uses permitted in your purchase receipt. All Commercial Type licenses are for use by the identified Licensee (You) only. Transfer or export or use of the Font Software by third parties is not permitted. For the purposes of this Agreement, “Font Software” shall be defined as the design of the Fonts together with the Font Software which, when used generates the typeface, typographic designs and, if included in the Font Software, ornaments or other designs. 

(b) The types of licenses offered by Commercial Type include, but are not limited to:

i. Use for Creation – Desktop. Under this license you are permitted to (1) Use fonts installed to a desktop computer for creating printed material or images; (2) embed the Fonts in non-editable documents. 
Such uses include internal documents, company letterhead, production of a newspaper, magazine, book or other paper publication, print advertising, broadcast advertising, film titles, social media posts, signage, packaging, and point of sale displays.

ii. Uses for Creation with Distribution Rights. Under this license, the Font Software is bundled with and distributed as part of the licensed uses and includes: (1) App License; (2) Web License; (3) ePub License; (4) Software Embedding License; (5) Device Embedding License; (6) Automated Document Production Server License; (7) Embedded Content License.

iii. Add-on or License Extensions. If the proper license extension is purchased, you are permitted to: (1) use the Font Software to produce merchandise for sale, including alphabet-themed products; (2) embed the Fonts in editable documents; (3) use the fonts in external third party platforms; (4) share the fonts with third parties doing work on behalf of Licensee.

iv. Use of the Font Software with Generative or other Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) services or in other AI programming is expressly prohibited.

PLEASE READ: To understand the terms and conditions associated with a particular type of license, review the Attachment to this agreement. The relevant terms and conditions in the attachment form a part of this agreement.

What this section means

This paragraph outlines what kind of usage is permitted with each kind of licensing that may be purchased. The receipt and license document delivered with the fonts will list what usage you are licensed for, and at what license levels (i.e. the number of users permitted by a desktop license, the number of domains and unique visitors per month permitted by a web license, etc.). Your user account on this website will also give a record of the licenses you have purchased and the usage permitted under each of them.

If you are uncertain whether a particular use is permitted under the license you have purchased, please contact us at info[at] for assistance.


FONT SOFTWARE DELIVERY. The Font Software will be transmitted, as necessary, to Licensee via Internet download for use on the computers and, if applicable, on the websites of Licensee in the (i) WOFF and WOFF2 Web Font formats; (ii) in the Open Type Format for Desktop use and; (iii) in TrueType Format for Application (“App”) uses as specified by the license purchased. Commercial hereby agrees to provide amended or updated Webfonts and/or Font Software, upon the request of Licensee, in the event generally accepted and commercially used software and/or Internet browser formats change in response to technology innovation.

What this section means

The fonts will be delivered in different formats depending on the license you have purchased.


If you are a design consultancy, advertising agency or purchasing this license for use by or on behalf of such an entity, the ultimate end user should also purchase a license appropriate for their intended use of the Font Software. The license granted herein for personal use extends to temporary employees or independent contractors using the Font Software only so long as they are providing professional services expressly for the benefit of Licensee. 

What this section means

A license may not be shared by multiple companies (i.e. both a designer and his or her client). We make an exception for a freelancer working on behalf of a licensed client as an individual may use the fonts during the course of a project must purchase a separate license if they wish to use the fonts for other projects after the completion of the gig.


Commercial Type, its successors, and assigns expressly retain all right and title in and to the Font Software together with the design of the Font embodied therein, together with any trademarks used in connection therewith. Except as may be otherwise expressly permitted herein, you agree not to copy the Font Software or create derivative works based upon the design of the Font or the Font Software. You hereby agree that the design of the Font and the Font Software are the exclusive property of Commercial Type and that the unauthorized use of the design of the Font or the Font Software is an infringement of Commercial Type’s exclusive rights and causing significant monetary harm. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved to Commercial Type. Commercial Type’s rights and remedies in the event of an infringement shall be cumulative in nature.

What this section means

This license grants you the right to use our fonts and to make a copy of the files for backup purposes, but the fonts (both the software describing the design and the design itself) belong to us. You are not allowed to give copies to your friends, family or clients, and you may not modify the fonts without written permission from us.


Except as may be otherwise expressly permitted herein, you may not alter or copy the Font Software, or the designs embodied therein in any manner whatsoever. Reformatting the Font Software into other formats for use in other operating systems is expressly prohibited. Upon payment of an additional fee and a separate written agreement Commercial Type may provide the Font Software in alternate and/or additional font formats, contact Commercial Type for a quotation. Altering or amending the embedding bits characteristics of the Font Software is expressly prohibited. The Font Software may not be used to create or distribute any electronic document in which the Font Software or any part thereof, is embedded in a manner or format that permits editing, alterations, enhancements, or modifications by the recipient of such document, unless a license that permits such use has been purchased. You may not knowingly transmit any electronic document or the Font Software to any party that intends or is likely to “hack,” edit, alter, enhance, or otherwise modify the Font Software or remove the Font Software from any document.

What this section means

You will need written permission from us before making any kind of modifications to a font which you have licensed from us, including renaming the font or converting it into a different format, in part because we aren’t able to support fonts we haven’t built and tested ourselves. Please contact us at info[at] for more information.


You may make one (1) back-up copy of Font Software for archival purposes only, and you agree to retain exclusive custody and control over any such copy. Upon termination of the Agreement, you must destroy the original and all copies of the Font Software. The unauthorized sharing, lending, renting, sale, or other unauthorized use or misuse of the back-up copy is a material breach of this Agreement and will result in the immediate termination of this License.

What this section means

You may make a copy of the font files for backup purposes, but you may not give, lend, or sell copies to your friends, family, clients or especially to strangers.


If no other option exists, you may take a digitized copy of the Font Software used for a particular document, or Font Software embedded in an electronic document that is sent to a commercial printer or service bureau for use by the printer or service bureau for preparing the document, provided that the printer or service bureau represents that it shall destroy any and all copies of the Font Software upon completion of its work. Notwithstanding, you agree that the transmission of a “print/preview” pdf document is the first and preferred method of transmitting such documents to a service bureau or printer.

What this section means

If making a PDF is not an option, you may deliver a copy of the fonts to a service bureau or printer for final output. The service bureau must destroy the fonts when they are finished with the job.


The designs embodied into the Font Software, the Font Software itself, and any trademarks associated therewith are the exclusive property of Commercial Type and their designers, where applicable, and are protected by the copyright and other intellectual property laws of the United States, by the copyright and design laws of other nations, and by other international treaties. Any copies that you are expressly permitted to make, pursuant to the Agreement, must contain the same copyright, trademark, and other proprietary notices that appear on or in the Font Software.

What this section means

This license grands you the right to use our fonts, but we retain ownership of both the font design and the font software.


With the exception of subsetting webfonts, you agree not to create, assist in and/or cause the creation of modifications or additions to the Fonts or Font Software, including but not limited to: creating additional weights; creating additional or deleting existing characters; modifying existing characters; modifying font spacing and kerning; converting fonts to an alternate digital format, modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, alter, or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the Font Software without first obtaining written permission from Commercial Type. In the event that permission is given to you, the modifications must be used according to the terms and conditions of the License you purchased and all modifications and additions shall become and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Commercial Type. You may not sell, lend, or otherwise transmit any modifications or additions to the Font Software to any third party. You agree that any webfonts not directly provided by Commercial Type, such as webfonts that have been subset by Licensee will be supported at Commercial Type’s sole discretion.

Other jurisdictions may provide for additional rights, and if applicable, you may reverse engineer or decompile the Font Software only to the extent that sufficient information is not available for the purpose of creating an interoperable software program (but only for such purpose and only to the extent that sufficient information is not provided by Commercial Type upon written request). All trademarks shall be used in accordance with accepted trademark practice, including identification of the trademark owner’s name. Use of the trademarks associated with the Font Software inures solely to the benefit of Commercial Type.

If you are unsure whether your use of the Font Software is specifically permitted under this Agreement, contact Commercial Type. All uses of Commercial Type Fonts require a license.

What this section means

You can subset webfonts licensed from us, but you will need written permission from us before making any other kind of modifications or additions to a font which you have licensed from us, or hiring anyone else to do so. We can only support the font files we provided, meaning that if you subset your own webfonts, we can’t support them. If you require modifications to a font, we can do the work for you quickly and at a reasonable cost. Please contact us at info[at] for more information.


Commercial Type Font Software is licensed for use by a specified number of users and for specified uses.

What this section means

This license is not limited to one geographical location; a company with multiple locations may share one font license for all employees so long as they are within the number of licensed users.


Except as may be otherwise expressly provided for herein, you expressly agree not to rent, lease, sublicense, give, lend, or further distribute the Font Software. 

What this section means

You may not give or lend copies of the font files to anyone else, unless you transfer the license to the third party (along with a copy of this EULA and all other documentation that may have been included with the fonts) and destroy all copies of the font files in your possession, including backups.


Commercial Type warrants that the Font Software will perform substantially in accordance with its documentation for ninety (90) days following delivery of the Font Software. To make a warranty claim, you must either return the Font Software to the location from which you obtained it together with a copy of your sales receipt or, if acquired on-line, contact the on-line provider with sufficient information regarding your acquisition of the Font Software to permit the confirmation of the effective date of this License. Schwartzco, Inc. and Commercial Type hereby EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS AND IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. COMMERCIAL TYPE DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE OPERATION OF THE FONT SOFTWARE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, OR THAT THE FONT SOFTWARE IS WITHOUT DEFECTS. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL COMMERCIAL TYPE BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PARTY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, FOR ANY SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, SAVINGS OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF THE FONT SOFTWARE EVEN IF NOTIFIED IN ADVANCE OF SUCH POSSIBILITY. You hereby agree that your entire, exclusive, and cumulative liability and remedy shall be limited to the purchase price of this Font Software License. Under no circumstances shall Schwartzco, Inc.’s or Commercial Type’s liability to you exceed either the refunding of the cost of the Font Software License or replacement of the Font Software either of which shall be at Commercial Type’s sole discretion.

What this section means

The fonts will perform as promised in the documentation, and we will provide technical support within a reasonable timeframe, to the best of our ability. In the event of a refund, we cannot refund more than the purchase price for the license, and all copies of the fonts in your possession must be destroyed.


OTHER LAW – CONSUMERS ONLY. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or special damages, implied warranties, or implied warranties as they relate to sales to consumers. ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OR OTHER RIGHT CREATED BY LAW IS ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR THE NINETY (90) DAY WARRANTY PERIOD. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND AFTER THE NINETY (90) DAY WARRANTY PERIOD. To the extent permissible by law, you agree that all implied warranties are not to be effective for more than thirty (30) days.

What this section means

This paragraph is required by law and simply means that any warranty (explicit or implied) is limited.


You expressly agree that this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York, USA, as they apply to contracts entered into and wholly performed therein and without respect to its conflict of laws provisions or the conflict of laws provisions of any other jurisdiction. You expressly submit to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in the State of New York, USA, agree to waive any defenses arising out of the selection of jurisdiction or venue and further agree to service of process by mail. You hereby expressly agree that the application of the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded.

What this section means

Our main office is in New York City, so this agreement is governed by the laws of New York State.


You acknowledge that you have read and understand this Agreement and that by using the software you agree to be bound by its terms and conditions. You further agree that it is the complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between Commercial Type and Licensee which supersedes any proposal or prior agreement, oral or written, and any other communications relating to the subject matter of this Agreement. No variation of the terms of this Agreement or any different terms will be enforceable in the absence of an express written amendment, or consent, including a written express waiver of the affected terms of this Agreement. If any provision of this Agreement is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void, or unenforceable, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect, and the invalid provision shall be replaced by Commercial Type with a provision that effects the intent of the invalid provision. Commercial Type expressly reserves the right to amend or modify its License Agreements at any time and without prior notification.

What this section means

Again, please read this document carefully, because you agree to its terms by installing the font software.


The Agreement shall automatically terminate in the event You or any authorized user breaches any term or condition set forth herein. Notwithstanding any termination of this License, Commercial Type expressly reserves all other rights and remedies under equity or law. The Agreement may only be modified in a writing signed by an authorized officer of Commercial Type.

What this section means

If any of the terms in this agreement are broken, the license is no longer valid. We will notify you in writing if the EULA changes.


You agree to be responsible for compliance with all laws, foreign and domestic relating to the control of exports or the transfer of technology. If you are purchasing this License for government use, or under a government contract, you agree to familiarize yourself with and follow any applicable rules and regulations relating to the purchase of a license to use software and the actual use thereof.

All inquiries and arrangements for returns, if any, may be sent via e-mail to info[at] The Commercial Type website is located at

©2023 Schwartzco, Inc. d/b/a Commercial Type. All Rights Reserved.

What this section means

You agree to follow the law and other applicable rules in your use of this font license.



Your license may include these Types of Uses, if purchased. See the receipt and license document delivered with the font files for details. Some of these license types may not be purchased via this website.

Please contact info[at] for details and pricing.

Creation with Distribution Licenses

  1. App License

    1. Allows for embedding in Applications or Apps using the iOS, Windows Mobile, and Android mobile operating system formats.

    2. License is per individual title, without restriction as to the type of OS.

  2. Web License

    1. Use the Font Software to style HTML and SVG documents using the CSS @font-face mechanism.

    2. Use in email permitted, with fonts served from licensee’s server.

    3. License covers a discrete number of domains, with unlimited subdomains permitted for each.

    4. License covers an aggregated total number of unique monthly visitors across all licensed domains.

    5. If the maximum number of allowed unique visitors is exceeded for three (3) consecutive months, the purchase of an additional license is required. Commercial reserves the right to inspect or monitor your usage.

    6. You shall make a reasonable attempt to prevent the use of any process that allows hot-linking, re-serving or re-directing access to and/or use of the Font Software by unlicensed parties. You agree to exercise commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that the Font Software is retained with the other assets associated with the licensed domains.

    7. For the purposes of clarity, the use of third party font hosting services is strictly prohibited and the Font Software should be stored and served from the same devices and location as the other software and assets associated with the licensed domains.

  3. ePub License

    1. For use of the font software to style text in ePubs, for use in any operating system or device in which embedded fonts are supported.

  4. Software/Video Game Embedding License

    1. For embedding the fonts in non-mobile desktop software for use in MacOS, Windows, Linux, etc.

    2. License is per individual title, without restriction as to the type of OS or Platform.

  5. Device Embedding License

    1. For embedding fonts in any type of electronic device.

    2. This License is granted only on a per device basis.

  6. Automated Document Production Server License

    1. This License permits installing the Fonts Software on a server that generates documents automatically, such as bank statements, credit card bills, investment fund prospectuses, among others. 

    2. For creating user-generated content using the fonts, such as logos or templated documents.

  7. Embedded Content License

    1. For content using the font, distributed through content aggregators or ad networks:

      1. HTML5-based advertising.

      2. Embedded content in services such as Facebook Instant, Google AMP, Apple News, etc.

    2. License is for a discrete number of impressions.

    3. For use where the Fonts are hosted on the creator’s server, or CDN.

  8.  Merchandise License

    1. For use in creating merchandise for sale, among others, on goods such as apparel, mugs, housewares in which a logotype or other text set in the typeface is the primary design element;

    2. Promotional items given away for free are covered by the standard desktop license and do not require a merchandise license;

    3. Packaging and point of purchase promotion is covered by desktop license;

    4. Electronic devices, third party software, etc. would require an Embedding license, not a merchandise license

  9. Document-Based Editable Embedding License

    1. PDF embedding is permitted in the standard Desktop License.

    2. This License permits changing the embedding setting from Print & Preview (default) to Editable Embedding, which allows a Font to be embedded in a document which can then be viewed, printed, and edited.

  10. External Platform License (for platform user)

    1. For use of the font on third party platforms and services.

    2. Examples:

      1. Font is loaded onto for licensee to make templated presentations.

      2. Font is used on website that automates production of business cards for licensee.

    3. Fonts are hosted on the third party server, or shared CDN. No further distribution is allowed.

    4. Content may only be produced/edited by the license holder (fonts cannot be used by the third-party platform or other users of the third-party-platform not authorized by licensee).

    5. Font must be removed from third-party platform upon discontinuation of the third-party services.

  11. Distribution License

    1. Allows for distribution of desktop fonts to a third party who needs to work with the fonts on licensee’s behalf. Subcontractor will receive a desktop license that limits usage to working with the licensing client, along with the standard EULA.

    2. License covers a discrete number of third parties doing work on behalf of licensee simultaneously.

What this section means

This attachment to the EULA details the usage permitted under each license type, some of which can be purchased on this website, and some of which can only be obtained by contacting us and working with our licensing department. Please contact info[at] for assistance.




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The model for Brunel Text, Caslon’s English No. 1 (14 pt), cut by John Isaac Drury at the turn of the eighteenth century for Elizabeth Caslon. As shown in Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, 4th Edition, London, 1801. Printed by William Bulmer.

As Bodoni is Italian and Didot is French, Brunel is a British modern. Together, they share many commonalities of a style that swept away all that came before it in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: each displays a higher than normal contrast between thick and thin strokes, vertical stress, and a reduction and rationalization of form. In detail, however, they are distinct in showing how regional and nuanced the style can be. While the continental moderns achieved a fame that has outlasted their masters (how many Didot and Bodoni revivals are there?), a particular name or style of a British modern has never been as dominant.

Brunel encapsulates the qualities that identify the British variant of the modern style. It combines European influences with a set of more localized details and traditions that signify a starting point for the stylistic departure of the nineteenth century and the visual revolution that followed. As such, Brunel represents the starting point for the Commercial Classics series and embodies the ideas which the first designs explore. From the structure inherent in Brunel, we can see how these were developed into the fat faces, slabs, Italians, and sans forms that were the defining styles of the nineteenth century.


The famed transitionals of Alexander Wilson & Sons of Glasgow, cut in the second half of the eighteenth century, following the model John Baskerville pioneered. After the firm’s collapse in the 1840s, much of the stock was taken over by Marr, Gallie, & Co. In its later iteration as James Marr, they reissued the Wilson faces. Specimen of Modern and Ancient Printing Types, &c. by James Marr & Co. c. 1866. St Bride Library. 

The first British modern as cut by Richard Austin, originally cut for John Bell. Austin’s modern has a gentler approach to letterforms than that of the Didot modern and remains localised in detail. A Specimen of Printing Types by S. & C. Stephenson, 1796 (facsimile edition, Printing Historical Society, 1990).

Changes in fashion, new requirements in printing, and improvements in technology all contributed to the stylistic advancement of the serif letterform from the fifteenth century onwards. In the eighteenth century, such change accelerated, and much is made of the innovations of John Baskerville (1707–1775) in letterform and printing. In style, his typefaces mark the beginning of a divide between the ‘old face’ of Caslon and the new styles yet to come. Baskerville’s influence extended throughout Britain and, eventually, across Europe. Edmund Fry and Isaac Moore of Bristol, as well as Alexander Wilson of Glasgow, imitated Baskerville and even surpassed him at times. Within a decade of Baskerville’s death in the 1780s, the Didot family produced the first truly modern typeface and, in doing so, rendered the existing roman styles dated. While foundries continued to cast their older styles into the new century (Wilson cast his transitional style of the 1770s as late as 1819), it was the modern that represented the future.

The modern style reached Britain by 1788, as shown by Richard Austin’s work for John Bell. As forms, these early British moderns retain a softness and warmth that disappear in later moderns. In their details, they remain resolutely local: for example, the tail of the R, with its gentle kink finishing in a serif, makes it a distinctly British letter. Austin, as a trade engraver, would simply have made what he was used to, emphasising the stylistic influence not only of the printed letter, but also the handmade variant. The speed of change, however, pushed this gentle style out within a decade, a shift clearly marked by the Caslon foundry’s adoption of the modern. 

Within three decades of William Caslon’s death, Elizabeth Caslon (the widow of his grandson, who had become the owner of the foundry), ordered the first moderns. Like John Bell, she employed a trade engraver, John Isaac Drury, to cut the modern design in multiple sizes. From his work we can see that Drury, like Austin, was a skilled and talented individual who quickly mastered the form.

The first moderns for the Caslon foundry were cut by John Isaac Drury at the end of the eighteenth century for Elizabeth Caslon. The Double Pica was cut in 1796, of which the punches survive at St Bride Library. The smaller size Pica is dated 1799 and the English size (on which Brunel is based) was cut before 1801. This specimen is unique and from the New York Public Library.

These first moderns from Caslon are shown in sheets dated 1796 and 1799, now held at New York Public Library. The Pica size of the Caslon modern (around 12 point today) and the later-cut English size (around 14 point) achieved some fame and praise. In 1825, the famed typographical writer T C Hansard marvelled in Typographia at its popularity and claimed that the work of Bodoni had been improved upon by Drury. In his Printing Types of 1922, Updike reproduces Drury’s type as used in the volume, Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, printed by Bulmer in 1801. These are the main models for Brunel.

Just what is it that makes these forms so appealing? Why did Hansard and Updike mark them out as being of such high quality? Caslon was not the only foundry who produced moderns during this period in Britain; certainly by 1803, Robert Thorne produced an entire specimen that contains many modern style faces. It seems that what makes them of such high quality is that Drury was one of the earliest punchcutters to successfully marry continental style with British sensibilities. In the English size, we find a form that is confident in what it is. It clearly shows the direction that the serif form would take in Britain during the next few decades.

Drury’s work manages to mix the high contrast and simplification of the continental modern with the sensibility of a British style as it had evolved during the eighteenth century. The capitals are more regularized in width; the italics are narrower and more upright in angle. The Q has a tail with a loop; the R has a tail that curves up; the bottom half of the C does not end with a serif, differing from the continental model. These are forms that would be repeated in later styles. Look at the sharpness of the top serif of the E, F, and T. The numerals are not quite capital height (like those of Bell, the 6 ascends and the 7 and 9 descend) and, in style, would not be out of place on an eighteenth-century gravestone or a clock face. We see how forms were still not fixed: alternative forms of the K in the roman and the Q in the italic, the unusual swash Z, or the lowercase t with both the continental flat-topped version and the British curved version. The swash letter that Baskerville and Austin employed would appear with some regularity in the British modern; swash A, N, M, V, W, and Y are common features of the fat face form. The tail of the italic ampersand descends below the baseline and curves back on itself. It is in the italic where the departures from the continental model are most obvious. At text sizes, the letters are more condensed than the typical Bodoni or Didot, and the italic is much more obviously compact and denser on the page than the continental form.

The popularity of Drury’s work during the early nineteenth century allows easy examination of his output. Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin is one of the best showcases for his work, as are the specimens from Caslon in its various guises at the end of turn of nineteenth century. A further source is Cabel Stower’s The printer’s grammar from 1808, which features ten pages of specimens from the Caslon and Catherwood foundry. These types continued to appear in Caslon specimens into the second decade of the nineteenth century. By the third decade of the nineteenth century, Drury’s work was increasingly being surpassed by new and more austere modern style faces which, to our eyes, often lack the elegance and quality of his work. 

Remarkably, many different sets of Drury’s punches survive. Retained by the foundry until bankruptcy in 1936, they were purchased at auction by the Monotype Corporation, which set about recording the punches by taking smoke proofs, a process curtailed by the outbreak of war in 1939. Smoke proofs were taken for around 250 of 1050 boxes. Monotype’s original intention appears to have been to use some of the types as models for future revivals. In the end, only one typeface was made from the material: Monotype New Clarendon (series 617 & 618) in 1960. The punches were eventually donated to the Oxford University Press in 1964 before being deposited at St Bride Library in 1973.

The St Bride materials include the particular punches and smoke proofs for Drury’s English No.1 roman and italic (they were initially donated by Monotype to the College of Art in Canterbury, but were later returned in the 1970s). Despite the wear and tear of nearly 200 years, it is clear how talented the punchcutter was; they still sparkle and impress with their confidence and quality.

Larger and Larger

Two Lines English No. 2, cut in 1803. The punchcutter is unidentified, though it could be speculated they are the work of John Isaac Drury. Specimen of Printing Types by Caslon & Catherwood, undated, but before 1821. St Bride Library.

Italic of Two Lines English, cut in 1803. The italic is both wider and more angled than the text sizes; note the unusual K and swash form. Specimen of Printing Types by Caslon & Catherwood, undated, but before 1821. St Bride Library.

As a modern, one of Brunel’s defining features is its high contrast. In the early nineteenth century, each size of a typeface would have been individually adjusted in terms of its design, so that contrast could be controlled across the range of sizes. As size increased, so did contrast. To achieve the same contrast between sizes of type today, we have to create a set of separate master designs, though digitally and not in steel.

Large sizes of type had always existed, but it was in the nineteenth century that they began to really proliferate in terms of the range of sizes and variations available for the new demands of printers, for the increasing display and advertising-based typography we associate with the nineteenth century. Competition between foundries was constant in producing larger and (later) bolder type. A Caslon and Catherwood specimen from the first two decades of the nineteenth century, for example, shows type at sizes ranging from Five-line Pica (around 60 point) downwards, though many of the larger sizes are the bolder style that would dominate the founder’s specimens in the second decade of the century. Some of the regular weighted examples, such as the Two Line English, influenced the larger sizes of Brunel. Though these designs cannot be attributed to Drury himself they share much with his text sizes and offer clues to what larger sizes of his letters would look like.

As size increases, the features become more defined: hairlines thin out, modulation between thick and thin strokes become more abrupt, bracketing of serifs is less generous, and the rounding where balls join strokes gets smaller and tighter. With increased size, the angle of the italic also becomes steeper and the letters wider; for example, from an angle of 14 degrees for the English No. 1 (14 point) to over 19 degrees for the Two-line Great Primer (36 point).

The changes between sizes would have been in part a design decision (in part also the human factor in making letters over multiple sizes) and in part a response to the effects of printing and ink spread, which is greater at smaller sizes. The changes in the ratio between thick and thin strokes at the different type sizes illustrate this. For the English size, for example, the thick to thin stroke contrast of Drury’s type is around 2.7:1 (the actual punch has a ratio of 5.45:1 showing how much ink spread effects the final printed appearance of a type) and for Two-line Great Primer, the ratio is 5:1. The size range of Brunel extends beyond Great Primer, with a range of four masters: text and deck at 5.45:1, poster at 10.9:1, and then 36.33:1 for the largest sizes at the roman weight. This contrast between thick and thin strokes is even higher than that of the largest continental moderns; the French typefounder Molé made types with a ratio of approximately 20:1. Modern digital type can be made to any size, and modern printing can reproduce the finest of Brunel’s hairlines.

Bolder and Bolder

Large-sized bold modern type, produced by Fry and Steele during the first decade of the nineteenth century. This sample shows the direction that all foundries would follow in the next decade, culminating in the heaviest fat faces. Specimen is undated, but has various pages and watermarks dated between 1804–10. St Bride Library.

The increase in the size of the letters would not have surprised Drury—he would be surrounded by examples of large-scale letterforms, painted, carved, and manufactured. However, what would have surprised any engraver is how bold letters would become in the nineteenth century. The vertical stress and the simplicity of form make the modern a style where weight can be added logically to thick strokes, as much as the modern is suitable for increasing contrast. Though one can find examples of bolder old faces, these cannot compare with the modern letters introduced in the first thirty years of the nineteenth century. It is hard to be certain who is responsible for this change towards more exaggeratedly bolder forms, and it may be assumed that bold lettering predates bold type. We know that around 1808, Fry showed a bold style of letter and, from this time, letters would only become bolder with each year. By 1810, Thorne was certainly showing faces that we would consider fat faces.

Foundries continued to produce normal weights of the seriffed letter, although visually these became secondary to the bolder new styles. If we compare a version of Caslon and Catherwood’s Two-line Great Primer from 1803 with a version cut by the same foundry no later than 1821, the increase in the weight of thick stroke is over 60%, yet the thin remains almost the same and the x-height is only slightly larger. This was a time before large systematic type families of related weights, so no intermediate weights existed and the typography relied on extreme contrasts between size and weight. Brunel, on the other hand, follows contemporary models unifing multiple weights in one family. It comes in multiple weights: five in the text and eight in the hairline, including a light weight unseen in the nineteenth century.

Brunel differs from the model in that all the weights were designed to join together, from the roman that Drury would have cut, through to a black that belongs to the following decade. Modern methods also allow the designer to create great modulation in the weight range quickly.

The modern marks the beginning of the nineteenth-century explosion in new letterforms. The first of the moderns created by Drury for the Caslon foundry were exemplary of the style, showing a maturity and confidence in execution that match those of the continental masters. In Brunel, Drury also becomes the starting point for Commercial Classics, with this revival encapsulating the aims of the new venture, taking the past as a starting point from which to recreate and expand, offering something new, and—most importantly—useful with what contemporary designers expect from modern families.

Written by Paul Barnes