Type Trading Cards: Century Schoolbook/ Columbus
Century Schoolbook’s initial appearance was in a 1920 supplement to American Type Founders’ large type catalog published several years earlier. This was followed by a much more elaborate showing in the company’s famous 1923 typeface catalog. The promotional copy that accompanied the font showing in the 1923 typeface specimen book says it all. “Century Schoolbook was designed to meet the requirements of colleges and boards of education, at the same time taking into consideration the conclusion arrived at by other authorities… While this series is designed primarily for schoolbooks, storybooks for children, periodicals, and general school printing, it also makes a splendid letter for job work and advertising typography because of its very desirable characteristics.” True in 1923, true today.
Patricia Saunders drew Columbus under the design direction of Robin Nicholas in Monotype Imaging’s UK design office. Based on historical sources, Saunders drew a fresh and lively typeface perfectly suited to contemporary tastes and needs. She retained a few pleasingly archaic letters, such as ‘h’, but avoided other quirky forms that might jar present-day readers.
Instead of making a facsimile of a typically irregular fifteenth-century or sixteenth-century font, Saunders softened the attributes of these earlier designs and melded this with traits that support current publishing requirements. The result was the creation of a beautiful and versatile new typeface.
- Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs. He is also responsible for editorial content for the company’s type libraries and Web sites.
- Prior to working for Monotype, Mr. Haley was Principal of Resolution, a consulting firm with expertise in fonts, font technology, type and typographic communication. He was also executive vice president of International Typeface Corporation.
- Mr. Haley is ex officio Chairman of the Board of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, and past President of the New York Type Directors Club. He is highly regarded as an educator and is a frequently requested speaker at national computer and design conferences.
- Mr. Haley is also a prolific writer, with five books on type and graphic communication and hundreds of articles for graphic design publications to his credit.