The stamps or dies which impress the letters on the paper in printing. Type includes not only the letters which form the words of any language, but also the punctuational symbols, spaces, quadrats, &c. A complete assortment of these is called a Fount (q.v.), which may be large or small, but as certain of the types are used more frequently than others there is a regular scale of the proportion of the different characters, which is called a Bill of Type, of which a specimen is annexed. Owing to the varying styles of authors and the diverse subjects of books, there will generally be found a number of particular sorts deficient in a fount, whatever the proportions may have been at first. A new fount of letter may run evenly on a work in general literature written in the third person, while a novel filled with dialogues in the first person will rapidly exhaust certain letters, and require sorts to render the fount serviceable to its full general capacity. So with scientific and other books. Even in the case of two authors writing on the same subject, there is no certainty that the fount will run alike. The master-printer, therefore, to keep the entire letter in use. is compelled to order sorts, and his fount is thus constantly growing larger.—See Letters.

The following is a bill of type (referred to in the previous paragraph), and shows the proportions for 800℔s. of Pica:—

  • a8500
  • b1600
  • c3000
  • d4400
  • e12000
  • f2500
  • g1700
  • h6400
  • i8000
  • j400
  • k800
  • l4000
  • m3000
  • n8000
  • o8000
  • p1700
  • q500
  • r6200
  • s8000
  • t9000
  • u3400
  • v1200
  • w2000
  • x400
  • y2000
  • z200
  • &200
  • ff400
  • fi500
  • fl200
  • ffl100
  • ffi150
  • æ100
  • œ60
  • 150
  • ——90
  • ———60
  • ,4500
  • ;800
  • :600
  • .2000
  • -1000
  • ?200
  • !150
  • 700
  • (300
  • [150
  • *100
  • 100
  • 100
  • §100
  • 100
  • 60
  • 11300
  • 21200
  • 31100
  • 41000
  • 51000
  • 61000
  • 71000
  • 81000
  • 91000
  • 01300
  • é200
  • à200
  • â200
  • ê200

All other accents 100 each.

  • @ ⅌ ℔50 ea.
  • 30
  • A600
  • B400
  • C500
  • D500
  • E600
  • F400
  • G400
  • H400
  • I800
  • J300
  • K300
  • L500
  • M400
  • N400
  • O400
  • P400
  • Q180
  • R400
  • S500
  • T650
  • U300
  • V300
  • W400
  • X180
  • Y300
  • Z80
  • Æ40
  • Œ30
  • ¼150
  • ½150
  • ¾150
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • a300
  • b200
  • c250
  • d250
  • e300
  • f200
  • g200
  • h200
  • i400
  • j150
  • k150
  • l250
  • m200
  • n200
  • o200
  • p200
  • q90
  • r200
  • s250
  • t326
  • u150
  • v150
  • w200
  • x90
  • y150
  • z40
  • æ20
  • œ15
  • Thick18000
  • Middle12000
  • Thin8000
  • Hair3000
  • Em Quds2500
  • En Quds5000
  • Large Quadsabout 80 lbs.

Italic, one-tenth of Roman.


(From Gr. typos, an impression or stamp). The letters, marks, and signs, with which letterpress printing is executed. If these letters are small, they are cast in metal; if large, they are cut out of wood. In every written language there is a fixed number of different characters used to form words; but the relative proportion in which these letters are used varies according to the construction of the language. By printers, a complete assortment of type is called a Fount, which is comprised under nine heads, including the following sorts:

  1. Capitals.
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Æ Œ &.
  2. Small Capitals.
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Æ Œ.
  3. Lower Case.
    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z æ œ ff fi ffi fl ffl.
  4. Figures.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0.
  5. Points, &c.
    , ; : . ? ! - ’ () [] * † ‡ § ∥ ¶ — {.
  6. Four kinds of spaces.
  7. Em and en quadrats.
  8. Two, three, and four em quadrats.
  9. Accents.

The fount may be large or small, according to the quantity of words required to be composed out of it; but the quantity of each kind of letter necessary is according to the frequency in which it is used. For example, in English the letter e is used largely in excess of any other. A scale of the proportion of the different kind of type in a fount of a given weight is called by the typefounders a Bill.

The earliest types used were those known as Gothic, or Black letter (q.v.), which were afterwards superseded, except in Germany, by the Roman letter.

The varieties of size of types in the present day amount to forty or fifty, enlarging, by a progressive scale, from the minutest used in printing pocket-bibles, to the largest which is seen on posting-bills in the streets. Printers have a distinct name for each size of letter, and use about sixteen sizes in different descriptions of book work; the smallest is called Brilliant, the next Diamond, and then follow in gradation upwards. Pearl, Ruby, Nonpareil, Emerald, Minion, Brevier, Bourgeois, Long Primer, Small Pica, Pica, English, Great Primer, and Double Pica. The larger sizes generally take their names thus—Two-Line Pica, Two-line English, Four, Six, Eight, or Ten-line Pica, &c. (See these names in their alphabetical order.) Other nations designate many of these sizes by different names. Some of these names were given from the first makers; others from the books first printed with the particular letter. Thus, Cicero is the name of a type in France and Germany, with which Cirero’s letters were first printed (Rome, 1467); Pica is from the service of the mass, termed Pica or Pic; Primer, from Primarius, the book of Prayers to the Virgin; Brevier, from Breviary; Canon, from the Canotis of the Church. Whatever be the size of the types, they are all made of a uniform height, and must be perfectly true in their angles, otherwise it would be quite impossible to lock them together. A single irregular type would derange a whole page.

The height of type made in this country is twenty-nine thirty-seconds of an inch; those in France, Spain, and Germany are higher. All the types of one class of any founder are always uniform in size and height; and to preserve their individuality, all the letters, points, &c., belonging to one class are distinguished by one or more ‘nicks’ on the body of the type, which ought to range evenly when the types are set. These ‘nicks’ are also exceedingly useful in guiding the hand of the compositor. Types are likewise all equally grooved in the bottom, to make them stand steadily.—See Letters.

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