Posts Tagged ‘typefounding’

C.C. Stern Type Foundry & Museum to Open Its Doors in Early 2011

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Just learned of the C.C. Stern Type Foundry and museum in Portland, Oregon. The announcement on their website reads:

“Our working museum is one of the only operating type foundries between San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. Our capability to make metal type and decorative print elements, and to share that craft with the community, fills a growing need within the Pacific Northwest’s vital network of designers, letterpress printers and book artists.

The mission of the C.C. Stern Type Foundry is to cultivate a unique connection between industry and the arts in the Pacific Northwest. For the first phase of the museum’s operation, our focus will be on relearning the skills and revitalizing the experiences of the working type foundry. The museum will provide educational programming, including live demonstrations of the foundry equipment and type casting processes. The museum will provide working displays and collected references, and serve as an educational resource center for teachers and students of history, printing, publishing, design, creative writing, book arts, and journalism.”

Read more here. read the Stern Type Foundry blog here.

Good video: Michael and Winifred Bixler Press and Letterfoundry

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

A good profile of typefounder Michael Bixler. Love that foundry and composing room!

Michael and Winifred Bixler Press and Letterfoundry from Mary M Jones on Vimeo.

Thanks to Michael Russem for the link.

— Paul Razzell

Jim Rimmer’s typefoundry finds a new home

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

This past Sunday several hundred people gathered at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to celebrate the memory of Jim Rimmer, typographer, typefounder, printer, and graphic artist.

Since Jim’s passing in January of this year, many people in the printing, typography, and fine press communities have been worried — and with good reason — that Jim’s typefounding and casting knowledge would pass on with him.

It was an exciting moment, then, when the young and energetic Jason Dewinetz of Greenboathouse Press announced in his eulogy that much of Jim’s typefounding and printing equipment will not be moved to a museum or university archive. Instead, Jason has arranged to purchase this equipment from the Rimmer family and move it to Vernon, B.C., where it will continue to be used in the production of finely printed books. We couldn’t hope for a better home for this equipment.

Jason’s announcement was a relief to many, just as it was a relief to learn several years ago that Richard Kegler of P22 Typefoundry had purchased the rights to distribute Jim’s digital font library, thereby relieving Jim of the task of promoting his own work—something Jim seemed constitutionally unable to do.

It is great to see Jim’s legacy passed on in such a tangible way.

Two documentaries about Jim Rimmer in the works:

Many of you already know that Richard Kegler is finishing work on a documentary film about Jim Rimmer called Making Faces: A Documentary on Cutting Metal Type. See

There is another Rimmer documentary in the works: Ryan Mah, who apprenticed with Jim, filmed Jim at work every Sunday for three years. This footage is now being edited and From Lead to Gold: A Portrait of Jim Rimmer will appear this fall. You can watch the trailer here:

Rimmer from Ryan Mah on Vimeo.

We’ll report on both of these films when they are released.

— Paul Razzell

Filmmaker seeks donations to complete documentary of Jim Rimmer

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I’m posting this on behalf of Richard Kegler, the filmmaker whose Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century — a documentary of type designer and type founder Jim Rimmer — stands in need of funding if it is to move forward. Kegler’s obituary of Jim Rimmer, who passed away this winter, will appear in the fall 2010 issue of Parenthesis. Read Richard Kegler’s appeal for donations below. Click here to donate.

About this project

Two years ago I shot footage (in HD video) for a documentary on possibly the only person who designed and fabricated fonts in both digital and metal formats. This person, Jim Rimmer, has died this year and this delayed project is in need of finishing. My commitments to starting a book arts center and making it work in one of the poorest cities in America has taken more of my time and resources than ever imagined.

With additional funds I can secure finishing assistance and be able to produce the film and schedule screenings as well as produce a DVD that will be made available via documentary and educational channels.

The trailer for the film was made with an optimistic target release of Spring 2009. The trailer can be seen on youtube here:…

This project has a dual goal of documenting the almost-lost skill of creating metal fonts and of capturing the personality and work process specifically of practitioner the late Canadian graphic artist Jim Rimmer (1931-2010). P22 type foundry commissioned Mr. Rimmer to create a new type design (Stern) that became the first-ever simultaneous release of a digital font and, hand-set metal font in 2008. The skills needed to create a metal font are known by very few people and Mr. Rimmer was generous to a fault when it came to sharing his knowledge. Considering that Jim Rimmer was possibly the only individual who designed and cast typefaces in metal as well as in digital format, this opportunity to document the processes of the historic with the contemporary would not present itself again.

This documentary was begun with a minimal budget but with expectations of a final edited film in Hi-Def digital video that would be accessible and useful for typography professionals and graphic arts schools and to a more general audience interested in motivation and obsession of a fascinating, esoteric and culturally omnipresent field of work. The final film on DVD is planned to be screened at festivals, graphic arts conferences and made available to schools, other interested organizations, individuals and broadcast outlets.

The home stretch in finishing this film is primarily making the time and securing additional assistance in tightening up some detail. Then it will be ready for the world. The lack of firm obligations to backers or release dates made this a hazy obligation. Every kickstarter backer for this project will now be my motivation to have the obligation to get this project finished. Many levels of pledge rewards will provide a pre order opportunity.

Thank you
Richard Kegler

Typefounding on the frontier: The first Canadian types

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


Imagine you are a 19th-century English missionary posted to a remote community in Manitoba, then part of Upper Canada, and your job is to evangelize the natives—only half of whom can read English. There are several local languages but they share no common orthography and there are no printed prayer books, Bibles or other materials in the languages of the locals. How, then, do you preach the gospel? James Evans (1801–1846) was just such a missionary and admirably rose to this challenge, learning several languages, inventing a new system of orthography and, in the true frontier spirit, producing his own type from bullets and the lead lining of tea chests. These were the first Canadian types. Matrices were made by carving letterforms in endgrain Oak, ink made from lampblack and fish oil, paper made from birch bark, etc.

If you’re curious about Evans’ work, you’ll be interested in the experiment Ross Mills carried out over at Tiro Typeworks: Ross, a type designer who works in the digital medium (and, with his Tiro partner John Hudson, has created digital fonts for the Canadian syllabic scripts Inuktitut and Cree) has tried to duplicate Evans’ method of fashioning matrices, type, and paper and has recorded the experiment in photos, which you can see here. Read more about Evans’ evangelical work here.

—Paul Razzell

‘Stern’ font a typographic first

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


A font issued simultaneously in metal and digital forms? You bet. The P22 Typefoundry is taking orders for Jim Rimmer’s Stern type as a 14A 28a font (16 pt on 18 pt only) or as a digital font. “The response to the metal version of Stern has been overwhelming,” reports P22, who must be the only commercial foundry to offer metal and digital versions of a single face. As someone who has used Jim’s metal type for many years (and who learned how to engrave and cast from Jim) I can attest to the high quality of his casting. And what does Stern look like? See here.

–Paul Razzell