“Anyone that would letterspace blackletter would steal sheep.”
Frederic W. Goudy (born March 8, 1865, Bloomington, Illinois, U.S.—died May 11, 1947, Marlboro, New York), American printer and typographer who designed more than 100 typefaces outstanding for their strength and beauty.
Goudy taught himself printing and typography while working as a bookkeeper. In 1895, in partnership with a teacher of English, C. Lauren Hooper, he set up the Camelot Press in Chicago, which printed the Chap-book, widely praised for its fine design, for Stone & Kimball publishers. He sold the first typeface he designed, called Camelot, to a Boston printer for $10. In 1903, in association with his wife, Bertha, and with Will Ransom, he started the Village Press in Park Ridge, Illinois. Goudy moved the Village Press to Massachusetts in 1904 and to New York City in 1906. After several more moves, Goudy and the Village Press came to rest in 1923 in Marlboro, New York. The workshop and associated type foundry burned in 1939.
Goudy’s career as a printer and designer began to grow with the fortunes of the press. In 1908, he created his first significant typeface for the Lanston Monotype Machine Company: E-38, sometimes known as Goudy Light. However, in that same year the Village Press burned to the ground, destroying all of his equipment and designs. In 1911, Goudy produced his first “hit”, Kennerly Old Style, for an H.G. Wells anthology published by Mitchell Kennerly. His most widely used type, Goudy Oldstyle, was released by the American Type Founders Company in 1915, becoming an instant classic. Its graceful letterforms made it visually appealing, while its shortened descenders allowed printers to squeeze more type on a page.
Goudy taught at the Art Students League (1916–24) and New York University (1927–29).. He produced such faces as Goudy Old Style, Kennerley, Garamond, and Forum for the American Type Founders and Lanston companies. He was the author of The Alphabet (1918), Elements of Lettering (1922), Typologia (1940), and the autobiographical A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography, 1895–1945 (1946).