Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

What constitutes a full fount?

Started by Dave Hughes, May 19, 2008, 07:55:34 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type

Dave Hughes

I've recently got my hands on a very large amount of hand-setting type (see photograph below, taken in the grounds of Metal Type HQ).

I'm planning on having a good sort through the stuff (it's a mixture of foundry type and Monotype) and making it available through this website. I've got the vinegar and paraffin on standby!

But my question is this: What constitutes a "Full Fount" - obviously I realise it will vary depending on whether we're talking about display sizes (14pt and above) or text sizes.

Anyone know how many of each character would be deemed to be a "full fount?"

Type storage at Metal Type HQ
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


I think that something like A4 a9 is probably seen as full fount for text faces, but I'm no expert.

Where is Metaltype HQ?

Dave Hughes

Thanks for that minorbob and welcome to the Metal Type forum  :)

A very useful link indeed - I think you're right, the A4 a9 would be a useful size - who's hand-setting books these days?

Metal Type HQ is situated in the beautiful city of York in the county of North Yorkshire, UK.

You can see some photos, videos, etc. from York's Observation Wheel here:
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


Ahh yes - York is indeed a beautiful city. My wife and I had a fabulous holiday there last year.

If you were a little closer to Oxford, I'd offer to come and help you sort the type ... but as it is I will just have to wait until you list it on here to see what's available!

stafford baker

In those cases, quite possibly from an ordinary printer without their own Monotype casting set up, there
should be founts defined by weight.   4 pound or eight pound or ten pound founts  were the usual
standards from the like of Yendalls (Riscatype)  or Mouldtype or Startype.   These would originally have had a specific number of characters according to the fount synopsis  for that size as shown in the front of their catalogues.. One can even sometimes find an 'M' or star pin mark and know exactly where the type came from. ( If you need that info, I can provide it, as I have their books. )  Foundry type  from the likes of Stepehenson Blake  (with the SB pin mark) was quite another matter,  and not nearly so easy to be be certain about     Very small founts - 'card founts' as sold by the likes of Adana,   likewise had a specific fount synopsis, but one commonly got extra ffi's or other characters for no apparrent reason.   Very large wood-letter was sold by the dozen letters, i.e. a four dozen fount, and I have synopsis for that as well.
If the printer had their own Monotype casters  anything is possible,  even thin spaces six to the em!!!
A really full case held around 50 pounds weight of characters and spaces.

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚