aaaaaFrederic W. Goudy (1865-1947) was an American printer and typographer from Bloomington who designed more than 100 typefaces.

Goudy was a bookkeeper and a self-taught printer and typographer. He designed numerous fonts inspired by blackletter medieval manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts, and Roman square capitals carved into stone. His taste matched the trends of the time period, and his mechanical, geometric fonts proved to have long-lasting appeal, becoming especially popular for use in the body text of books.

In 1895 Goudy founded his own Chicago-based printing shop called the Booklet Press, which was later renamed as Camelot Press. It was Camelot Press that published The Chap-Book, a literary magazine that, from 1894 to 1898, became one of the country’s first “little magazines” – the precursor to modern-day literary magazines, distinct from commercial magazines of the day, which were more commercial in nature. The Chap-Book became a venue for the publication of works by celebrated American authors such as Henry James and H.G. Wells.

Goudy’s first typeface was Camelot, which he later sold to a printer in Boston for $10, jump-starting his career in the printing community. Among many other commissions, he once designed a typeface specifically for an anthology work by H.G. Wells called Kennerley Old Style, regarded as his first “hit.” But, if you’re in the midst of composing a document in Microsoft Word, you can see examples of his work today in the Copperplate Gothic or Goudy Old Style fonts.

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