Winchell is the only known typeface designed in Buffalo, NY prior to the formation of P22 type foundry. In the spirit of hometown pride and the promotion of printing history as demonstrated with P22’s support of the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, P22 has made the digital version of this font available exclusively for members of the P22 Club and members of the WNY Book Arts Collaborative in 2009. This font is not for sale directly.
The Winchell font was designed in 1903 by Edward Everett Winchell, while art director of the Matthews-Northrup Printing Works of Buffalo, New York.
Edward Everett Winchell (b. 1859) was an accomplished graphic artist who had a colorful career in the printing arts. He is lauded in an 1899 issue of the Inland Printer, where he is described as “a difficult man to classify. It is easy to place him among the best of American designers and artists. It is however, an injustice to him to go no further. He is entitled to recognition as an exceptionally clever descriptive writer, and no list of the country’s famous raconteurs would be complete without his name.” He had worked for many years at the American banknote company where he “made designs for everything, from a card to a circus poster.” He then started his own firm, The Winchell Printing Company, which was described as producing work “as distinctive as William Morris or DeVinne.”
He closed his business in 1894 to become a member of the World’s Commission of the Field Columbian Museum of Chicago which traveled to “nearly every nation” in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Purportedly, Winchell exhaustively studied printing and design arts during his 2 year travels. Shortly after his travels, EE Winchell became the art director of the Matthews-Northrup Printing Works of Buffalo, New York (Matthews-Northrup was a renowned printer of maps and multicolor lithography). It was during his tenure in Buffalo that he is credited with designing the typeface that bears his name. Winchell was released by The Inland Type Foundry of St. Louis, MO. and became one of Inland’s most popular type designs. Inland Type Foundry described it, upon release in 1903, as “especially adapted for use in fine catalog and booklet printing, as well as for commercial stationery, where something out of the ordinary is demanded.” It was later picked up for distribution by American Typefounders and Lanston Monotype and proved to be a popular display face. Winchell remained in the type selection booklet for the Buffalo newspaper, The Courier Express, well into the mid 20th century as one of their Headline typefaces of choice. Since it was never adapted to phototype or digital format, Winchell has become somewhat lost in the current world of fonts; only making a brief mention in the book American Metal Typefaces of the 20th Century by Mac McGrew.
The Winchell typeface is a Clarendon styled slab serif that clearly has the look of a pre-modernist design. E.E. Winchell’s Arts & Crafts tendencies show through in this now “quaint” design. It is described in McGrew’s book as “a bold, thick-and-thin display face, but more like a nineteenth-century design, with some characters seeming to be poorly proportioned or having awkward shapes.”
The decision to digitize this font came upon the discovery of a drawer of 36pt Winchell type covered with decades of dust in the basement of SG Press in East Aurora, NY. All characters of this font were printed in a limited run as a broadside specimen. This along with specimens from Inland Type foundry Specimens and Lanston catalogs at sizes from 6-72 point allowed the true intention of the design to become apparent. Often, printed samples of older type are on rough paper and the type itself may have become distressed over time or reproduced photographically from original letterpress proofs. With the many sources for this font, the intention of the design with clean lines and square serifs coupled with almost hand drawn curves give this font its idiosyncratic flavor of an Arts & Crafts design, bridging the technological capabilities of the time with the humanistic lettering tendencies of pre-industrial times.
This design is made available only to members of the P22 Club and members of the WNY Book Arts Collaborative, with a full standard license for one user to use as they see fit. Extended licensing to additional users requires membership in either the P22 Club or the WNY Book Arts Collaborative.
Included with the standard ASCII character set for Western European languages is a special Buffalo head logotype designed by Richard Kegler as an announcement graphic for Typecon 2008 that was hosted in Buffalo, NY.