Monotype Imaging Holdings, Inc. is a
Delaware corporation based in
Woburn, Massachusetts. It specialises in digital typesetting and
typeface design as well as text and imaging solutions for use with
consumer electronics devices.
Monotype Imaging Holdings and its
predecessors and subsidiaries have been responsible for many
developments in printing technology—in particular the Monotype
machine, which was the first fully mechanical typesetter, and the
Linotype machine—and the design and production of
typefaces in the 19th and 20th centuries. Monotype developed many of
the most widely used typeface designs, including Times New Roman, Gill
Bembo and Albertus.
Monotype has carried out a series of acquisitions from 2000 onwards of
companies such as Linotype GmbH, International
Bitstream Inc. and FontShop. This has gained it the rights to many
further widely known designs, including Helvetica, ITC Franklin
Gothic, Optima, Avant Garde,
Palatino and FF DIN. It also owns the
MyFonts online retailer used by many independent font design studios.
1.1 Monotype System
2.1 Consolidation and reorganization
5 See also
7 External links
Main article: Monotype System
The Lanston Monotype Machine Company was founded by
Tolbert Lanston in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1887. Lanston had a patented mechanical
method of punching out metal types from cold strips of metal which
were set (hence typesetting) into a matrix for the printing press. In
1896 Lanston patented the first hot metal typesetting machine and
Monotype issued Modern Condensed, its first typeface. The licenses for
the Lanston type library have been acquired by P22, a digital type
foundry based in Buffalo, New York.
In a search for funding, the company set up a branch in
London in 1897
under the name Lanston Monotype Corporation Ltd, generally known as
the Monotype Corporation. In 1899 a new factory was built in Salfords
near Redhill in
Surrey where it has been located for over a century.
The company was of sufficient size to justify the construction of its
Salfords railway station.
The Monotype machine worked by casting letters from "hot metal"
(molten metal) as pieces of type. Thus spelling mistakes could be
corrected by adding or removing individual letters. This was
particularly useful for "quality" printing - such as books. In
Linotype machine formed a complete line of type in one
bar. Editing these required replacing an entire line (and if the
replacement ran onto another line, the rest of the paragraph). But
Linotype slugs were easier to handle if moving a complete section of
text around a page. This was more useful for "quick" printing - such
The typesetting machines were continually improved in the early years
of the 20th century, with a typewriter style keyboard for entering the
type being introduced in 1906. This arrangement addressed the need to
vary the space between words so that all lines were the same length.
The keyboard operator types the copy, each key punching holes in a
roll of paper tape that will control the separate caster. A drum on
the keyboard indicates to the operator the space required for each
line. This information is also punched in the paper. Before fitting
the tape to the caster it is turned over so that the first holes read
on each line set the width of the variable space. The subsequent holes
determine the position of a frame, or die case, that holds the set of
matrices for the face being used. Each matrix is a rectangle of copper
recessed with the shape of the letter. Once the matrix is positioned
over the mould that forms the rest of the piece of type being cast,
molten type metal is injected.
To promote its image, the company ran a magazine, the Monotype
Recorder, over most of the twentieth century, and also ran a
compositor (typesetter operator) training school in London. In
1936, the company was floated on the
London Stock Exchange and became
the Monotype Corporation Ltd. Board members of the company included
future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Vice-Chairman, and other
businessmen connected to publishing.
A sample of various Monotype designs in digital format.
Monotype's role in design history is not merely due to their supply of
printing equipment but due to their commissioning of many of the most
important typefaces of the twentieth century.
The company's first font of 1896 was a rather generic design, now
named Modern, influenced by
Scotch Roman designs. However,
by the 1920s the company's British branch was well known for
commissioning popular, historically influenced designs that revived
some of the best typefaces of the past, with particular attention to
the early period of printing from the Renaisssance to the late
eighteenth-century. This series of releases was a major
part of the typographic renaissance of the period, an expansion of the
arts and crafts movement interest in printing into the more workaday
world of general-purpose printing. Key executives of the company in
this period included historian and adviser Stanley Morison, publicity
manager Beatrice Warde, engineering expert
Frank Hinman Pierpont and
draughtsman Fritz Stelzer (the latter two both recruited from the
German printing industry, although Pierpont was American), under
managing director William Isaac Burch, who led the company from 1924
to 1942. Despite tensions within the company, particularly between
the historically minded faction of Morison and Warde and Pierpont in
Salfords, notable typefaces commissioned included Gill Sans, Times New
Roman and Perpetua, and the company maintained high standards of
development allowing it to produce designs with good spacing, careful
adaptation of the same basic design to different sizes and even colour
on the page, essential qualities for balanced body
Historian James Mosley, who worked closely with Monotype in the 1950s
and onwards, has commented:
The English Monotype Corporation of the interwar years looks in
retrospect rather like one of the great public bodies of the period,
for example the
British Broadcasting Corporation
British Broadcasting Corporation or London
Transport…benevolent monopolies ruled by autocrats who revelled in
the role of patron of the arts on a scale exceeding that of Italian
Monotype enjoyed, in Britain at least, something approaching a
monopoly in book and better-quality magazine typesetting…Monotype
exploited the glamour of its new typefaces…with brilliant publicity,
for which Morison and his devoted young American recruit Beatrice
Warde were partly responsible.
The American branch lagged behind the British in artistic reputation.
Their designs are now often rather obscure, since (unlike products
from the British branch) few have been made widely available through
Microsoft products. The company employed Frederic Goudy
on several serif font projects which were well received at the time,
and on staff type designer Sol Hess, who created the geometric
sans-serif Twentieth Century as a competitor to the German
The founding-stone of the former Monotype House in London, now in the
collection of the Type Museum.
Monotype entered a decline from the 1960s onwards. This was caused by
the reduction in use of hot metal typesetting and replacement with
phototypesetting and lithography in mass-market printing.
This offered considerable efficiencies, such as no need to print books
from solid metal type, quicker setting of type and a reduced number of
operators needed. It also promised a more diverse and exciting
range of fonts than that possible with hot metal, where it is
necessary to own life-size matrices for every size of every font to be
Monotype made the transition to cold type and began to market its own
“Monophoto” phototypesetting systems, but these suffered from
problems. Its first devices were heavily based on hot metal machinery,
with glass pictures of characters which would be reproduced on
photographic paper replacing the matrices used to cast metal
type. While this reduced the need for retraining, the
resulting devices often set type slowly compared to legacy-free
next-generation devices from providers such as Photon and
Compugraphic, and were often more expensive. Its devices were slow to
incorporate use of electronics, and while its type library was of high
quality, changing tastes and the development of other companies’
libraries competed with this. Its type library was also easily
pirated, since fonts have only limited copyright protection. The
company was eventually split into three divisions: Monotype
International, which manufactured spinning mirror switched laser beam
phototypesetters; Monotype Limited, which continued the hot metal
machines; and Monotype Typography, which designed and sold typefaces.
A research and development department was set up in
isolate it from day to day production issues.
Monotype in the UK continued to enjoy prestige through the 1970s with
the patronage of major British printers such as the university presses
at Oxford and Cambridge; it also enjoyed some success with its
Lasercomp laser-based typesetting system from the 1970s onwards,
developed by the
Cambridge research group. However, new
technology and finally publishing software such as
Quark XPress and
Aldus PageMaker running on general-purpose computers ate away at its
competitiveness in the market of complete typesetting solutions by the
Monotype, however, has continued in business, for instance marketing
typeface designs to third-party buyers, computing companies such as
Microsoft (many fonts on
Microsoft computers in particular are
Monotype-designed) and companies and organisations such as London
Transport and the UK parliament requiring custom digital
typefaces. Much of its metal type equipment and archives
were donated to the
Type Museum collection in London; other materials
are held at St Bride Library.
Consolidation and reorganization
In 1992 The Monotype Corporation Ltd. appointed Administrative
Receivers on 5 March and four days later Monotype Typography Ltd. was
established. Cromas Holdings, an investment company based in
Switzerland, bought the Monotype Corporation Ltd. and Monotype Inc.
(excluding Monotype Typography) and five other direct subsidiary
companies in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Singapore.
Monotype Systems Ltd. was the adopted name for the new organization
with Peter Purdy as Chairman, the name Monotype was under license from
Monotype Typography Ltd which retained the trademark Monotype.
Monotype Systems Ltd. focused on selling pre-press software and
hardware, raster image processors and workflow.
Cromas Holdings reorganized its publishing interests with the
formation of the International Publishing Asset Holding Ltd.
effectively controlling Monotype Systems Ltd., QED Technology Ltd.,
and GB Techniques Ltd.
Monotype Systems Ltd. purchased Berthold Communications; the UK
subsidiary of the German composing equipment supplier.
In June 2002, Monotype Systems Limited was re-branded, IPA Systems
Limited, as this marked the end of the existing trademark licence with
Monotype Corporation. In the US Monotype Inc became alfaQuest
Technologies Limited. Both companies still sell pre-press software and
In 1999, Agfa-
Compugraphic acquired the Monotype Corporation, which
Agfa Monotype. In late 2004, after six years under the
Agfa Corporation, the Monotype assets were acquired by TA Associates,
a private equity investment firm based in Boston. The company was
incorporated as Monotype Imaging, with a focus on the company's
traditional core competencies of typography and professional printing.
Monotype was the first company to produce a digital version of the
handwritten Persian script, Persian Nasta'liq. A Chinese "keyboard"
was developed to typeset Chinese characters; it consisted of a book
with a stylus. As the pages were turned, the page number was detected
electrically and this was combined with the position of the character
selected by the stylus on a large grid.
In early 2000, Monotype launched Fontwise, the first software to audit
desktops for licensed and unlicensed (not necessarily illegal) fonts.
On 2 October 2006,
Monotype Imaging Inc. announced that it acquired
Linotype GmbH, a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.
On 18 September 2006,
Monotype Imaging Inc. announced that it acquired
China Type Design Limited, a typeface design and production company
based in Hong Kong. CTDL was responsible for developing Microsoft
JhengHei, the default traditional Chinese interface font for Windows
Vista. The deal also secured an exclusive relationship with Creative
Calligraphy Center (CCC), a font production company in Zhuhai, China,
with 30 production specialists.
On 11 December 2009,
Monotype Imaging Inc. announced that it acquired
Planetweb, Inc., a developer specialized in applications and
development tools for embedded devices.
On 8 December 2010,
Monotype Imaging announced the acquisition of
Ascender Corp., a provider of fonts and font technologies used in
computers, mobile devices, consumer electronics and software products.
In March 2012, Monotype acquired Bitstream Inc., a digital font
retailer. The deal also gave Monotype ownership of the
sale website used by many independent designers and its WhatTheFont
On 15 July 2014,
Monotype Imaging Inc. announced that it acquired
FontShop, the last large independent digital font retailer.
Albertina (Chris Brand, 1966)
Albertus (Berthold Wolpe, 1932–40)
Arial (Nicholas, Saunders et al., 1982)
Centaur (Rogers & Warde, 1929)
Goudy Old Style
Horley Old Style
Solus (Eric Gill, 1929)
Tempest Titling (Berthold Wolpe)
Times New Roman
Monotype Imaging Inc.: Monotype's American headquarters in Woburn,
Monotype Imaging Ltd.: Monotype's United Kingdom branch in Surrey,
Linotype GmbH: Monotype's European affiliate in Bad Homburg (Germany).
China Type Design Ltd.: A typeface design and production company based
in Hong Kong.
Monotype Imaging K. K.: Monotype's Japanese branch in Tokyo.
Linotype typesetting machine
Monotype typefaces, hot metal typefaces
^ "Board of Directors". Monotype Imaging. Retrieved March 11,
^ 2008 SEC Annual Report:.
^ "Monotype Recorder back issues". Metal Type Library collection.
Retrieved 12 July 2015.
^ a b Patrick Duffy (2 March 2017). The Skilled Compositor,
1850–1914: An Aristocrat Among Working Men. Taylor & Francis.
pp. 111–121. ISBN 978-1-351-88183-8.
^ "Menu & Programme of Arrangements at The Dinner on December
17–1937 on the completion of the 40th year of the Lanston Monotype
Corporation Limited, Founded in
London 13 December 1897" (PDF). Metal
Type. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
^ McKitterick, David (2004). A history of
Cambridge University Press
(1. publ. ed.). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
^ "Modern". MyFonts. Monotype. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
^ Shinn, Nick. "Lacunae" (PDF). Codex. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
^ Badaracco, Claire (1991). "Innovative Industrial Design and Modern
Public Culture: The Monotype Corporation, 1922–1932" (PDF). Business
& Economic History. Business History Conference. 20 (second
series): 226–233. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
^ Badaracco, Claire (1996). "Rational Language and Print Design in
Communication Management". Design Issues. 12 (1): 26.
^ "Fonts designed by Monotype Staff". Identifont. Retrieved 1 July
^ Mosley, James (2001). "Review: A Tally of Types". Journal of the
Printing History Society. 3, new series: 63–67. The surviving
records of the progress of some of the classic typefaces demonstrate
that their exemplary final quality was due to a relentless willingness
on the part of 'the works' to make and remake the punches over and
over again until the result was satisfactory. The progression of
series 270 from the weak
Poliphilus Modernised to the familiar Bembo
is an object lesson in the success of this technique. That it was
[engineering manager Frank] Pierpont himself who was central to this
drive for quality is made abundantly clear by the abrupt changes that
are seen after his retirement in 1937.
^ Rhatigan, Daniel (September 2014). "
Gill Sans after Gill" (PDF).
Forum (28): 3–7. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
^ Rhatigan, Dan. "Time and Times again". Monotype. Retrieved 28 July
^ Mosley, James. "Eric Gill's Perpetua Type". Fine Print.
^ Goudy, Frederic (1946). A half-century of type design and
typography, vol 1. New York: The Typophiles. pp. 121–124.
Retrieved 3 December 2015.
^ Shaw, Paul. "An appreciation of Frederic W. Goudy as a type
designer". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
^ Rogers, Bruce (January 1923). "Printer's Note". Monotype: A Journal
of Composing Room Efficiency: 23. This issue of Monotype is set in a
trial font of a new version of Garamond's design ... the type
ornaments, modelled on 16th century ones, will also be
^ "LTC Garamont". MyFonts. LTC. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
^ Third Tripartite Technical Meeting for the
Printing and Allied
Trades, Geneva, 1990. International Labour Organization. 1 January
1990. pp. 12–29. ISBN 978-92-2-107441-0.
^ Reports of Tax Cases. H.M. Stationery Office. 1993.
^ Simon Eliot; Jonathan Rose (24 August 2011). A Companion to the
History of the Book. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 286–289.
^ United States. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1984). Occupational
Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. pp. 316–7.
^ Philip G. Altbach; Edith S. Hoshino (8 May 2015). International Book
Publishing: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 72.
^ Mosley, James (2003). "Reviving the Classics: Matthew Carter and the
Interpretation of Historical Models". In Mosley, James; Re, Margaret;
Drucker, Johanna; Carter, Matthew. Typographically Speaking: The Art
of Matthew Carter. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 31–34.
ISBN 9781568984278. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
^ Helmut Kipphan (31 July 2001). Handbook of Print Media: Technologies
and Production Methods. Springer Science & Business Media.
p. 1045. ISBN 978-3-540-67326-2.
^ The Monotype: How It Works. Monotype. 1957. pp. 10–16.
Retrieved 22 July 2016.
^ a b Boag, Andrew (2000). "Monotype and Phototypesetting" (PDF).
Journal of the
Printing History Society: 57–77. Retrieved 22 July
^ Maw, Martin (November 2013). History of Oxford University Press:
Volume III: 1896 to 1970. OUP Oxford. pp. 277–307.
^ Romano, Frank. "The day the typesetting industry died". What They
Think. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
^ Castle, Bob; Carpenter, Victoria. "
Book Antiqua Parliamentary
(Freedom of Information request)". Whatdotheyknow.com. Retrieved 27
^ Walters, John; Esterson, Simon. "Features: Robin Nicholas". Eye
magazine. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
^ Shaw, Paul; Carter, Matthew. "Some history about Arial". Paul Shaw
Letter Design. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
^ Mosley, James. "The materials of typefounding". Type Foundry.
Retrieved 14 August 2015.
^ Shankland, Stephen. "Monotype gets more digital, buys Bitstream font
biz". CNet. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
^ "Monotype Acquires
FontShop International". Monotype. July 16,
^ "Pastonchi". Fonts.com. Monotype. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
^ "Pastonchi: a specimen of a new letter for use on the Monotype". The
Library. s4-IX (4): 421–422. 1928.
Corporate information and official digital font releases:
China Type Design Limited
Monotype online store
customfonts by Monotype Imaging
FontExplorer X Pro - Client and Server Font Management
Monotype Imaging Acquires Linotype
IPA Systems Ltd
alfaQuest Technologies Limited
Lanston Monotype fonts (digitised by P22)
On the Monotype System:
Monotype keyboard and caster video lectures
Metal Type - site on Monotype and other printing history, many
diagrams, manuals and other documents
Offizin Parnassia - Type Foundry
Parnassia index of Monotype order numbers
Metal and early phototype period publicity material:
Metal Type website library section - archive material includes:
Monotype Recorder - collection of digitised issues, not complete
Monotype specimen sheet from the 1950s
Monotype fonts in metal type:
The Press & Letterfoundry of Michael and Winifred Bixler -
artisanal printing using a historic Monotype machine
Specimens of Monotype fonts in hot metal
Monotype hot metal fonts from M & H Type
Chestnut Press - other sample images
For specimen images of specific fonts, see individual
Old Style (1900)
French Round Face (1906)
Scotch Roman (1907 and 1920)
Goudy Light (1908)
Veronese (1911) and
Italian Old Style
Italian Old Style (1919)
Forum Title (1911)
Caslon Old Face
Caslon Old Face (1915)
Italian Old Style
Italian Old Style (Goudy, 1924/7)
Goudy Heavy (1925)
Horley Old Style
Barbou (1926, private use)
Gill Sans (1928 onwards)
Centaur with Arrighi (1929)
Goudy Sans (1929)
Solus (c. 1929)
Ashley Crawford (1930)
Times New Roman
Times New Roman (1932)
Felix Titling (1934)
Van Dijck (1935)
Gwendolin (for the Greynog Press) (1935)
Bulmer (for R & R Clark) (1937)
Joanna (for J.M. Dent) (1937)
Van Dijck (1937)
Palace and Dorchester Script (1938)
Ashley Script (1956)
Joanna (general release) (1958)
New Clarendon (1960)
Bulmer (1967) (general release)
Fleet Titling (1967)
Barbou (general release)
Classic Grotesque (2012/2016)
Joanna Sans (2015)
Dates are approximate only. Not all typefaces shown.
Incorporated in 1642
Based in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Groundwater contamination incident
A Civil Action: book
National Register of
Baldwin House —
Loammi Baldwin Mansion
Benjamin Thompson House — Count Rumford Birthplace
First Burial Ground
First Congregational Church in Woburn
Winn Memorial Library
Winn Memorial Library / Woburn Public Library
Woburn Memorial High School
Brannen Brothers Flutemakers
Mary Cummings Park
Cross Street (closed 1981)
Lechmere Warehouse (closed 1996)
Mishawum (limited service)
Woburn (closed 1981)
Daily Times Chronicle
Samuel Warren Abbott
James Fowle Baldwin
Loammi Baldwin, Jr.
Benjamin Franklin Baldwin
Herbert L. Clarke
Christopher J. Coyne
Carol A. Donovan
James J. Dwyer
John Martyn Harlow
John J. McEleney
Ernest Cushing Richardson
Lyle R. Wheeler
Media related to
Woburn, Massachusetts at Wikimedia Commons