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Typography in the Midwest

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Newberry Library

60 West Walton St.

Chicago, IL 60610

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Bill Moran and Jim Moran of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

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Since its founding in 2000, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum has been a national center for print and type history. In this talk, the museum’s directors, Bill and Jim Moran, will discuss the museum’s historical and contemporary role in fostering type design and production in the Midwest.

Hamilton Manufacturing started in 1880 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where it quickly grew to become the country’s largest maker of wood type and printing equipment. As Hamilton proceeded to acquire its competitors over the next decades, it had the effect of homogenizing and streamlining the hundreds of designs that had proliferated during the nineteenth century.

Surveying the company’s history, this talk will examine key points in the evolution of styles—an evolution that lives on in the twenty-first century at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, which promotes its founder’s legacy and the history of printing with the largest collection of wood type and printing material in the US. With the help of internationally known designers, new wood types are still being created as part of the Wood Type Legacy Project.

This initiative, which also features digital versions of these new fonts, exemplifies Hamilton’s commitment to the principle of preservation-through-use. In their presentation, Bill and Jim will showcase highlights from the initiative, including samples of the wood type, prints made using these fonts, and process images from the designers.

Speakers’ bios:

Jim Moran is Director of the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. He has studied and contributed to the art and craft of print for more than 35 years. He leads letterpress workshops, archives the collection, and maintains the museum on a daily basis.

Bill Moran is Artistic Director of the Hamilton Wood Type Museum and a third-generation letterpress printer and graphic designer. Bill also teaches printing history at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Hamilton Wood Type, A History in Headlines.

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Newberry Library

60 West Walton St.

Chicago, IL 60610

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