RIT CARY GRAPHIC ARTS COLLECTION
Patterns for the Bixler typeface
Type and type-founding
Graphic design (Typography)
These are metal patterns for the Bixler typeface. Michael Bixler studied typography with Professor Alexander Lawson in the RIT School of Printing. He was inspired by the classic letterpress typefaces of the Italian Renaissance and in 1968 – 69 designed his own typeface to adhere to this aesthetic. To do this, first he drew all the characters of the alphabet in pen and ink. These included designs for the upper and lowercase, plus the numerals and punctuation. Then, the designs were converted to engraved metal patterns through a photographic intermediary step. The pattern letterforms were used with a pantographic router to cut the small brass moulds or matrices. For the final step in the typeface production, Bixler fitted each brass matrix on a Monotype typecasting machine that injected molten lead into their recesses. The hot lead solidified almost instantly and a piece of metal printing type was cast. The casting process was repeated thousands of times for each character to obtain a full case of type —enough for setting multiple pages of text. The Bixler typeface only exists for use at the couple’s letterfoundry.
Press and Letterfoundry of Michael & Winifred Bixler
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - Cary Graphic Arts Collection
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Bixler Press and Letterfoundry collection
New York - Rochester
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