In the fall term of the Type@Cooper West Extended program, my project involved digitizing Farmer Old Style No. 7, a typeface from A. D. Farmer & Son Type Founding Co., which we found in a printed type specimen from 1899. I called my revival typeface Farsevo.
The assignment had been to find a pre-1950s letterpress book from a used bookshop, one where the type was interesting to us and worth spending a few weeks recreating digitally. My selection was ‘Philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza,’ a compilation of Spinoza’s writings, translated from Italian, and printed in New York City in 1933. I liked how clear the printing was, and thought the wide serifs, sharp angles, and fairly low contrast made for an interesting body face that didn’t look familiar to me.
After consulting with my instructor Tânia Raposo, I concluded the Spinoza book was printed in Ten Point Old Style No. 7 from the A. D. Farmer & Son Type Founding Co. Over the course of several weeks, I digitized characters from the book and the type sample and learned about letter construction and spacing in the process.
By the end of term, I had come up with a character set including upper and lower case, two styles of numerals, and some punctuation.
During the break between the fall and winter terms, I decided to try the italics as well. Below are scans of the characters I found in my original print sample, followed by my digitization.