Bulmer (typeface)

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Category Serif
Classification Transitional serif
Designer(s) William Martin, Morris Fuller Benton (revival)
Foundry American Type Founders

Bulmer is the name of transitional serif typeface originally designed by William Martin (1757–1830) in 1792 for the Shakespeare Press. The types were used for printing the Boydell Shakespeare folio edition. William Martin's brother John Martin had worked as John Baskerville's foreman. William Martin also worked under John Baskerville, and his types show Baskerville's influence. They share a vertical stress and a moderate increase of stroke contrast, and more finely cut serifs. Martin's type are more vertical. D. B. Updike described Martin's types as "delicate and spirited, thoroughly English."

Bulmer's distinguishing characters are an uppercase R with a curved tail. Lowercase g has a small bowl and a curved ear; a heavier stroke weight on the lower right side of the bowl contributes to a sense of that character leaning backwards. Uppercase italic characters J, K, N, T and Y are reminiscent of Baskerville's, showing the influence of his teacher. Originally drawn with ranging (old style) figures, the current Monotype revival features ranging and lining figures.

Foundry Type[edit]

Foundry type versions of Bulmer were made by the following manufacturers:[1]

Digital Versions[edit]

A contemporary digital revival (shown at right), supervised by Robin Nicholas at Monotype Imaging is based on the 1928 revival by Morris Fuller Benton.


  • Fiedl, Frederich, Nicholas Ott and Bernard Stein. Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Through History. Black Dog & Leventhal: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopædia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  • Lawson, Alexander S., Anatomy of a Typeface. Godine: 1990. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  • Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  • Updike, Daniel Berkley. Printing Types Their History, Forms and Use, Vol. II. Dover Publications, Inc.: 1937, 1980. ISBN 0-486-23929-2
  1. ^ Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983, ISBN 0-7137-1347-X, p. 32

External links[edit]