Imprint (typeface)

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Imprint is a typeface commissioned from Monotype by the London publishers of The Imprint, a printing trade periodical from 1913, and which has been digitized for sale today as an OpenType font. It is notable in being the first typeface designed expressly for mechanical composition.

The typeface, originally called Imprint Old Face, is a sturdy design, Caslon-like but with more regularity in its letterforms and a large x-height.

Usage in The Imprint magazine[edit]

It was produced for the magazine (on a non-exclusive basis) in 1912 by the Monotype Company as Series 101[1] for automatic composition on the Monotype caster. When delivered to the journal's printers on December 31, 1912, it was still incomplete—the accents had not yet been made—so the editors asked in the first issue: “Will readers kindly insert them for themselves, if they find their omission harsh? For ourselves, we rather like the fine careless flavour, which their omission gives, after we have recovered from the first shock inevitable to us typographical precisians”.[2]

Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition[edit]

Perhaps the most notable use since then has been for the entire setting of the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1989), 22,000 pages of precisely structured typography in 20 volumes.

Scottish Qualifications Authority[edit]

The font is used in all SQA exam papers.

Digital versions[edit]

It is available today as a digital OpenType font from Monotype's successor, Monotype Imaging.[3]


  1. ^ The Monotype Chronicles 1907 – 1916
  2. ^ The Imprint, January 1913, p. vi
  3. ^ Imprint Volume