Artcraft (typeface)

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Category Serif
Classification Old Style
Designer(s) Robert Wiebking
Foundry Advance Type Foundry
Date released 1912
Re-issuing foundries Western Type Foundry
Barnhart Brothers & Spindler
American Type Founders

Artcraft is an Old Style typeface engraved in 1912 by Robert Wiebking for Wiebking, Hardinge & Company which ran the Advance Type Foundry. It was originally called Craftsman, then Art-Craft, before finally becoming Artcraft. After Advance was sold to the Western Type Foundry in 1914, Wiebking added Artcraft Bold and Artcraft Italic. After Western was sold to Barnhart Brothers & Spindler (a subsidiary of American Type Founders) the face was sold by both BB&S and ATF.[1]

Artcraft is typical of the turn-of-the-century's Chicago School of Hand Lettering: a decorative serif design intended for advertisement text more than book body setting. Other types based upon advertising and hand-lettering were developed around the same time, such as Frederic Goudy's Pabst (1902) and Powell (1903), as well as Oz Cooper's Packard (1913). The face retained a wide popularity for more than two decades.

Wiebking, whose reputation was based upon his collaboration as a matrix cutter for other designers, occasionally ventured a design of his own. Though he is usually credited with creating Artcraft, type historian Alexander Lawson believes that the type was probably created by Edmund C. Fischer.[2]

Other versions[edit]

Artcraft was copied for machine composition by Monotype and for hand casting by Ludlow. The Ludlow matrices were cut by R. Hunter Middleton.[3] There is also a face known as Art and Craft cast by Stephenson Blake which might be the same thing.[4]

The face was later made available in cold type and digital versions are now offered by the Font Company, URW++, and Ascender Corporation.[5]


  1. ^ MacGrew, Mac, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4, p. 17.
  2. ^ Provan, Archie, and Alexander S. Lawson, 100 Type Histories (volume 1), National Composition Association, Arlington, Virginia, 1983. pp. 18–19.
  3. ^ MacGrew, p. 17.
  4. ^ Millingoton, Roy Stephenson Blake: The Last of the Old English Typefounders Oak Knoll Press, New Castle Delaware, 2002, ISBN 1-58456-086-X, p. 226.
  5. ^ "Artcraft Pro". Identifont. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2011-10-20.