From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Dana Orcutt
Born West Lebanon, New Hampshire
Died Boston
Occupation Book designer, author
Nationality American

William Dana Orcutt (1870-1953) was an American book designer, typeface designer, and author.


William Dana Orcutt was an important book and typeface designer in Boston, a important printmaking and bookmaking center, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Early in his career, Orcutt worked for John Wilson, proprietor of The University Press of Cambridge, Massachusetts (a forerunner of the Harvard University Press). Through his role at the University Press, Orcutt made contact with prominent authors such as Mary Baker Eddy, whose books he continued to publish throughout her career[1]. Along with several other important designers and printers such as Daniel Berkeley Updike and Bruce Rogers (typographer), Orcutt helped found the Boston Society of Printers in 1905. Orcutt was elected the first president of the Society, an organization inspired by the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement.

In 1910, Orcutt left the University Press to join The Plimpton Press in Norwood, Massachusetts [2]. Orcutt published several works on book making and book arts and remained active in professional societies related to printing and typography.


Typefaces designed by Orcutt include Humanistic, which was cast for the University Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts by the American Type Founders Company, French Round Face, and Suburban French [3]. The Humanistic typeface was designed for a special limited printing of a book on Petrarch, titled The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch, Florentine poet laureate published in 1906 — the type is so-named because the book series for which it was designed was the Humanistic series[4]. This typeface was adapted by the British foundry Stephenson Blake as Verona in 1948.


  • The manual of linotype typography, prepared to aid users and producers of printing in securing greater unity and real beauty in the printed page;. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mergenthaler linotype Co. 1923. 
  • In quest of the perfect book : reminiscences & reflections of a bookman. Boston: Little, Brown. 1926. 
  • The magic of the book; more reminiscences and adventures of a bookman. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1930. 
  • From my library walls; a kaleidoscope of memories,. New York; Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., inc. 1945. 
  • Mary Baker Eddy and her books. Boston: Christian Science Pub. Society. 1950. 


  1. ^ The Mary Baker Eddy Library (2012). ""I never doubted": Mary Baker Eddy and her printers". The Mary Baker Eddy Library. 
  2. ^ Orcutt, William Dana (1910). [Announcement of William Dana Orcutt's retirement from the University Press and his joining the Plimpton Press, 3 January 1910]. Norwood, Mass.: Plimpton Press.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ McGrew, Mac (1986). American metal typefaces of the twentieth century. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Myriade Press. ISBN 0918142202 9780918142207 Check |isbn= value: length (help). 
  4. ^ "Collection concerning the publication of The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch ..., 1903-1941.". OCLC. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 

Category:American typographers Category:1870 births Category:1953 deaths Category:Printers