Paula Bailey

January 11, 2012

Typographically speaking

'Old Type..' by Marco Filinesi

If you make a quick search for the use of typewriters in graphic design you may be dismayed to find the returning results lean heavily towards compilations of typewriter fonts – whether to download or to recreate using Photoshop. This is not what I was looking for when I began research for this post, but maybe my search terms are to blame.

I suppose that in the vast majority of cases, paper-based items of graphic design are intended for multiple reproductions, and the use of a real typewriter would be prohibitive for all but the most limited of editions. Unless the hand-typed words were then scanned or photographed, we’re probably looking at other areas of design and art.

I’m going to have to do a lot more research for a future blog post it seems. I know the work is out there, I just need to find a way to get past the proliferation of sites whose owners have worked so hard to make the search engines work for them. In the meantime I would like to share with you some of the gorgeous photographs of old typewriters that I found during my search. If you like them, do click through to Flickr to tell their owners.

And watch this space for another post on the subject. Thanks for visiting.

'let's type' by |vvaldzen|

'Underwood Typewriter II' by Geof Wilson

'sQWERTY' by Troy Paiva

'writing...the old fashioned way' by Darwin Bell

'UPPERCASE Typewriter Event' by Janine Vangool

'Typographer' by Ed McGowan

'Underwood Typewriter' by RiaPereira

'Royal Quiet Deluxe' by Janine Vangool - click image to read her blog

'we regret to inform you' by Andre Govia



  1. Oh they are things of pure beauty. I was in the last group of students at my school to learn how to type on a proper manual typewriter. I can still remember the feeling of the carriage return and the process of setting your tabs and the longwinded process of making grids for tables. They even had a wonderful smell about them.
    There is something very satisfying in a psychological and spiritual way about the act of writing something, anything! on a proper typewriter.

    (Mrs Oz btw)

    Comment by motherofintention — January 11, 2012 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

    • Indeed there is. I too learned with an old typewriter. I remember counting steps backwards to centre text and having to cut my fingernails because they’d break. I’d love to see if I can still do it. I can type like the wind on my computer but the light touch has spoiled me I’m sure.

      Comment by Paula Bailey — January 11, 2012 @ 9:29 pm | Reply

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