Source: Modern Mechanix
magazine, April 1942.
Frederic W. Goudy (1865–1947) was a prolific American type designer whose fonts include Copperplate Gothic, Kennerley, and Goudy Old Style. He also designed, in 1938, University of California Oldstyle, for the sole proprietary use of the University of California Press. The Lanston Monotype Company released a version of the face, called Californian, for wider distribution in 1956, and a digital version, called Berkeley, in 1983.
Learn more about Frederic Goudy and see examples of his designs, free from linotype.com. In 1903, Goudy and Will H. Ransom founded the Village Press in Park Ridge, Illinois. This venture was modeled on the Arts and Crafts movement ideals of William Morris. It was moved to Boston, then New York. In 1908, he created his first significant typeface for the Lanston Monotype Machine Company: E-38, sometimes known as Goudy Light. However, in that same year the Village Press burned to the ground, destroying all of his equipment and designs. In 1911, Goudy produced his first "hit," Kennerly Old Style, for an H.G. Wells anthology published by Mitchell Kennerly. His most widely used type, Goudy Old Style, was released by the American Type Founders Company in 1915, becoming an instant classic.
From 1920-1947, Goudy was art director for Lanston Monotype. By the end of his life, Goudy had designed 122 typefaces and published 59 literary works.
Goudy wasn't always a type designer. "At 40, this short, plump, pinkish, and puckish gentleman kept books for a Chicago realtor, and considered himself a failure. During the next 36 years, starting almost from scratch at an age when most men are permanently set in their chosen vocations, he cut 113 fonts of type, thereby creating more usable faces than did the seven greatest inventors of type and books, from Gutenberg to Garamond."
Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest "When I was a boy my father spelled our name 'Gowdy' which didn't offer any particular reason for verbal gymnastics. Later, learning that the old Scots spelling was 'Goudy,' he changed to that form, while I, for some years, retained the old way. My brother, in Chicago, still spells with the w. However, I find that occasionally a stranger pronounces the word with ou as long o in go, sometimes as ou in soup, or goo and less frequently with the ou as oo in good. I retain the original pronunciation with ou as in out." (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)
Goudy was born in Bloomington, Illinois on August 3, 1865 and died in Marlborough-on-Hudson on November 5, 1947.