Egyptian Extra Bold Extended

David Quay
Grafik Magazine
January 2007

When I was ten I bought a book on the American Wild West at a school jumble sale. It was not so much the exciting stories about the James Gang or Billy the Kid that fascinated me, but the typefaces used on the wanted posters that were illustrated throughout the book. I tried, using a mapping pen, ink and graph paper, to make up the rest of alphabet from the few letters in the posters.

This letter ‘A’ shown here has always fascinated me, especially that the apex of ‘A’ comes visually no higher than the centre bar of the capital ‘H’

Much later I found a book on American wood type by Rob Roy Kelly and learnt that they all had very exotic names: Antique Tuscan Expanded, French Clarendon Triple X Expanded and Full Face Grecians: all named after their serif shapes. Some were very fat and bold, others ultra condensed, but all had that rugged character characteristic of late Nineteenth century American display types. Those letters for me were and still are the embodiment of the Wild West.