Ugly, misbegotten, hump-backed, and so forth

Some fonts just don’t get much love. Papyrus and Comic Sans are wellknown for being much loathed. And one font from that more distant past that would have appreciated their situation was Cheltenham. In Just My Type, a recently-published popular history of typography, Simon Garfield describes it as sharing some of the virtues and vices of a popular song: “Like the catchy tune, its appeal waned. It was a fairly charmless face, reliable and pliable, but not beautiful….”

Garfield’s assessment is less than flattering, but hardly more unpleasant than that of Cheltenham’s creator, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, in this letter to Daniel Berkeley Updike:

Goodhue to Updike, October 1922


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