Earthsea trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin (Bantam Spectra, 1984)
This edition of the first three books in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle was published by Bantam Spectra in 1984, with cover art by British artist and illustrator Yvonne Gilbert. The condensed typeface with the dagger-like leg of R and the striking triple diagonal bars in A and H is Beekman, here used in all caps. It was first cast by A.D. Farmer & Son around 1895. Its designer is unknown to me.
Beekman is not related to the contemporary Dutch type designer Donald Beekman. It apparently was named after the foundry’s address on New York’s Beekman Street, in what once was the city’s typographic district, see this article by Tobias Frere-Jones. A sample text in a specimen from 1899 (see further below) reads “Corner Beekman and Gold Stands The Old New York Foundry 63”. The number at the end was added to also show off some numerals, but it wasn’t picked randomly: 63 and 65 were the house numbers of the Farmer foundry.
Sometime before 1962, Beekman was revived by Photo-Lettering, initially under the name Xenotype 1190, including the original non-descending alternate N. PLINC’s version is the one used by the cover designer at Bantam.
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2 Comments on “Earthsea trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin (Bantam Spectra, 1984)”
Yesterday Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) would have turned 93.
Julie Phillips writes:
On the photo, Ursula K. Le Guin can be seen marching in a small demonstration, in a skirt and jacket, with a picket sign reading “abort the bill.”
There must be a whole lot of typefaces that were named after the address of the designer, the studio, or the foundry. Who wants to help compile a list? I’m specifically looking for names of buildings, streets, or neighborhoods (not cities or countries).
Sansom Script is named after the address of MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan Co., 606–614 Sansom Street in Philadelphia.
Murray Hill Gothic is named after the neighborhood on the east side of Manhattan where Photo-Lettering had their office.
Calluna is named after Callunastraat, the street where Jos Buivenga lives, or used to live.