An independent archive of typography.

Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff, Farrar Straus Giroux

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on May 15th, 2018. Artwork published in .
Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff, Farrar Straus Giroux 1
Source: Manhattan Rare Book Company. License: All Rights Reserved.

First edition of The Right Stuff, a 1979 book “about the pilots engaged in U.S. postwar research with experimental rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft as well as documenting the stories of the first Project Mercury astronauts selected for the NASA space program.”

The cover typography with the accelerating effect was probably created with phototype versions of Stymie and Gill Sans. Among digital fonts, Stymie Black as sold by Bitstream, URW++ and others comes close for the former. Apart from the square dot, the title face is similar to Gill Sans Display ExtraBold which also has the g with circular counter and short descender. Do you know who designed this book jacket? Please let us know in a comment.

RIP Tom Wolfe.

Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff, Farrar Straus Giroux 2
Source: EAC Gallery. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Stymie
  • Gill Sans




Artwork location

4 Comments on “Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff, Farrar Straus Giroux”

  1. I think the g is raised, not short-ascendered. Never noticed what an unexpected pair of typefaces this was.

  2. Oops, I meant short-descendered.

  3. You’re right, of course: It’s the baseline shift for g that prevents a collision in the stacked and interlocked setting. What I wanted to hint at is the fact that the counters in the Display cut are smaller. However, the descender isn’t really shorter as I had assumed. Here’s a comparison of Monotype’s digital version of Gill Sans ExtraBold (top) and Gill Sans Display ExtraBold (bottom):

  4. Dan Hardie™ says:
    May 18th, 2018 6:17 pm

    Gorgeous! Also interesting to note the cool swagger of that cap S on the front cover Stuff, as compared to the standard cap S on the spine. Also seems like the cover cap R is a bit higher-waisted (?) and boot-cut than standard Gill Sans Display Extra Bold. Fabulous. Would love the full story! Thanks!

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