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Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia

Contributed by Jason Oberg on Nov 21st, 2019. Artwork published in
October 2017
Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

Melbourne is probably best recognized as Musketeer, designed in London in 1968 by Tony Geddes and also offered as Milton by the French-owned Mecanorma. Meanwhile, it’s the German-owned Softmaker that offers Melbourne Serial – which is the version used here – also available as TS Melbourne via the TypeShop Collection, aka the former Brendel Type Studio, all somehow related under the auspices of Walter Florenz Brendel, an enterprising (and notably entrepreneurial) fellow type designer.

It’s often considered to be derived from the Design Series offered by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler around the turn of the century, but there are considerable differences and it certainly isn’t a revival. Moreover, the Anchor Series by the same publisher seems to be an even earlier predecessor.

Melbourne / Musketeer / Milton also exhibits considerable influence from other typefaces like Windsor (1905) and Antigua Progreso (1923). Regardless, it’s a lovely, idiosyncratic and rarely utilized typeface.


  • Melbourne
  • Alternate Gothic
  • Burford




Artwork location

2 Comments on “Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia

  1. Thank you for contributing the first in-use example of this mysterious face, Jason!

    I don’t know where Musketeer originated, and if that was the original name. The design credit for Tony Geddes, 1968 comes from a pdf compiled by Hans Reichardt for the Klingspor Museum. Geddes is a designer from the UK and released typefaces through Face (most notably Bullion in 1970), Letraset, and Panache.

    Musketeer appears under this name in a Dutch typesetter’s ad from 1977. It was digitized at Compugraphic and is now sold by Monotype.

    Milton aka Milton Serial is shown in Typeshop catalogs from the 1970s (but not yet in 1973). Typeshop was a chain of typesetting studios started by Brendel & Pabst in Düsseldorf before 1968. One of the founders was Walter Florenz Brendel (d. 1992), a pioneer of electronic and digital type. The Brendel Type Studio also created their own typefaces, known as typeshop serials. These are typically adaptations of existing faces, expanded to cover a range of weights, plus outline and shadow styles. At least in some cases (but probably in most), these were not authorized by the original designers or foundries, and according to Georg Salden (who was affected himself), Brendel claimed there was no need for that, as his adaptations were slightly different.

    Milton Serial spanned six weights plus outlined as well as outline and shaded styles. Three solid weights were adopted by Mecanorma for dry transfer lettering and are listed in their 1988 catalog as “new”, with QBF credit. My understanding is that Quick Brown Fox is an alias or successor of Brendel’s company.

    Some of the Brendel fonts are still sold in digital form, by various outlets that claim to have acquired or inherited the rights, including The Quick Brown Fox, TypeShop Collection, and Softmaker. For Milton, this includes Melbourne Serial and Melbourne TS. So why they are not named Milton? Maybe they had acquired only the rights to the font data, and not the name.

  2. I just checked another phototype reference, Berthold’s E1 catalog from 1974, and found another piece to the puzzle. This face there is shown under the name Milton, in five weights, and credited to Face Photosetting from London. This suggests that Milton is the original name, and that Geddes designed it for Face.

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