Lanston Type's rich history dates back to 1887 when Tolbert Lanston
received his first patent for a mechanical typesetting device. Later
refinements led to the Monotype casting machine and the emergence
of the Lanston Monotype Company as one of the most renowned type
supply companies in the world. The Monotype caster was revolutionary
and along with other automated typesetting machines helped to usher
in a new age of printing technology. Typesetting had, until this
time, remained the same as Gutenberg's first hand-set movable type.
In the late 1800s, Tolbert Lanston licensed his technology to an
English sister company and became a major international force. Lanston
grew rapidly with America's pre-eminent type designer, Frederic
Goudy, holding the position of art director from 1920-1947.The
Philadelphia-based Lanston Monotype eventually parted ways with its English
counterpart. English Monotype became simply known as Monotype from that time
forth. Lanston was acquired by American Type Founders in 1969. After
a series of other owners, the company found its way to master printer
Gerald Giampa, who moved it to Prince Edward Island in 1988. During
its time of transition, Lanston continued supplying the American
market for monotype hot metal type needs until January 21, 2000, when the
majority of Lanston's machinery and historical records were tragically
destroyed by a tidal wave.
Giampa was one of the earliest developers of PostScript fonts.
After the loss, he focused on digitization to an even greater extent.
Under his stewardship, Lanston's classic faces were digitized in
a style that was true to the sources, which are the brass and lead
patterns from which the metal type was made. The past few years
have seen Giampa and Lanston travel from Canada to Finland, and
back again. In late 2004, Lanston has completed another journey back to the
United States to come under the care of a new steward: P22 type foundry.
Giampa is answering the call of the sea. He has traded his type founder's
hat for that of a ship's captain to sail the northern Pacific coast.
During his shore leaves, Giampa continues to act as typographic consultant