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Bill Moran

“Making Headlines” documentary on Hamilton Mfg. Co.

Wisconsin Public Television recently produced a short (8 minutes) documentary on the Hamilton wood type manufacturing company, titled Making Headlines, for the Two Rivers / Manitowoc installment of its Hometown Stories series.

The documentary presents a succinct history of the empire that James Edward Hamilton started with wood type in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Included are interviews with David Shields, Greg Corrigan, and Bill Moran. Also, I couldn’t help but notice many of my own wood type photos from Flickr used to illustrate the production. Naturally, I’m glad to have been able to help the cause.

The video acts as a good primer for the feature-length documentary, Typeface, which focuses more on the modern Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum (as opposed to the original Hamilton Manufacturing Company). It would make for a great DVD bonus feature.

The documentary can be seen on this page by clicking the Making Headlines thumbnail from the listing of clips. It is also available in DVD format from the Wisconsin Public Television Store.

"Making Headlines" documentary: title screen

"Making Headlines" documentary: James Edward Hamilton portrait

"Making Headlines" documentary: Early Hamilton type samples

"Making Headlines" documentary: Hamilton Holly Wood type

"Making Headlines" documentary: Hamilton factory

"Making Headlines" documentary: Newspaper headlines

Bill Moran and Hamilton Wood Type

Prolific design author Steven Heller recently interviewed Bill Moran – a letterpress printer, typography teacher, and co-author of Hamilton Wood Type: A History in Headlines – about the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum for Voice, the AIGA Journal of Design.

In 2004 Bill’s studio, Blinc Publishing, worked with type designer Chank Diesel to publish the BlincType Letterpress Fontpak, a set of fonts inspired by wood type from the Hamilton Museum. The most interesting of these (I think) is an experimental typeface design called Hamilton Offset which translates an interesting print effect called “ghosting”.

Hamilton Offset font by Bill Moran

From Chank’s description of the project:

While working on a poster project, Bill Moran accidentally offset some reject proofs and came up with an effect that could only come from this strange brew of raw materials of the printing and typesetting crafts. Bill translated the ghosted type from press proof into a digital format. He then converted the digital type to a new wood-carved alphabet. Working on equipment used by his grandfather, he respectfully created a worthy addition to Hamilton’s lineage.

Also see the information on the Blinc site about the project.