The Typehead Chronicles: Bulmer
      Of Thomas Christensen, ABCedminded Typesetter  

homeward bound


Bulmer MT STD


Identifying Characteristics

  • tail of R has upward flourish (similar to "English modern" faces)
  • lower bowl of g is not quite fully closed
  • top bowl of g seems offset to left
  • C lower serif slightly concave
  • D bowl appears to cross baseline
  • Y has short stem
  • top of a extends to left of bowl
  • dots of i and j very high (to cap line)
  • y bowed to right


Designed by Ron Carpenter and issued by Monotype in 1930. Based on types cut by William Martin in 1790 and named after William Bulmer, an English book printer of the late-eighteenth century. (Caledonia by William Addison Dwiggins is based on the same model.) Bulmer is often grouped with Baskerville as a “transitional” typeface, but it has a very different flavor, having a bit more decorative quality.

Character and Use

Compact with even color. Good text font, though rather condensed, and so probably not best for long measures. I used in José Antonio Burciaga’s In Few Words / En Pocas Palabras, which had a large number of short lines.

According to Deborah Taylor-Pearce, Bulmer can be paired with Avant Garde.

Say What?

“Later transitional types begin to move towards ``modern'' designs. Contrast is accentuated, and serifs are more flattened. Current examples of such are based on originals from approximately 1788-1810, and are dominated by British isles designers, such as Richard Austin (Bell, 1788), William Martin (Bulmer) and Miller & Richard (Scotch Roman)”
      — Thomas W. Phinney






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