Monotype’s role in the development of the communications industry is so vast, we felt it worthy of being recorded and celebrated, along with its on-going legacy: Monotype itself; and the Monotype hot-metal business rescued by the Science Museum (and operated from the Type Archive in Stockwell, London).
The idea for a business history first came up in 1992, with the intention of celebrating Monotype’s centenary in 1997, and because its business history hasn’t previously been published.
As Monotype has such rich archives and interesting stories to tell about its business, its typefaces, and its technology, I commissioned three specialist authors, to write three histories which I originally intended to integrate. I commissioned the business historian Judy Slinn (who’s worked on a number of business histories, including Bowater the paper company), typeface specialist Sebastian Carter (author of Twentieth century type designers), and technology expert Lawrence Wallis (a prolific writer on type technology). Lawrence – to whom the book is dedicated – retired and stepped down and Richard Southall (author of Printer’s Type in the Twentieth Century) took over. Christopher Burke – who, like me, worked at Monotype Typography in the early 1990s – co-edited and designed the book (setting the text in Monotype’s digital Dante). Sue Shaw, of the Type Archive, co-wrote the book’s epilogue about the rescuing of Monotype hot-metal. Progress on the book since 1992 has been slow, and I’m fortunate, and grateful, that all our sponsors and supporters have been so patient.