The Story of Filmotype

local font maker publishes book on defunct typesetting

Karline Koehler |

    I’m a fangirl from way back. I was a teenaged editrix plotting to conquer the world through desktop publishing. So when Stuart Sandler, the hepcat behind this emporium of excellent retro typefaces A) moved to Eau Claire, B) started hanging around V1 HQ, and C) asked yours truly to edit his book … well, coolsville, right? Filmotype: By the Letter, self-published in 2009, tells the story of the Filmotype company, whose user-friendly typesetting machine revolutionized the printing industry in the 1950s and whose original typefaces you envision when you think “funky 50s lettering.” When Sandler discovered Filmotype, it was but a blast from the past, so he bought up the pieces of the company and has released several of its wonderfully whimsical typefaces in digital format. Along the way, he conversed at length with the people behind the fonts about the enterprise that created them, and Filmotype: By the Letter took shape. Find the book and the Filmotype fonts at