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Carl Crossgrove, Carol Twombly, Kim Buker Chansler
Adobe Systems
Release Year
Country of Origin
United States
Serif, Tuscan
Original Format
Adobe, Linotype, MyFonts
bicolor, circus, headline, split serif, titling, wild west, wood type


Of the many nineteenth-century wood type designs, the most popular seem to be variations of the Antique Tuscan style, which featured scalloped contours and upturned, bi- and tri-furcated serifs. Designers of wood type found the Tuscan style to be ideal for embellishment, shading, and decoration.

Adobe’s Zebrawood was based on Doric Ornamented first shown in Wells & Webb’s 1854 Specimens of Wood Type. The chromatic version of Doric Ornamented was first shown by William H. Page in the October, 1868 issue of The Chicago Specimen the periodical of the Chicago Type Foundry.

Zebrawood has a solid upper half, open lower half, graduated dots, and deep shadow; a style often used for circus posters and advertisements. Zebrawood, released in 1994, is a chromatic typeface.

“Chromatic” or multicolored typefaces were first shown as wood type in George Nesbitt’s 1841 Nesbitt’s Fourth Specimen of Machinery Cut Wood Type. The chromatics were created by carefully registering and overprinting two or sometimes three versions of each letter in different colors to produce a flamboyant multicolored appearance. Zebrawood has an alternate version of each letter which can be used for multiple color printing.

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David Shields’s avatar

Last edited by David Shields on June 22, 2011, 03:18pm EST

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