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Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler (Berkley, 1983; Pan, 1990)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 21st, 2022. Artwork published in
circa 1983
Berkley Books, New York City, 1983
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

Berkley Books, New York City, 1983

Anne Tyler’s novel Searching for Caleb was originally published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1975. Shown here are two paperback editions of later dates.

The one issued by Berkley in 1983 features caps from a phototype version of De Vinne. With the relatively thick bars in E F H and the overall restrained modulation (see the low contrast in E or S), I believe the font in use is Lettergraphics’s Devinne Black (before 1976), which seems to be identical to Castcraft’s Devinne Extra Bold Agency (before 1978). Chances are it’s the same font used for The Eyes of Darkness from 1981.

When Pan Books brought out their paperback for the British market in 1990, they – deliberately or not – went with a similar typeface for the cover. This time it’s Hawthorn, drawn by young Mike Daines (b. 1947) at Letraset in 1968. Apart from the added weight, his rendition stays closer to the original De Vinne Condensed, in terms of stroke weight contrast. Rounds in the bowls of B and R bulge out more. Furthermore, S leans a little to the left (just like in metal De Vinne Condensed), and C and G are quite narrow at the top. These characteristics become more evident when comparing Hawthorn to Roslindale, a more recent interpretation by DJR.

Pan Books, London, 1990
Source: INetAntiquariat Bigge. License: All Rights Reserved.

Pan Books, London, 1990


  • De Vinne
  • Hawthorn
  • Garamond
  • Trade Gothic




Artwork location

3 Comments on “Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler (Berkley, 1983; Pan, 1990)”

  1. A De Vinne without its idiosyncratic R? I believe you showed a specimen before that featured an alternate R.

    Interesting how significantly it influences the general appearance of the title. I can’t say I dislike it, though its leg seems too firmly attached to the stem; it optically carries a lot more weight than the other letters.

    Interesting to see how lazy and droopy Hawthorn’s C is compared to De Vinne’s; the latter also seems to want to fall backward, but still retains balance. Hawthorn’s C seems to need the support of that leg of R to keep from falling.

  2. The non-descending R was available as alternate in ATF’s Italic, Condensed, Extra Condensed, and Extended styles, and also in BB&S’s Bold, Compressed, and Extra Compressed. I don’t think I’ve seen it for the original style, though.

    The phototype version carried by Lettergraphics/Castcraft had both forms. I agree that in this condensed style, with the added weight, the full-width non-tapering leg looks too heavy.

    Talking about De Vinne’s pointed leg: I’m sure you’ll dig this Cyrillic adaptation by Woellmer, named Russische halbfette Antique – Ясвино!

  3. Also, have you seen De Vinne Initials? Not drab at all!

    … but not as pompous as Schelter & Giesecke’s Initialen Serie 268, accompanying their Romanisch:

    Plenty of ideas how to ruin DJR’s plans for future extensions of the Roslindale family … ;)

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