Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection
The Collection
History Publications Specimens Details
American Wood Type
Production Manufacturers Bibliography
Contact & Links
Chromatic types were made to print in two or more colors. These types, produced in register as corresponding pairs, were designed so that one color would overlap another in certain places to create a third color. Chromatic types were shown regularly in foundry type specimen books of the 1840s and 1850s.

Chromatic types were first produced as wood type by Edwin Allen, and shown by George Nesbitt in his 1841 Fourth Specimen of Machinery Cut Wood Type. Both William H. Page in 1859, and J.G. Cooley in c.1859, showed several pages of Chromatic type in each of their wood type specimen books. Page showed these types in most of his specimen books in the 1870s. The high point of Chromatic wood type production came in 1874 when the William H. Page Wood Type Co. issued their 100-page Specimens of Chromatic Type & Borders. Though Hamilton, Morgans & Wilcox, and Heber Wells all showed samples of Chromatic types through the rest of the century, none of these ever reached the level of intricate precision attained in Page’s 1874 masterpiece.
Celtic + Celtic Chromatic
Doric + Doric Shade
Border No 17, chromatic
Chromatics Two Color