Tommy Thompson (type designer)

Samuel Winfield "Tommy" Thompson[1] (1906–1967)[2] was an American calligrapher, graphic artist and typeface designer. He was born Blue Point, New York. In 1944 he became the first designer to earn royalties for a type design, from Photo Lettering Inc. for his Thompson Quill Script. Previously, designers had worked in house for foundries or had sold the rights to their faces outright. He maintained a studio in Norwalk, Connecticut and was the author of several books on type and lettering.[3]

Tommy Thompson
Died1967 (aged 61)
Known fortypography
Notable work
Thompson Quill Script


Thompson designed all of these foundry types:[4]

In addition, he prepared a version of Baskerville for the ATF Typesetter; this was the first 7-unit typeface for the machine, which previously used 5-unit typefaces similar to those used by the Justowriter on which it was built.[5] (Later, in 1964, the ATF Typesetter Model B-8, offered an 18-increment system allowing further improved typesetting.)


  • The script letter; its form, construction and application, New York, The Studio Publications Inc., 1939.
  • The ABC Of Our Alphabet, 1945.
  • How to render roman letter forms. A pattern for understanding and drawing roman letters and other styles of lettering and type faces related to them, New York, American Studio Books, 1946.
  • Basic layout design; a pattern for understanding the basic motifs in design and how to apply them to graphic art problems, New York, Studio Publications, in association with Crowell, c. 1950.


  1. ^ Library of Congress. Copyright Office (1947). Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series: 1946. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. p. 654. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  2. ^ "Samuel Winfield Thompson 1906–1967 - Arnold-Moberly Families | Tommy Thompson's family profile". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  3. ^ Rollins, Carl Purlington American Type Designers and Their Work. in Print, V. 4, #1, p.18.
  4. ^ MacGrew, Mac, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4.
  5. ^ Underwood, Richard G., Production and Manufacturing Problems of American University Presses, Association of American University Presses, 1960.