The Trajan Inscription in Rome: The work of Father Edward M. Catich (Hingham, Massachusetts) from 1935-1939

Father Catich created the classic 'Trajan' typeface from detailed studies he completed of the text on Trajan's Column in Rome. This 40 page book (plus illustrative plates) explains his method of analysis letter by letter.

Photo composite (three panels) created by Father Catich during the 1930s.
Click on photo and pages below to enlarge
The typeface is considered the finest example of Roman lettering found to date. Catich details his work in a finely crafted book published in 1961. He describes how prior calligraphers and typeface experts had wrongly based the Trajan Column typeface on moulds and photos more easily accessible at the Albert and Victoria Museum in London. As a result (see above) prior to Father Catich's work, the type was distorted and analysis of its details quite faulty. Difficult access and permit formalities kept them from going to make direct records in Rome. Father Catich was able to prove that the shaping of the letters conformed to elegantly executed brushstokes. His work was sponsored by the R.R.Donnelley Printing Company in Chicago, Illinois (USA).