Image File
Print by R. Hunter Middleton

R. Hunter Middleton, (1898–1985)

Goudy Award Winner 3, 1971

R. Hunter Middleton was born near Glasgow, Scotland, in 1898. He emigrated to the United States in 1908, and in 1920 found himself enrolled as an art student in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1923 he was graduated as one of the first group of students from a newly established Department of Printing Arts. This department was headed by Ernst Detterer and had for its objective the training of art students to become designers of printing with a full background on the origin of letterforms, the practice of calligraphy, the history of printing and illustrative techniques, The course also included actual printing and the mechanics and craftsmanship of typesetting and press work.

Upon graduation Middleton was employed immediately by the Ludlow Typograph Company as a designer of typefaces and eventually director of the company's Department of Letter Design. His productivity with Ludlow in' eluded the designing of some 92 typeface series which have been in use throughout the world.

During his professional career Middleton was active in many printing and design organizations. He was one of the founders and later president of the Society of Typographic Arts of Chicago. He was a member of the executive committee of the International Design Conference in Aspen for several years and chairman for two years when the Conference was permanently organized in 1955. He received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Transylvania University in 1949; the School of Journalism of the University of Missouri honored him with its Gold Medal in 1961; in 1968 he received the Medal of Award of the Type Directors club of New York; he has also been awarded honorary memberships by graphic arts organizations in England and the United States. Upon retirement in 1970 Mr. Middleton had served the Ludlow Typograph Company also as director and vice president for several years.

Since retirement Mr. Middleton has been devoting his time to his privately operated Cherryburn Press. A major work from the press was completed in 1970 and published by The Newberry Library. The work consists of a Port, folio of one hundred prints pulled from the original blocks cut by the great English wood engraver, Thomas Bewick (1753'1828). Middleton will continue with the design and printing of small edition books at his press, but will devote a large part of his time to the cutting of steel punches by hand and producing matrices from them suitable for casting type. He may also revive one of his former activities-the design and production of decorative paper by the 18th century paste-paper technique. In fact, he intends to wallow in the nostalgia of traditional printing and typographic craftsmanship. The new technology, he feels, belongs to a new generation which he intends to participate in only as an observer.