Many Madisonians are familiar with the distinct cursive logo or perhaps the starkly angled building on Fordem Avenue of Webcrafters, the long established, family-owned printing company on Madison’s near Northeast side. But, what many may not know is that Webcrafters was a spin-off of the Democrat Printing Company which itself can trace its roots to one of Madison’s earliest newspapers, indeed the city’s first daily newspaper, The Madison Democrat.
The newspaper was sold to the Wisconsin State Journal in 1921, but the printing business continued. Within the Silver Buckle Press collection you can see a small sample of the type of work the Democrat Printing Co. performed. The 1940 Specimen book was meant to advertise the range and quality of type the printer had to offer. From Bondoni Monder to Futura Bold, the Democrat Printing Co. could meet the printing needs of any number of customers. In the company’s own words, the specimen book was hoped to be, “an important and useful working tool for customers and friends of “the Democrat.”
Explore the Democrat Printing Company Specimen book, just a small bit of printing and Madison history, online. And, read more about the Madison Democrat in Roland Strand’s Story of The Democrat, available for check out through the UW Libraries.