Frederic W. Goudy (March 8, 1865 – May 11, 1947) was a prolific American type designer.
Goudy’s typefaces include Copperplate Gothic, Kennerly, and Goudy Old Style. In 1938 he also designed University of California Old Style, for the sole proprietary use of the University of California Press. The Lanston Monotype Company released a version of this typeface as Californian for wider distribution in 1956, while ITC created a digital version, called ITC Berkeley, in 1983.
Goudy was not always a type designer. “At 40, this short, plump, pinkish, and puckish gentleman kept books for a Chicago realtor, and considered himself a failure. During the next 36 years, starting almost from scratch at an age when most men are permanently set in their chosen vocations, he cut 113 fonts of type, thereby creating more usable faces than did the seven greatest inventors of type and books, from Gutenberg to Garamond.”
Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest “When I was a boy my father spelled our name ‘Gowdy’ which didn’t offer any particular reason for verbal gymnastics. Later learning that the old Scots spelling was ‘Goudy,’ he changed to that form, while I, for some years, retained the old way. My brother in Chicago still spells with the w. However, I find that occasionally a stranger pronounces the word with ou as long o in go, sometimes as ou in soup, or goo and less frequently with the ou as oo in good. I retain the original pronunciation with ou as in out.”