Walter Tracy

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Walter Valentine Tracy
Born 1914
Islington, London, England
Died 1995
Occupation Graphic designer, typographer, writer

Walter Valentine Tracy RDI (1914–1995) was an English typographer and writer and designer of books, magazines, and newspapers.


Walter Tracy was born in Islington, London and attended Shoreditch Secondary school. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to the large printing firm William Clowes as a compositor. When he had completed his apprenticeship, Tracy went to work in the design studio of The Baynard Press. During the Second World War he worked in and advertising agency as a print buyer. In 1947 he became manager of typeface development at Linotype,[1] where he specialised in designing typefaces for newspapers, and classified advertising. His typeface Jubilee, designed to be more robust than Stanley Morison's 1931 font Times New Roman, was adopted by a number of newspapers, and his Telegraph Modern was used by the Daily Telegraph from 1969. While at Linotype he was also responsible for overseeing the development of systems for the electronic composition of Arabic.[2]

In 1972 he was asked by The Times to design a replacement for Times New Roman. This was Times Europa which was adopted by The Times in late 1972. He retired in 1977 but still kept busy, designing many Arabic typefaces for Linotype, Letraset and Bitstream.[1] In the same period he also designed a Hebrew font, under a pseudonym.[3] In 1973 he was elected a Royal Designer for Industry.[4] His papers are held at the Type Museum, London.[5]

Walter was married to Frances Tracy for many years. They latterly lived at "Cedar Court" in Finchley, London, a Grade II listed 1920's building.


  • Jubilee (1954)
  • Adsans (1959)
  • Maximus (1967)[6]
  • Telegraph Modern (1969)
  • Times Europa (1972)[7]
  • Doric (1973)[8]
  • Telegraph Newface Bold (with Shelley Winter, 1979)
  • Qadi (1979)[9]
  • Kufics (1980)
  • Oasis (1985)
  • Sharif (1989)
  • Malik (1988)
  • Medina (1989)


  • Tracy, Walter Letters of Credit, a View of Type Design, London 1986
  • Tracy, Walter The Typographic Scene London 1988
  • Ross, Fiona Type Design at Linotype Cheltenham U.K. 1983 paper presented at Twentieth Century Graphic Communication Conference
  • Tracy, Walter on Lanston Monotype's Series 54 in Bulletin 39 of the Printing Historical Society Summer 1995
  • Tracy, Walter Composing Room Days (and after) in Bulletin 40 of the Printing Historical Society Winter 1995/96 which includes a memorial Editorial with contributions by two of his colleagues Shelley Winter & Lesley Sewell.


  1. 1.0 1.1 McLean, Ruari (2004). H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, ed. Walter Valentine Tracy (1914–1995). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 
  2. Macmillan, Neil (2006). An A-Z of Type Designers (illustrated ed.). Yale University Press. p. 172. 
  3. Tracy papers; letter to Misha Black
  4. Identifont biography
  5. "Smaller collections include the working papers of Walter Tracy RDI. " "Type Museum". Type Museum. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  6. Linotype Maximus
  7. Linotype Times Europa
  8. Linotype Doric
  9. Linotype Qadi

External links