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Filmcomposition ads for Typsettra typefaces

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Jun 22nd, 2014.
“Have you taken a good look at your face lately?”
“You can always count on Les to put a little punch in your face.”
Source: Contributed by Martyn Anstice to Wikipedia. License: CC BY-SA.

“Have you taken a good look at your face lately?”
“You can always count on Les to put a little punch in your face.”

Filmcomposition was an English phototypesetter and supplier of Fonts/Ingrama and Typsettra type. Typsettra was something like the ITC of Canada, recreating classic typefaces in 1970s fashion, with large x-heights and ultra tight spacing. “Les”, as mentioned in the ad above, refers to Les Usherwood, who founded Typsettra and designed many of its typefaces.

It’s not clear who designed Worcester Round, however. MyFonts credits it to Adrian Williams in 1974. [Update Aug 13, 2018: In Modern Encyclopedia of Typefaces, 1960–90, Wallis credits the typeface to Adrian Williams for Fonts/Ingrama SA.] The date of this ad is unknown.

Illustrations by Doug Panton.

Filmcomposition ads for Typsettra typefaces 2
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
Filmcomposition ads for Typsettra typefaces 3
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Worcester Round
  • Administer
  • Kennerley




Artwork location

15 Comments on “Filmcomposition ads for Typsettra typefaces”

  1. Martyn Anstice says:
    Oct 22nd, 2014 4:31 pm

    The above ads were designed and art directed by Ed Cleary. Cleary was one of the owners of Filmcomposition in London, UK. Cleary came to Toronto, Canada in the early 1980s to set up and run The Composing Room, a Berthold shop and  a subsiduary Cooper & Beatty.

  2. Thank you, Martyn! Cleary’s name is added to the metadata. And thanks for adding that first ad to Wikipedia — it’s what led me to the others.

  3. My recollection was that these ads were conceived by Art Director Michael Edwards at Ryan Edwards. Before launching ryanedwards with Jim, Michael was creative director at Foote, Cone & Belding in Toronto. Jim and Michael first worked together at Miller Myers Bruce Dalla Costa.

    To the best of my recollection?

  4. Norman Chaykoski says:
    Mar 3rd, 2016 3:02 am

    I have been looking for the Posters that are  on Les Usherwood’s Typsettera Legacy posters. Were they released after his death and what are they worth to collectors?

  5. Les Usherwood “Legacy” poster, advertised by TypeMasters, Inc., 1984

    Norman, The “Legacy” poster is advertised by TypeMasters, Inc. in U&lc, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Nov 1984). The text at the bottom indicates that the poster was indeed released after his death. I don’t know the value of the poster today, but I have yet to see one appear on eBay if that’s any indication.

  6. Norman Jack Chaykoski says:
    Jun 17th, 2017 3:22 am

    What happend to the Type Posters that are showcased on the Les Usherwood Legacy poster?

  7. Tonight at ATypI in Montréal, Rod McDonald suggested that the first ad represents the first time Canadian typefaces were marketed outside the country.
  8. Norman Chaykoski says:
    Sep 8th, 2018 3:23 am

    I have all eight posters that were featured in the Les Usherwood Legacy poster. what would they be worth to a collector?

    My name is Norman J. Chaykoski I was an employee with the Ontario College of Art, Techni Process, Cooper and Beatty and Typsettra. During my years in the Graphic Arts I was employed as a lead cameraman, film stripper, producing final art and color proofs for clients.

    This is a quire regarding series of posters I have collected while working for Les Usherwood in the 1970’s until 1983. I would like to know if there are any collectors collecting typographical memorabilia. If so what would a collector pay for Les Usherwood Posters (the posters featured on the Legacy Poster.) I also have font memorabilia from Cooper & Beatty, Base Line etc.

    List of Typographic Content
    This is a list of collectables that I have collected while working in the Graphic Arts that may be of interest to collectors collecting typographical memorabilia. I have original working proofs of Usherwood work as well as type specking tools that are collectables.
    1. I have 8 Usherwood Font Posters (original)
    2. One of the original Caxton Poster Proofs (line art for the printer)
    3. One of the original proofs for ad agency Chevrolet Celebrity.
    4. One final proofing print of "Have You Taken A Good Look At Your Face Lately?
    5. One Neo Headliner oneline font samples for Headline fonts.
    6. One Typomark – C&Bs original type and line specification to tool.
    7. One Typograf – C&Bs original type and line wheel which goes with the Bedford Type Books.
    8. One Typsettra film font measuring and line measure scale.
    9. One Techni Process original Process Typography books.
    10. One Techni Process Tornitype Keyboard Film Corporation.
    11. One Lettraset type books.
    12. One Type Spec chart for Bedford Type Books
    13. One type book insert for C&Bs Font book (53 new Fototronic Alphabets)
    14. A collection of 20 ITC Font Books
    15. A collection of ITC Typographic Quarterly Magazines from 1972 to 1985.
    16. Three Copies of the Orb a Si-Fi — martial arts comic book

    Thanks for your time:

    Norman J. Chaykoski

  9. Hello, Norman. Thanks so much for commenting. We’d love to hear more about your time as a typesetter. I don’t think these items hold tremendous value to collectors, but institutions with a focus on typography would welcome them as a donation. I recommend Letterform Archive (my day job) or Massey College Library (where Usherwood’s archive is now held).

  10. Albert Macchiusi says:
    Jun 29th, 2021 1:09 am

    I manufactured the glass grids with equipment I designed for the Berthold system at Typsettra and worked closely with Les and his designs. I have his posters and many discarded art work of his faces. I do not remember Norman, wish I could chat with him. I’m currently working on Canadian Typography Archives website with Rod McDonald. Those were the glory days. I assembled the ads for Ed at Filmcomposition ads when we marketed our fonts in Europe. Ed Cleary visited us often. 
    Miss those days. Typography is an art not to be forgotten.

    Albert Macchiusi

  11. Thanks for your comment, Albert! So glad you’re working with Rod on that project. It promises to be a great resource.

    Tell me more about the “discarded art work” of Usherwood faces.

  12. Albert Macchiusi says:
    Jun 29th, 2021 5:10 pm

    Stephen regarding the discarded art work question. When Typsettra was sold we had a room full of art cases filled with Les’ designs. I was tasked to organize the art work and get it ready for storage or sell, I was not sure at that point what the course would be. . .

    there were large amounts of scrap boards and tissue drawings of various designs that never went anywhere, instead of throwing them out I saved them. I loved how a character was drawn freehand and come to life.
    I’m sure that these were just concepts or for reference for Les. When I built and tested a typeface all characters were drawn and any corrections we made to the original artwork.

    I have some scanned but all are in plastic sleeves in binder. After his death a huge picture frame was built with such scraps and auctioned off at an Art Directors show.

    I’m on Linkedin if you want to chat.

  13. Martin Smith says:
    Mar 27th, 2023 9:17 am

    I joined the printing industry as an apprentice compositor, studying typography where I became fascinated by typeface design. By the end of my five-year apprenticeship in 1968, the role of compositor was largely redundant and after briefly working for the Monotype Corporation, I joined an international company, Crosfield Electronics, in north London which had recently acquired the UK rights to sell a brand new range of phototypesetting equipment called ‘Diatype’ and manufactured by a well-respected Berlin typefoundry, called Berthold AG.

    I, fortunately, became the divisional manager of the Berthold Phototypesetting Division during the heyday of advertising typographic design for which the Diatype became the epitome in its production and I therefore made many close friendships with my UK clients. Among them were Conways, Ed Cleary, Erik Spiekermann and a myriad too many to list. A golden era… Sadly, Berthold is long gone with the rapid advance of digital technology. :-(

  14. Albert Macchiusi says:
    Dec 13th, 2023 5:00 pm

    I have in my collection a poster from Typsettra c 1973/74. Rush Job. My copy I’ve had since the mid 70s and showed its age. I sent it to Rod McDonald in Halifax and we now have a perfect scan of it. It was just posted on the Canadian Typography archive instagram page. So glad we were able to save this classic piece.
    I’m looking for a sample of Melure the first typeface designed by Les Usherwood in 1964. I have the cap drawing (print) I may also have the l/c but cannot confirm.
    it would be in a Headliners International Inc catalogue. Les sold it to them. Headliners is no longer in business.

  15. More information on Worcester Round thanks to [Wallis 1985] can now be found on its typeface page.

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