Skip to main content Skip to search results Skip to Facets & Filters

Ruzicka, Rudolph, 1883-1978



  • Existence: 1883 - 1978


Rudolph Ruzicka was born on June 29, 1883 in Bohemia. His family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1894. At the age of 14, Ruzicka began an apprenticeship in wood-engraving with the Franklin Engraving Co. and attended evening classes at the Chicago Art Institute. He joined the staff of the American Bank Note Co. of New York City in 1903, and later the Calkins and Holden advertising agency. After leaving Calkins and Holden, Ruzicka began making prints and in 1912, he was one of the artists invited to exhibit in Paris. That same year, the first of his wood engravings appeared in the series of annual keepsakes for D.B. Updike's Merrymount Press in Boston. In 1940, he designed his first type face, called "Fairfield" which was released by the Mergenthaler Linotype Co. He followed that type face with two more "Fairfield Medium," and "Primer." During the 1950s and 60s, Ruzicka turned his attention to the design of medals, including the Emerson-Thoreau Medal for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the John F. Kennedy Medal for the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Dartmouth College Bicentennial Medal which was struck by the United States Mint in 1969. Ruzicka was also the author of "Thomas Bewick, Engraver" (1943) and "Studies in Type Design" (1968), as well as a member of the National Academy of Design, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and an honorary member of the Society of Printers. He died in 1978, at the age of 95.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Bert C. Chambers letters with Rudolph Ruzicka

Identifier: MS-1363
Date(s): 1931 to 1976

Bert Chambers (1894-1980). Graphic Designer. Letters from Rudolph Ruzicka about design work and personal life.

Rudolph Ruzicka papers

Identifier: MS-1078
Date(s): 1834 to 1980

Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978), typeface and book designer. The collections contains correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, financial records, appointment calendars, manuscripts, galley proofs, personal documents, hand chisels, woodblocks and printing ephemera related to his design of the "Fairfield" linotype face and his work as an engraver and designer.

Back to top