It’s been about a month since I started designing my IBM 1403 printer inspired typeface (initial post about it with an early sample image). The typeface has grown from 52 glyphs covering the A and H print chains to over 730 glyphs, currently in two weights (regular and semibold). I created a small caps variant to act as lowercase. There is nearly full coverage of most languages that use the Latin alphabet, now, along with a number of symbols and OpenType features. Though there’s a lot of testing to be done (and I don’t like to talk about release dates ahead of time), I do hope to release this typeface in the first half of 2013.
Jóhann Gunnarsson, who maintained the two 1401s in Iceland back in the 1960s, was kind enough to send me a couple printouts that included the modifications to the A and H chains to support parts of the Icelandic alphabet. I’ve included a historical variant of the squished Ö they used, along with Æ, Ð, and Þ in the default set. [As a side note, check out the pipe organ that Jóhann is building.]
On 27 Feb 2013, Cade Metz (@cademetz) published the nice article The Strange Beauty of Historic Computers Brought Back From The Dead in Wired (@wired) about the IBM 1401 restoration at the Computer History Museum (@ComputerHistory).
Someday it would be great to see the various language specific variants of the IBM 1403 printer chains. I also hope to see an APL chain, sometime. Let me know if you have sample output or photographs of these chains.
Update: 21 November 2013: The 1403 Vintage Mono Pro typeface has been released and is now available for licensing, going from 52 glyphs to over 1,500, supporting 140+ languages across Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, and Hebrew scripts.