‘Architectural combinations’ originally was available as metal type from the San Francisco type foundry ‘Palmer & Rey’. It consists of 24 bits or elements that could be used as building blocks to typeset sheds, houses or any other means of architecture. The typesetter would turn into an architect and a builder. But of course the concept of the modular system of typography allows for any kind of composition.
Palmer & Rey’s specimen books
‘Architectural Combination’ can be found in at least two specimen books by the San Francisco type foundry ‘Palmer & Rey’. In 1884 they published their ‘New specimen book’ and in 1887 the ‘Third revised specimen book and price list of printing material’.
Questions of digital versions
From a typesetters view rotating a type is much easier in letterpress. Also adding white space and moving elements seems less complicated. Nowadays generating a digital font with the shapes is relatively easy but the typesetting in a layout programm is fairly tidious. One solution that offeres the best compromise of handling and typesetting the shapes seems to be using symbols in Illustrator.