The first wood type ornaments were the pointing hands variously known as Indexes or Fists; other designs followed.

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Though Wells & Webb first showed a Calligraphic Index in 1854, William H. Page introduced the more recognizable Indexes in 1859. There were almost no new ornamental designs introduced over the next decade. Page began introducing a variety of ornamental elements again in the early 1870s that included a variety of stars and catchwords.

While all manufactures eventually offered a range of ornamental cuts, Page led the introduction and elaboration of wood ornaments throughout the 1870s and into the 1880s, including introducing floral and spacing ornaments as well as Japanese Corners. The interest in ornaments diminished greatly after the turn of the century and by the 1930s wood type manufactures were only showing simple geometric forms—diamonds, circles, squares and stars—as ornaments.