TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Dec 12 19:50:45 EST 2013
Educational and reference site run by Ben Archer, a designer, educator and type enthusiast located in England (who was in Auckland, New Zealnd, before that). Glossary. Timeline. Type categories. Paul Shaw's list of the 100 most significant typefaces of all times were recategorized by Archer:
Italian and other writing masters of the 16th century include
An expert typographer from the film type era, he set up a type division at Rapid Typographers. There he helped promote the Typositor, or Photo Typositor (invented in Miami by Murray Friedel in 1959), which improved over the first photo type machine, the Rutherford. Rapid Typographers organized the Visual Graphics Corporation (or VGC) to make the best use of this new technology. Peter bain writes: The owners of Rapid Typographers were impressed enough by Friedels invention to organize the new Visual Graphics Corporation. Initially the endeavor split its headquarters between the existing typographers address in midtown Manhattan and sunny South Florida. The Photo Typositor allowed an operator to see composition letter-by-letter as it was exposed, unlike the Rutherford. It also offered many of Photo-Letterings capabilities at a reduced price. The Typositor, as it became known, ingeniously used the same 2-inch film font format as the Filmotype. It speeded fashionably tight letter and word spacing, achievable in metal only with a razor blade after proofing, and had none of the size limitations of foundry type. VGC and its backers proceeded to convert metal faces to film, and pursued licensing with typefounders. Burns guided the development of the type library at Rapid Typographers / VGC. In 1970, ITC was founded by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and Edward Rondthaler (from Photo-Lettering Inc.). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Or Adolf Rusch von Ingweiler, who was active in Strasbourg from 1460-1489. The first roman antiqua north ofv the Alps is ascribed to him in 1464. The consensus is that this was not as pretty as the later types by Griffo et al.
Type specialist, and author of numerous books on type. A very nice historical account of the development of type can be found in Type Designs. Their History and Development (1934, Grafton and co., Coptic House, London; the 2nd edition appeared in 1959). [Google] [More] ⦿
The original sans face Akzidenz-Grotesk, the most influential grotesque, was first released by the Berthold type foundry in 1896 (as Accidenz-Grotesk). Quoting a Berthold press release: The design originates from Royal Grotesk light by Ferdinand Theinhardt who also supplied the regular, medium and bold weights. In Berthold's specimen booklet (Schriftprobe) number 444 released in December of 1957, Akzidenz-Grotesk mager (light) was referenced as Royal-Grotesk in parenthesis.
Karl Gerstner said of Akzidenz-Grotesk, It is the work of anonymous typecutters: craftsmen, specialists, whose professional background and experience meant they were familiar with the finest subtleties and principles, and not just those of Grotesque. They gave Akzidenz-Grotesk the ultimate accolade a typeface can have: a functional, formal rightness, transcending the whims of fashion.
Erik Spiekermann on the origins: Accidenz (sic) Grotesk was acquired by Berthold in Berlin when they bought another foundry, Pöpplbaum in Vienna. That was 1896 or 1898, depending whether one takes the date of the sale or the release of AG. The original weight was quite light, and Berthold kept adding weights, some of them from other faces, acquired from other foundries. Every foundry had a version of that type of face, more often than not available in a few sizes only. The original series remained quite diverse, individual weights showing not much resemblance but name. It was mainly a marketing and naming success. That only changed when they cut (I'm talking foundry type, with some sizes and weights also available on Intertype slug casters) Series 57, and then Series 58, named for the years of release. These had some sizes (but not all) recut under the direction of Günter Gerhard Lange, who was their (freelance) artistic director at the time. Throughout the years, Berthold has expanded this extremely popular and versatile family. AG ExtraBold (1966) and AG Super (1968) were developed by Guenter Gerhard Lange and are excellent choices for headlines. Guenter Gerhard Lange added more weights for Berthold including Super Italic (2001) and ExtraBold Italic (2001). In 2006, Berthold first released Akzidenz-Grotesk in OpenType.
In 2007, Berthold announces the release of Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro+ with Cyrillic and Greek support for all 30 fonts in the collection as well as language support for Central European, Baltic and Turkish. Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro+ is available in CFF PostScript flavored OpenType. Also added in 2007 was Akzidenz-Grotesk Next in 14 styles. Akzidenz-Grotesk Probe Nr. 473 (1966, H. Berthold AG) is a specimen book. Ulrich Stiehl dociuments the Linotype clones from 1958. In 1992, H. Berthold made 22 PostScript fonts of Akzidenz Grotesk, shown here.
Type historian at Reial Academia de Bones Lletres in Barcelona. Born in Barcelona in 1971, Corbeto is responsible for all the publishing activities of the Real Academia de Buenas Letras de Barcelona and the Asociación de Bibliófilos de Barcelona. His field of investigation is the history of printing types and, in particular, the work of Spanish punchcutters throughout the second half of the eighteenth century. At ATypI 2006 in Lisbon, he spoke about the efforts around 1750-1770 to set up the Royal Library type foundry by Juan de Santander and Gerónimo A. Gil. Speaker at ATypI 2009 in Mexico City, where he talked about the punches from the Spanish Royal Printing House. Soon he will publish a specimen and text book on all this.
Born and died in Nuremberg, Germany, 1471-1528. Painter, wood carver and copper engraver extraordinaire, famous for many great geometrical and structured capitals and proportioned designs, carried out with compass and ruler. Example from 1524. Another example, ca. 1500. Best known of the books on the geometry of letters is Dürer's Unterweysung der Messung [A Course on the Art of Measurement], published in 1525. See here. His famous set of German Renaissance Capitals (1525), Gothic Capitals, German Minuscule. Scan of his famous rhinoceros (1515) and of his Dürerfraktur (1519).
Author of Handbuch der Schriftarten (Leipzig, 1926), a nearly comprehensive listing of all types at all German type foundries at that time. Just the name index of the types takes 38 pages. [Google] [More] ⦿
Late 15-th century Venetian scholar and printer, b. 1449, Bassiano, d. 1515, Venice. He founded the Aldine Press in 1495. His typefaces were all designed and cut by the brilliant Francesco Griffo, a punchcutter who created the first roman type cut from study of classical Roman capitals. Bembo, Cloister Italic and Poliphilus [aka Aldus Manutius' Roman] can be traced back to him. Graphion's site. Example of his Italian Antiqua, 1499.
Kevin Steele explains in 1996: Some sources cite the publication of Cardinal Bembo's De Aetna as 1493 or 1495. And in fact, the design continued to evolve until the 1499 publishing of the spectacular Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Let's not split hairs. Let's celebrate 500 years of Bembo! In the mid fifteenth century printing quickly spread to Italy from Germany, and by the 1470's Venice had became the center of the printing industry, home to over 100 printing companies. Pioneers such as Erhard Ratdolt and Nicolas Jenson had already begun working on adapting the roman alphabet for metal type by the time Aldus Manutius established his press in 1494, with the intention of publishing all the Greek classics. Aldus Manutius (1450-1515) was a printer, entrepreneur, a great ego, and publisher of over 1200 titles. Among the many contributions of Aldus was the popularization of small, portable books. His expensive beautiful books were far from today's paperbacks, mind you. One of the many great talents working for Aldus was Francesco Griffo, a gifted type designer. Griffo created many innovative type designs that are still admired for their beauty and readability. Their collaboration broke up over a copyright dispute, primarily over the ownership of the cursive type face that Griffo developed under the direction of Aldus. Although Aldus even had a papal decree to protect this style of alphabet, it was as difficult then as it is now to protect a typeface design. The alphabet was widely copied, and the style is known as italic, after its country of origin.
Digital typefaces derived from his work: 1501 Manutius (2001) by Klaus-Peter Schäffel.
Type designer and punchcutter, b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1827, d. Philadelphia, 1905. Born Alexander Thompson MacKaye, he apprenticed with a bookbinding tools manufacturer, and went to London in 1850, where he worked for punch-cutting expert John Skirving. He cut typefaces for English typefounders such as Henry Caslon, Vincent Figgins, and the Stephenson Blake company. After that, he joined L. Johnson&Co. in Philadelphia in 1854, where he changed his surname from MacKaye to Kay. He stayed with L. Johnson&Co (later Binny&Ronaldson, then MacKellar, Smith&Jordan) for 40 years, until he lost much of his sight to cataract. His most famous are Binny Old Style and Ronaldson Old Style (1884, MacKellar, Smith&Jordan). The latter family was digitized by Canada Type as Ronaldson Regular (2008) and by Lars Törnqvist as Fitzronald (2013). The former was digitized by Monotype as Binny Old Style MT. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Punchcutter. From MyFonts: Scottish punchcutter (b. Edinburgh, 1829, d. 1894) active in the revival of oldstyle designs at Miller&Richard in the 1850s. He went to America in 1861, working at the Bruce typefoundry for two years, and then for the Dickinson foundry. In 1872 this foundry was ravaged by fire; Phemister was made a partner by its founder Samuel Nelson Dickinson and worked there until retirement in 1891. MyFonts missed the boat on this one! Phemister was the first man to design the famous Bookman. His typefaces include these:
Author, educator, historian and type personality who taught at Rochester Institute of Technology from 1947-1977. He wrote Anatomy of a Typeface (1990, David R. Godine). He died in 2002 in Sun City, FL. Obituary. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Scottish typefounder, b. St. Andrews, 1714, d. Edinburgh, 1784. Educated in London, he started the Wilson foundry in 1742 at St. Andrew's in a partnership with John Baine, and set up shop in Glasgow in 1744, where he began work with Glasgow University Printers, Robert and Andrew Foulis. William Miller (who later started Miller&Richard), Richard Austin and Johann Christian Bauer all worked for Wilson. Wilson's first known specimen sheet was issued in 1772. However, William Rind seems to be using these types as early as February, 1770 in his Virginia Gazette. The business was left to his son Andrew and later to his grandson Alexander. Under Alexander's tenure, it went bankrupt in 1845.
Several specimen books exist, including A specimen of printing types by Alexander Wilson&Sons, dated 1783. Life and Letters of Alexander Wilson (by Alexander Wilson) was reprinted in 1983 by Diane Publishing Company, and is freely viewable at Google.
They are credited with the first British modern face, Scotch Roman, whch became very popular in the United States. Mac McGrew: Scotch Roman is derived from a face cut and cast by the Scotch foundry of Alexander Wilson&Son at Glasgow before 1833, when it was considered a novelty letter. The modern adaptation of the face was first made in 1903 by the foundry of A. D. Farmer&Sons, later part of ATF. It is a modern face, but less mechanical than Bodoni, and has long been popular. Capitals, though, appear heavier than lowercase letters and tend to make a spotty page. Hansen's National Roman is virtually the same face, with the added feature of an alternate r with raised arm in the manner of Cheltenham Oldstyle. When Monotype copied Scotch Roman in 1908, display sizes were cut to match the foundry face, but in keyboard sizes, necessarily modified to fit mechanical requirements, the caps were lightened and the entire face was somewhat regularized. Scotch Open Shaded Italic, a partial set of swash initials, was designed by Sol Hess in 1924. Similar swash letters, but not shaded, were also drawn by Hess and made by Monotype for regular Scotch Roman Italic. Linotype had adapted Scotch Roman to its system in 1903, retaining the heavier capitals, but in 1931, by special permission of Lanston Monotype, brought out Scotch No.2 to match the Monotype version. Compare Atlantic, Bell, Caledonia, Original Old Style. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Spanish type founder and printer, who worked in Valencia around 1477-1478, where he published the Valancian Bible. He left for Murcia, where in 1484, he printed the Breviarium Cathaginense. [Google] [More] ⦿
All Good Things Typography
Dead link. Archive (FontPool), history of type, type classification (by Matthias Neuber and Morton K. Pedersen), page layout guide, type choice guide, logo type guide, mixing type guide, Windows software guide, Mac type software guide, glossary. By Kevin Woodward. [Google] [More] ⦿
Alois Ritter Auer von Welsbach (b. Wels, Austria, 1813, d. Vienna, 1869) was a typographer and printer for the state. He was famous for special techniques for "nature printing". Michael Everson Conjectures that he made the Gaelic faces Vienna A (also called Altirisch A, Altkeltisch) ca. 1845 and Vienna B (also called Altirisch B or Neukeltisch) ca. 1845. The former face is a manuscript face, while the latter is Gaelic uncial round. [Google] [More] ⦿
Juan-José Marcos García (b. Salamanca, Spain, 1963) is a professor of classics at the University of Plasencia in Spain. He has developed one of the most complete Unicode fonts named ALPHABETUM Unicode for linguistics and classical languages (classical&medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberic, Celtiberic, Gothic, Runic, Modern Greek, Cyrillic, Devanagari-based languages, Old&Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, IPA, Ogham, Ugaritic, Old Persian, Old Church Slavonic, Brahmi, Glagolitic, Ogham, ancient Greek Avestan, Kharoshti, Old Norse, Old Icelandic, Old Danish and Old Nordic in general, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Phoenician, Cypriot, Linear B with plans for Glagolitic). This font has over 5000 glyphs, and contains most characters that concern classicists (rare symbols, signs for metrics, epigraphical symbols, "Saxon" typeface for Old English, etcetera). A demo font can be downloaded [see also Lucius Hartmann's place]. His Greek font Grammata (2002) is now called Ellenike.
He also created a package of fonts for Latin paleography (medieval handwriting on parchments): Capitalis Elegans, Capitalis Rustica, Uncialis, Insularis Minuscula, Carolingia Minuscula, Gothica Textura Quadrata and Humanistica Antiqua. PDf entitled Fonts For Latin Palaeography (2008-2011), in which Marcos gives an enjoyable historic overview.
Cyrillic OCS (2012) is a pair of Latin fonts that emulate Old Church Slavonic (old Cyrillic).
American Amateur Press Association (AAPA)
Organization with many type pages related to letterpress, and run mostly by Dave Tribby. I quote Tribby: From its formation in 1892 (from the merger of 23 leading foundries) to its demise in the late twentieth century, American Type Founders was the dominant force in foundry type. Throughout its existence, ATF produced some of the most beautiful printing fonts. During its first half century, those faces were displayed in a series of substantial catalogs.
Chicago's Barnhart Brothers & Spindler foundry chose not to join the ATF combine in the 1890s. It finally became part of ATF in 1911, but continued to operate under its own name until it was closed in 1933.
Based upon Mac McGrew's American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Maurice Annenberg's Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs, and a review of ATF type catalogs published in 1897, 1899, 1900, 1903, 1906, 1909, 1912, 1923, 1934, 1941, 1960, and 1971 (plus BB&S catalog No. 25), Tribby has compiled a spreadsheet of ATF typefaces, their identification numbers, and which page numbers they appeared on in those catalogs. He put together a similar spreadsheet for BB&S catalogs that were published in 1897, 1909, and 1925.
The following PDF files were prepared from the individual worksheets in the spreadsheet file.
Publisher of "Spécimen des caractères de l'imprimerie du Vatican" (Stampa Vaticana e camerale, 1628). Republished as The type specimen of Vatican Press with an introduction and notes by H.D.L. Vervliet at Menho Hertzberger, Amsterdam, in 1967. See also here for this 49-page book. Some pages: * | * | * | * | * | * | * | * | * | * | * | *. [Google] [More] ⦿
In the late 1400s, blackletter was replaced by a type style that mimicked handwriting. It was of uniform thickness, and thus appeared quite dark on paper. The humanist writing of Italian scholars of the Renaissance served as a model for what is now known as the Antiqua style.
Several such types came out Nicolas Jenson's printing workshop set up by nicolas Jenson in 1468. That first antiqua typeface was used in De Evangelica Praeparatione in 1470. Jenson died in 1480 at the age of 60, but many would take up that style between 1470 and 1600. The Venice connection led quite naturally to the other name for the type style, Venetian. Occasionally, the name old style is also used but that refers to a later style, the aldine or garalde.
Well-known Venetian typefaces include ITC Berkeley Oldstyle, Brioso Pro, Centaur, (Adobe) Jenson, Hightower, Kennerly, Schneidler, Nicolas Jenson SG, Phinney Jenson, Stempel Schneidler, Verona, Abrams Venetian, Lutetia, Jersey, Lynton, Spira.
It is easy to recognize Venetian types, not just from the uniform thickness and semi-calligraphic look, but also by the small x-height, small counters, tall ascenders, overly wide HMN, sloped cross-bar on the "e", negative axis on the "o", and two roof serifs on the M.
Mac McGrew writes: Antique in general is a generic nineteenth-century term applied to a variety of old type styles. A few that were given a new lease on life by Monotype and the slug machines are listed here; others were similar to the older Clarendons, Dorics, Ionics, etc. Also see Bold Antique and Bold Condensed Antique, Modern Antique and Modern Antique Condensed, and Old Style Antique, also Cushing Antique, Latin Antique, etc. Antique No.1 is similar to Bookman. Antique No.2 (Lino) is equivalent to Antique No.6 (Mono) and comes from BB&S, where it was later known as Antique Bold. Antique No.3 is equivalent to Modern Antique. Antique No. 525 (ATF) is very similar to Antique [No. 53] (BB&S) and Antique No.1 (Inland); also to Consort Light, the 1950s English revival (see Clarendon). Hansen's Antique No.1 was slightly lighter than the others. Antique Condensed comes from BB&S. Antique Extra Condensed was shown as Skeleton Antique by Marder, Luse in 1886 or earlier and by BB&S somewhat later, with many sources producing the same or very similar designs. Antique Shaded was designed by Morris F. Benton in 1910 but not introduced until 1913, when it was described as "the first of a series of shaded typefaces." It was later promoted as part of "the new gray typography." This face was the first one cut on a new shading machine invented by the designer's father, Linn B. Benton. When Monotype copied it, the face was named Rockwell Antique Shaded, to tie it in with that company's Rockwell series (q. v.), but since Rockwell is often confused with Stymie, it is perhaps natural that Antique Shaded is sometimes though incorrectly called Stymie Shaded. [Google] [More] ⦿
French type designer and punchcutter, ca. 1490-1534, and teacher of Claude Garamond in Paris. He was one of the first French to engrave roman letters, when other French printers were mostly using blackletter. He began to work for Robert Estienne, one the first Parisian printers to use this type. Influential in creating a French typographical look, he was hanged for printing a poem without permission. George Abrams' rendering of Garamond, called Augereau [digitized by Charles Nix], is a wonderful text family! Klingspor link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Nürnberg-based printer who created many interesting typefaces in the late 15th century, as narrated by Christoph Reske in Eine neue Entdeckung zur Druckgeschichte der Schedelschen Weltchronik (note: Schedelschen Weltchronik (1492) is a book by Hartmann Schedel). These include a gorgeous Rotunda and Schwabacher (1492), a Druckbastarda, and other original Fraktur faces, called No. 9 and No. 11 by Reske. Koberger was first and foremost a printer, who made the first illustrated bible in 1475, and printed, as hinted to above, Schedelschen Weltchronik (1492). He died in 1515. MyFonts page. Modern digital types based on Koberger abound:
Spanish type founder based in Sevilla, who emigrated to Mexico and is thought to be the first Spanish typographer in North America. He created a large number of Gothic, roman and cursive faces. He printed mainly religious oeuvres, from about 1560 until about 1571. Cristóbal Henestrosa, who wrote Espinosa. Rescate de una tipografía novohispana (México, Designio, 2005), writes: He worked with Juan Pablos (first printer on the American continent) since 1551 and he began his independent job in 1559, with Maturino Gilberti's Grammatica Maturini and finalized with the second edition of Graduale Dominicale in 1576, the year he died. It is not completely clear that he cut typography, althought there is a contract (1550) in which he promises to cut type for Juan Pablos, but he is the second printer in all of America and the first one who preferred roman and cursive type over the gothic. [Google] [More] ⦿
Copyright-free type and typefounding books. Several type specimen books from the University of California Library Collection have been scanned in by Microsoft. Other libraries are participating as well. [Google] [More] ⦿
German printer (b. Köln, d. 1476), who left Mainz with Conrad Sweynheym to establish Italy's first printing press, in the monastery of St. Scholastica at Subiaco. There, they published three books, Cicero's De Oratore, the Opera of Lactantius, and St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei. In 1467, they set up a press in the De Massimi palace in Rome, from where they published 50 more books. Revivals of their faces, blends between humanist and blackletter, include the Subiaco font done by Ashendene Press in 1902, and the scanfont 1467 Pannartz Latin by GLC. Nicholas Fabian on Pannartz. Catholic Encyclopedia. Literature: Burger: The Printers and Publishers of the XV Century (London, 1902); Fumagalli: Dictionnaire géogrique d'Italie pour servir à l'histoire de l'imprimerie dans ce pays (Florence, 1905); Löffler: Sweinheim und Pannartz in Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, IX (Bielefeld, 1905), and Die ersten deutschen Drucker in Italien in Historisch-politische Blätter, CXLIII (Munich, 1909). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
German printer, based in Köln, active from 1470 until 1483. Aka Arnold Therhoernen, Arnold ter Humen and Arnold Horn. Aka Arnold Therhoernen, Arnold ter Humen and Arnold Horn. Born in Hoorn (Zuidersee), he died in Köln in 1483 or 1484.
Born in London in 1867, Rackham became a famous illustrator, and was noted for hand lettered titles, decorative marginalia, hand-drwan headers and borders, and color plates. Scriptorium made a font family called Rackham based on his lettering. Rackham died in Limpsfield, Surrey, in 1939. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
An expert discussion on the metal origins and digital grandchildren of Aurora Grotesk. I summarize. The original seems to date back to the Johannes Wagner Foundry (1912), but Paul Barnes points out that the same typeface appears under a multiple of names in the Handbuch der Schriftarten, 1926:
Buddhist monk. Korean printer of the first book that used movable metal type, in 1372 during the Goryeo Dynasty. He lived from 1298-1374. Jikji is the abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document, Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings. [Google] [More] ⦿
Early transitional Gaelic typeface prepared by the Gaelic Society of Dublin in 1808-1821, which, just as the very early Queen Elizabeth type, used some roman characters, in part to draw in people to study the Irish language. Sample from a grammar book published by John Barlow in 1808. [Google] [More] ⦿
Bartolomeo Sanvito (1435-1518) was a scribe from Padua, Italy, who was trained in Rome. A master of the humanist italic script, his style is characterized by wquare capital letters alternating colored and gold.
Books on Sanvito include Bartolomeo Sanvito: the Life and Work of a Renaissance Scribe (A.C. de la Mare and Laura Nuvoloni, Paris: Association internationala de Bibliophilie, 2009) and The Script of Humanism: Some Aspects of Humanistic Script 1460---1560 (James Wardrop: Oxford University Press, 1963).
Many digital typefaces were modeled or named after Sanvito. These include
Typophiles with opinions on metal versions of Baskerville, giving a nod to Monotype Baskeville, and voicing concern that the digital Baskervilles are too anemic. Wikipedia: Interest in Baskerville seems to have revived in the early 20th century, with Bruce Rogers among others taking an interest in him. [...] Not surprisingly, therefore, the type was revived for mechanical composition in the 20th century. ATF was first, followed by English Monotype in 1923, and thereafter other manufacturers (notably Linotype) followed suit. Monotype Baskerville (Series 169), perhaps the best-known of these revivals was a commercially successful type despite (or perhaps because) it was heavily "cleaned up" by the Monotype drawing office Monotype's was based on a font designed for use at a fairly large size in an edition of Terence's comedies published in 1772. ATF and Linotype used strikes from genuine punches of a smaller size type; it is not therefore surprising that different versions of Baskerville look noticeably different: they are (or may) still be 'authentic'.
Mac McGrew's discussion, mainly regarding metal Baskervilles in America: There are two distinct varieties of Baskerville in America. Both based on the types of John Baskerville, distinguished eighteenth-century English printer and typefounder, who was noted for his quest for perfection. His types are based on Caslon and other popular faces of the day, but are more precise and have a little more contrast, with stress more nearly vertical, making them the first transitional designs between oldstyles typified by Caslon and moderns typified by Bodoni. A consistently noticeable characteristic is the lowercase g, with its lower loop not completely closed. All versions have rather long ascenders, and present an appearance of dignity and refinement.
On ATF's Baskerville, he writes: The ATF version, which is called Baskerville Roman in foundry specimens but which most typesetters call American Baskerville, is produced from strikes (unfinished matrices) brought from Stephenson Blake, English typefounders, in 1915. In England it is known as the Fry Foundry version, and is said to have been cast from original matrices cut about 1795 by Isaac Moore as a close copy of Baskerville's own types. Small sizes to 14-point tend to be rather light and narrow, while sizes from 3D-point up have more weight and vigor. Production was discontinued about 1950, perhaps because most specimens didn't show the handsome larger sizes in sufficient detail; it was reinstated in 1957 without the sizes below 18-point. ATF Baskerville Italic was designed in 1915 by Morris F. Benton. It is a handsome face in itself, but has little in common with its roman mate other than adjustment to the narrowness of small sizes. It is not made above 18- point, nor-since it was reinstated-below small 18-point. Compare Century Catalogue Italic.
About Linotype Baskerville: Linotype Baskerville, said to be based on original punches which are still in existence, is much like the ATF face, but differs in details of capitals C, Q, W, and lowercase w, y, and &. It was cut in 1926 under the direction of George W. Jones, British typographer. The italic was recut in 1936 under Linotype's program of typographic refinements. Lanston Monotype Baskerville is virtually a duplicate of the English Monotype face, which is based on original letters but is more regularized and has somewhat less contrast between thick and thin strokes than the Fry and Linotype versions. It was cut in 1923 under the direction of Stanley Morison, being derived from the great primer (18-point) size of Baskerville's type, and copied by Lanston in 1931. The Intertype roman face is substantially the same as Monotype except for adaptation to mechanical requirements. But while the Monotype italic is considerably narrower than the roman, on Intertype the two faces are necessarily the same width.
Finally, McGrew evaluates Monotype Baskerville: Monotype Baskerville Italic has only the swash-like capitals JKNTYZ of the original, while both Linotype and Intertype have replaced these letters with regular characters in standard fonts, but offer a variety of swashes as alternates. Linotype, Monotype, and Intertype each provide their own versions of Baskerville Bold. All are similar, but the Monotype version is slightly heavier over all; this version was designed by Sol Hess, and is claimed to have been adapted from an original heavy face created by John Baskerville about 1757 and not generally known. Linotype and Intertype also have bold italics, the former designed by C. H. Griffith in 1939. (Latin Condensed was called "Baskerville" in ATF's 1898 book.) [Google] [More] ⦿
Greg Flores (University of California at Santa Cruz) explains about the Bauhaus movement. He tells about Herbert Bayer's dislike for serifs (which he though useless) and about the introduction of the single case alphabets. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius. It was based in Weimar (1919 to 1925), and then in Dessau (1925 to 1932), and finally in Berlin (1932 to 1933), before it was closed by the Nazi regime. Its directors were Walter ropius (1919-1928), H. Meyer (1928-1930) and Mies Van der Rohe (1930-1933).
The Bauhaus movement, which cut almost everything to its bare minimum and naked essentials, influenced art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography. Its typographical masters included Josef Albers (who made Kombinationsschrift), Herbert Bayer (famous for his Universal), Joost Schmidt and Kurt Schwitters. Bauhaus-style typefaces emerged everywhere---Futura (Paul Renner), Super Grotesk (Arno Drescher), and the types of Moholy-Nagy.
Brief bio of Walter Gropius, the founder: Born to a family of architects, he himself studied architecture in Munich from 1903-1904 and in Berlin from 1905-1907, and worked for Peter Behrens until 1910. In 1919, he founded the Bauhaus School. [Google] [More] ⦿
Swedish art historian whose 1956 PhD dissertation was entitled Svenskt stilgjuteri före âr 1700 (Typefounding in Sweden before 1700). In 1950 he published an 18-page booklet entitled Det äldsta Svenska Stilprovet Tryckt at Skolan for Bokhant verk. [Google] [More] ⦿
Benjamin Franklin, Typefounder (1925, Douglas C. McMurtie, New York) describes Benjamin Franklin as typefounder. McGrew writes about Franklin: Prior to 1722 English typefounding was at a low ebb, and most printers in that country used Dutch types. But in that year William Caslon completed the first sizes of his new style, which quickly gained dominance over the Dutch types. This new English style was also extensively exported to other countries, including the American Colonies, where it was popular before the Revolution. In fact, the Declaration of Independence of the new United States was first printed in Caslon's types. Benjamin Franklin met Caslon in London, admired and recommended his types, and used them extensively in his printshop. F. Kerdijk penned the Dutch book Benjamin Franklin. Drukker - Postmeester - Uitvinder en Gezant, 1706-1790 (1956, Drukkerij Trio, 's-Gravenhage), a 16-page booklet that further explains Franklin's multidimensional persona. Further books on Franklin's sideline include Typophiles Chapbook: B. Franklin, 1706-1790 . Franklin's interests in typography and as a printer have caused a number of typefaces to be named after him, such as the famous Franklin Gothic, but also Ben Franklin, Ben Franklin Condensed and Ben Franklin Open (metal types at Keystone Type Foundry. 1919), Franklin's Caslon (2006, P22), Poor Richard RR (named after Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard Almanack"), Poor Richard (1994, Projective Solutions: a free font), and Benjamin Franklin Antique (free font by Dieter Steffmann). [Google] [More] ⦿
Chinese inventor of the first (clay type) movable type system for printing in 1040. He lived from 990-1051. Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien (1985) writes: During the reign of Chingli, [1041-1048] Bi Sheng, a man of unofficial position, made movable type. His method was as follows: he took sticky clay and cut in it characters as thin as the edge of a coin. Each character formed, as it were, a single type. He baked them in the fire to make them hard. He had previously prepared an iron plate and he had covered his plate with a mixture of pine resin, wax, and paper ashes. When he wished to print, he took an iron frame and set it on the iron plate. In this he placed the types, set close together. When the frame was full, the whole made one solid block of type. He then placed it near the fire to warm it. When the paste [at the back] was slightly melted, he took a smooth board and pressed it over the surface, so that the block of type became as even as a whetstone. [Google] [More] ⦿
List of well-known typographers, with biographies of people such as Nicolas Jenson, Aldus Manutius, William Caslon, John Day, Johann Froben, William Caxton, and Christophe Plantin. Plus a list of typography books. [Google] [More] ⦿
Dave Farey's great essay on the history and implementations of Bodoni. All Bodoni faces published today have genetic material from Giambattista Bodoni's original. Below are various implementations:
Born in Topeka, KS, 1911-1995. Head of Mademoiselle magazine, and a general master of design. He served on the faculty of the Yale School of Art for over thirty years. Typographically, he is best known for his proposal, published in Westvaco Inspirations 180 in 1950, to have a unicase alphabet, tentatively called Alphabet 26. We cite from that page: Alphabet 26 is Bradbury Thompson's radical proposal for the redesign of the alphabet. We present excerpts from an essay that he wrote to accompany a printed piece that he planned to have published at the beginning of 1996. Brad Thompson died before its completion. Much of the material here first appeared in Thompson's The Art of Graphic Design (Yale, 1988). The text has been edited for presentation here. Paul Baker, with feedback from Thompson, has produced the new digital version of Alphabet 26 which is used in this presentation. Note: Paul Baker's version uses Baskerville for the mix. Paul Baker's grandmother and Thompson's mother were sisters. Here is a quote from the inside flap of The Art of Graphic Design, slightly repetitive: The art director of Mademoiselle and design director of Art News and Art News Annual in the decades after World War II, he also designed the formats for some three dozen other magazines, including Smithsonian. Thompson is in addition a distinguished designer of limited edition books, postage stamps, rationalized alphabets, corporate identification programs, trademarks, and sacred works (most notable, the Washburn College Bible, in which the words are set in the cadence of speech). His hallmark has ever been the adaptation of classic typography to the modern world. Thompson is perhaps most well known as the designer of more than sixty issues of Westvaco Inspirations, a magazine published by the Westvaco Corporation.... Bradbury Thompson has served on the faculty of the Yale School of Art for over thirty years.... His profession has honored him with all of its highest awards, including those of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the National Society of Art Directors, the Art Directors Club, the Type Directors Club, [now the American Center for Design], and the Society of Publication Designers. Digital versions based on his ideas have been made by Manfred Klein (see his KLBradbury family, 2007). Biography. Picture. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
British Letter Foundry
John Bell (1746-1831) was a London-based publisher of several periodicals and newspapers. He founded the British Letter Foundry in 1788, with Richard Austin as punchcutter. The foundry closed in 1798.
John Tranter tells the story: John Bell, an English publisher and bookseller, advertised a book called The Way to Keep Him in The World newspaper in London in June 1787, saying: 'J. Bell flatters himself that he will be able to render this the most perfect and in every respect the most beautiful book, that was ever printed in any country.' That was a tall order. In his quest for perfection he set up a type foundry, and hired a young punchcutter named Richard Austin to cut a new typeface for him. The face, named after Bell, was based on a typeface designed some thirty years before by John Baskerville, another perfectionist. Baskerville had said 'Having been an early admirer of the beauty of Letters, I became insensibly desirous of contributing to the perfection of them.' Though Baskerville went broke eventually, his typeface was indeed very close to perfection, and went on to become one of the most popular faces of all time. John Bell's type foundry didn't do well. He closed down his shop within two years and went on to other things, and his typeface sank almost without trace in England. Newer trends in typefaces (Didot in France, and Bodoni in Italy) eclipsed the modest elegance of Richard Austin's design. The Americans, though, took a shine to it. It was copied as early as 1792, and always remained popular there. A complete set of type cast from Bell's original matrices was purchased by the American Henry Houghton in 1864 and installed at his Riverside Press. He thoughtlessly labelled it 'English Copperplate'. Later, the distinguished American book designer Bruce Rogers used the face frequently, naming it 'Brimmer', after the author of a book he'd seen the face used for when he worked as a young man at the Riverside Press. The designer Daniel Updike also worked at Riverside, and also used the 'English Copperplate' type extensively in later years, naming his version of it 'Mountjoye'. Bell's type would have remained obscured by these disguises perhaps forever, but for the alert eye of Stanley Morison. He was doing research at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in 1926 when he came across a copy of the first specimen sheet of type samples issued from John Bell's foundry in 1788. No copy of it existed in England at that time, and Morison recognised the face immediately as the original of the 'Brimmer' and 'Mountjoye' fonts used in America. He researched the matter and in 1931 published an important monograph which, as the type scholar Alexander Lawson says, 'returned the name of John Bell to its proper place in the pantheon of English printers'. The typeface was unique in another way. Until Richard Austin cut the face in 1788, all numerals were traditionally written like lower-case letters -- small, with some numerals hanging below the line. Bell is the first typeface to break with that tradition cleanly: Austin's numerals are larger than lower-case letters (at two-thirds the height of the capitals) and sit evenly along the line. The trend was taken up. These days the numerals in most printed matter are (unfortunately) the full size of the capital letter, and are called titling figures, ranging figures, or lining figures.
Bruce Rogers: Itaian Printers in Venice
Magazine dealing with Fraktur (history, font-designers) and German language, est. 1927. Written in German and typed in blackletter. Currently edited by Harald Rösler. Gerda Delbanco of Delbanco Frakturschriften is the wife of Helmut Delbanco, who is the chairman of the Bund. Alternate URL. [Google] [More] ⦿
Cameron Moll is a type specialist. He writes extensively on type design and typography. He sells EPS format glyphs based on the work of master Italian calligrapher M. Giovambattista Palatino (ca. 1515â€“1575), as featured in Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino Cittadino Romano, published in Rome around 1550 AD. [Google] [More] ⦿
Professor at the University of Bologna (b. Bologna, 1550) since 1576. Camillo Baldi wrote about How, from a "missive" letter, we can know the nature and quality of the writer (1622: Trattato como de una lettera missiva si conoscano la natura, e qualita dello scrittore). The link shows writing samples from the period of 1522 to 1650. Camillo's own handwriting. He died in 1637. [Google] [More] ⦿
Caractères d'imprimerie, 1853
The Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, a library on printing history located at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. Check out the 18th century collection. The original collection of 2,300 volumes was assembled by the New York City businessman Melbert B. Cary, Jr. during the 1920s and 1930s. Cary was director of Continental Type Founders Association, a former president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and proprietor of the private Press of the Woolly Whale. Today the library houses some 20,000 volumes and a growing number of manuscripts and correspondence collections. Also included are impressive holdings on bookbinding, papermaking, type design, calligraphy and book illustration. The goal of developing the digital image database is to enable users all over the world to sample the wealth of rich materials housed in the collection. [Google] [More] ⦿
Mac McGrew describes the situation of Caslon in the era of metal type. All text below is quoted. Caslon is "the oldest living typeface," having survived in almost exactly its original form since every character was hand-cut by William Caslon more than 250 years ago. Virtually the same design is still available, along with a myriad of imitations, derivatives, and attempts at improvement. Altogether. they form a number of families, for there is little or no compatibility between many faces which now bear the name Caslon. In fact, Caslon is perhaps the hardest set of types to group into reasonable categories; therefore some of the following classifications are arbitrary.
The Caslon wiki states: William Caslon's types of the early eighteenth-century were extremely popular then, and strongly revived in the late nineteenth century, producing many versions. Since the Caslon Foundry was in business for a long time, there are many Caslon typefaces. Caslon's designs were markedly different at different sizes (for instance, some of his uppercase Cs had serifs at top and bottom, some only at the top); variation in design is not therefore necessarily a sign of "inauthenticity". Caslon's type was popular in every sense. It was popular in the eighteenth century (until it was eased out by modern faces in the early 19th). When the fashion of "old face" revived in the 19th, many in England and America looked to Caslon's type as the model. And, at a time when lay people probably knew less about font-names than they do now, "Caslon" was a name quite a few people did know. George Bernard Shaw, for example, absolutely insisted that his work be set in Caslon. This vast popularity of Caslon's types led to a practically endless range of copies, among them Caslon 540 from American Type Founders in 1902, and Caslon 3, a slightly bolder face also from ATF in 1905, which was later modified for use on Intertype and Linotype technologies. Both designs have the warm, solid, straightforward style that has made Caslon popular for over 200 years; these Caslons, however, have shorter descenders, and higher contrast, features that enable them to hold up better with the faster presses and the new varieties of paper introduced at the turn-of-the-century. As with Garamond, there are not only typefaces which use the Caslon name, but typefaces which are Caslon-inspired. Of some importance historically is Imprint, which was designed by (English) Monotype in 1913 for use in the (short-lived) Imprint journal. Because the journal was interested in the "improvement" of typography, it chose to release its typeface for general use. It took the "cleaning up" of Caslon's type for modern use a stage further, deliberately increasing x-height, reducing the notoriously loose fit of some of Caslon's type, and removing some of its archaic character. Wikipedia. [Google] [More] ⦿
Excerpts from the wiki page on Caslon: Caslon refers to a number of serif typefaces designed by William Caslon I (1692-1766), and various revivals thereof. Caslon shares the irregularity characteristic of Dutch Baroque types. It is characterized by short ascenders and descenders, bracketed serifs, moderately-high contrast, robust texture, and moderate modulation of stroke. The A has a concave hollow at the apex, the G is without a spur. Caslon's italics have a rhythmic calligraphic stoke. Characters A, V, and W have an acute slant. The lowercase italic p, q, v, w, and z all have a suggestion of a swash. [...] Caslon's earliest design dates to 1722. Caslon is cited as the first original typeface of English origin, but type historians like Stanley Morison and Alfred F. Johnson, a scientist who worked at the British Museum, did point out the close similarity of Caslon's design to the Dutch Fell types cut by Voskens and other type cut by the Dutchman Van Dyck. [...] Nicols writes: "he (Caslon) cut the beautiful fount of English which is used in printing Selden's Works 1726. Nicols describes this character as far superior over comtemporary Dutch founts used in English books at this period. Rowe More does not give any comment on this. Dutch founts were in use by several printers in England at that time. The Oxford University Press used the "Fell-types", character cut by the Dutch typefounder Voskens. The Cambridge University Press had received in January 1698 some 52 series of alphabets from Holland, all cut by Van Dyck. But even before that in 1697 thay used the Text-sized roman and italic of Van Dyck in an edition of Gratulatio Cantabrigiences. Character of Van Dyck and Voskens is found also in: William Harison, Woodstock Park, Tonson, 1706. Although Nicols attributes this character to Caslon, the fount used in Seldens Works is actually cut by Van Dyck. The italic is identical to the Van Dycks Augustijn Cursijf fount in specimen sheets issued in 1681 by the widow Daniel Elzevir. This woman had bought the typefoundry of Van Dyck after Van Dyck died. The roman in this book, is a Garamond. This fount is used in the first volume and in the greater part of the second volume, It is found in a specimen sheet of the Amsterdam printer Johannes Kannewet, in accompagny with Van Dyck's Augustijn Cursijf. The only thing known about this Kannewet is that he was a printer, not a typefounder. This specimen-sheet is preserved in the Bagford-collection in the British Museum, and can be dated 1715 or earlier because Bagford died in 1716. There is no reason to suppose anything is added on a later date to this collection. The roman is named: Groote Mediaan Romyn. This fount is also found on a specimen sheet of the widow of Voskens. Therefore it can be assumed to be the work of Voskens. The earliest use of it at Amsterdam is 1684. The earliest use of a roman and italic cut by Caslon can be identified in books printed William Bowyer in 1725, 1726 and 1730. The founts cut by Caslon and his son, were close copies of the Dutch Old face cut by Van Dyck. These founts were rather fasionable at that time. The alternative founts they cut for text were a smaller, rather than a condensed letter. The Caslon types were distributed throughout the British Empire, including British North America. Much of the decayed appearance of early American printing is thought to be due to oxidation caused by long exposure to seawater during transport from England to the Americas. Caslon's types were immediately successful and used in many historic documents, including the U.S. Declaration of Independence. After William Caslon I's death, the use of his types diminished, but saw a revival between 1840-1880 as a part of the British Arts and Crafts movement. The Caslon design is still widely used today. For many years a common rule of thumb of printers and typesetters was When in doubt, use Caslon. [Google] [More] ⦿
In 1871-1872, C.E. Fetzer proposed a mathematically defined (raster-based) grotesk called Runde Groteskschrift. It was not a complete alphabet, but according to Albert-Jan Pool, it was the ancient ancestor of FF DIN. [Google] [More] ⦿
Mac McGrew tells the story of the development of Century. Quoted verbatim, with only minor editorial changes.
Herminio Javier Fernandez tells the story of the rip-off face Valencia from its roots. Here is the timeline:
A timeline on the development of Century, with bits and pieces taken from The Century family (Paul Shaw, for Fine Print magazine), which in turn was based on material from Mac McGrew. Also check these typophile opinions.
Parisian copperplate engraver, b. Paris, 1715, d. Paris, 1790. His work influenced the letter shapes of Baskerville, Didot and Bodoni. His engraved tall-ascendered letters have been preserved in many fonts bearing the Cochin name. One of the best revivals is by Georges Peignot in 1913. The irregularities of the metal are well preserved in the digital typeface Nicolas Cochin (+Italic) (P22/Lanston). Monotype made a Cochin Open face.
In 1977, Matthew Carter expanded Peignot's revival into the three style family Cochin---the digital versions are sold, e.g., by Linotype. Another family by Linotype is Nicolas Cochin LT (2004)---it is a variation that is taller, rounder, and less archaic than Cochin. Finally, we find a digital version by URW simply called Nicolas Cochin.
For an Arabic extension, see Badr (1970, Osman Husseini, Linotype).
Cochin is now one of the standard Apple fonts---it is in the basic font set on the iPad and elsewhere on Apple computers.
French engraver, penman and calligrapher, 1718-1789. Author of Notice historique sur les hommes célèbres de toutes les nations de l'Europe, qui depuis la renaissance des sciences et des arts, se sont distingués dans la configuration des caractères qui composent les diverses Ecritures, which appeared in J. H. P. Pouget, Dictionnaire des chiffres et de lettres ornées à l'usage de tous les artistes (Paris, 1767).
In 1796, Charles Paillasson wrote L'arte di scrivere: tratta dal Dizionario d'arti e mestieri dell' Enciclopedia metodica (Padova, Appresso Niccolo Bettinelli). The date, 1796, is a bit puzzling, but The Getty Research Institute writes: The text is a separate publication of the section on handwriting from an Italian edition of the Encyclopédie méthodique, originally published in Geneva by C.J. Panckoucke, 1783-1790. The 15 leaves are copies of those first published in: Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Recueil des planches, v. 2. Paris, Chez Briasson, David, Le Breton, Durand, 1763. The engraved leaves consist of 2 leaves showing position of the hand and writing posture, and 13 writing samples, engraved by Pasquali. Local download. [Google] [More] ⦿
From MyFonts: Punchcutter for the Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, where he works with Nelly Gable. Author of La Lettre - La Gravure du Poinçon typographique / The Punchcutting (Wissous, 1998). He works at the Cabinet des poinçons. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Born in Saint-Avertin, near Tours, in 1514, died in Antwerp in 1589. He left France in 1555 and settled and worked in Antwerp, where he published many books that drew attention because of their beautiful typography. He often used types by Claude Garamond and Robert Granjon. He was the main catholic publisher of the counter-reformation, but he also published material for the protestants. One of his main achievements was the Biblia polyglotta (1569-1573), the eight-volume polyglot Bible in Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Syrica, with text in parallel columns. For two years, from 1583-1585, he was the official typographer at the newly erected University of Leiden. After his death in 1589, his son, Jan Moretus (1543-1610), carried on his work. Plantin's press, Officina Plantiniana, survives in its entirety as the Plantin-Moretus Museum, sold to the City of Antwerp in 1876. This collection of 16th century typefaces (punches, matrices, the works) is a unique historical treasure.
The Plantin face was created in the 1570s. The modern day version at Bitstream is called Aldine 721.
Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp. Britannica entry. Biography. The Golden Compasses The History of the House of Plantin-Moretus (Leon Voet, 1969, 1972) is freely downloadable. Books on Christoffel Plantijn (in Dutch). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Christopher Saur (1695-1758) began a successful German-American printing business in the American Colonies in 1738, from Pennsylvania to Georgia. He printed the first bible in America (in German, in Germantown (!), 1743), using a Fraktur font from Frankfurt's Luther Foundry. He is credited with the first type specimen printed in America, ca. 1740, Philadelphia. Check also his almanac from 1754. [Google] [More] ⦿
Author of "Ein Geistliches Magazien, oder: Aus den Schätzen der Schrifftgelehrten zum Himmelreich gelehrt, dargereichtes Altes und Neues" (1770-1772), Germantown. I cite a blurb from an exhibit at Columbia University: "Christopher Sower (1721-1784) was one of the most prosperous printers and businessmen in the North American colonies. Around 1740 he imported type from the Egenolff-Luther foundry in Frankfurt and used it to print many books, including the 1743 German Bible, the first to be printed in any European language in America. By 1770 he had imported matrices as well, and by 1772 his son Christopher Sower II began what may be considered the first successful American typefoundry, although he still used European equipment. The legend at the bottom of page 136 of this religious periodical, published in late 1771 or early 1772, reads "Printed with the first types that have been cast in America." When the younger Sower died in 1778, his estate contained not only letter molds but also a large quantity of antimony, the critical ingredient of type metal, which at that time had to be imported to America." [Google] [More] ⦿
A brief explanation and discussion of Civilité, the script face made by Robert Granjon in 1556 as a typical "French cursive". It was imitated and extended by Aimé Tavernier (1559), Hendrik van den Keere (1575), Richard Breton (1597), Philippe Danfrie (1597), Jean de Tournes (1598), Fleury Bourriquant (early 17th century: his type was called Civilité honneste), Pierre-Simon Fournier (1766), Matthias Rosart (1777, the Gros Romain Civilité), and Morris Fuller Benton (1922). Many have since created their own versions. We cite a few of the contemporary type designers: Klaus Burkhardt, Manfred Klein, Stephen Moye (CiviRegular), Ingo Zimmermann (almost a copy of Moye's version), Richard Beatty, Hans J. Zinken (civi4, 1996), Hermann Zapf (1984: Zapf Civilité), George Thomas (CivilitéMJ), and Tim Ryan (CivilitéTR). [Google] [More] ⦿
A discussion on Typophile regarding the history of Clarendon and good versions. This site provides additional information. A summary:
The original Clarendon is due to Robert Besley (1845). Robert Bringhurst writes: Clarendon is the name of a whole genus of Victorian typefaces, spawned by a font cut by Benjamin Fox for Robert Besley at the Fann Street Foundry, London, in 1845. These faces reflect the hearty, stolid, bland, unstoppable aspects of the British Empire. They lack cultivation, but they also lack menace and guile. They squint and stand their ground, but they do not glare. In other words, they consist of thick strokes melding into thick slab serifs, fat ball terminals, vertical axis, large eye, low contrast and tiny aperture. The original had no italic, as the face had nothing of the fluent hand or sculpted nib left in its pedigree.
Mac McGrew adds: Clarendon is a traditional English style of typeface, dating from the 1840s, the name coming from the Clarendon Press at Oxford, or, according to some sources, from Britain's Earl of Clarendon and his interest in that country's Egyptian policies. (Such faces were classified as Egyptians, and inspired such later designs as Cairo, Karnak, Memphis, and Stymie.) Early Clarendons were used primarily as titles and display faces, for which their strong and sturdy nature was well suited. They have the general structure of romans, but lack the hairlines typical of those faces. Being heavier, the traditional Clarendons were often used as boldfaces with romans, before the family idea provided matching boldface designs.
McGrew continues his discussion by pointing out various revivals and typefaces with strong similarities: Similar faces were known as Doric or Ionic, before more individualized type names became common; in fact, all three names were sometimes used interchangeably. Most foundries had versions of Clarendon, and sometimes Doric and Ionic, in the nineteenth century, but most of these faces were obsolescent by the turn of the century. However, a few were copied by Linotype, Intertype and Monotype, and thus given a renewed lease on life. Clarendon Medium of BB&S was formerly known as Caledonian. ATF had a similar face known as Ionic No. 522. Keystone showed Clarendon Condensed in 1890. Clarendon [No. 51 of BB&S was called Winchendon by Hansen, and extended to 48-point. Like many pre-point-system faces, some foundries adapted them to point-system standards by casting them on oversize bodies, others on undersize bodies with overhanging descenders. In the later 1950s Stephenson Blake in England revived several of these early Clarendons under the new name of Consort, which became a popular import (and the source of some of our specimens). Consort Bold Condensed is said to be the first Clarendon, of 1845. (Some added members of the Consort family are noted under Popular Imports in the Appendix.) In 1953 a new version of Clarendon was developed by Hermann Eidenbenz for the Haas Typefoundry in Switzerland and later acquired by Stempel in Germany. The Haas Clarendon was copied by Linotype in 1966, in light and bold weights, and about the same time Ludlow brought out three weights of essentially the same face. This was created primarily to set the newspaper ads of a large department store, but it was a good addition to the resources of Ludlow. ATF commissioned a modernized rendition of Clarendon from Freeman Craw, and this was brought out in 1955 as Craw Clarendon (q.v.). About 1961 Monotype brought out Clarendon Bold Extended, similar to Craw Clarendon but heavier. Also see Ionic, News with Clarendon, Manila.
Parisian printer, whose 1742 book Épreuves générales des caractères qui se trouvent chez Lamesle is at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A facsimile was published by A.F. Johnston in 1965 at Menno Hertzberger&Co, Holland: The Type specimens of Claude Lamesle, a facsimile of the 1st edition printed at Paris in 1742. Among many other types, this book has a Civilité. The Capsa family (2008, Dino dos Santos) was inspired by, but is not a revival of the Claude Lamesle types Gros Romain Ordinaire and Saint Augustin Gros Oeil. [Google] [More] ⦿
Coauthor with John Lane in 1993 of " Proef van Letteren, welke gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery van J.Enschedé 1768". An Enschedé specimen book with a companion volume with notes by John Lane. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type founder who succeeded Jacques Sabon in 1580. He was the son-in-law of Christian Egenolff and his successor at the Egenolff print office. His catalog of type specimens is dated 1592. The "Berner specimen" of 1592 formed the basis of the free Google Web Font family EB Garamond (or: Egelnoff-Berner Garamond) developed by Georg Duffner. In 1626, his foundry passed into the hands of Johann Luther. At the time, he was the main type supplier for Germany, the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands. [Google] [More] ⦿
This 20s-30s movement, with lettering and alphabets done by people such as Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Josef Albers, Kurt Schwitters, Jan Tschichold or Herbert Bayer has no decorations, and uses horizontal and vertical edges and arcs of circles make up the shapes. Fonts in this style include ITC Avant Garde, Avenir, Futura, Industria, Insignia, ITC Kabel and some stencil designs. [Google] [More] ⦿
Cooper Black versus Robur
An excellent piece written by Patrick Griffin in 2010 when he and Kevin King published Robur at Canada Type, in which they explain the chronology of the machine age ad faces starting with Peignot. Reproduced here without Patrick's permission.
It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that these letter shapes are familiar. They have the unmistakable color and weight of Cooper Black, Oswald Cooper's most famous typeface from 1921. What should be a surprise is that these letters are actually from George Auriol's Robur Noir (or Robur Black), published in France circa 1909 by the Peignot foundry as a bolder, solid counterpart to its popular Auriol typeface (1901). This face precedes Cooper Black by a dozen of years and a whole Great War.
Cooper Black has always been a bit of a strange typographical apparition to anyone who tried to explain its original purpose, instant popularity in the 1920s, and major revival in the late 1960s. BB&S and Oswald Cooper PR aside, it is quite evident that the majority of Cooper Black's forms did not evolve from Cooper Old Style, as its originators claimed. And the claim that it collected various Art Nouveau elements is of course too ambiguous to be questioned. But when compared with Robur Noir, the "elements" in question can hardly be debated.
The chronology of this "machine age" ad face in metal is amusing and stands as somewhat of a general index of post-Great War global industrial competition:
So almost a hundred years after its initial fizz, Robur is here in digital form, to reclaim its rightful position as the inspiration for, and the best alternative to, Cooper Black. Given that its forms date back to the turn of the century, a time when foundry output had a closer relationship to calligraphic and humanist craft, its shapes are truer to brush strokes and much more idiosyncratic than Cooper Black in their totality's construct. [Google] [More] ⦿
Site about typography. Despite the slow loading, worthwhile information on type, including a glossary and a type history timeline. Incredible-flashy design, yet the authors forgot to mention their own names. [Google] [More] ⦿
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, David Bruce was the brother of George Bruce. Together, they ran the Bruce Type Foundry in New York from 1818 onwards. George gave his attention to the enlargement and development of the type-founding business, while David concentrated on stereotyping, a process he was the first to introduce in North America. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Influential Dutch magazine founded in 1917 by Theo van Doesburg in cooperation with Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, Anthony Kok, Vilmos Huszar and J.J.P. Oud. It became the catalyst for the De Stijl movement. Ninety numbers were published in 8 volumes, the last one in 1932. All have been scanned in. The De Stijl movement lived and died with the magazine. [Google] [More] ⦿
Authors in 1751 of Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751-1772), a wonderful 17-volume encyclopedia (in French), in which one can find lots of historical tidbits about early typography in France. The book is entirely on the web. Cover page. [Google] [More] ⦿
Thanks to Google books, I learned that Devroye, possibly one of my Belgian ancestors, was the king's printer (imprimeur du roi) in Brussels in 1858. Other books from that printer date from the period 1844-1859. [Google] [More] ⦿
DH Type Visionaries
Candace Uhlmeyer provided a bit of type history through the work of Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468), William Caxton (1422-1491), Aldus Manutius (1450-1515), William Caslon (1692-1766), John Baskerville (1706-1775), Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813), William Morris (1834-1896), Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947), Eric Gill (1882-1940), and Jan Tschichold (1902-1974). [Google] [More] ⦿
Bios of the main members of the Didot family: François Didot (1689-1757), François-Ambroise Didot (1730-1804), his son, Pierre-François Didot (1731-1795), the second son, Pierre Didot (1761-1853), the oldest son of François-Ambroise, and Firmin Didot (1764-1836), the second oldest son of François-Ambroise. Belgians may be interested in Pierre, who used the fonts of his brother Firmin and had them improved by Vibert. Pierre Didot published Specimen des caractères and Specimen des nouveaux caractères in 1819. His son Jules (1794-1871), who succeeded him in 1822 in the Didot foundry, moves the foundry to Brussels in 1830 and sells it to the Belgian government to start its "imprimerie nationale". Jules returns to Paris, sets up a new printing shop, loses his mind in 1838, and sells all his material. The Didot family: extracted from the forthcoming "Bibliography of printing" (Bigmore, E. C. (Edward Clements), 1838?-1899; Wyman, C. W. H. (Charles William Henry), 1832-1909; book published by Wyman&Sons in 1878). Scan of the original Didot typeface. [Google] [More] ⦿
A wiki page on the Didot dynasty in France, started by François Didot (son of Denis Didot), a merchant born in Paris in 1689. He died there in 1757. In 1713 he opened a bookstore called La Bible d'or ("The Golden Bible") on the Quai des Grands-Augustins. François Didot was a learned man, and held by his colleagues in great esteem. His most famous sons were François-Ambroise Didot (1730-1804) and Pierre-François Didot (1732-1795). But it was only the third and fourth generations of Didot heirs that made an impact on type design by the creation and commercialization of the modern high-contrast and ultra-rational typefaces now known as didones. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Type designer Dmitry Kirsanov (b. Orenburg, Russia, 1965) graduated from the Orenburg Art School in 1987. He worked freelance for Yuzhnyi Ural publishing company in Orenburg. After attending the Moscow State University of Printing (1996), he joined its Department of Print Design in 1997 as an instructor of typographic design and computer graphics. From 1996 on he worked at ParaGraph International, designing typefaces. Since April 1998 Kirsanov works for ParaType. His page has essays on the history of serif and sans serif, and on font matching. Would be great for an introductory course. He designed a Cyrillic version of ITC Bodoni 72 (2000, called PT ITC Bodoni, Paratype) and ITC Bodoni 72 Swash (2001). PT Mas d'Azil (Paratype, 2002) and PT Mas d'Azil Symbols are prehistoric lettering and pictorial fonrs based on images discovered in a prehistoric cave of Mas-d'Azil, France. He created Magistral (1997, based on a clean look sans display typeface of Andrey Kryukov), Venetian 301 (2003, Paratype; a Cyrillic version of Bitstream's Venetian 301, which in turn was based on Bruce Rogers' Centaur, which in turn goes back to the 1470s alphabets of Nicolas Jenson), News Gothic (2005, a Cyrillic family based on the perennial News Gothic sans family), and Mag Mixer (2005, an industrial-look mechanical face based on Magistral).
His talk at ATypI 2008 in St. Petersburg is on the first didones in Russia.
Author of Mackellar, Smiths&Jordan: Typographic Tastemakers of the Late Nineteenth Century (Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE, 2008). Description by Oak Knoll Press: This is the first full-length study of the leading American type foundry of the nineteenth century. It is an interesting history of the foundry from both a business and a design point of view. The emphasis is on the design of the hundreds of typefaces that were produced by the foundry, from its inception in the 1860s until its merger with most other American foundries at the end of the century. The author describes (with many detailed photographic illustrations) how changing business conditions and technical improvements in typefounding interacted with changes in public taste to modify, over the decades, the appearance of the typefaces that Americans found in their publications. While this is a study of only one of many American foundries, in many ways MacKellar, Smiths&Jordan can stand as an exemplar of all the rest. It was the descendant of the first successful American type foundry, Binny and Ronaldson, started in Philadelphia in 1796. Extensive business records of the firm exist, as do scores of type specimen books and promotional publications of the foundry. All of these have been used extensively by the author. The scores of typefaces illustrated and described are considered as the ever-changing output of a corporation, with lesser emphasis on the individual creators of each typeface. At the turn of the twentieth century, taste turned away from the florid, ornamented style of the earlier decades. Mr. Clouse has shown in this well-written study that the earlier styles were very successful in their own time and should be judged on that basis. A completely illustrated appendix showing MS&J's patented typefaces is extremely helpful. [Google] [More] ⦿
Author (1888-1944) of over 400 books on printing and typography. His life story is told by Scott Bruntjen and Melissa L. Young in Douglas C. McMurtrie, bibliographer and historian of printing (Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1979). A partial list of his books, limited to the history of typography:
His typefaces include McMurtrie Title, Ultra-Modern&Italic (1928, an art deco typeface published at Ludlow), and Vanity Fair Capitals. Jim Spiece's UltraModernClassicSG is based on Ultra-Modern. And so is Steve Jackaman's Ultra Modern RR (Red Rooster).
Curator of the Plantin-Moretus Museum in the early part of the 20th century, and author of Antwerpsche Druckerye (Brussel, N. V. Standaard-Boekhandel, and Amsterdam, P. N. Van Kampen en Zoon, and Antwerpen, J. E. Buschmann, s. a.), a 153-page book on foundries and printers in Antwerp. Coauthor with Marius Audin of Die Civilité-Schriften des Robert Granjon in Lyon und die flämischen Drucker des 16 / Jahrhunderts (Wien, Bibliotheca Typographica, Herbert Reichner, 1929). That last book is a German version of Les caractères de civilité de Robert Granjon et les imprimeurs flamands (1921). Some of the findings in that beautiful book are reported here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Author of Printing Type Designs - A New History from Gutenberg to 2000 (Akros Publications, Fife, Scotland, 2000). [Google] [More] ⦿
British typefounder, d. 1835. Son of Joseph Fry, the founder of the Fry Letter Foundry in Bristol. Quoted from MyFonts: In 1784 he introduced a raised roman letter for the blind, and was awarded a prize by the Edinburgh Society of Arts. Louis Braille's system of lines and dots ultimately proved better. In 1787, he and his brother Henry took over the Fry Letter Foundry from their father. Credited with many great faces, including Fry's Baskerville (1768) and Fry Moxon (or Graisberry), a Gaelic typeface, Fry A Gothic Capitals (ca. 1819), an angular transitional Gaelic face, and Fry B Gaelic Capitals, a transitional Gaelic face (Everson mentions the date 1836, but that would be one year after his death...) and Priory Text.
Mac McGrew writes: Priory Text was the blackletter of the Fry Foundry in England, with some sizes dating back to about 1600, and most sizes shown in 1785. It was revived by Talbot Baines Reed for his History of the Old English Letterfoundries in 1887, and DeVinne used it for his edition of Philobiblon in 1889. The Dickinson foundry, a forerunner of ATF, issued it as Priory Text about that time. It is very similar to Caslon Text (q.v.). BB&S made a near-duplicate type, originally called Reed Text, but later shown as Priory Black Text. Although the latter was shown as late as 1925, these faces had generally been replaced earlier by Cloister Black (q. v.) and other Old English faces with more refined draftsmanship.
About the Gaelic types, Brendan Leen writes: In 1819, Edmund Fry cut a type once again commissioned by the British and Foreign Bible Society. The design of the Fry type signifies a departure from the angular minuscule toward the more rounded form of the half-uncial, a characteristic of Irish typography in the nineteenth century. Sample of Fry Irish type from The Two First Books of the Pentateuch.
Author of Pantographia (1799, Cooper&Wilson, London), a work that shows the scripts of many languages [a careful digitization of some can be found in the font family Pantographia (2010) by Intellecta Design]. The full title is Pantographia; Containing Accurate Copies of All the Known Alphabets in the World; Together with an English Explanation of the Peculiar Force or Power of Each Letter: To Which Are Added, Specimens of All Well-Authenticated Oral Languages; Forming a Comprehensive Digest of Phonology. Examples from that book: Bastard, Bengallee and Berryan, Bulgarian and Bullantic, Chaldean.
The late Father Edward Catich was a talented and productive calligrapher who has published several fine books on the making of Roman inscriptions. He researched the Trajan inscriptions on the Trajan column in Rome, and is known for his clear and classy calligraphic "Petrarch Script". [Google] [More] ⦿
New Yorker, b. Bethlehem, PA, 1905. In 1928, Rondthaler and Harold Horman cofounded Photo-Lettering Inc in New York City---it started for real in 1936. An excellent typographer, he cofounded ITC in 1970 with with Herb Lubalin and Aaron Burns.
Full name: Lazar Markovich Lissitzky. An early 20th century Russian constructivist artist (1890-1941) whose books revolutionized graphic design. Sample of his work. See also here. He published From Two Quadrants (1921), about which one critic writes: "Typography is a game that leads to communication, and it all began with Lissitzky's tale of two squares." Cover of "Union der Sozialistischen Sowjet-Republiken" (1928). Cover of Broom (1923). [Google] [More] ⦿
Elaine Guidero earned an M.S. in geography from Penn State, with a thesis on spatial cognition. As a graduate student in geography at the Pennsylvania State University, Elaine Guidero brings together cartography and typography. Her dissertation in 2013-2014 concerns timelessness and legibility in cartographic typography, with an emphasis on national mapping. Her other academic interests include cartographic design, the sociocultural aspects of authoritarian states, and geographies of consumption.
On-line course notes by Andrew Zurcher based on Martin Billingsley's The pens excellencie or the secretaries delighte (1818). In particular he categorizes hands as follows (table borrowed from his pages):
Augsburg-born printer (1447-1527). A master printer and type designer, he worked from ca. 1474 until ca. 1486 in Venice, where he printed many fine books. Ratdolt returned home and produced the first printer's type specimens sheet with a beautiful decorative initial and 15 different fonts to announce the occasion. He had the first type specimens sheet in the world, showing rotunda, roman and Greek typefaces in various sizes (date: 1486). Ratdolt specialized in missals, liturgical works, calendars, astronomical, astrological, and mathematical subjects, and often included masterful diagrams to illustrate the text. In 1482, he printed Euclid's Elements of Geometry, which became William Morris's reference source for his "while-wine" decorative borders. Erhard Ratdolt died in 1527 or 1528. See DS Ratdolt-Rotunda (Delbanco), a digital version based on a 1989 design by Wolfgang Hendlmeier in 1989. Type sample. Bio by Nicholas Fabian. See also here. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Evertype (was: Everson Typography)
Elsewhere, one can find rare Everson creations such as Musgrave (1994). MyFonts.com sells Corcaigh, Doire, Darmhagh and Loch Garman. About Loch Garman: Loch Garman is based on Baoithmn, designed by Viktor Hammer and Colm Ó Lochlainn; Baoithmn was based on Hammerschrift, which was related to Hammer's American Uncial -- though Loch Garman is more authentic Gaelic font than American Uncial. He continues: American Uncial sucks. It is inauthentic and it's not even attractive. It has a "dot" on the i (which it shouldn't) which makes it look like an í (which it doubly shouldn't). Hammer Uncial isn't much better. In my own view, the only one of Hammer's Uncials that I have seen that was any good was Pindar, and then only in its reworking as Baoithín (with Colm ÓÓ Lochlainn).
His bio, in his own words: Michael Everson, based in Westport, Co. Mayo, is an expert in the writing systems of the world. He is active in supporting minority-language communities, especially in the fields of character standardization and internationalization. He is one of the co-authors of the Unicode Standard, and is a Contributing Editor and Irish National Representative to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, the committee responsible for the development and maintenance of the Universal Character Set. He is a linguist, typesetter, and font designer who has contributed to the encoding in of many scripts and characters. In 2005 and 2006 his work to encode the Balinese and N'Ko scripts was supported by UNESCO's Initiative B@bel programme. Michael received the Unicode "Bulldog" Award in 2000 for his technical contributions to the development and promotion of the Unicode Standard. Active in the area of practical implementations, Michael has created locale and language information for many languages, from support for Irish and the other Celtic langauges to the minority languages of Finland. In 2003 he was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to prepare a report on the computer locale requirements for Afghanistan, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Communications of the Afghan Transitional Islamic Administration. He prepared a number of fonts and keyboard layouts for Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). Michael moved to Tucson, Arizona at the age of 12. He studied German, Spanish, and French for his B.A. at the University of Arizona (1985), and the History of Religions and Indo-European Linguistics for his M.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles (1988). He moved to Ireland in 1989, and was a Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Celtic Studies, University College Dublin (1991). In 2010, he made Timenhor, a Latin-script font whose glyphs are based on the uncial letterforms of Coptic manuscripts. Speaker at ATypI 2010 in Dublin. Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik.
Norwegian printer Fabritius and Sønner in Oslo worked on its own version of Munthe's letterforms. In 1962, it published the blackletter face Fabritius-skriften, but this face is only available in matrix form at the company, and is hardly ever used today. See also here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Celebrated Parisian designer (b. Paris 1764, d. Mesnic-sur-l'Estrée, 1836), son of the printer François Ambroise Didot, and grandchild of the Didot printing business founder, François Didot. Designer of a sloped script face called Anglaise (1809). He became the director of the Imprimerie Impériale type foundry in 1812. Along with Giambattista Bodoni of Italy, Firmin Didot is credited with establishing the use of the Modern classification of typefaces. The types that Didot used are characterized by extreme stroke contrast, by the use of straight hairline serifs and by the vertical stress of the letters. Pic.
Regarding digitizations of his typefaces: Linotype Didot has 12 weights, and was digitized in 1991 by the Linotype crew and Adrian Frutiger. Hoefler type foundry makes a 42-weight Didot HTF, which I believe is superior to the Linotype version. And LetterPerfect has made a Didot LP family. His Initiales Grecques (ca. 1800) was digitized by ARTypes in 2007: see here. Biography by Nicholas Fabian. Linotype link. FontShop link. MyFonts link. Wikipedia. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Ornamental fists throughout history, as described by Paul McPharlin (1903-1948) in "Roman Numerals Typographic Leaves and Pointing Hands" (1942, The Typophiles, New York).
Foundry established in Milan in 1886 by merging 37 private Italian foundries (originally under the name Fonderia Tipografica Panfilo Castaldi). It remains in existence today, and its last type director was Umberto Fenocchio. Faces produced include Linea (a grotesque face), Sigla (a transitional face), Brio, and Armonia. Not involved in digital typography. Today, they mainly sell typesetting machines. [Google] [More] ⦿
Ian Obermuller's introduction to typefaces, with a visual glossary, and wonderfully instructive pages on type classification and type recognition. ian is a 2010 graduate of the Seattle Central Creative Academy. [Google] [More] ⦿
Italian letter artist (b. 1445, d. ca. 1514) who constructed his characters geometrically, as early as 1509. He practiced mathematics and was a Franciscan friar. A Franciscan monk, h is mentioned several times in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. His Summa di Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni e Proportionalità appeared in 1494. Continuing his work on proportion, he published Divina Proportione in 1509 (Venice: A. Paganius Paganinus).
His mathematically constructed capitals (1497) were made into a font called Pacioli by Matthew Desmond in 2007. Giovanni Mardersteig also made a font based on Pacioli's caps. Other implementations include LucaPacioliCaps (2004, Manfred Klein), Pacioli (2005, by Alessandro Segalini for Accademia Editoriale in Rome) and Pacioli (1999, a metafont by Peter Wilson). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
French punchcutter who lived in the first part of the 16th century. In 1539, he became a resident of Antwerp, and from 1558 until his death in 1570, he delivered letter types to Plantin in Antwerp. His creations were used all over Europe and even in Asia. In his day, he was one of the greatest punchcutters. Day Roman (2002, Apostrophe) is described as follows by its designer: Day Roman, is a digitally redrawn version of what has come to be historically known as the "Two Line Double Pica Roman", a typeface designed by 16th century French punchcutter François Guyot, and used in numerous books between 1535 and 1570, most notable of which are J. Steelsius's printing of The Bible (1541) and Frisius (1551), Gillis Coppens van Diest's printing of Erasmus (1544), Georgius (1544), Serlio (1550) and Horatius (1552), and Rotarius's printing of Livius Brechtius (1549). The type was also used extensively by H. Dunham, and later J. Day, in London (the name Day Roman is simply a reference to J. Day having used the type). Original matrices of Guyot's roman type are now in the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. A 1782 "Sale Catalog&Specimen of the James Foundry" shows a reproduction of that same type under the name "Two-Line Double Pica Macilent". Some specimens from unknown English printers dating back to circa 1650 also show the same typeface, but no proper references were given. The last recorded reference to Guyot's type can be found in "Type Specimen Fascimiles, vol. 1, No. 1-15," by John Dreyfus et al, printed in London circa 1963. See also here.
In 2003, Frank Heine published Tribute at Emigre as a creative revival of a 1565 face by Guyot. I received this email from a typographer: Did you see Frank Heine's Tribute font at Emigre? They're claiming that it's a Guyot! What a slaughter! I don't know what he was thinking when he made the A, V and W there... and why use a Century Q in a Garalde?. Bill Troop calls Tribute a Frankenstein of a font: see here or here. He supports Apostrophe's interpretation of the Roman and Frank Blokland's interpretation of the Italic. The lower case letters of the italic of DTL VandenKeere are based on Guyot's Ascendonica Cursief of 1557.
Born and died in Bologna, ca. 1450-1518. Also called Francesco da Bologna. He was a Venetian punchcutter, who worked for Aldus Manutius cutting early italics, music types and romans. Under the surname Griffo, he designed and cut all types for the Aldine Press. The "Aldine" face was recreated by Monotype in 1929. In 1990, the Monotype staff digitized 24 weights of Francesco Griffo's Bembo family. The Bitstream version is called Aldine 401. Bembo is a face that is not compact, with its wide letters and ample spacings, so its use must be carefully weighed.
Interesting detail about the end of his life: after the death of Manutius in 1515, Griffo returned to Bologna where he printed some of his own editions until his own death in 1518 or 1519, when it is thought he was hanged for killing his brother-in-law. Kevin Steele explains in 1996: Some sources cite the publication of Cardinal Bembo's De Aetna as 1493 or 1495. And in fact, the design continued to evolve until the 1499 publishing of the spectacular Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Let's not split hairs. Let's celebrate 500 years of Bembo! In the mid fifteenth century printing quickly spread to Italy from Germany, and by the 1470's Venice had became the center of the printing industry, home to over 100 printing companies. Pioneers such as Erhard Ratdolt and Nicolas Jenson had already begun working on adapting the roman alphabet for metal type by the time Aldus Manutius established his press in 1494, with the intention of publishing all the Greek classics. Aldus Manutius (1450 -1515) was a printer, entrepreneur, a great ego, and publisher of over 1200 titles. Among the many contributions of Aldus was the popularization of small, portable books. His expensive beautiful books were far from today's paperbacks, mind you. One of the many great talents working for Aldus was Francesco Griffo, a gifted type designer. Griffo created many innovative type designs that are still admired for their beauty and readability. Their collaboration broke up over a copyright dispute, primarily over the ownership of the cursive type face that Griffo developed under the direction of Aldus. Although Aldus even had a papal decree to protect this style of alphabet, it was as difficult then as it is now to protect a typeface design. The alphabet was widely copied, and the style is known as italic, after its country of origin.
Italian lettering artist famous for his geometrical constructions. See here. Author of the treatise L'Alfabeto (1517). Pictures of the geometric construction of the capitals are here. Fonts named after him include GFT Torniello by Gio Fuga. [Google] [More] ⦿
British book designer (b. London, 1891, d. Lavenham, Suffolk, 1975). He ran Nonesuch Press (founded in 1923) using Monotype machines. Coauthor with Herbet Simon of Fleuron Anthology (1973, London: Ernest Ben Limited), which contains many of the journal The Fleuron's best articles. [Note: Stanley Morison edited The Fleuron, which appeared as a series in the 1920s.] [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Also Francysk Skaryna, b. 1486 Polazk (white Russia), d. 1541 Prague. First printer in white Russia (Belarussia). Skaryna was one of the first to publish in the Cyrillic alphabet, but not the very first as Oktoikh was published by Schweipolt Fiol in 1491. [Google] [More] ⦿
Examples from that book: Alphabet after Serlio, An outline caps face, A Roman caps face. The best page on Chouteau Brown, complete with all images from his 1921 book. Some of Chouteau Brown's own lettering from that 1921 book: Incised English Script, 15th Century English Gothic Blackletter, 16thCentury German Blackletter, Capitals adapted from Renaissance era medals, Classic Roman Capitals, English Gothic Letter 15th Century, English Incised Script from a tombstone in Westminster Abbey, 18th Century French Script Capitals, German Blackletter (from brass), Italian Renaissance Capitals from a Marsuppini tomb, Italian Renaissance Capitals from Santa Croce, Florence, Italian Uncial Gothic Capitals from the 14th century, Modern American Letters, Modern American Letters for rapid use, Modern American Lowercase, Modern German blackletter, Modern German capitals, Spanish Script from the latter part of the 17th century, Spanish Script capitals, early 18th century, Uncial Gothic Capitals 13th century, Uncial Gothic Capitals 14th century, Uncial Gothic Initials 12th century, Venetian Gothic Capitals 15th century.
Author of Typencyclopedia: A Users Guide to Better Typography . A type guru, he is Professor emeritus of Rochester Institute of Technology and founder of Electronic Publishing Magazine in 1976. He occasionally writes on early printing technology, such as here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Frederic William Goudy
Author, artist, photographer and wood engraver, b. Sandhurst, 1814, d. London, 1862. He published The Book of Ornamental Alphabets, Ancient and Mediaeval (1879, Crosby Lockwood and Co., London), which has plenty of 8th to 11th century alphabets and initials. See also here, here, and here. Another book is Examples of Modern Alphabets, Ornamental and Plain (1864, C. Lockwood and Co, London), which was scanned in and can now be downloaded for free. Further texts: The book of ornamental alphabets, ancient and modern, from the eighth to the nineteenth century, with numerals (1859, E. and F.N. Spon), Medieval alphabets and intials for illuminators (1861, E. and F.N. Spon), and A primer of the art of illumination for the use of beginners (1860, E. and F.N. Spon). Most of his lettering is typical of the Victorian tradition that adds ornament to simple silhouettes. Example: 16th century wood engaving. An Italian alphabet (1864).
Digital typefaces based on his work include Museum Initials (2007, John B. Wundes) and Bad Situation (Intellecta Design, 2007: based on an 1864 design called Example Alphabet). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Leipzig-based creator of the early transitional Gaelic typeface Ballhorn (also called Leipzig, 1861), based on Watts. Author of Alphabete orientalischer und occidentalischer Sprachen (F.A. Brockhaus: Leipzig, 1859). Head of F.A. Brockhaus Printing in Leipzig, in 1856 he published "Grammatography. A Manual of Reference to the Alphabets of Ancient and Modern Languages". [Google] [More] ⦿
Author of Das Buch des Setzers (1948), an overview of the hand composition typefaces available by German type foundries at the end of World War II:
From the Wikipedia entry:
Futura is a geometric sans serif typeface designed in 1927 by Paul Renner. Although Renner was not associated with the Bauhaus, he shared many of its idioms and believed that a modern typeface should express modern models, rather than be a revival of a previous design. Renner's initial design included several geometrically constructed alternative characters and ranging (old style) figures which can be found in the typeface Architype Renner. Futura was commissioned by the Bauer type foundry. The success of Futura coincided with the creation of many competing geometric sans serif faces including Kabel, Metro, Vogue, Erbar and Spartan, Twentieth Century, and Century Gothic among others.
Futura has an appearance of efficiency and forwardness. The typeface is derived from simple geometric forms (near-perfect circles, triangles and squares) and is based on strokes of near-even weight, which are low in contrast. (This is most visible in the almost perfectly round stroke of the o, but the shape is actually slightly ovoid.) In designing Futura, Renner avoided the decorative, eliminating non-essential elements. The lowercase has tall ascenders, which rise above the cap line. The uppercase characters present proportions similar to those of classical roman capitals.
Uses of Futura by businesses: Graphic identity of Volkswagen and Union Pacific, Swissair (1950s to the 1990s), Boeing's flightdeck labeling, films by Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick, the commemorative plaque left on Earth's moon by Apollo 11 astronauts in July 1969, Ikea Sans and Opel Sans (Futura-based house fonts designed by Robin Nicholas), Doctor Who (BBC series), RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, and Ferrovie dello Stato. [Google] [More] ⦿
Designers of various tile-based fonts for New York's subway in 1901. Read about it in Lee Stokey's book, Subway Ceramics (1992). Two fonts by Nick Curtis were inspired by that tiling in New York's subway, Downtown Tessie NF (2006) and Midtown Tessie NF (2006). [Google] [More] ⦿
Gaelic Typefaces: History and Classification
Detailed historical listing of Gaelic typefaces by Michael Everson. He says that it is not always easy to classify Gaelic typefaces. His classification proposal:
Wiki page on Garamond, a group of old style serif faces that can be traced back to Claude Garamond (1480-1561) and Jean Jannon. Easy to recognize by the small-eyed e, the genuflexing italic h, the small-bowled a and the tall ascenders with downwards sloping serifs, this letter style came to prominence in the 1540s. Garamond was commissioned to create a Greek typeface for the French king François I, to be used in a series of books by Robert Estienne. The French court later adopted Garamond's roman types for their printing. The typeface was widely used in France and Western Europe. Garamond based much of the design of his lowercase on the handwriting of Angelo Vergecio, librarian to François I. The italics of most contemporary versions are based on the italics of Garamond's assistant Robert Grandjon. The only complete set of the original Garamond dies and matrices can be found at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerpen, Belgium. [Google] [More] ⦿
Gene Gable on the history of typewriters. I cite: Typewriter patents date back to 1713 or older, according to many sources, but nearly everyone ascribes the invention of the modern typewriter to Americans Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel Soule, in 1873. The three Milwaukee businessmen soon sold their patents to the Remington arms company, who went on to popularize the typewriter. [Google] [More] ⦿
Also Maistre Geofroy Tory de Bourges. Parisian printer, designer and engraver, 1480-1533. As designer and engraver he produced beautiful initials, borders, and illustrations. In Champ-fleury, auquel est contenu l'art et science de la vraie proportion des lettres antiques selon le corps et visage humain (Gilles de Gourmond, Paris, 1529), Geoffroy Tory compared the proportions in letters to proportions in the human body. The books treats the design of roman capitals and is critical of the work of Dürer. It was translated in English by George B. Ives, New York, in 1927. There also exists a facsimile, with introduction by John Jolliffe. East Ardsley, dated 1970. He was rewarded by François I with the title of Imprimeur du Roi in 1531.
Scans, images: Letter I superimposed on a human face, Lettres Fantastiques (caps made from tools), [continued], Lettres Imperialles et Bullatiques (capitals), [continued], Lettres Tourneures (Lombardian capitals), Construction of an S, Construction of a Z, Construction of an A, his Lettres Latines alphabet, Cadeaulx (blackletter caps), [continued].
There have been rather few attempts at making a typeface based on Tory's drawings from Champ Fleury. Gilles Le Corre (GLC) created 1529 Champ Fleury Initials (2010) for example. The text of that book, which was printed by Gilles de Gourmond in Paris, led Gilles Le Corre to develop the rough typeface 1529 Champ Fleury Pro. Christian Küsters designed AF Champ Fleury (1996). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Early type designers attempted to find special relationships between the proportions of the letters and the shape and dimension of the human body. Such geometrically constructed letterforms became popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. The main proponents of this movement were Nicollo Niccoli (1420, a Florentine humanist), Geofroy Tory (1529, famous for his "Champs Fleury" publication), Felice Feliciano (1463, a Veronese calligrapher, printer and scholar), Albrecht Dürer (1523), Luca Pacioli (1509), Francesco Torniello (1517), Giovanbattista Palatino (1550), Wolgang Fugger (1553, see his Handwriting Manual), and the French Academics for Louis XIV (1692). [Google] [More] ⦿
Georg B. Allmacher
Type-founder (b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1781, d. New York City, 1866). He and his brother David emigrated to the United States, where they started the Bruce Type Foundry in New York City in 1813. David was precoccupied with a new printing process, stereotyping, while George was the type-founder who created many beautiful and refined designs. Together, they invented a useful type-casting machine. In 1865, George Bruce published An abridged specimen of fonts of type. In 1848, they published Specimens of printing types / cast by Geo. Bruce&Co. Samples of typefaces: Bruce Script and Bruce Copperplate Script (1842 and 1858), Bruce Copperplate Script No. 2003 (1857), Bruce Italian Swash Script No. 2007 (1858), Victoria Textura (1865).
Quoting From Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. 6 vols. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.:
Bruce, George, type-founder (proprietor of the Bruce foundry), born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 5 July, 1781: died in New York City, 6 July, 1866. He immigrated to the United States, where his brother David had preceded him in July, 1795, and at first attempted to learn the bookbinder's trade, but, his master being tyrannical and exacting, he left him, and by his brother's persuasion apprenticed himself to Thomas Dobson, printer in Philadelphia. In 1798 the destruction of Dobson's office by fire, and the prevalence of yellow fever, led the brothers to leave the city. George had yellow fever at Amboy, but recovered through his brother's care. The two went to Albany and obtained employment there, but after a few months returned to New York. In 1803 young Bruce was foreman and a contributor to the Daily Advertiser, and in November of that year printer and publisher of the paper for the proprietor. In 1806 the two brothers opened a book printing office at the corner of Pearl street and Coffeehouse slip. The same year they brought out an edition of Lavoisier's Chemistry, doing all the work with their own hands. Their industry and personal attention to business soon brought them abundant employment, and in 1809, removing to Sloat lane, near Hanover square, they had nine presses in operation, and published occasionally on their own account. In 1812 David went to England, and brought back with him the secret of stereotyping. The brothers attempted to introduce the process, but encountered many difficulties, which it required all their ingenuity to surmount. The type of that day was cast with so low a beveled shoulder that it was not suitable for stereotyping, as it interfered with the molding and weakened the plate. They found it necessary, therefore, to cast their own type. They invented a planing-machine for smoothing the backs of the plates and reducing them to a uniform thickness, and the mahogany shifting-blocks to bring the plates to the same height as type. Their first stereotype works were school editions of the New Testament in bourgeois, and the Bible in nonpareil (1814 and 1815). They subsequently stereotyped the earlier issues of the American Bible society, and a series of Latin classics. In 1816 they sold out the printing business, and bought a building in Eldridge street for their foundry. Here, and subsequently in 1818, when they erected the foundry still occupied by their successors in Chambers Street, George gave his attention to the enlargement and development of the type-founding business, while David confined his labors to stereotyping. In 1822 David's health failed, and the partnership was dissolved. George soon relinquished stereotyping, and gave his whole attention to type-founding, and introduced valuable improvements into the business, cutting his own punches, making constantly new and tasteful designs, and graduating the size of the body of the type so as to give it a proper relative proportion to the size of the letter. In connection with his nephew, David Bruce, Jr., he invented the only typecasting machine That has stood the test of experience, and is now in general use. His scripts became famous among printers as early as 1832, and retained their pre-eminence for a generation. The last set of punches he cut was for a great primer script. He was at the time in his seventy-eighth year, but for beauty of design and neatness of finish, the type in question has rarely been excelled. Mr. Bruce was a man of large benevolence, of unflinching integrity, and great decision of character. He was president for many years of the Mechanics' Institute, and of the type-founders' association, and an active member of and contributor to, the historical society, St. Andrew's society, the typographical society, and the general society of mechanics and tradesmen. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Toronto-based George Gu worked in a publishing house in Shanghai for eight years as assistant editor and graphic designer. In 1991, he received his Masters degree from the Musashino Art University in Tokyo where he wrote a thesis on digital typography. After graduation, he worked in the design center of Sharp for four years as the head of the font team and subsequently as an adviser. Since 1988, George has been developing and designing CJK Multiple Master display typefaces. In 1998, he single-handedly completed a set of JIS X 0208-1990 MMT, which contains 25,420 Kanji and Kana symbols. He lives in Toronto since 1993.
Speaker at ATypI 2012 in Hong Kong: Hanzi: The Past, Present, and Future.
In his Hong Kong talk, Gu basically summarizes the history of CJK font design. Here are the main points:
Dublin-based creator of the Gaelic uncial round faces Petrie A (also called Irish Archaeological Society 1 and 3), ca. 1835, and Petrie B (Irish Archaeological Society 2), ca. 1850. The Gaelic Modern round face Petrie C (also known as Thom) is due to Alexander Thom (ca. 1856). Petrie made the Gaelic modern angular face Newman (or: Keating Society) around 1857. That face was digitized as Gaeilge (1991) and Bunchló (1996). Brendan Leen explains: "The artist and antiquary George Petrie occupies a central position in the history of Irish character typography in the nineteenth century. In 1830, Petrie purchased a holograph copy of the Annals of the Four Masters and, shortly afterward, commenced the design and production of an Irish type suitable for the printing of the Annals. An artist of contemporary renown, Petrie possessed a sound knowledge not only of the aesthetics, but also of the mechanics and technology of print production. The Petrie type continued to be used in the Clann Lir periodical, printed until 1922 by Colm Ó Lochlainn at the Sign of the Three Candles, Temple Bar, and by the National University of Ireland until 1957 for the setting of its examinations in Irish." Sample. About the Newman type, inspired by the Book of Hymns, and commissioned by Cardinal John Henry Newman, Leen writes: "A typeface that owed more to the minuscule calligraphic tradition was prepared specifically for the Catholic University of Ireland, also by George Petrie. In order to avoid confusion with the earlier, half-uncial Petrie designs is generally referred to as the Newman type." [Google] [More] ⦿
Flemish cartographer, b. Rupelmonde (as Gheert Cremer), 1512-1594. Educated at the University of Leuven, the alma mater of Luc Devroye, he lived in Duisburg (now Germany) from 1552 and is remembered for the Mercator chart named after him. Author of Literarum Latinarum, quas Italicas cursorias que vocant, scribendarum ratio (1540), which contains some beautiful alphabets, and teaches cursive writing [see Cursiv Latein].
Digital mapmaking fonts based on Mercator's chancery hand include Mercator (2001, Arthur Baker, Mercator (1995, Arthur Baker for Glyph Systems), and Ribbon Cursive (2009, Natsuko Hayashida). A scan of his 1540 book led Gilles Le Corré to 1540 Mercator Script (2010).
Norwegian typographer and printer (1849-1929). Around 1910, he worked with the Klingspor brothers to produce Munthe-skrift (1904-1910), a Faktur-like script font. However, it was never commercially released, and was lost when the foundry was bombed during the Second World War. Frisianus (1994-1995, by T. Eng) is a wonderful script font with great alternate caps, based on Munthe's lettering. It was made by Torbjørn Eng and is available from Luth og Co. Munthe drew the characters based on manuscripts from the 12th century, especially the famous Codex Frisianus, to use with a 1904 book of poems, Draumkvedet. [Google] [More] ⦿
Dutch typographer and type teacher (b. Amsterdam, 1912, d. 1984), professor at the University of Amsterdam, winner of the Gutenberg prize in 1983. He wrote an unbelieavbly detailed book in which he compares various typefaces in statistical tests to determine various aspects of legibility and impact: "Legibility, Atmosphere-Value and Forms of Printing Types" (A.W. Sijthoff's Uitgervsmij N.V., Leiden, 1938). The bibliography in this text is pretty complete up to 1938. Also recommended is a 40-page short historical review of the modern printing type, which comes with a fresh look on things. Quote by him: Bodoni would be an admirable letter for a death notice! Obituary. His typefaces include Lectura (1969, with Dick Dooijes) and Mercator (1959, Amsterdam Type Foundry, a face designed with Dick Dooijes and known as the "Dutch Helvetica"). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Or Giovanni Antonio Tagliente. Calligrapher and writing master, born in Venice, 1468-1527. Author of Lo presente libro insegna la vera arte de lo excellente scrivere de diverse varie sorti de litere (1524). Sample images from that penmanship book, which includes scripts for Latin, Hebrew and Greek: i, ii, iii, iv. Also: Chancery, Florentine, Florentine bastarda, Lettera bollatica, Lettera imperiale. Sets of ornamental capitals: Italian gothic Initials and Italian Renaissance Capitals. Picture of Tagliente's title page of his book in 1531. PDF of his work by Toni Pecoraro. Digitizations:
Or Giovanni Battista Palatino. Giovanbattista Palatino, b. Rossano, Italy, d. ca. 1575, Naples. The calligrapher's calligrapher, was the most prolific designer in the first half of the sixteen century. Palatino designed 29 different scripts, and also designed, not only Latin but, German, Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, Greek, Egyptian, Syrian, Indian, Cyrillic and several other alphabets. In 1540 he published a writing instruction and lettering book entitled Libro nuovo d'imparare a scrivere. In 1566, he wrote Compendio dl Gran Volume.
Palatino is also the name of a famous typeface designed in 1948 by Hermann Zapf at Linotype. Akira Kobayashi, the Palatino typeface family was expanded. Linotype released the Palatino Nova in 2005 and Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal in 2006 as a joint effort of Hermann Zapf and Akira Kobayashi. Copies or near-copies of Zapf's paltino include Book Antiqua (by Monotype, distributed by Microsoft---this face did not have Zapf's blessing and may well have led Zapf to resign from ATypI), URW Palladio L (on which Zapf collaborated), TeX Gyre Pagella (free), Zapf Calligraphic 801 (by Bitstream, approved by Zapf), Zapf Renaissance Antiqua (by Scangraphic), Paltus (URW), Palladium (Compougraphic), Palm Strings (Corel), Parlament (Scangraphic), Patina (Alphatype), pal (GoScript), Palladio (by SoftMaker), palazzo (by SoftMaker), and FPL Neu (based on URW Palladio L).
Giovanni Battista Braccelli (ca. 1600, d. before 1650) was an Italian engraver and painter of the Baroque period, who was active in Firenze. He is best known for his book of prints, Bizzarie di Varie Figure [a variety of human shapes], published in 1624 in Livorno, and dedicated to Don Pietro Medici. It contains wonderful futuristic engravings. Wikipedia: In this book, he engraves baroque experiments recalling Arcimboldo, engaging in a rarified set of conceits. Some of the figures are composed of boxes or raquets or curlicues. He published a second collection of prints entitled Figure Con Instrumenti Musicali E Boscarecci. Finally, he created Alfabeto figurato (1632, Italy), letters made by human forms.
Link to his human figure alphabet. Digitization of his Bizzarie di varie figure include Bracelli Geometric Human Forms (Dick Pape, 2010). Dick Pape writes: Giovanni Battista Braccelli's Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. (1624) Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli's designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much 15th- and 16th-century European art. Braccelli's work had considerable influence on later generations of artists. His figures were adopted, for example, during the 20th century by the Surrealists, who lavished praise on his geometric forms and his ability to invest mechanical images with graceful, human qualities. Some of the etchings portray human emotion, as when figures dance across the page or struggle with one another in mortal combat. [Google]
Digitization of his Bizzarie di varie figure include Bracelli Geometric Human Forms (Dick Pape, 2010). Dick Pape writes: Giovanni Battista Braccelli's Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. (1624) Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli's designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much 15th- and 16th-century European art. Braccelli's work had considerable influence on later generations of artists. His figures were adopted, for example, during the 20th century by the Surrealists, who lavished praise on his geometric forms and his ability to invest mechanical images with graceful, human qualities. Some of the etchings portray human emotion, as when figures dance across the page or struggle with one another in mortal combat. [Google] [More] ⦿
Or Gianfrancesco Cresci. Milanese calligrapher who worked in Rome during the later 16th century, and became the Vatican's scriptor. Author of Essemplare (1560) and Il Perfetto Scrittore (Venice, 1569-1570), and influential Italian writing master. The full title of the book is II perfetto Scrittore Di M. Gio. Francesco Cresci Cittadino Milanese Doue se veggono i veri Caratteri & le natural forme di tutte quelle sorti di lettere che a vero scrittor si appartengono. Con alcun'altre da lui nuouamente ritrouate : Et i modi che deue tenere il mastro per ben insegnare.
BibliOdyssey describes a type scandal from that era: Gianfrancesco Cresci heralded the onset of the Baroque by categorically rejecting what he considered were the useless adornments to some of the alphabets produced in the 1540s by the master calligrapher, Giambattista Palatino. Palatino responded by adopting letterforms similar to Cresci's (whose first work was published in 1560 in Essemplare) only to be accused by Cresci of lacking the necessary skills to produce the set himself, instead hiring an engraver for the work. It was quite the calligraphy/typography scandal of the 16th century. I believe the modern scholarly consensus, from manuscript comparisons, vindicates Palatino.
Digital fonts directly based on his work include the Trajan all-caps face Cresci LP (1997, Garrett Boge).
Italian typographer. Imre Reiner shows and compares the earliest fleurons, including one by Aldus Manutius (1500), Giovanni Padovana (1528), Dolet (1540) and Egenolff (1590). Close-up. [Google] [More] ⦿
German/English web site by Lübeck, Germany-based printing engineer Lars Kähler (b. 1962) about all typographic matters, but still under construction. For example, it will have biographies, complete lists of fonts from the major foundries, technological surveys, and articles on the history of type. Lars has been typesetter from 1987-1994. He spoke at ATypI 2006 in Lisbon on Global Type, his project. PDF of Lars' presentation. [Google] [More] ⦿
P22 reports this story about the foundry's theft of a design by Goudy: In 1900 Frederick Goudy was commissioned by W.W. Denslow to letter his edition of Mother Goose stories for the McClure, Phillips Co. of New York. (Denslow was the Illustrator of the original Wizard of Oz and also an occasional Roycroft illustrator.) The lettering that Goudy designed featured short ascenders and descenders, as well as a tall x-height. Shortly thereafter the Inland type foundry of St. Louis released a typeface that was a direct copy of Goudy's lettering. Goudy seemed to be more offended that the font was named "Hearst" after the notorious newspaper mogul, than by the fact that they copied his designs. As Goudy had put it: "To my surprise, a little later on, the Inland Type foundry of St. Louis, without consultation with me, brought out a new type copied--not inspired--from my Denslow lettering, and added insult to injury by naming it "Hearst." Goudy's reaction was to create his own type face for release. The result of Goudy's attempt to outdo a copy of his design evolved into the Pabst type face. Created for the Pabst Brewing Company, this type design has some similarities to Hearst, but is clearly its own unique face. The ascenders are much taller than Hearst and the x-height is reduced. The distressed edging of the letters and the caps bear a similarity, but clearly these are two distinct faces. Five years later in 1907, Goudy's "Powell" face was created for the Mandel Brother department store in Chicago. This "Powell" face bears a closer similarity to "Hearst." That Hearst Roman face was later digitized by Dan Solo (Solotype) and by Nick Curtis in 2006 as Ragged Write NF. [Google] [More] ⦿
Czech state type foundry (est. 1951) from the communist era at which Josef Týfa, Oldrich Menhart and Rudolf Ruzicka worked for some time. Týfova Antikva (1959, inspired by the work of architect P.L. Nervi) by Josef Týfa later became Tyfa Text (and ITC Tyfa, 1998). Frantisek Storm made a version of it under Týfa's supervision. Menhart published typefaces such as Grazdanka (1953). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
The Gutenberg Bible on-line, free! This is a book with an unreadable layout and annoying typography, an example of what not to do when you set a book. Its only interest is that it was a historical milestone. At the British Library. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type historian in the Frankfurt area. He has diligently compiled information on most German typefaces ever made. In 2008, Spatium Magazin has just released a DVD containing a collection of 3,000 images scanned from the pages of many 20th century German type foundry catalogs. The news announcements and forum discussions are positive. Four DVDs in all are planned. Included are scans of type specimen cards, brochures, and catalogs from various foundries, such as Bauer, Klingspor, Ludwig & Mayer, Stempel, C. E. Weber, Berthold, Genzsch & Heyse, Joh. Wagner, Flinsch and Schelter & Gieseke. In addition, books like Seemann's Handbuch der Schriftarten, Abraham Horodisch's Die Schrift im schönen Buch unserer Zeit, and Emil Wetzig's Ausgewählte Druckschriften in Alphabeten are scanned as well. Table of contents. All images on the DVD are at 150 dpi resolution. [Google] [More] ⦿
Born in Berlin in 1938, Hans-Jürgen Wolf studied graphic arts and painting with Richard Blank at the Design Institute of Berlin. As a graphic artist, he joined the studio of Schering AG in Berlin. Author of Geschichte der Typographie (Historia, 1999) and Geschichte der graphischen Verfahren (Historia, 1990), a detailed work on the history of typesetting and printing machine companies.
Father of Matthew Carter, typographic historian, and archivist of the Oxford University Press, who lived in the UK from 1901-1982. Author in 1969 of "A view of early typography: up to about 1600". This will be reissued by Hyphen Press in 2002 and is reviewed by Andy Crewdson. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Quoting MyFonts on Harry Kessler, b. 1868, Paris, d. 1937, Lyon. Wealthy Paris-born, English-educated son of a German-Swiss father and an Irish mother, a diplomat and patron of the arts, Count Harry Kessler established his private press, the Cranach Presse, in Weimar in 1913. In 1904 he came to London to seek the advice of Emery Walker on the design of books for Insel Verlag, the innovative Leipzig publishing house. While there he was introduced to Eric Gill and Edward Johnston, both of whom he commissioned to draw title pages for Insel Verlag. Kessler later asked Walker to produce a type for the Cranach Presse. Just as Walker had done with types whose design he had supervised for other major private presses --Kelmscott, Doves and Ashendene--- he chose Edward Prince to cut the punches. Unfortunately for all concerned, and despite help from Johnston, Prince had serious problems cutting the italic, seemingly unable to interpret the designs of Tagliente. The punches were finished only after Prince's death and barely used. Kessler's interests in fine printing were interrupted by World War I and his posting to Poland as ambassador. He left Germany for France in 1933, with the rise of the Nazis. Cranach published classic works by Shakespeare, Virgil, and Petronius, and such contemporary authors as Rilke, van de Velde and Hauptmann. Kessler's life story provides us with a valuable insight into the Weimar period of German history. [Google] [More] ⦿
Foundry started by Dr. Ing. Rudolf Hell in 1947 in Kiel, Germany. The business started off repairing Hellschreiber machines, but went on to produce the Klischograph, Hell's invention---an electronically controlled printing block engraver. In 1964 he invented the Digiset, the first digital typesetter. His Digi-Grotesk S (1968) is said to be the first digital typeface. Gerard Unger worked there until the mid eighties. In the late 1970s Hell became a subsidiary of Siemens. It merged with Linotype in 1990 to become Linotype-Hell. Its main designers were Gerard Unger (Demos, 1975; Hollander, 1983; Praxis, 1977; Swift, 1985) and H. Zapf (Edison, 1978; Marconi, 1976).
MyFonts sells Vario Com (by Hermann Zapf for Hell, but now a Linotype face), and Sierra Com by Kris Holmes, also first done for Hell but now owned by Linotype. About Sierra Com, they write: Sierra is an antiqua with a high x-height and generous, open counters. Many curves of the letters are almost right angles, which was particularly suited to the Digiset machines.
Linotype now has digital versions of Digi Grotesk and Digi Antiqua in its library. DigiGrotesk N was influenced by Neuzeit Grotesk, while DigiGrotesk S was a more general sans in the style of Akzidenz Grotesk, Univers and Futura. Digi Antiqua (1968) goes back to the 1820s in England.
Hell created Holsatia (Latin for Holstein, as in Schleswig-Holstein), a Helvetica clone.
Rudolf Hell was born in Eggmühl, Germany in 1901 and died in Kiel in 2002.
French art nouveau era painter and illustrator, b. 1867 Paris, d. 1909 Les Petites Dalles. He designed a typeface and ornaments at the end of his life, which appeared posthumously in 1910 at Deberny&Peignot and was called Le Bellery-Desfontaines. Wikipedia. More on his typeface which could be bought from Deberny&Peignot starting in 1911. [Google] [More] ⦿
British typefounder from the famous Caslon family. Author of Specimen of Printing types (1841), which showcases the typefaces of Caslon, Son and Livermore. PDF file of that book. Excerpts: Albion No. 1, Double Pica No. 3, Five Line Pica Open, Four Line Pica Shaded, Italian [this is a famous Western face, dating from 1821, and entitled the Italian Monstrosity by James Clough (who considers it not a monstrosity at all---the title refers to bad reputation of Caslon's Italian in the eyes of type critics such as T.C. Hansard and Nicolete Grey)], Nine Line Pica, Ornament No. 113, Ornament No. 159, Seven Line Pica Italian, Sixteen Line Pica Compressed, Ten Line Pica Compressed, Two Line Letters No. 4, Two Line Pica Chessmen.
Images of some type specimen from Henry Taylor Wyse's book of 1911: AngloSaxon, Antique Old Style, Baskerville, Black No. 4, Cheltenham, Cheltenham Bold Outline, Cheltenham Heavy Italic, Cheltenham Old Style, Cheltenham Old Style, Lining Carlton, Morland, Morland Italic, Old Face, Old Face Heavy, Old Face Italic, Original Black, Ornaments. [Google] [More] ⦿
Scottish author of Modern type display and the use of type ornament (1911, Edinburgh), a book which can be found in full on the web. See also here. PDF of that book, and the text file. Most of the specimens discussed in the text are from H.W. Caslon Typefounders, Stephenson Blake, Charles Reed and Miller & Richard. [Google] [More] ⦿
Henry Taylor Wyse writes in 1911 in Modern type display and the use of type ornament: Scottish printers received their supplies of type in the early days of printing from Holland. The first Scottish type-founder was Alex. Wilson, a native of St Andrews, who migrated to London in 1737 as an assistant apothecary. Accompanied by a friend, he was conducted over a type foundry there, and, thinking he could improve upon the current methods of type-founding, he started, along with a Mr Baine, a type foundry in his native town in 1742. The business prospered to such an extent, that the foundry was soon removed to Camlachie, a small village near Glasgow. While in Glasgow, Wilson formed many friendships with the professors of the University there, and also with Robert and Andrew Foulis, the University printers. He is probably best known by the magnificent founts of Greek letters which he cut, and which were used for the splendid edition of the Greek classics issued by the University. In 1834 the Glasgow Type Foundry, as it was called, was transferred to London. In 1845 the firm became bankrupt, and most of the punches and matrices were bought by the Caslons. William Miller, a foreman in the Glasgow Foundry, started business in Edinburgh in 1809 as Wm. Miller & Co. In 1822 the title of the firm was changed to William Miller. In 1832 Mr Richard was admitted as a partner, the firm again becoming Wm. Miller & Co. In 1838 it was styled Miller and Richard. To this firm belongs the credit of being the first British Foundry to successfully introduce machines for casting type. William Miller died in 1843. Mr Richard and his son carried on the business till 1868 when Mr Richard, senior, retired, the conduct of the business devolving upon Mr J. M. Richard and Mr W. M. Richard, whose sons are the present proprietors. Messrs Miller & Richard are now the only type-founders in Scotland. [Google] [More] ⦿
Henry Taylor Wyse writes in 1911 in Modern type display and the use of type ornament:
GUTENBERG, the inventor of printing, as well as his immediate successors, cut their own punches, made their own matrices, and cast their own type. In the early part of the sixteenth century } however, as the number of printers increased, type-founding as a regular business began to be developed, and periodical markets for the sale of type were held throughout Europe. In England the pioneers of printing, Caxton, Wynkn de Worde, and Pynson, were founders as well as printers, casting type however mostly for their own use. One of the most noted of these founder-printers was John Day, who began business in 1546. He cut founts of Roman, Saxon, and Italic letters, and was the first English founder-printer who cut Roman and Italic letters which would range as one fount. After Day's death, English printers had to depend upon Dutch matrices from which to receive their supplies of type. The year 1585 witnessed a revival of the Oxford University Foundry and Press under Joseph Barnes. During the next century it received two important gifts. Dr John Fell, its Chancellor, in 1677 presented it with a complete foundry, consisting of over seventy sets of punches and matrices for Roman, Italic, Oriental, Saxon, and black letter founts, as well as all the necessary utensils and apparatus requisite for a complete printing office. In the same year Francis Juvinus presented similar gifts to the University.
In the middle of the seventeenth century type-founding and printing began to be carried on as separate businesses in England. Joseph Moxon (1659-1683), Robert and Sylvester Andrews (1683-1733), and Thomas and John James (1710-1782) all figure as early English type-founders. Joseph Moxon combined the business of type-founder and printer with that of hydrographer to the King. In 1669 he printed what is supposed to have been the first type-founders' specimen issued in England. Moxon was suc- ceeded by Robert Andrews and his son Sylvester, who had established a type-foundry in Oxford. This was purchased in 1733 and removed to London by Thomas James, who had been an apprentice to Robert Andrews, but had left his service before 1710, being joined by his son John at a later date. It does not appear that they cut any punches for themselves ; they depended upon Holland for their supply of matrices. By 1758 James' Foundry had absorbed no fewer than nine of the old English foundries. Varying fortunes of the Caslon firm form an interesting chapter in the history of type-founding in England. William Caslon I. (1692-1766) may be said to have been the first English type-founder who whole-heartedly devoted himself to the cutting of punches and the casting of type. Originally an engraver of gun barrels, he attracted the attention of Mr Watts, an eminent printer of his day. This printer, struck by the neatness and taste displayed by Caslon in his engraving, and being in need of a new fount of type, enquired whether he thought he could cut letters for him. After one day's consideration, he replied that he thought he could, and straightway began to cut a series of punches for the type which is now known as Caslon Old Face. It is inter- esting to know that Benjamin Franklin, who later became the well-known American printer, ambassador, and statesman, was at this time a journeyman printer in the service of Mr Watts. The efforts of Caslon gave such satis- faction the type he had produced was so much better than that in common use that the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, being in need of a new Arabic fount, commissioned him to cut it for them. In the same year (1720) he cut a Pica Roman and Italic fount. His next perform- ance was a Pica Coptic fount for Dr Wilkins' edition of the Pentateuch. These successful founts soon made him famous, and by 1730 he had eclipsed most of his competitors, and secured the exclusive custom of the King's printer. About 1733 he cut a black letter fount, and in 1734 issued his first specimen from Chiswell Street, and it contained no fewer than thirty-eight founts, all of which, with the exception of three, were from his own hand. These thirty-five founts represented the untiring industry of fourteen years. The production of this specimen placed Caslon at the head of his profession, and his type was regarded as the standard. It was illustrated in the second edition of Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopaedia in 1738. In 1739 Caslon purchased half of Robert Mitchell's matrices, the other half being bought by John James. In 1742 Caslon assumed his eldest son, Wm. Caslon II., as a partner, and in the specimen of the same year the firm appears as Wm. Caslon & Son. Caslon II. was as expert as his father at punch-cutting, and the following notice appears in " Ames' Typographical Antiquities," published in 1749: "The art seems to be carried to its greatest perfection by William Caslon and his son, who, besides the type of all manner of living languages now by him, has offered to perform the same for the dead, that can be recovered, to the satisfaction of any gentleman desirous of the same." The "Universal Magazine" of June 1750 contains an article on letter-founding, accompanied by a picture of the interior of Caslon's Foundry. The print includes representations of four casters at work, one rubber (Joseph Jackson), and one dresser (Thomas Cottrell). Punch-cutting and justifying was carried on in secret by the Caslons themselves, but Jackson and Cottrell found means to observe them at work, and learned for themselves the manual part of the "art and mystery." In the year 1757 a movement for higher wages was made by the men in Caslon's employment. The increase of wages was granted, but Jackson and Cottrell, the ringleaders, were dismissed. In the specimen of 1764 eighty-two different founts were illustrated, more than twice as many as had been shown in the specimen of 1734. Most of the new founts had been cut by Caslon II. Caslon I. was in many ways a cultured man, being extremely fond of music. He was married three times. His first family consisted of one daughter and two sons William, who succeeded him, and Thomas, who became an eminent bookseller. Caslon I. died at Bethnal Green on January 23, 1766, aged seventy-four. In 1766 Caslon II., who had succeeded to the business on the death of his father, issued a specimen on the title-page of which the original name of Wm. Caslon appears. Caslon II. died in 1778, aged fifty-eight, leaving the business to his son William (Caslon III.). In 1792 Caslon III. disposed of his interest in Chiswell Street to his mother and sister-in-law. Mrs Caslon senior died in 1795, and as her will was the object of some litigation, the estate was thrown into Chancery, and the foundry put up to auction. It was bought by Mrs Henry Caslon for 520, whereas seven years previously one-third share of the concern had been sold for 3000. In buying the foundry, Mrs Henry Caslon determined to revive the business, and for this purpose secured the services of Mr John Isaac Drury, who cut new Canon, Pica, and Double Pica founts. At the same time, Mr Nathaniel Catherwood, a distant relative, was introduced as a partner. By 1808 the foundry had regained its former position. Both Mrs Henry Caslon and Mr Catherwood died in 1809. In 1802 the firm appeared as Caslon & Catherwood, but in 1809 it was styled Wm. Caslon & Son once more. From 1814 to 1821 the partnership included John James Catherwood, brother of a former partner. From 1830 to 1834 it was styled Caslon & Livermore, then in 1839, Caslon Son and Livermore ; in 1846 Caslon & Son ; and in 1850, H. W. Caslon & Co., Ltd. the name by which it is now so widely known.
When, in 1757, Wm. Caslon I. summarily dismissed his two workmen, Joseph Jackson and Thomas Cottrell, he little thought that his action would lead to the starting of two new businesses, which would develop into rivals of his own and his successors. Thos. Cottrell started as a type-founder in 1757, and had associated with him for some time, Joseph Jackson, his unfortunate coadjutor. Cottrell's business eventually developed into that of Sir Charles Reed & Sons, while Jackson's foundry, established in 1763, at length became that of Stephenson, Blake & Co., both firms being joined under the same management in 1906. The story of the ups and downs of these firms would be too lengthy for narration in such a work as this, but it may be interesting to relate that the foundries, or at least the punches and matrices of about a dozen concerns were absorbed by Thos. Cottrell's successors. These belonged to Joseph Moxon, 1659-1683 ; R. & S. Andrews, 1683-1733 ; Thomas & John James, 1710-1782 ; Fry and Pine, 1764-1776 ; Joseph Fry & Co., 1776-1782 ; Edmund Fry & Co., 1782-1794 ; Edmund Fry and Isaac Steele, 1794-1799 ; Fry, Steele & Co., 1799-1808 ; and Edmund Fry & Son, 1816-1829, at which date William Thorowgood, who was the then living successor of Thos. Cottrell, took over the business of Edmund Fry & Son, then known as the Polyglot Letter Foundry. In 1838 the style of the firm was Thorowgood & Besley ; in 1849, Besley & Co. ; in 1861, Reed & Fox; and in 1877, Sir Charles Reed & Sons.
The foundry started by Joseph Jackson in 1763 was put up to auction after his death in 1792, and was acquired by Caslon III., who had left the Chiswell Street firm. In 1807 it belonged to Wm. Caslon, Junior, son of Caslon III. In 1819, Wm. Caslon, Junior, disposed of the foundry to Blake, Garnett & Co., who had become partners for the purpose of acquiring it, and the entire stock was removed to Sheffield. In 1830 the firm was known as Blake & Stephenson, while in 1841, it went under the style of Stephenson, Blake & Co., the name which, in association with Sir Charles Reed & Son, it now bears.
An obituary notice of Thomas Cottrell, written by his friend Nicols, throws a curious light upon the usages of the time, and is as follows : " Mr Cottrell died, I am sorry to add not in affluent circumstances, though to his profession of a letter founder, were superadded that of a doctor for the toothache, which he cured by burning the ear ! " It is interesting to notice that many of the early type-founders forsook other occupations to follow that of punch-cutting. Joseph Moxon was a hydrographer ; Caslon I. was an engraver of gun barrels ; Alex. Wilson of St Andrews, the first Scotch type-founder, and Joseph and Edmund Fry were all doctors, while John Baskerville of Birmingham was successively a footman, a writing master, a printer, and finally a type-founder. Baskerville seems to have been in many ways a remarkable man. He spent six years of effort and over 600 in improving the typography of his own day. He made everything required for his business, punches, matrices, type, ink, and even printing presses. His type was of beautiful and elegant form ; and the issue in 1757 of the first book printed with it (Virgil) was hailed with delight by the entire literary world. This was not sufficient, however, to compensate him for the years of labour he had spent on his founts. The printers of his own day preferred the bold Caslon Old Face, which had taken them by storm. He spared no effort to bring his founts into the market, but without success. His entire stock of type-punches and matrices were eventually purchased by Beaumarchais for the " Societe Litteraire Typographique " for 3,700, and transferred to France. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typographer and entrepreneur, b. Berlin 1831, d. Berlin, 1904. In 1858, he founded his "Institute for Galvano Technology" in Berlin. He discovered a method of producing circular lines from brass instead of lead or zinc. The soldering normally necessary could be dispensed with. The lines were elastic and highly durable, and produced fine results. Most of German's letterpress printers and many printers abroad placed their orders with Berthold. In 1864, he set up H. Berthold Schriftgießerei und Messinglinienfabrik in Berlin. The company specialized initially in new technical processes for printing, such as galvano-type, as described above. Hermann Berthold headed the foundry until 1888. Around 1900, Haus Berthold was one of the largest foundries in the world.
Typography professor in Leipzig, who lived from 1869-1937. He was the teacher of Jan Tschichold in 1919. Faces based on his work were created by Manfred Klein (Delitsch Initialen, 2004) and Petra Heidorn (Delitsch Antiqua, 2004). Both can be found here. The originals are Ramses (1912, Klinkhardt, an Antiqua face revived in 2012 by Chiron as TbC Ramses-Antiqua), Delitsch Antiqua (1911, Klinkhardt), and Delitsch-Kanzlei (1903, Klinkhardt).
Author of Schribschriftnormen (1928, K.W. Hiersemann), Delitzsch-Antiqua: eine künstlerische Schriftgarnitur mit Initialen und Schmuck für zeitgemässe Buchausstattung (1915). [Google] [More] ⦿
History of mathematical symbols
A useful introduction to humanist (or Venetian) types by John D. Boardley. They appeared in the 1460s and were modelled on the open letterforms of the Italian humanist writers (calligraphers) at that time. The types can be recognized by the sloping crossbar on the "e", the small x-height, the dark color of text set in this type, and the low contrast of thick and thin strokes. Examples include Jenson, Kennerly, Centaur, Stempel Schneidler, Verona, Lutetia, Jersey, Lynton. [Google] [More] ⦿
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Leon Battista Alberti, 1494) uses Aldine's Roman, and has breathtaking page setting and combinations of detailed figures and text. Brought to you by Delft University of Technology and MIT Press. A digital font that looks like the original was made by Ulrich Stiehl: Hypnerotomachia. [Google] [More] ⦿
Born in Republic of Korea, Hyun Guk Ryu obtained a Ph.D. at National Kyushu Institute of Technology Graduate School of Design. Presently, he teaches type design and design history at National University Corporation Tsukuba University of Technology Faculty of Industrial. His professional studies are focused in typography and design history of Korean (Haeseo Style), Chinese (Ming Style), and the manufacturing of Latin alphabets for the multilingual typesetting in 19th century Japan and China.
Speaker at ATypI 2012 in Hong Kong: A study of collision among and the coexistence of different Korean typeface designs. At ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik, Hyun Guk Ryu spoke about the history of Hangul type design. Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: Directionality in Korean type design. [Google] [More] ⦿
Images of great historic types by Alberti, Amphiarea (1572), Caslon, Cresci, Feliciano (1463), Grandjean (the Grandjean&Alexandre Roman type, dated 1693), Torniello (1517), and Vicentino (1522). Also, pics of the letters on Trajan's column in the Forum (113). [Google] [More] ⦿
The national French foundry and press from 1640, when it was created, until today. It grew out of the Imprimeurs du roi pour le Grec, which itself was founded in 1538 by king François I. Today, it is entirely state-owned. The imprimerie nationale contains le cabinet des poinçons (where one can find all the old metal types) and a historic library. Between 1985 and 2004, Paul-Marie Grinevald wrote about ten articles on the Imprimerie. [Google] [More] ⦿
From A Short History of the Printed Word: Incunabula can refer to the earliest stages in the development of anything, but it has come to stand particularly for those books printed in Europe before 1500. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typefounder, 1749-1831. Author of A Specimen of Isaiah Thomas's Printing Types. Being as Large and Complete an Assortment As Is to Be Met With in Any One Printing Office in America. Chiefly Manufactured by That Great Artist, William Caslon, Esq.; of London (Worcester, Massachusetts: Printed by Isaiah Thomas, 1785).
I cite a blurb from an exhibit at Columbia University: The experiences of Adam Mappa and John Baine show that American printers wanted a domestic typefounding industry, but only if it could produce type of the quality of the English and Scottish foundries. The year after Mappa's foundry was advertised for sale, Isaiah Thomas issued this printer's specimen of type, not for sale but available for use in his printing office. The title page makes the truthful boast that this was as large and complete an assortment "as is to be met with in any one Printing-Office in America," adding that the type was "Chiefly manufactured by that great Artist, William Caslon, Esq; of London." Writing to Thomas in 1793, Ebenezer T. Andrews, in Boston, thought that Baine's type was "by no means handsome." But Thomas had not only to pay dearly for the imported type, he also had to pay import duties. By 1792, when he tried, unsuccessfully, to have the tax on type waived, the duties stood at 7-1/2% of the value of imported goods of all kinds. Instead, Congress raised the import duties on all goods to 10% in 1794, and, in order to protect the foundling American typefounding industry, specified the following year that this included all imported printing types. [Google] [More] ⦿
Italian foundries from the 1860s through 1890 include Zatta (Venice), Alessandri (Florence), Ameretti (Parma), Paganino (Parma), Negroni (Bologna) and Wilmant (Milan). In their thesis "Questioni di carattere", Manuela Rattin and Matteo Ricci write that these foundries were frought with alignment problems in the production, and had few original typefaces. It was a mediocre era in Italian typography. [Google] [More] ⦿
Jack's Scribal and Epigraphic Fonts
Houston's Jack Kilmon designed many archaic and epigraphic TrueType fonts. Free for academics. His site also has an archive of some fonts by Reinhold Kainhofer (RK Ancient Fonts), and some Coptic, Hebrew, Hieroglyphic and Greek fonts. A list of his creations: Early Phoenician (8th century BC), Moabite/Mesha Stele Epigraphic, Lachish Ostraca Cursive Palaeohebrew, Elephantine Papyrus Cursive, Jack's Early Aramaic (10th c. BCE), Nabataean Aramaic, Jack's Samaritan, Jack's Siloam Inscription, Jack's Dead Sea Scroll Scribal (or DSS Scribal) (based on Great Isaiah Scroll), Jack's Habakkuk Scribal (based on Pesher Habakkuk), Jack's Meissner Papyrus Cursive, Dead Sea Scroll Scribal, Latin Epigraphic, Roman Rustica (Capitalis Rustica), Latin bookhand from 1st to 6th century, C. Sinaiticus Uncial Greek, Early Greek Epigraphic, Greek Minuscule with Ligatures, Carolingian Minuscule, Insular Minuscule, early Gothic, Gothic Textura Quadrata, C. Sinaiticus Uncial Greek, Early Greek Epigraphic, Greek Minuscule with Ligatures, Jack's Etruscan. Essay on the history of writing. And an archive of Greek, Coptic, Hebrew and hieroglyphic fonts.
Dafont link. Marc Smith is not kind in his critique of Kilmon, who he calls an amateur (page 65). He deplores (page 69) that most letters, o, b, p and y included, have the same height in Kilmon's work. [Google] [More] ⦿
Bookseller in Amsterdam at the time of his marriage in 1682 and of his death in 1709. An undated type specimen bearing his name in the Enschedé collection is thought to have been produced around 1699 [according to Harry Carter]. In Typefoundries in the Netherlands, we find this image (of No. 28 type), and this text about it: The matrices owned by Alberts&Uytwerf also passed eventually to the Brothers Ploos van Amstel. Among the types we acquired from them we still have one of the types offered for sale by Van de Velde. It is our English-bodied Roman No.28. In our collection there is also one of the types shown in the earliest specimen of Alberts&Uytwerf, the [Large] Two-line Small Pica Roman No.29... Typophile discussion. [Google] [More] ⦿
Jacques de Sanlecque the elder
Jakob or Jacques Sabon (b. Lyon, 1535, d. Frankfurt am Main, ca. 1580-1590) was a typefounder who worked at the Egenolff Foundry in Frankfurt in 1555, and briefly at the Plantin Foundry in Antwerp in 1563. Jan Tschichold named his garalde typeface after him in 1964.
Linotype writes about Tschichold's Sabon: In the early 1960s, the German masterprinters' association requested that a new typeface be designed and produced in identical form on both Linotype and Monotype machines so that text and technical composition would match. Walter Cunz at Stempel responded by commissioning Jan Tschichold to design the most faithful version of Claude Garamond's serene and classical roman yet to be cut. The boldface and particularly the italic are limited by the twin requirements of Linotype and Monotype hot metal machines. Bitstream's Cursive is a return to the form of one of Garamond's late italics, recently identified. Punches and matrices for the romans survive at the Plantin-Moretus Museum. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Dublin-based creator of the Gaelic early transitional angular typeface Christie (1815-1844). This sample is from "The Proverbs of Solomon". Brendan Leen writes: "In 1815, the founder James Christie designed an Irish character type that represented the most legible fount to date. The Christie type also managed to retain the calligraphic qualities of the authentic Irish style. The type required meticulous care in the application of ink on account of its boldness and extreme contrasts of weights." [Google] [More] ⦿
Jan Brito (Jean le Breton) was born around 1415 in Pipriac (Brittany) and moved at a young age to Bruges, the Venice of the North and cultural capital of Europe at the time. There he lived his life and printed in French and Flemish. His publications included the poems of Jacob Van Maerlant. In the 19th century, M. Gilliodts published a thesis that would put Brito's first mobile metal characters around 1445, about ten years ahead of Gutenberg, but that thesis was refuted later on, and the date was changed to 1464. The first printer is probably Johannes Genfleisch (aka Gutenberg) in Mainz, but the Dutch claim it is Laurent Coster from Haarlem. Work by Brito can be found in Kortrijk, Brugge, Edinburgh and the national library of France. Brito, also called the Gutenberg breton, died in Bruges in 1484.
Dutch author, b. 1874, who edited Die Hochdeutschen Schriften aus dem 15ten bis zum 19ten Jahrhundert der Schriftgiesserei und Druckerei (1919, Enschedé en Zonen, Haarlem), a publication which has four articles:
Javenese typefaces: history
Jo de Baerdemaker's talk at ATypI 2010 in Dublin had this summary: Jo De Baerdemaeker discusses how the Javanese writing system, the indigenous script of pre-colonial Indonesia, was adapted to print. He focuses on the Javanese typefaces that were manufactured in The Netherlands in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The cutting of the first Javanese fount, which was undertaken at Joh. Enschedé en Zonen in Haarlem, coincided with the founding of the first printing house in Jakarta (then known as Batavia, capital of Dutch India). Less than a century later, Lettergieterij Amsterdam developed a new, simplified, Javanese fount, amongst other styles and weights. The Javanese founts of both the Dutch typefoundries were internationally well received and were distributed to polyglot printing houses throughout Europe. [Google] [More] ⦿
French punchcutter who was the successor of Philippe Grandjean, the developer of the Romain du roi in 1702. The complete set of 21 sizes of roman and italic letters was finished by Grandjean's successor Jean Alexandre and completed by Louis Luce in 1745. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
French type designer and punchcutter, 1580-1658, who has some typefaces named after him. Frantisek Storm writes this: The engraver Jean Jannon ranks among the significant representatives of French typography of the first half of the 17th century. He was born in 1580, apparently in Switzerland. He trained as punch-cutter in Paris. From 1610 he worked in the printing office of the Calvinist Academy in Sedan, where he was awarded the title "Imprimeur de son Excellence et de l'Academie Sédanoise". He began working on his own alphabet in 1615, so that he would not have to order type for his printing office from Paris, Holland and Germany, which at that time was rather difficult. The other reason was that not only the existing type faces, but also the respective punches were rapidly wearing out. Their restoration was extremely painstaking, not to mention the fact that the result would have been just a poor shadow of the original elegance. Thus a new type face came into existence, standing on a traditional basis, but with a life-giving sparkle from its creator. In 1621 Jannon published a Roman type face and italics, derived from the shapes of Garamond's type faces. As late as the start of the 20th century Jannon's type face was mistakenly called Garamond, because it looked like that type face at first sight. Jannon's Early Baroque Roman type face, however, differs from Garamond in contrast and in having grander forms. Jannon's italics rank among the most successful italics of all time ? They are brilliantly cut and elegant.
Many of today's Garamond style typefaces are in fact due to Jannon. The headline of this page is set in New G8 (2012, Michael Sharpe), which in turn is a digital descendant of URW Garamond No. 8.
Grandson of Georges Peignot, b. 1926. Author of L'or, l'âme et les cendres du plomb: L'épopée des Peignot, 1815-1983 (2004). It paints the history of the Peignot family of typefounders from 1815 until 1983. [Google] [More] ⦿
Jean-Michel Moreau (Moreau Le Jeune) was a French draughtsman, illustrator and engraver, 1741-1814. Born in Paris, he produced drawings of paintings and was an expert engraver. In 1770 he succeeded Charles-Nicolas Cochin as chief Dessinateur des Menus Plaisirs du Roi, on Cochin's recommendation, which occasioned his prints celebrating the marriage of the Dauphin and his coronation as Louis XVI; in 1781, in part on the strength of these productions he was appointed Dessinateur et Graveur du Cabinet du Roi, which brought an annual pension and lodgings in the galleries of the Palais du Louvre. His name is present in typographic circles mainly due to the fact in 1913, the Fonderie Peignot released the Cochin and Moreau-le-Jeune faces that revived the popularity of eighteenth century letterforms such as those originally created by Nicolas Cochin. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typographic afficionado who contributes links to the St. Bride Printing Library in London. This page has links to the main type sites on the web.
I can't resist this wonderful short autobiography of Jef, and I do not want to translate it, because it would lose its punch: Jef Tombeur, ex-vagabond professionnel&auto-stoppeur en Europe, au Moyen-Orient et en Amérique du Nord depuis l'âge de 15 ans, s'est rapidement tourné vers le journalisme par désoeuvrement. Vendre à la criée The International Times et The Black Dwarf à Londres, puis Le Monde à Strasbourg, l'y incita. Laissant tomber facs et école de journalisme, il contribua à rédiger, composer, gérer l'hebdomadaire franco-alsacien Uss'm Follik (Issu du Peuple), ce que facilitèrent ses origines bretonnes. Repéré ensuite à Belfort, Niort, Reims, devenant progressivement grand reporter et de moins en moins pigiste pour Libération et d'autres. Chef de desk à l'Agence Centrale de Presse, il en diffusa la dernière dépêche puis retourna à la rue et aux facultés. Ayant traduit divers auteurs anglophones au passage, tel Tom Coraghessan Boyle (cf. www.tcboyle.net), il s'est de nouveau passionné pour la typographie, en devenant le seul journaliste spécialisé français (notamment pour Création Numérique ou Pixelcreation.fr). Envisage de devenir chômeur en fins de droits et propagandiste plénipotentiaire pour Phil Martin en Afrique avant d'avoir atteint, prochainement, si possible, 55 ans. Localisé fréquemment chez Ali (bar La Gitane, près de Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, Paris) ces temps derniers.
Scottish book designer, talented illustrator, and artist in abroad sense (b. New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, 1875-d. Kirkcudbright, 1949). In Kirkcudbright, Scotland, she founded Green Gate Close, a center for women artists. Often, her illustrations included hand lettering. A children's book Art Nouveau style illustration from 1898 gave Richard Every the inspiration to make ITC Greengate from 1996 until its release in 2002. She left behind a collection of beautiful illustrations and floral borders. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
J. F. Coakley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and on the staff of Houghton Library, at Harvard University. His private press, the Jericho Press, occasionally makes use of Syriac and other exotic types. In 2006, he wrote The Typography of Syriac: a Historical Catalogue of Printing Types, 1537-1958 (Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE). Oak Knoll writes: Syriac, a dialect of the ancient Aramaic language, has a remarkable Christian literature spanning a thousand years from the fourth to the thirteenth century, including important versions of the Bible. It remains the liturgical language of several churches in the Middle East, India, and the West, and 'Modern Syriac' is a vernacular still in use today. It is no wonder that this language has a long and rich printing history. The challenge of conveying the beautiful cursive Syriac script, in one or another of its three varieties, was taken up by many well-known type-designers in the letterpress era, from Robert Granjon in the sixteenth century to the Monotype and Linotype corporations in the twentieth, as well as by many lesser-known ones. This study records and abundantly illustrates no fewer than 129 different Syriac types, using archival documents, type-specimens, and the often scattered evidence of the print itself. The Typography of Syriac will be of interest not only to scholars of Middle Eastern languages and scripts but also to all historians of type and printing. [Google] [More] ⦿
Author of "Recherches historiques et critiques sur l'établissement de l'art typographique" (Merlin, Paris, 1830). This book is an account, city by city, of the introduction of the first presses in Spain and Portugal. For example, Valencia was the first to get a press in 1474. Madrid, in 1499, was one of the last big cities to do so. [Google] [More] ⦿
One of the two main typefounders in Brussels in the late 18th century. Fernand Baudin and Netty Hoeflake write in "The Type Specimen of J.F. Rosart": "This descendant of a family of printers at Lille, after a setback in 1766, had obtained, in 1768, an exemption and the permission to set up a typefoundry in Brussels. In Hellinga, we find in 1776 the address 'Au bas de la rue de la Magde- laine', and in 1177 'Rue de l' Assaut, pres de Ste Gudule'. In the foreword to his Specimen Book of 1776 De Boubers summarizes the types cut by Gillé, in Paris, and by Matthias Rosart against the numbers of the examples. In the Specimen Book of 1777 the names of the punch-cutters are printed at the bot- tom of the showings. De Boubers further informs us that he had punches cut 'exactly the same' as Baskerville's. In 1779 he issued another specimen book, some time later followed by a Premier supplement, and by a second supplement in 1781. One may read in an advertisement in the Gazette de Liège dated 19 September 1781: 'J. L. DE BOUBERS, Printer-Bookseller and Typefounder at Brussels, has just issued to the public the second supplement to his Foundry Catalogue, containing all known types, such as French, Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, music, fleurons, and in general all that concern this line of business. He also casts Tarot for playing-cards. He is not afraid to claim that his foundry is one of the finest and largest in Europe', etc. J. L. de Boubers was very different from J. F. Rosart. He was a businessman on a grand scale. In a very short while he compelled recognition as printer and publisher as well as founder and paper-maker. He also enjoyed the favour of the government (see: A. Vincent, op. cit., P.I9). One should not fail to recall here that he printed the handsomest edition known of the works of J.- J. Rousseau and that he had it illustrated by Moreau Le Jeune. He, too, expected to become the greatest typefounder in Europe." He died in 1804, and his widow carried on until 1821. His work can be seen in Premier supplément aux Épreuves des caractères de la fonderie de J.L. de Boubers à Bruxelles (1779) and Épreuves des caractères de la fonderie de J.L. de Boubers (1777). In the foreword of the last book, he brags about the material strength of his metal faces, which are "as strong as those used in Holland and Frankfurt, stronger than those in France". He continues: "jaloux de rendre ma Fonderie la plus belle de l'Europe, j'ai associé à mes travaux les plus célèbres artistes ...". Some of the type shown is by M. Rosart, fils, and Gillé. [Google] [More] ⦿
Jo de Baerdemaeker
Famous Spanish printer (b. Zaragoza, 1725, d. Madrid, 1785). He worked mostly in Madrid as a printer. He never cut type, but commissioned people such as Gil, Pradell, Rongel and Espinosa to cut it for him. Sandra Baldassarri, Ignacio Pulido and Francisco Serón at the University of Zaragoza are attempting to revive his typefaces: see here and here. These authors have him born in 1709 though, so I will have to check out that discrepancy. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Joaquín (jko) Contreras
Steingruber (1702-1787) was the son of a master mason from a place called Wassertrüdingen an der Wörnitz, near the town of Dinkelsbühl. After an apprenticeship in which he worked on constructing palaces at Mannheim and Rastatt, he came to work at the Brandenburg court at Ansbach in the service of the margrave Friedrich Carl Alexander. He was soon appointed court and public surveyor, and was later made principal architect of the board of works. Besides completing many building projects, Steingruber expounded on his architectural theory in his books Architecture Civile (ca. 1748) and Practica Bürgerlicher Baukunst (Practical Course in Civil Architecture, 1763). He is the creator of the Architectonisches Alphabeth, so called because each capital is in fact a floorplan of a building. [Google] [More] ⦿
Austrian calligrapher and penman (1716-1791) who created many calligraphic alphabets, often of capitals. MyFonts link. Author of Calligraphia Latina (1755), reprinted by Dover in 1958. This book has twelve full alphabets, over 300 initials and many exquisite borders and frames. Samples from that book: i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii. Digital remixes: Schwandner Versalia (2010, Iza W, Intellecta Design). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
German writing master, 1497-1563, aka Johann Neudörffer The Elder, who founded his writing school in Nürnberg, and printed his first plates ca. 1519. These prints eventually became the foundation for a new kind of writing education throughout Europe. His writing manual and teachings helped further the development of blackletter. Author of Anweijsung einer gemeiner hanndschrift. Durch Johann Neudoerffer, Burger vnd Rechenmeister zu Nurmberg geordnet und gemacht (Nürnberg, 1538). Some of his methods are still alive in contemporary type design.
Oliver Linke, an expert on Neudörffer, and Christine Sauer published Zierlich schreiben Der Schreibmeister Johann Neudörffer der Ältere und seine Nachfolger in Nürnberg (2007, Beiträge zur Geschichte und Kultur der Stadt Nürnberg 25, Typographische Gesellschaft München / Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg). Several blackletter type families are named after him, such as Helmutt Bomm's Neudoerffer Fraktur (2009, Linotype) and 1519 Neudoerffer Fraktur (2012, Klaus-Peter Schäffel).
The pater familias of printing, 1394-1468, whose real name was Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden. Spent most of his life in Mainz, where he was also born and where he died. Bitstream write-up. Gutenberg homepage. Image. His Bible Textura (1452-1455). Wood print of Gutenberg by Karl Mahr. Engraved portrait by A. Thevet (1584). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
John A. Lane is a type historian, who often writes on typography. One of his crowning achievements is the book "Letterproeven van Nederlandse gieterijen" (1998), which shows Dutch typefounders' specimens from the Library of the KVB and other collections in the Amsterdam University Library with histories of the firms represented. It is coauthored with Mathieu Lommen, a noted type librarian and historian. Discussion of the text. Coauthor with Mathieu Lommen in 2003 of "Bram de Does Boektypograaf&Letterontwerper" (Amsterdam, 2003). Author of Early Type Specimens in the Plantin-Moretus Museum (New Castle and London: Oak Knoll Press and the British Library, 2004). [Google] [More] ⦿
Scottish type founder from Edinburgh who was active during the second half of the 17th century. He started out in St. Andrews in 1742 in partnership with Alexander Wilson when thwey co-founded the Wilson Foundry there, but moved in 1744 to Glasgow and in 1749 to London (when his partnership with Wilson ended) and in 1768 to Edinburgh. In 1787, he published "A Specimen of Printing Types, By John Baine&Grandson in Co", and emigrated to Philadelphia, where he set up a foundry. The elder Baine died in 1790, and his grandson continued until 1799, when he sold the equipment to Binny&Ronaldson for $300. [Google] [More] ⦿
John D. Boardley
Born in London in 1918, died in London in December 2002. Assistant University Printer, Cambridge University Press 1949-56 Cofounder of ATypI with Charles Peignot in 1957. He was the typographic advisor to The Monotype Corporation (now Agfa Monotype) from 1955-1982, having taken over from Stanley Morison. President, Association Typographique Internationale 1968-1973. Sandars Reader in Bibliography, Cambridge University 1979-1980. He was a great writer about typographic matters. Author of Aspects of French Eighteenth Century Typography (The Roxburghe Club, Cambdridge, 1982). Obituary and biography by Nicolas Barker. Winner of the Gutenberg Prize in 1996. Reflections on his life by various typographers. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Designer from Dublin (?) who, some time in the period 1571-1658 made the Gaelic typeface Queen Elisabeth. Everson says that the roman glyphs are by Pierre Haultin (but he gives no date for that). A draft digitization by Cois Life is mentioned. [Google] [More] ⦿
John Walters (Eye Magazine) wrote this about Spiekermann in February 2011.
When I went to Berlin a couple of years ago, in preparation for Eye 74, our Berlin special, I kept running into Erik Spiekermann. Not literally, though I did later spend a pleasant evening in the company of Erik and his wife Susanna. But I quickly realised that I couldn't avoid encountering Erik and his legacy. For a start, nearly every person I met had some connection to him: either they had collaborated with him, or worked for him, or they'd been taught or otherwise encouraged by Erik early in their career. And even people who didn't know him very well, or who had never met him, seemed to have an opinion about him. They knew him as a designer, as a typographer, as a type evangelist and as a writer---chiefly on the subject of typography, but with opinions about every other subject: politics, society, culture, art, music and so on. Also, quite apart from all the people I met, there were traces of Erik everywhere I went, on the subway, in the signs and the many different civic and commercial public projects that bore the stamp of one of his design practices, or that used one of his typefaces.
So that is why we called the Eye 74 piece "Six degrees of Erik Spiekermann". We devoted a gatefold information graphic to all the connections that he had made throughout his career, spanning the years since 1979, when the company that would become Meta was founded, to the present-day activities of Edenspiekermann. Like Kevin Bacon, Erik seemed to connect anyone who was anyone in graphic design, visual communication, branding and typography. Yet if our world were Hollywood, Erik would perhaps be more like Steven Spielberg than an actor like Bacon.
Erik is both a generalist and a specialist. The first time I ran into him, at an international typography conference, he asked me how I could stand to be surrounded by so many nerds? He knows how designers and typographers think, in the most minute detail, because that is the way he thinks, too. Yet he is managed to lift his head above the cubicle that all too often restricts the graphic design world, and look dispassionately at commerce and government and charities, taking the time to understand how they think, too. I have daily reason to be grateful for Erik's advice, since his ideas about the Rundbuero, expressed in Unit Editions' book Studio Culture, helped me make some changes in the way I organise my own office.
William Owen described Erik (in Eye 18) as a "consummate pluralist", while also taking on Erik's own definition of himself as a "typographic designer", who designs "from the word up", a phrase later used for a slim volume on Meta's work. William also noted that Erik "valued work of a kind he could never or would never want to do." But that is not surprising. It is almost the definition of a anyone with a rounded interest in culture and the world at large: you don't have to sing opera to value Nixon in China, nor do you have to paint in oils to appreciate art.
I think it is Erik's ability to work and show curiosity at both micro and macro levels (and all points between) that makes him a good writer, as well as a good designer. His writing is clear and to the point, whether in a column for Blueprint magazine or in an email containing directions to his house. Even if he had done little else, the book he wrote with E. M. Ginger, Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works (2nd Edition), would be an international calling card of huge proportions, since it's one of the few genuinely informative, entertaining and readable books about type written in the past few decades.
When I first watched the DVD of Gary Hustwit's Helvetica, whose extras section includes an extended interview with Erik, I was amused to hear him say how much he liked being an "unknown designer". Today's ceremony seems an odd place to talk about Erik's lack of recognition. Yet he was making an important point about the role of design---graphic design, type design and typography in particular---in civic life. As Erik explains in that documentary, neatly diverting the director from too many questions about a typeface he doesn't much care for, a nation's culture, the stuff that surrounds us, is made of good architecture and building, good food and cafes and supposedly nerdy things like the small type in timetables for public transport, or the signs in stations, or the little details that make your iPhone work intuitively.
Erik gets a kick out of being the unknown author behind some of this stuff, even when the money is terrible, and he has to fight the system---the conventional way of doing something---to make things just a little bit better. Few people might notice, or remark out loud that the timetable has acquired more legible, readable type, or better navigation, but as Erik would say, "That is the point." Many designers get a kick out of making things better, or finding a solution, or being part of the team that did that, whether their name is on the finished product or not. So I think we could regard this prize as one that Erik can share, just a little bit, with all the unknown designers out there, who play their part in making our lives better, our small print more legible.
Around the time I became editor of Eye, we published an updated version of Ken Garland's "First Things First", calling on designers to examine their priorities. The new manifesto included these sentences: "Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programmes, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help." Erik was one of 33 designers who put their names to "First Things First 2000", and that statement sounds just as relevant today---throw mobile devices and social media into the mix and it still holds good.
I agreed to come here on the strict understanding that the Designpreis would not signify or herald any slowing down on Erik's part. He still works at a furious pace. He even has a proofing press in his house, where heâ€™s cooking up plans to combine digital and analogue, making plates with a laser cutter. And in addition to all the usual client work, he is publishing a series of booklets of writings that he likes, and more little red books of his own work---the thoughts of Chairman Erik.
These thoughts are worth sharing. Erik is concerned about nerdy details, yet he loves to construct the big picture. He is a great advocate of design's role in civilised society, all the boring, behind-the-scenes stuff, but he is also quick to spot what is new and cool, and to champion and mentor young talent---the new Edenspiekermann scholarship is a significant addition to this aspect of Erik's life and work. For all these reasons, Erik is a worthy recipient of whatever awards get thrown his way---and they won't go to his head. [Google] [More] ⦿
Johnann or Johannes or Hans Schoensperger or Johann Schönsperger der Älte, was an early printer in Augsburg. Born ca. 1455, d. before 1521. He started his print shop in 1481 and dominated German printing in Augsburg until 1500. For Kaiser Maximilian I, he printed the beautiful Theuerdank (1517) and the blackletter Gebetbuch für den St.-Georgs-Orden. For both these books, he designed his own type. Sample page from 1517. Sample page of Gart der Gesundheit (1487). A font named after him, FF Schoensperger, was made by Manfred Klein as part of his package, which also includes FF Carolus Magnus, FF JohannesG, and FF Koberger. SchoenspergerCaps (2004) can be had for free at Manfred's site. [Google] [More] ⦿
Johnston's Underground Type
Greg Fleming, upon the publication of his open source version Railway Sans (2012) of Edward Johnston's Railway Type of 1916, recalls the history of the typeface, and adds valuable references. The text below is his.
The face was commissioned between 1913 and 1915 by Frank Pick (1878-1941), Commercial Manager of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, UERL, also known as The Underground Group, as part of his plan to strengthen the company's corporate identity. Frustrated at the diversity and seemingly endless variations of poor or unsuitable type- faces that were, at that time, in use across the system, one of his first key actions was to introduce a standardised approach to advertising and lettering. Pick's brief to Johnston was essentially that a typeface was needed that would ensure that the Underground Group's posters would not be mistaken for advertisements; it should have the bold simplicity of the authentic lettering of the finest periods and yet belong unmistakably to the twentieth century. Johnston's New Sans face first appeared in a poster of July 1916. Inspired by the proportions of classical Roman lettering, based on square and circular forms, it is a vehicle of bold clarity and a perfect example of typography as a powerful, authoritative information tool. It has been used, almost unchanged in essence, continuously and timelessly in signage, posters and publicity for nearly a century.
In 1933, The Underground Group was absorbed by the London Passenger Transport Board and the typeface was adopted as part of the London Transport brand. The typeface was originally called Underground. It became known as Johnston's Railway Type, and later, simply, Johnston or New Johnston Sans. Today, Transport for London uses updated versions in many weights of the original face, known as New Johnston Sans. This is not commercially available, except under strict TfL license. Railway is not based on or derived from the official New Johnston Sans in current use by Transport for London. Instead, it predates New Johnston by sixty-three years.
Hoefler reviews Lapidary, Inscriptional, Venetian, Aldine, Garalde, French Old style, Dutch Old style, English Old Style, Transitional, Modern, English Vernacular, Fat face, Egyptian, and Clarendon, and muses about reviving types. [Google] [More] ⦿
Basque designer. His designs were engraved in 1833 by Giraldos and Nicolás de Gangioti and dedicated to the Queen Governor. That work was published in Colección General de los Caractéres de Letras Europeas (see here). [Google] [More] ⦿
British typefounder, 1627-1691. Well known for his book, "Mechanick Exercises or the Doctrine of the handy-works Applied to the Art of Printing" (London. Printed for Joseph Moxon on the Westside of Fleet-dtch, at the Sign of Atlas, 1683). This book was reedited by Herbert Davis and Harry Carter, London, Oxford University Press, 1958. He also published "Moxon's Exercises or the whole Art of Printing, 1683-1684", which was reissued in 1978 by Herbert Davis and Harry Carter (Dover, NY). Moxon manufactured an angular Gaelic typeface, Moxon (ca. 1680) based on the Louvain type. This was necessary as the Queen Elizabeth type matrices, used for catechisms and other religious material, had disappeared. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typefounder in Paris (d. 1827) who became famous for his borders designed in the 1790s. There are folios of his from around 1808-1810 entitled "Choix de nouvelles Vignettes de la Fonderie de Gille fils, à Paris, rue Jean-de-Beauvais, no. 28". Gille started directing the Fonderie de Gille fils (his father was a famous typographer, so he distinguished himself as Gille fils) in 1789. He was influenced by Didot in the design of his lush vignettes, borders and rules.. His work can be found in Recueil de divers caractères, vignetts et ornemens de la fonderie et imprimerie de J.G. Gillé (Paris, De l'imprimerie de Gillé fils, 1808). This house specialized in ornaments, fancy letters, and script letters. In September 1827, it was bought by Honoré de Balzac. [Google] [More] ⦿
Also written as Juan de Yciar or Juan de Ycíar or Ioannes de Yciar. Spanish calligrapher, mathematician and writing master, 1515-1590. Author of Arte Subtillissima (1553, Zaragossa) and Arte Breve (1559, Zaragossa). According to Heitlinger, he was born in 1523, not 1515, in the Basque city of Durango (Vizcaya). He studied calligraphy with Tagliente and Palatino, and invented the so-called Spanish Bastarda, and drew many beautiful chancery alphabets.
He published Recopilación subtillísima intitulada Orthographia Practica in 1547-1548 (Zaragoza), the first writing manual in Spain. He also published Arte Subtilissima por la cual se enseña a escribir perfectamente in 1548 (8 editions from 1548 to 1566).
Recopilación subtillísima intitulada Orthographia Practica was republished in 2003 by Jakider. From that book, his beautiful Latina initial caps. Scan of his Spanish renaissance alphabet, other alphabets, Ave Maria (1548, from Arte Subtilissima), chancery hand, and Cancellaresca gruesca (1548). Biblioteca complutense de Madrid has images on-line. [Google] [More] ⦿
Juan-José Marcos García
In 1675, Colbert invites the Acadé'mie des Sciences to make a grand study of all machines used in the arts. In 1696, l'abbé Jaugeon obliges with a study entitled "Etude des Arts de construire les caractères, de graver les poinçons de lettres, d'imprimer les lettres". From 1692 on, Jaugeon created a mathematical/geometric theory of letters, all inscribed in a 48 by 48 grid (for upper case) or a 16 by 48 grid (lower case). This gridding was to lead to the type style associated with Louis XIV, the Grandjean. Fast forward 200 years to Arthur Christian, director of the Imprimerie Nationale from 1895-1906, who wanted to prove that Jaugeon's ideas were also esthetically justified by asking Hénaffe (official punchcutter of the Imprimerie, b. Paris 1857, d. Paris 1921) to precisely reproduce Jaugeon's designs (which he did in 1904). The resulting face is called Jaugeon or Hénaffe. This page describes more of his work for the Imprimerie Nationale, such as a Telugu set of punches (1901), a Coptic set (called "memphitique"), a Palmyrian set (1899), a Thai set (1903), and a "gothique Christian" type (1902). [Google] [More] ⦿
Kai F. Oetzbach
Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Director of the Typography Laboratory at the University of Iowa, b, 1947, d. Iowa City, 2008. At ATypI 2003 in Vancouver, she spoke about this fascinating topic: "Both experts on letterforms, Geofroy Tory and Simon de Colines often worked together in the 1520s and 30s, skillfully developing the French Renaissance style. As a punchcutter and printer, Colines worked behind the scenes at the university in Paris, while Tory left the university to write Champ Fleury, a treatise on letterforms, and later assumed the role of King.s printer. This presentation examines the many points of connection between the two men and explores the typographical interplay achieved by their collaboration." She was the first mentor of John Downer, and John's obituary mentions this: Our times in Iowa City were fabulous, as well. We enjoyed visits paid by our mutual friends John Dreyfus, Sebastian Carter, Robert Bringhurst, and other notable writers and typographers whom Kay was able to invite on behalf of the UI. Last year, Kay accepted Professor Emeritus distinction. As a scholar of type and printing, Kay spent summers in research libraries and rare book collections. Her primary interest was The Golden Age of French Printing, and Paris was like a second home to Kay. Her particular focus within that one aspect of 16th-century French typography was on the work of Simon de Colines. She was widely regarded as the world's foremost authority on Colines. Her contributions to our collective knowledge of his work are substantial. The articles she wrote and the papers she presented were but a small taste of what she had in store. Her book on Colines was in progress when she died. [Google] [More] ⦿
Opened in 1953, this museum in Offenbach has wonderful collections, and specializes in German typography between 1880 and 1950. The site has biographies on over 100 famous typographers. [Google] [More] ⦿
German printer (b. Mainz, d. 1477, Rome), who left Mainz with Arnold Pannartz to establish Italy's first printing press, in the monastery of St. Scholastica at Subiaco. There, they published three books, Cicero's De Oratore, the Opera of Lactantius, and St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei. In 1467, they set up a press in the De Massimi palace in Rome, from where they published 50 more books. Sweynheym is also spelled Sweynheim in some publications. Revivals of their faces, blends between humanist and blackletter, include the Subiaco font done by Ashendene Press in 1902. More recently, an almost exact copy of their types was digitized by Shane Brandes as SweynheymPannartz (2010). Nicholas Fabian on Sweynheym. An Italian Antiqua from 1465. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Artistic movement that took place in France during the 1950s and early 1960s. It supported the human calligraphic gesture and the elegance of the mediterranean typographic style. It was started by Spanish graphic and type designer Enric Crous-Vidal (1908-1987). Other participants and followers include typographer Maximilien Vox and type designer José Mendoza y Almeida. It was opposed to the neutral and structured style developed in Switzerland and Germany.
Typefaces that characterize this movement include those by Enric Crous-Vidal (Flash (1953), Paris (1953), and Île de France (1960)), and some by Mendoza (such as ITC Mendoza). A recent typographic homage to the movement was paid by Argentinian type designer Charlie Zinno in his typeface Latinité (2010). [Google] [More] ⦿
Successor of the foundry of J.-F. Rosart in Bruxelles after his death in 1777. In December 1779, we find an "Epreuve de la Fonderie de la Veuve Decellier, successeur de Jacques-François Rosart. Troisième édition augmentée. A Bruxelles, rue ditte Vinckt, près du Marché aux Grains.", which reproduces all typefaces and fleurons of J.-F. Rosart. [Google] [More] ⦿
In 1675, Colbert invites the Acadé'mie des Sciences to make a grand study of all machines used in the arts. In 1696, l'abbé Jaugeon obliges with a study entitled "Etude des Arts de construire les caractères, de graver les poinçons de lettres, d'imprimer les lettres". From 1692 on, Jaugeon created a mathematical/geometric theory of letters, all inscribed in a 48 by 48 grid (for upper case) or a 16 by 48 grid (lower case). This gridding was to lead to the type style associated with Louis XIV, the Grandjean. Fast forward 200 years to Arthur Christian, director of the Imprimerie Nationale from 1895-1906, who wanted to prove that Jaugeon's ideas were also esthetically justified by asking Hénaffe (official punchcutter of the Imprimerie) to reproduce precisely Jaugeon's designs. The resulting face is called Jaugeon or Hénaffe. Noteworthy is that Philippe Grandjean in his Romain du roi was greatly inspired by Jaugeon. Grandjean made 21 faces and 44 initial caps sets, all between 1693 and 1745. [Google] [More] ⦿
Gérard Blanchard (1927-1998), Chancellier des Rencontres Internationales de Lure, Doctor Honoris Causa ès Art of Laval University, Canada, writes about Jean-François Porchez's beautiful Anisette family, and gives it a place in history. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Dutch have claimed for hundreds of years that Laurens Janszoon Coster [or: Koster] (b. ca 1370, d. ca 1440) printed the first book in Haarlem (The Netherlands), ca. 1440, well before Johann Gutenberg in Mainz in 1452. There is no hard evidence to support or refute this claim, but Jan Middendorp in his "Dutch Type" (2004) categorically calls it a myth. From the link, I cite: "Warren Chappell's oft-referenced A Short History of the Printed Word, published in 1970, states that the "quality of the early Dutch type-making and printing still extant is so markedly inferior to Gutenberg's that the possibility of a few years' priority is less important than Gutenberg's results." [Google] [More] ⦿
The roman used by Leonard Holle in 1482 in Ptolemy was the basis of the font Ptolemy Roman (Ashendene Press, 1927). The type only exists in metal, and is in the possession of Cambridge University Press. [Google] [More] ⦿
Liam's Pictures from Old Books
Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino cittadino romano
This jewel of a book was published in 1550 by Antonio Blado asolano in Rome. It is now available on the web and contains of complete alphabets, from chancery scripts, to blackletter and roman. There are also Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Syrian, Arabic and other alphabets. Selected pics to make you drool. [Google] [More] ⦿
Large type German foundry Linotype controlling over 4000 fonts. The company was located in Bad Homburg since 1998. It was acquired by Monotype Imaging in 2006, after more than a decade under the helm of Bruno Steinert. Linotype wrote about itself in 2008: Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a wholly owned subsidiary of Monotype Imaging Inc., looks back onto a history of more than 120 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 9,000 original typefaces, covering the whole typographic spectrum from antique to modern, from east to west, and from classical to experimental. All typefaces (in PostScript(tm) and TrueType(tm) format as well as more than 7,000 fonts in OpenType(tm)) are now also available for instant download at www.linotype.com. In addition to supplying digital fonts, Linotype also offers comprehensive and individual consultation and support services for font applications in worldwide (corporate) communication. It publishes frivolous/experimental font collections under the name Taketype (1 through 4 now), and regularly publishes reworked classic and original text type families such as Compatil, Vialog, Satero, Linotype Sabon, Linotype Frutiger, Linotype Optima, and Linotype Univers. Its designers. A time line:
Catalog of the typefaces in Linotype's library [large web page].
Pages by Giorgio Coraglia on Ottmar Mergenthaler and Linotype. As he himself puts it: "It is a site open to the testimonies of all those whom have dedicated a life of labor to a mythical profession: to the Linotype operator&typographers&= journalists throughout the world. To remember&to remind." [Google] [More] ⦿
French punchcutter (1795-1865) who lived in Lyon. He designed Lyons Titling (1846, a roman titling font published by Chiswick Press) and Augustaux, about which René Ponot published a book, Louis Perrin: L'Enigme des Augustaux (Editions des Cendres, Paris, 1998). The book contains a history of Perrin as a printer and typographer, with special attention to Perrin's Augustaux type. It contains two fold-out Augustaux type specimens and several examples of Perrin's printing in black-and-white. The preface is by Fernand Baudin, and it is printed in Perrin type redesigned by L'Atelier National de Création Typographique in 1986. See also Etude sur Louis Perrin, Imprimeur Lyonnais (Editions des Cendres, Paris, 1994) by Jean-Baptiste Monfalcon.
The Elzevir style of typeface originated with Louis Perrin.
Hrant Papazian writes: While I was looking for something else I ran into the single most important publication about Perrin that I know of: Audin's book on the 1923 Perrin exhibition in Lyon. It's quite rare - it seems only 61 copies were printed. There's a very extensive text (120 pages), a complete catalog of works, and some great facsimiles (as well as actual prints -like pressmarks- from Perrin's own engravings). The paper is very yellowed though. There are two things in there that will probably interesting you most: (1) A facsimile of Perrin's famous specimen sheet, showing two sizes that are basically Marquet's designs: the 11 and the second 14. Some scans shown below were published by Hrant Papazian.
Digital typefaces directly linked to Louis Perrin include the all caps typeface Grand Central by Tobias Frere-Jones (1998, Font Bureau), and the great contemporay revival of Augustaux by Mathieu Cortat simply called Louize (2013, +Display).
An assignment given by Hersh Jacob at Loyalist College in Belleville Ontario led to a number of pages on the main type designers such as Bodoni, Garamond, Goudy, Baskerville, and Dwiggins. [Google] [More] ⦿
Influential Italian printer, writing master and calligrapher, b. ca. 1475-1480, d. 1527, aka Ludovico Vicentino (degli Arrighi), or Ludovico il Vicentino. Around 1510 he was a bookseller in Rome. He was employed as a scribe at the Apostolic Chancery in 1515. Author in 1522 of the writing manual La Operina, da imparare di scrivere littera cancellarescha, which was the first one for popular use. La Operina contains the first printed example of Chancery Cursive. In 1523, he wrote a sequel, Il modo de temperare le penne, a beautiful and influential typographic manual.
Roderick Cave writes in his The Private Press: The first part of this was printed entirely from wood blocks, but the second part, Il Modo di Temperare le Penne, contains several pages printed in a very fine italic typeface modeled on the cancellaresca formata hand. The type was fairly obviously derived from the hand used by Arrighi himself; it seems likely that the punches were cut by his partner, who can with reasonable certainty be identified as Lautizio de Bartolomeo dei Rotelli, of whose skill as an engraver of seals Benvenuto Cellini speaks with respect in his Autobiography. He started printing in 1524 and designed his own italic typefaces for his work, which were widely emulated.
His letterforms were revived in the 20th century by designers such as Plumet (1925), Stanley Morison (Monotype Blado (1923, Stanley Morrison) is based on Arrighi's lettering---it was unfortunately named after the printer Antonio Blado who used the type in the 1530s; the name Monotype Arrighi would have been more appropriate), Frederic Warde (in his Arrighi Italic, 1925), Robert Slimbach (one could say that his memory lives on through fonts like Adobe Jenson Multiple Master), Ladislav Mandel (Cancellaresca), Willibald Kraml (Vicentino, 1992), Paulo W (as Volitiva), Gunnlaugur S.E. Briem (Briem Operina), James Grieshaber (P22 Operina), Michelle Dixon (Arrighi Copybook), Gilles Le Corre (1522 Vicentino, 2011) and Jonathan Hoefler (Requiem Text).
Arrighi's last printing was dated shortly before the sack of Rome (1527), during which he was probably killed.
Luthersche Fraktur was designed by Erasmus Luther in 1708. Among Fraktur fonts, it is legible and fresh. The Luther Fraktur forms a link between the earlier Gebetbuch Fraktur and the later Breitkopf Fraktur types. Versions:
He wrote Technological Shifts in Type Design and Production (2006).
His typefaces: Respublika (2013, a humanist sans done with Gregori Vincens, Fontyou), Camille (2010-2011, for Camille Muller), ECAM (2009-2010, for the ECAM theater), Dijon (2011, for the identity of Dijon's Opera house), Arbre (2010, for the identity of the coffee brand L'Arbre de Cafe), Ficus (2005-2006), Syneas (2009, for Syneas), Digitaline (2007, a Futura-like family done for Agence Digitaline), Vingt-huit (2007), Sabasi (2008), Gem (2007, art nouveau), Oops (2006).
Marion Andrews, Malou Verlomme and Laurence Bedoin collaborated on the school fonts Écriture A and Écriture B which are presented in Modèles d'écriture scolaire (2013), a document issued by the French Ministry of Education. These fonts are available from Eduscol.
Mannerism is a period of European art that evolved from the Italian high renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when the baroque style began to replace it. Northern mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe. Mannerism is characterized by elongated proportions, very stylized poses, and a lack of clear perspective. In typography, this is the era of early penmanship in the style of Palatino, and of styles like Civilté. [Google] [More] ⦿
Portuguese penman of the 17th century, 1670-1722. Some say 1670--1735. Andrade de Figueiredo was born in Espirito Santo, where his father was Governor of the Capitania. His work follows the style of the great Italian masters in its use of clubbed ascenders and descenders, and of Diaz Morante, the famous Spanish writing master, in its very elaborate show of command of hand. He was known as the Morante portugues.
Author of Nova Escola para aprender a ler, escrever, e contar. Offerecida a Augusta Magestade do Senhor Dom Joao V. Rey de Portugal (Lisboa Occidental: na Officina de Bernardo da Costa de Carvalho, Impressor do Serenissimo Senhor Infante, 1722).
His work inspired Ventura da Silva, a Portuguese typographer who published Regras Methodicas in 1803, who redesigned some of Figueiredo's type specimens.
Digital descendants include Dino dos Santos's Pluma (2005), Andrade Pro (2006, a modern) and Andrade Pro Script (2006) typefaces. Intellecta Design's Invitation Script (2013) is based on Andrade's 1722 book. [Google] [More] ⦿
Marc H. Smith
Marc H. Smith
Paris-based creator of the hybrid Gaelic typeface Legrand (ca. 1836). Typefounder in Paris. His work can be found in this specimen book (Paris, 1850, 97 pages). At the Imprimerie Nationale, he was asked in 1846 to cut an arabe maghrébin (the preferred Arabic writing style in Morocco and adjacent regions). He cut anotther weight in 1850. In 2009, Franck Jalleau made a digital version of this, called Le Maghrébin. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type historian from Lyon, 1872-1951. He had a major influence on the French typographical world before World War II. His son Maurice founded the Musée de l'imprimerie et de la banque in Lyon in 1964, starting from the family's archives. Author (1872-1951) of many books on typography and printing, including
Graduate of the Type and Media program at KABK, 2009. There, she designed the serif family Alice, specifically for magazines. She is working on Bolano in 2010 about which she writes: It is based on my brush calligraphy, tamed down to a book typeface. She is back in Milan now where she works at LS Design. She wrote A Hundred Years of Type 1813-1908 Typefounders and Printers in Italy from Bodoni's death to the foundation of Augusta company in Turin (Master degree dissertation developed with Emanuela Conidi. Supervisor: Prof. James Clough at Politecnico di Milano, July 2006; in Italian: Cento Anni di Caratteri 1813-1908). Scans of Alice: i, ii, iii, iv, v. Scans of Bolano: i, ii, iii.
Matthias, or Matthieu, Rosart is the son of J.F. Rosart, who carried on with his father's foundry in Brussels after his death in 1777. Before that, he had a rough relationship with his father, lived for a while in Amsterdam, and even worked for a competing typefounder in Brussels, J.L. de Boubers starting in 1772. In 1789, Matthias Rosart published his specimen book, Epreuve des caractères. There he announces that he can supply all the fonts and fleurons to be found in the catalogue of his father. This seems to indicate [according to Baudin and Hoeflake] that the foundries of de Boubers and J.F. Rosart in Brussels joined. Indeed, in December 1779, we also find an Epreuve de la Fonderie de la Veuve Decellier, successeur de Jacques-François Rosart. Troisième édition augmentée. A Bruxelles, rue ditte Vinckt, près du Marché aux Grains, which reproduces all typefaces and fleurons of J.-F. Rosart. On page 12 of "Blackletter" (Peter Bain and Paul Shaw, 1998), Matthias Rosart is credited with Gros Romain Civilité (1777, Brussels), one of the most readable Fraktur fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
French type designer and journalist, b. Condé-sur-Noirau, 1894- d. Lurs-en-Provence, 1974. Founder of the famous Rencontres de Lure in 1952. Designer of Banjo (Fonderie Deberny&Peignot, 1930), Éclair (Fonderie Deberny&Peignot, 1935), and Pharaon Blanc (Fonderie Deberny&Peignot, 1930) and Voxtype. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
French medieval and paleotypographic jump page, mostly edited by Marc Smith, École nationale des chartes, Sorbonne, Paris. Marc Smith wrote Du manuscrit à la typographie numérique (Gazette du livre médiéval, no. 52-53, 2008, pp. 51-78), in which he describes the history of digital type and makes interesting comments on their roots and classification. The site is quite extensive---medievalists can spend weeks visiting links and sub-pages. PDF file.
Marc Smith also designed some typefaces, notably Piacevole (2008, a 16th century cursive map script face after J. de Beauchesne), and the "ronde" La Petite Ronde (2008, after L. Barbedor). [Google] [More] ⦿
Medieval typefaces: Marc Smith's list
This list of digital types with roots in the middle age was compiled in 2008 by Marc H. Smith [Ménestrel, and École nationale des chartes, Sorbonne, Paris] in 2008. He introduces a classification of these typefaces. PDF file. [Google] [More] ⦿
Monotype Series 24a (ca. 1906), a reincarnation of Later Figgins, was recast in 1913 by Michael O'Rahilly, and digitized in 1993 as Duibhlinn. He designed O'Rahilly Display (ca. 1915), which led to Monotype Series 117 (which, according to Everson, was never cut). [Google] [More] ⦿
Mid-Century Modern Typefaces
Miklós Tótfalusi Kis (Nicholas Kis) was born in Misztótfalu, Hungary, in 1650. He left for Amsterdam in 1680, where he worked on la Biblia Hungara (1685), Book of Hymns of San David (1686), and the New Testament (1687). He also published many books for children. Taught there by Dirk Voskens, he made what is now known as Janson Text around 1690. Around 1690, he made an elegant face, Nikis. He died in 1702. The story of Kis's types, now also known as Dutch types, is eloquently told by Daidala based on research by Bringhurst, Lawson, Morrison and Carter. Types influenced by him include Stempel Janson (1937, based on his original matrices), Mergenthaler Linotype Janson (1954, by Hermann Zapf; digitized in 1985), Monotype Erhardt (1938, named after the Erhardt foundry in Leipzig, where in the early 1700s his types were found), Nikis (finished by Hell Design Studio (now Linotype); see Nikis EF) and Adobe Janson (based on the original matrices as well). The name Janson comes from Anton Janson, a typographer who worked in Leipzig. Janson was incorrectly credited with the designs of Kis's typefaces. Note: since 1919, Kis's original matrices are in the hands of Stempel. John Tranter recalls the Kis/Janson affair: "In his book On Type Faces, published in 1923, the great typographic historian Stanley Morison describes a roman and italic typeface that he said was cut by Anton Janson, a seventeenth-century Dutch type foundry owner. By the 1920s the face had fallen into disuse, and when it was revived for the modern age on both Linotype and Monotype machines in 1937, it was named 'Janson' after its presumed designer. Even the German Stempel foundry, who owned the original 'Janson' punches and matrices from the 1600s, called it by that name. The typeface became more and more widely used. Robert Bringhurst (a poet as well as a typographer) refers to it as a wonderfully toothy and compact Baroque type. In the United States it is now the third most popular face for book composition, according to its frequency of appearance in the 'Fifty Books of the Year' annual exhibition organised by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In 1939 Stanley Morison uncovered the embarrassing fact that the face had not been cut by Janson, but even he was unable to put his finger on the designer. It was not until the 1950s that Harry Carter and George Buday discovered that the man who had designed the type was a Transylvanian Hungarian named Nicholas (or Miklós) Kis, born in 1650. Kis took religious orders and became a teacher, and eventually decided to visit Holland and study typography, as those skills were needed in Hungary. He turned out to be very gifted at punchcutting, the shaping of metal type, and became so famous in his own time that Cosimo de Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, offered him a position at his court. Kis declined the offer, and returned to Hungary in 1690, determined to spend the rest of his life designing and printing bibles. It was a time of religious and political upheaval in Hungary. The social turmoil, together with personal enmities, shortened his life, and Kis died in 1702, an embittered man. His reputation had to wait 250 years for proper recognition; and such is the conservative nature of the world of type that the typeface he created is still called 'Janson'." Adobe writes that the model for Janson Text was mistakenly attributed to the Dutch printer Anton Janson. Bitstream explains: His types, the original matrices for which were obtained by Stempel in 1919, were revived for hot metal as Janson by C.H. Griffith for Mergenthaler Linotype (1937), and as Janson and Ehrhardt (1937) from Monotype.
Good digitizations exist of Monotype Ehrhardt. Frutiger supervised Linotype's digitization as Janson Text (1985). Bitstream's digitization is Kis. David Berlow at Font Bureau did a revival in 2007 called Kis FB. Berthold Kis BQ and Kis Classico (Franko Luin) round out the set of interpretations and revivals. Bio by Nicholas Fabian. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Slovenian designer who lives in Postojna. His typefaces:
Monotype's hot metal Bell series from 1931 is based on original types made by the punchcutter Richard Austin for the foundry of John Bell in the 1780s. The different sizes of Monotype's series were not all based on the same model. Type historian James Mosley writes on Typophile in 2009 about this transitional typeface family:
For the metal type they called Bell, Monotype were working from types that had been newly cast by Stephenson Blake from original matrices that were made from punches cut by Richard Austin for the foundry of John Bell in the 1780s. They were used by the University Press at Cambridge in 1930 to print Stanley Morison's monograph on John Bell. Their text size seems to be based on the original English (about 14 point) type, which they scaled down to make the smaller sizes. For the 8 point the descenders were greatly reduced, but the design does not seem to have been radically redrawn. For 18 point and above (the metal type was cut in sizes up to 36 point) Monotype's model was a larger type, the Great Primer cut by Austin. This has greater contrast in the capitals and a flat footed letter a.
There is also a digital version by URW. Mosley comments: [...] URW's model seems to have been Monotype's smaller sizes, whereas for their own digital Bell Monotype appears to have used a single model, their 18-point cut for metal. The metal type of 1931 had been excellently made, since by then Monotype were past masters in adapting historical models to the demands of machine setting. Their Caslon of 1915 was a good example of this, in which every single size was as near as possible a facsimile of the metal types (in which all the sizes were different) cast by the Caslon foundry. Their Series 146 of 1921, called Old Roman and later known by the US name Scotch Roman, was a similar near-facsimile, size by size, of the revived early-19th-century type (possibly also the work of Richard Austin) of the Edinburgh foundry Miller & Richard. These types have to be called near-facsimiles since some characters needed to be slightly redrawn to fit the 18-unit system on which the Monotype line justification system depended, which sometimes meant stretching or compressing them slightly---a compromise that was rarely mentioned at the time. [Google] [More] ⦿
Historical discussion by the typophiles. Caleffi writes: There's an interesting essay on Monotype Ehrhardt by Harry Carter in a reprint of Stanley Morison's "A Tally of Types"; there, Carter tells the story of that typeface revival, stating, among other things, that the "Nonesuch Press had a case or two of the 14-point (Didot) [Ehrhardt] in its cellar and set a few small books in it from 1927 onwards. Some of the Nonesuch fount eventually found its way to Cambridge [to Monotype] ... The type was favoured enough to make the American Linotype and Monotype companies cut it for their machines ... Both completed their series in 1937". Carter doesn't quote any specific designer or punch-cutters, but adds that in 1937 Morison started working on a "different treatment" of the type, named "Series 453", which in the end, in Carter's words, resulted in "an exercise in making a Fleischman out of a Kis". Again, there's no mention of any cutter. So it seems that the first Monotype version was faithfully based on the Nonesuch Press cut, while the second one was more an interpretation given by Morison? Anyway, I suggest to everyone to get copy of "A Tally of Types", it is a wonderfully written and beautifully typeset book, even if one doesn't agree with Morison's vision or statements.
It seems Chauncey Griffith was involved in the Mergenthaler Linotype version in 1936-1937. And Morison seems to be the main guy for Monotype in 1937. Robin Nicolas, who has a long Monotype experience, writes: I am pretty sure that no other designer (outside of Monotype) was involved in the development of Ehrhardt. The account by Harry Carter in the 1973 'Tally of Types' seems pretty accurate to me. I think it was Morison's take on Janson---made a little heavier and narrower to give improved legibility and economy. The project started in 1936 and was originally called 'Old Hollandische' but Morison scrapped the first trial, which had been based on 'Janson Antiqua 12pt', and re-started the work in 1937, based on a different model. [Google] [More] ⦿
The timeline and history of Monotype has four components: Agfa / Compugraphic (1960-1995), Monotype Typography (1844-1997), Agfa Monotype (1998-2003), Monotype Imaging (2004-present). [Google] [More] ⦿
A type-historical article by Charles Creesy, Director of Publishing Technologies, Princeton University Press, about the Monticello typeface. Summarizing the lifeline of this typeface from Creesy's analysis:
Also called the Gutenberg of Japan, Motoki Shozo (1824-1875) was a Dutch interpreter at the Nagasaki magistrate's office. He ordered a Stanhope hand press from Holland, which would be the first movable type press in Japan. He had to learn to make Japanese type, and finally set up the Kiyo Shinjuku Type Foundry. Near the end of his life, Shozo stepped down, leaving the business in the hands of a trusted pupil, Hirano Tomiji (1846-92). In 1872, Tomiji attempted to revive the company by moving it to Tokyo -- Japan's new capital and the most modern city in the country. Tomiji first set up shop in the Kanda district, then moved the factory to Tsukiji, eventually renaming his company the Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry. [Google] [More] ⦿
President of Monotype in the 1920s who told Goudy that"he felt that all foundries' types were largely obtained by copying or adapting the types of other concerns here, or from foreign sources" (quote from F.W. Goudy in "Goudy's Type Designs"). In fact, Goudy said that Dove plainly wanted the matrices ofATF's Cloister Old style, and Goudy had a hard time convincing him that he did not think that this was right. [Google] [More] ⦿
Great web notes edited by Rudolf Rasch with contributions by Bianca Maria Antolini, Axel Beer, Anik Devriès, Laurent Guillo, Rudolf Rasch, Rupert Ridgewell and David Wyn Jones. Lots of information on musical type through the ages. [Google] [More] ⦿
Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics, in Silverton, CO, sells new foundry type cast from original ATF matrices and cast on the original equipment. It is working on the 10 through 16 point versions of ATF Garamond 459, and the companion italic, Garamond 460, and intends to recast Bullfinch. Other faces of theirs include Bulmer, Goudy Oldstyle, Munder Venezian, Murray Hill Bold. Klinke owns the entire ATF Bulmer collection, as well as Engravers Roman, which originated with Barnhart Brothers&Spindler. [Google] [More] ⦿
National Old Style and Nabisco
Two Goudy fonts, from 1916 and 1921, respectively. Goudy wrote about them, as reported in A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography: 1895-1945, Typophiles Chap Books XIV, 1946 at pages 99 and 110:
Mac McGrew: National Oldstyle was designed by Frederic W. Goudy for ATF in 1916. It is based on lettering he had done about fifteen years earlier for National Biscuit Company, hence the name. It was moderately popular for a while for publication and advertising display work, and for titles for silent motion pictures. Compare Nabisco.
Mac McGrew on Nabisco: Nabisco was designed by Frederic W. Goudy in 1921 as a private type for National Biscuit Company, based on hand-lettering of the company name he had done about twenty years earlier. As he had in the meantime drawn National Oldstyle (q.v.) for ATF, based on the same lettering, this face is consciously different although retaining the same general characteristics. Several sizes were cut by Robert Wiebking. The baking company was pleased. and used it frequently for several years. [Google] [More] ⦿
New Fontografia (was: David's Fontografia 2006)
David Kettlewell (b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1946), who has been professor at Tartu university in Estonia, and now works from his forest farmhouse in Bollstabruk, Northern Sweden, explains how fonts work and how to work with Fontographer and other programs. Kettlewell also runs Fontografia, a medieval and calligraphic type site featuring subpages on Ludovico Vicentino [degli Arrighi], Giovambattista Palatino, and Giovanniantonio Tagliente. He also tells us why Fontlab is so much better than Fontographer when developing fonts from scans.
David Kettlewell is a harper, renaissance musicologist and conductor who illuminate his work with text and type. His own work through New Renaissance Fonts is mostly with medieval and renaissance scripts, calligraphic alphabets and ornamental capitals. Direct acess. MyFonts link for New Renaissance. Klingspor link.
Free fonts: AliceScrolltipRoman, AndersFancyCapitals, AndersPlainCapitals, BickhamSwashCaps, Cartouches, CelticNoadProtoype, Chiswickblack, DagmarIlluCaps, Davies-RomantiqueCaps, DaviesIlluminatedcapitals, DaviesRoundhand, DaviesSapphire, DeBeauChesneRoman, FantasiaCaps, GothicCaps, KarinsFreeLombardyCaps (2006, with Karin Skoglund), KingRichard2Caps, Kurbits3, Lettreornee, LubnaCaps, NesbittDecoratedCaps-Medium, RicksClassicItalic, RicksDecoratedUncial-Medium, RicksFolkloreRoman, RicksRelaxedHand-Italic, Samuel, SevilliaDancingText, Sevilliastandingtext, Sevilliatiles, ShawDecoratedInitials1, ShawDecoratedInitials4-Medium, Taliente-IlluCaps, WestminsterMemorialBrasses-Medium.
Other fonts (some no longer available or shown): Soest St. Mary (2006, decorative capitals from embroidery work in a German church), Kurbits, Samuel, Celtic Noad, Dagmar IlluCaps, Lettre ornée, Phalesiodecor (medieval caps, 1998), American Uncial (adaptation of a URW font), FinalRomanfat or FatRoman50 (adaptation of an RWE font), Marshall (made from an 1822 parchment).
Some fonts are developed in conjunction with Richard Bradley. Others involved more loosely include Adam Twardoch, Karin Skoglund, Dagmar Varaksits and Anders Rosen.
MyFonts offers fonts like Chiswick Illuminated Caps (2009, Lombardic), Alice Scrolltip, Albrecht Fraktur (2011), Edward's Uncial 1904 (2011, after an alphabet drawn by Edward Johnston), Davids Roundhand, Karins Lombardy Caps, Sevillia (2006, with Richard Bradley), and Soest St Mary. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
French printer and artist born in Sommevoire, France in 1420. He worked mostly in Venice as a printer, type designer, punch cutter, and engraver from 1468 until his death in Venice in 1480. In 1475 he was made a papal count by Pope Sixtus IV. He produces his first roman type in Cicero, Epistolae ad Brutum (1468), which is described as perfect and unequaled. A Greek typeface which is used for quotations was made in 1471. In 1473, he creates a blackletter typeface which he uses in books on medicine and history. In 1475, he founds his first book trading company, Nicolaus Jenson sociique, whose partners include the Frankfurt businessmen Peter Ugelheimer and Johann Rauchfass. In 1480, his second book trading company is launched under the name Johannes de Colonia, Nicolaus Jenson et socii.
Jenson's typefaces influenced many new alphabets:
Collection of antique printed materials including Giambattista Bodoni's Manuale Tipografico (Parma, 1818), Albrecht Dürer's De Symmetria Partium in Rectis Formis Humanorum Corporum, Libri in Latinum Conversi (proportions of the human form, Nüremberg, 1538), Aldus Manutius's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Geoffroy Tory's Champ Fleury (1529). Check out the Alfabeto Figurato (alphabet etching) by Florentine artist Giovanni Battista Braccelli (Naples, 1632), and his wonderfully surprising book Bizzarie di Varie Figure (Livorno, 1624). [Google] [More] ⦿
Open Educational Resources for Typography (OERT) is an open educational project available to everyone who wishes to broaden their knowledge of typography, including students, teachers, and individuals interested in the subject. The project is built upon the course material prepared by Pablo Cosgaya (FADU / UBA, Buenos Aires), a set of booklets that was initiated in 1994 and which is currently organized into three sections: theoretical, historical, and practical. The project aims at expanding, updating, and editing the current material in Spanish, to translate it into English, and to publish it online under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.
The editorial team consists of Pablo Cosgaya, David Crossland, Natalia Pano and Marcela Romero.
The OERT Team consists of FADU / UBA professors Pablo Cosgaya, Magdalena Fumagalli, Verónica García, Alvaro Ghisolfo, Malena Menéndez, Natalia Pano, Inés Pupareli, Marcela Romero and Julián Villagra. [Google] [More] ⦿
Old Style typefaces
A useful introduction to old style (or garalde) types by John D. Boardley. The types can be recognized by the horizontal crossbar on the "e", and more contrast between thick and thin (compared to humanist typefaces). The serifs have wedges, and the letterforms are smooth and refined. They were in vogue for almost 200 years, starting with Bembo in 1495 (Aldus Manutius and Francesco Griffo) and Francesco Griffo's first italic type in 1501. The French caught on 40 years later, and the Garamond-style typefaces saw the light ca. 1540, thanks to Claude Garamond and Robert Granjon. Christoffel van Dijck and Mikós Kis were doing garaldes in the Dutch region ca. 1600 (see styles like Ehrhardt). Finally, Caslon (William Caslon, ca. 1725) is also classified as a garalde. Old style digital faces include Berling, Calisto, Goudy Old Style, Granjon, Janson, Palatino, Perpetua, Plantin, Sabon and Weiss. [Google] [More] ⦿
Ole T. Ystenes
Linotype pages on the history of sans serif ("Grotesk" in German), from its inception in 1816 in England and the early versions of William Caslon and Vincent Figgins (1832), through the Akzidenz Grotesk (1900), Reform-Grotesk (1904) and Venus (1907). Contains a list of sans serif faces at Linotype. [Google] [More] ⦿
Ottaviano Scoto of Monza (or Ottaviano Scotus) headed a distinguished family of Venetian printers. Born of a noble family of Monza, he went to Venice at the age of 35 and operated a press there between 1479 and 1484. He continued as an editor until 1499 whereupon his heirs, including his brothers and nephews, undertook their own activity (1499-1532). His blackletter types were in the style of Anton Koberger's. Based on his etters, Paulo W made the typefaces ScotoKobergerFrakturN11 (2007) and ScotoKobergerFrakturN9 (2007). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Paul Dijstelberge (b. 1956, The Netherlands) is a book historian and associate professor for the history of the book at Amsterdam University. He also is curator at the Amsterdam Special Collections. Paul lives in Leiden.
Author (1903-1948) of Roman Numerals Typographic Leaves and Pointing Hands (1942, The Typophiles, New York), in which he traces the history of the roman numeral, the ornamental leaf and the pointing hand. He says that his main sources for the former were "History of mathematics" (D.E. Smith, 1925) and "Introduction to the study of Latin inscriptions" (James C. Egbert, New York, 1896). [Google] [More] ⦿
Portuguese author of Tipografia: origens, formas e uso das letras (2006, Paulo Heitlinger, Lisbon) and Alfabetos, Caligrafia e Tipografia (2010, Lisbon). Born in Lisbon, he studied nuclear physics in Germany. He lectured on communication design at the Universidade do Algarve. His pages (in Portuguese) are quite complete, with a great glossary, a beautiful section on the history of type, a mag called Cadernos de Tipografia, links to type design in the world in general, and in Brazil, Spain and Portugal in particular, and more general information on type. Font-making how to. Useful timeline of 16th century writing manuals. An absolute must. He has also created or revived a number of typefaces, which can be bought on-line.
An incomplete list of his typefaces:
French type designer, 1657-1729. Famous for his Truchet tiling system.
A family of typefounders, starting with Edward Pelouze in Boston in 1818 until the last of the third generation of Pelouzes sold out in September 1901 to ATF to become branch 5 of American Type Founders. The link has a reproduction of The Pelouze Family of Typefounders, an article by Steve L. Watts in PAGA, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 29-35, 1956 and a Pelouze family tree courtesy of yours truly. [Google] [More] ⦿
Peter Bain surveys the era of photo-typography. His introduction: In the 20th century photo-typography fully displaced a 500-year-old tradition of metal type, only to be superseded itself shortly thereafter. Yet most appraisals of type technology and histories of proprietary typefounding still favor type for text instead of eye-catching display. One characteristic feature of 20th century typography was the great effort devoted to ephemera and advertising. This survey is a local view of a half-century, concentrating on display type in New York City. Since New Yorkers have been said to believe they are at the center of the planet, it is fascinating to find a time when it could appear nearly so, typographically. He goes on to explain why and how New york became the typographic center of the globe: The city in the first half of the 20th century was an established communications center for a burgeoning national market. There is ample evidence of local interest in unique letterforms. Sometime Queens-borough resident and typeface designer Frederic Goudy received a commission from retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. The successful New York illustrator and letterer Fred G. Cooper had his distinctive forms included in the same publications that featured an unrelated Windy City designer, Oswald Cooper. Architect H. Van Buren Magonigle and industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague had both skillfully rendered capitals for print, while their Manhattan offices pursued projects in three dimensions. One of the more curious examples of this fluency in letterforms was a 1943 booklet issued by the Brooklyn-based Higgins Ink Co. The largest portion was a portfolio of thirty-two script alphabets and fictitious signatures by Charles Bluemlein, each accompanied by a handwriting experts interpretation of the admittedly invented specimens. The requirements of publicity and publishing helped drive the demand for handlettering. By 1955, one knowledgeable estimate placed over 300 professional lettering artists working in New York at both comprehensive (layout) and finished levels. It was in a landscape of album covers and bookjackets, magazine and newspaper advertising, trademarks and slogans, store signatures and letterheads, billboards and signs (created by sign artists, not usually graphic designers) that display phototype was emerging in sharp focus. This may have been the peak of market demand for lettering. [Google] [More] ⦿
German type designer (1646-1703) who practised in Oxford.
He designed Roman and Italic cuts for Fell (the "Fell" types) in 1693. Jonathan Hoefler made a Fell type family based on this at the Hoefler Type Foundry. A fresh 5-weight Fell type family called Prudential was made in 2002 by Apostrophe for Prudential Insurance. In 2004, Igino Marini made a large number of revivals of the Fell types.
The Gaelic typeface Saxon (ca. 1667) is tentatively credited by Michael Everson to him. The latter face was digitized as Junius (1996), named after Franciscus Junius (1589-1677), a pioneer in the study of Gothic and Anglo-Saxon who is famous for The Junius Manuscript, a compilation of Anglo-Saxon poems.
Artist who probably comes from Thurgau, and who lived roughly from 1485-1546. From 1512-1528, he worked in Adold Dauer's shop in Augsburg. He settled later in Nürnberg. Creator of an alphabet (now known as Flötner's Menschenalphabet) in 1534 that shows each letter made up with human figures. Picture. Another picture. Another picture. Another picture. He also made a more sexually explicit anthropomorphic alphabet font [see also here and here].
One of his alphabets was scanned and fonted by "Character" and posted on abf on November 25, 2002: called Flotner, it can be found here. For other free fonts, see Flotner Anthropomorphic (2010, Dick Pape) and Menschenalphabet (1997, Ingo Zimmermann). [Google] [More] ⦿
Peter Schöeffer, a calligrapher, was an assistant to Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, through the years of preparation necessary for the printing of the 42 line Bible, in 1455. Schöeffer designed the font under Gutenberg's supervision, during the preceding years. The font was a very accurate imitation of the best manuscript style of the period, and it contained nearly 300 letters, ligatures, and abbreviations. Later in 1455, Gutenberg lost his business to Johann Füst, but Schöeffer stayed on with the new owner. In 1459, Schöeffer designed the first "transitional" typeface from Gothic to Roman and it was used in the publication of Rationale Divinorum Officiorum by Durandus. Some of the upper-case characters have full roman shapes and several of the lower case characters are noticeably rounded. Example of Schoeffer's early Schwabacher, created in Mainz in 1465. His son, Peter the Younger, moved to Mainz and carried on the trade.
Flemish web log about the history and mechanics of type, run by Belgian graphic designer Peter Van Lancker (b. Ghent). There is a lot of information on the early printing and typefounding by Joos Lambrecht in Gent, ca. 1539.
In 2012, Peter published a free pixel face called Six.
Punchcutter and typefounder who migrated from Breslau 9Germany) to Sweden in 1618, and cut Fraktur, Cyrillic and runic punches in Sweden. He was the only punchcutter in Sweden in that time period. Bengtsson (1956) writes that after his death, all of his matrices and equipment vanished from Sweden and showed up in Holland. [Google] [More] ⦿
Engraver, b. Macon (1666), d. Paris (1714). In 1695, king Louis XIV of France commissioned a typeface, which until today is described as the first digital font, and at least as the first mathematicallly defined type, the Romain du roi (1702), used by Grandjean in "Médailles sur les principaux événements du règne de Louis le Grand" (1702). See here and here for background. A specimen is here. Discussion at typophile.
Romain du roi was digitized by Frank Jalleau under the name Grandjean and in 2008 by Gert Wiescher as Royal Romain (link). Wiescher writes: Royal Romain was commissioned by the most famous king of France, Louis XIV the Sun King. A group of Scientists set off to work on the task of producing the ultimate font for the king of all kings. After years of elaborations Philippe Grandjean then started to cut the final punches for the Imprimerie Royale and finished his part of the work with the fonts first appearance in the magnificent Médailles sur les principaux énvenémens du règne de Louis-le-Grand (1702). The complete set of 21 sizes of roman and italic letters was finished by Grandjean's successor Jean Alexandre and completed by Louis Luce in 1745. The font went by the name of Romain du Roi and was for the exclusive use of the Louis XIV. It was never sold or given to any other king or government. The king of Sweden tried to scrounge a set, but the king refused. This font is the basic design for Fournier and Bodoni.
Another digital versuion exists, Romain BP and Romain BP Headline (2007), by Ian Party of B&P Typefaces. Ian Party writes: Based on the Commission Jeaugeon's models and on Philippe Grandjean's classic character, the Romain BP celebrates the marriage of geometric rationality and elegance, of science and craftsmanship. The Romain BP Text is actually closer to the Commission's model than Grandjean's Romain du Roi. It is more synthetic in its structure, more radical, and thus, more modern. It is a contemporary text typeface based on a structure that was created in 1690, not a revival mimicking Greandjean's shapes.. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
At NC-based Salim George Khalaf's page on ancient Phoenicia, find free truetype fonts (Mac, PC): Nakht Hieroglyphics, Eshmoon (1996; Phoenician runes by Salim himself) and Ugaritic1 (by David Myriad Rosenbaum, El Sobrante, CA). Alternate URL. It has a great tree of language genealogies, placing Phoenician around 1600BC, with as child languages Proto-Arabic (1500BC), Old Hebrew (900BC), Archaic Greek (1000BC), Etruscan/Latin (900BC) and Aramaic (800BC). Alternate URL. [Google] [More] ⦿
French engraver and punchcutter who worked with Paulo Manucius from 1588 on, and who was commissioned to create a typeface for the Vatican. He cooperated with Granjon. Although he cut roman and Greek types, he was mmainly known for vhis music types---forc example, he started using musical notes with parts of lines attached to make a second impression unnecessary.
Mark van Bronkhorst writes about his MVB Verdigris font: MVB Verdigris is a Garalde text face for the digital age. Inspired by the work of 16th-century punchcutters Robert Granjon (roman) and Pierre Haultin (italic), Verdigris celebrates tradition but is not beholden to it. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Parisian librarian who published a type specimen in 1856 made by him and cut by M. Gouet. With a large x-height and triangular serifs, this specimen is reminiscent of the "Dutch" typefaces and of Fournier. The specimen book entitled Specimen des Nouveaux Caracteres Destinees à l'Impression de la Bibliothèque Eléevirienne is published here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Pierre Moreau (ca. 1600-1648) was a notary, calligrapher and "écrivain juré" in Paris in the 17th century. He wrote several books on the art of writing, and designed the six typefaces used to print "Les Saintes Metamorphoses," in a style imitating handwriting. He created a script in 1644 that is discussed here. He endeavoured to cut printing types in the style of handwriting. In 1644, he published these handwriting imitation ideas in "Les Heures de la nouvelle imprimerie inventée par Pierre Moreau, dediées à Madame la Marquise de Senecey, gouvernante du Roy." Fournier, and later Updike and Doyald Young document this attempt. Christian Paput found some of Moreau's alphabets in the Cabinet des Poinçons of the Imprimerie nationale (of France). Isabelle de Conihout wrote a chapter on Moreau in Poésie&calligraphie imprimée à Paris au XVIIème siècle. His script type and ornaments from 1643 can be admired here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Pierre Pané-Farré is a type designer born in Germany. Pierre studied at the Fachhochschule in Wismar and, later, at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, class of 2012. His thesis focused on the development of the book cover in the early 19th century, while his practical work explored and revived the technique of compound-plate printing, using Pierre's own woodcut poster types. Pierre lives and works in Leipzig.
French typefounder (b. Paris, 1712, d. Paris, 1768) also called Fournier le jeune.
Pauline Nuñez graduated in 2007 from Ecole Estienne with a thesis entitled Pierre-Simon Fournier, typographe absolu, typographe accompli?.
Italian classical scholar, who lived from 1470 (b. Venice) until 1547 (d. Rome). He was well-connected and knew the famous Medicis. Above all, he had an affair with Lucrezia Borgia. He influenced the development of the Italian language and established the madrigal as the most important secular musical form of the 16th century. He was made cardinal in 1539. Monotype gave his name to their typeface Bembo of 1929. The design is based on type cut by Francesco Griffo for the Aldine Press of Aldus Manutius, and first used in Bembo's work De Aetna (1495-1496). Allan Haley writes: In February 1496, Aldus [Manutius] published a rather insignificant essay by the Italian scholar Pietro Bembo. The type used for the text became instantly popular. So famous did it become that it influenced typeface design for generations. Posterity has come to regard the Bembo type as Aldus's and Griffo's masterpiece. Pietro Bembo himself had no connection to or influence on the typeface that carried his name. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
The Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, and its interactive CD ROM. James Mosley's description: The house and printing-office of Christophe Plantin (died 1589) and his successors became a museum in 1876. The collection of typefounding materials comprises 4,477 punches, 15,825 justified matrices and 4,681 strikes. Among the punchcutters whose work is represented are Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon, François Guyot, Pierre Haultin, Ameet Tavernier, Guillaume I Le Bé, Hendrik van den Keere and J. M. Schmidt. There are 62 moulds from the original collection; another 200 were added in 1956 from the Van der Borght foundry of Brussels. An English-made pivotal caster was acquired for casting new type. The punches and matrices were sorted and catalogued in 1954 and succeeding years. References:
Substantial German web site about metal type run by Georg Kraus (Ratingen, Rheinland). It has a fantastic collection of JPG samples of old metal specimen, all precisely dated and attributed, an invaluable historic record for those who do not have access to the old specimen books. Unfortunately, Kraus passed away at the young age of 55, as reported by Rainer Zerenko, his Austrian friend: One of our typophiles, Georg Kraus, has passed away on July 22nd 2010. He was a man with character, who didn't refuse to tell his own opinion, especially if it is against the mainstream. He was a keeper of lost typefaces, a provider of vintage typespecimen; a fighter for the black art, for mankind, for his home country. He lost his last fight this July. I will always remember you, Georg. Gott grüß die Kunst. Martin Z. Schröder's obituary of Kraus. Pic. [Google] [More] ⦿
Course by James Mosley at l'Institut de l'Histoire du Livre (IHL) in Lyon, France, from October 14-17, 2002. Limited to twelve persons. 450 Euros. A beautiful course content: Introduction---the writing, of the Roman capital to the tiny Gothic. The discovery of the Roman capital in Italy to the 15 E century. L B Alberti, Felice Feliciano, Luca Pacioli, Geoffrot Tory, Albrecht Dürer. The invention of printing works and Gothic character. The Italian writing: scrittura umanistica and corsiva cancellaresca. Roman characters and italics in Italy and France, 1470-1600. Nicolas Jenson, Francesco Griffo, Claude Garamond, Pierre Haultin, Robert Granjon, Guillaume Bé. Literature of the engraving of the punches and the foundry of the characters: Joseph Moxon (London, 1683), Jacques Jaugeon (Paris, 1704) Pierre-Simon Baker (Paris, 1764). Characters with the "taste hollandois". Hendrik van den Keere, Nicolas Briot, Christoffel van Dijk, Nicolas KIS, Joseph Moxon, William Caslon. Towards a new penmanship 1560-1740 G.F. Cresci, Lucas Materot, Louis Barbedor, Charles Snell, George Bichkam. Of the "Roman of the roi" in Didot. Philippe Grandjean, John Baskerville, Pierre-Simon Baker, François-Ambroise (and others) Didot, Giambattista Bodoni. A new typography: use of the conceited person-face, antique and the Egyptian woman in printed publicity. [Google] [More] ⦿
Mailing list about the world's writing systems: Alphabets, ideographs and hieroglyphs; calligraphy, typography and fonts; i18n, character sets and input methods; Morse, Braille and sign language; literacy, history of writing and invented scripts. These are just a few examples of on-topic subjects. [Google] [More] ⦿
Author (b. 1915) of A Manual of Script Typefaces (New York, Hastings House, 1965: see cover page). For pictures from this book, and a listing of script faces, go here. Text with the full list of script faces mentioned by Hutchings. He also wrote A Manual of Decorated Typefaces (New York, Hastings House, 1965). [Google] [More] ⦿
London-based creator of the Gaelic early transitional angular typeface Watts (ca. 1818). Recent digitizations include Acaill (1997, Michael Everson) and Seanchló (1998). Later similar Gaelic fonts include Irish Echo (ca. 1881, by an unknown) and Ballhorn (ca. 1861, by Friedrich Ballhorn). The Watts type was originally cut for the Hibernian Bible Society, an organ of the The British and Foreign Bible Society, which tried to convert the Irish speaking majority. [Google] [More] ⦿
British typefounder and punchcutter, active from about 1840-1860. He succeeded William Thorowgood at the Fann Street Foundry in 1849. Credited with cutting the first Clarendon (1845), a fat face with thick slabs. This was also the first registered typeface, ever. See also here. Stephenson Blake acquired Clarendon when it bought the Sir Charles Reed typefoundry, and issued the face as Consort. Typophile discussion on Besley's Clarendon from which I quote a few passages.
Book printer, born in Paris in 1503. He died in Geneva in 1559. Of the famous Estienne printer family in Paris and Geneva. He cut an italic alphabet after an Aldine design, and used it in his edition of Cicero's "Opera".
Born in Rome, 1513-1589. He did most of his work in Paris. Granjon's designs live on in the balanced Plantin family, designed by Frank Hinman Pierpont in 1913 at Monotype, and available at Linotype (and elsewhere).
The Gothic italic typeface Civilité (1566) is also due to him, as well as Parangonne Grecque.
W.A. Dwiggins' Eldorado (1953) was based on an early roman lowercase of Granjon. Font Bureau's Eldorado (1993-1994), developed by David Berlow, Jane Patterson, Tobias Frere-Jones and Tom Rickner for Premiere Magazine, was a far-reaching extension of that.
Brigitte Schuster did a revival of Monotype Plantin at KABK in 2010.
The Linotype Granjon face designed by George W. Jones in 1928 is a garamond though---Jones used Granjon's work as a model for his italic---, and the name seems to suggest that Granjon created the model for this garamond, which is not the case. Image of Linotype's Granjon. For related typefaces, see ITC Galliard (1978, Matthew Carter).
Cybapee's new initiative: an informative page on Roman writing, its history, its influence, and the present day fonts that attempt to recreate it. Contributed fonts include Alfabetix (by Apostrophe), Etruscan Script (by Gabor), Roma Cesare, MKapitalis Rustica, MKwadrata, and Odoaker (by Manfred Klein). [Google] [More] ⦿
This machine was developed in New Jersey from 1928-1936 for the banknote industry. It feartured master alphabets on glass plates, effectively stating the photo-lettering era. Peter Bain writes: Only a mere handful of the Rutherford machines had been sold and put into use. The Electrographic Corporation, then owner of one of New York City's leading typographers, decided to launch a start-up proposed and staffed by departing Rutherford employees, notably Edward Rondthaler and Harold Horman. The new midtown firm of Photo-Lettering Inc., starting in 1936, took advantage of the underutilized technology, and claimed an early commercialization of phototype. While not text photocomposition, Photo-Lettering was never handlettering as the name implied. Photography freed the typographic image from the historic constraints of metal, allowing flexibility in scale, dimension, and position, variations which had previously required letter-drawing skills. [Google] [More] ⦿
Salim George Khalaf
Alain Hurtig has absolutely fantastic pages on the work and life of John Baskerville. Baskerville lived most of his life with Sarah Eaves, née Ruston, the wife of Richard Eaves, and married her only after Richard's death. Sarah Baskerville managed Baskerville's printing shop until the liquidation of the studio in 1785, when the matrices were sold to Beaumarchais. The pages compare Baskerville's letters with Mrs. Eaves, Zuzana Licko's version of Baskerville. See also here, on Zuzana Licko's "Baskerville" typeface Mrs Eaves, published with Emigre. [Google] [More] ⦿
Italian Mannerist architect, engraver and painter of the sixteenth century, who designed some of the most refined variants of the classic Roman letters---the prototypical Italian Renaissance roman alphabet, also known as Serlio's alphabet. Born in Bologna in 1475, he died in 1554. He was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau. An excellent model for constructing the Roman capitals in a standard form can be found in the geometric compass-and-ruler adaptation by A. R. Ross from an alphabet of capitals drawn by Sebastiano Serlio, an Italian architect, engraver and painter of the sixteenth century, who devised some of the most refined variants of the classic Roman letter. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Associazione Culturale Calligrafia e Lettering in Torino, Italy, organizes workshops and courses on a variety of topics, some of which are related to calligraphy and the history of type. For example, from 14-15 March 2009, there was a course on Gothic Textura. [Google] [More] ⦿
French Renaissance era printer and typographer, 1480-1547. Colines was associated with the elder Henri Estienne and continued his work after his death in 1520. That work included marrying Estienne's widow and running Estienne's press. Robert Estienne I, the son of Henri, entered the business in 1526, by which time Colines had set up his own shop nearby. In 1528 Colines started using italic type. He published Greekand Latin classics, as well as scholarly works in the natural sciences, cosmology, and astrology. He is credited with the design of italic and Greek fonts and of a roman face for St. Augustine's Sylvius (1531), from which the Garamond types were derived. In 1525 he published the ewll-known Grandes Heures de Simon de Colines, with decorations by Geoffroy Tory. Check out Kay Amert's book Intertwining Strengths: Simon de Colines and Robert Estienne (2005, Penn State University Press). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Sindicato de la Imagen (or: Cooperativa de Fundicion Tipografica)
Santiago, Chili-based type cooperative where some free fonts have been produced: CNI (2004, a scary pixel face named after the Central Nacional de Información, the notorious Chilean intelligence bureau), CFT maestro rosamel, Masapunk (grunge, available from Latinotype), Jara (pixel face, Latinotype), Themo. The main designer is Joaquín (jko) Contreras, a Chilean based in Santiago. He won awards at Tipos Latinos 2008 for Romances (an exquisite calligraphic family) and Epístola. Other typefaces: LTT Jara, LTT Ferretería. Contreras wrote a thesis at the Faculty of Architecture of the University in Chile in 2007 entitled Diseño de fuentes tipográficas, basadas en los libros integramente caligrafiados por Mauricio Amster en Chile.
Sir Charles Reed FSA (1819-1881) was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament for Hackney and St Ives, Chairman of the London School Board, Director and Trustee of the original Abney Park Cemetery Joint Stock Company, Chairman of the Bunhill Fields Preservation Committee, associate of George Peabody, lay Congregationalist, and owner of a successful commercial typefounding business in London. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle in 1874. As a pastime he collected autographed letters and keys. Charles' son Talbot Baines Reed (1852-1893), an author of books for boys, wrote the standard reference work on the history of typefounders in England.
The family settled in the London district of Hackney where Charles was active in public and religious affairs, with a particular interest in education. He became a member, and later chairman, of the London School Board, and helped to establish the Congregational Church Board of Education. From 1868 to 1881 he was one of Hackney's MPs. He also raised a family of five sons, the third of whom, named Talbot Baines after his distinguished uncle, was born at the family home, "Earlsmead", on 3 April 1852. Over the years, Charles expanded his business interests, and by 1861 had prospered sufficiently to acquire the Thorowgood type foundry in Fann Street, City of London.
The business was called Stephenson Blake & Charles Reed & Sons at one point.
A few scans from Henry Taylor Wyse's book of 1911, showing types owned jointly by stephenson Blake and Sir Charles Reed of Sheffield: AntiqueRoman, Athenian, Baskerville, Black No. 3, DeVinne, DeVinne Italic, Hallamshire Old Italic, Italian Old Style, Italian Old Style, Italian Old Style Italic, Lining Modern No. 20, Lining Old Style No. 5, Lining Westminster Old Style, Winchester Bold, Winchester Old Style, Winchester Old Style Italic. [Google] [More] ⦿
Speedball pens were invented by Hunt Corporation (or Hunt Company) which was located in Camden, NJ and later (since 1958) in Statesville, NC. The highlights of that company:
History of typography and type design (in Italian): "Il carattere da stampa e sua evoluzione stilistico-progettuale", by Andrea Marconi and Franco Marinelli. Main page entitled Stamperia e Caratteri. [Google] [More] ⦿
Idaho-based author of
Stempel's first 60 years, from its start in 1895, through the purchases of the Juxberg-Rust foundry from Offenbach in 1897 and W. Drugulin in 1919, to the era of Hermann Zapf in the 50s. That same publication was extended here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Steve Dell teaches digital art design at Miami ad School in California. His site has an Adobe InDesign course, where one can find a beautiful type history primer, and a zipped font folder with these fonts: ACaslonPro-Italic, AGaramondPro-Regular, AJensonPro-Regular, ArnoPro-Bold, ArnoPro-Italic, ArnoPro-Smbd, BickhamScriptPro-Bold, BickhamScriptPro-Regular, BlackoakStd, GrotesqueMTStd-Black, GrotesqueMTStd-Bold, GrotesqueMTStd-BoldExtended, GrotesqueMTStd-Condensed, GrotesqueMTStd-ExtraCond, GrotesqueMTStd-Italic, GrotesqueMTStd-Light, GrotesqueMTStd-LightCond, GrotesqueMTStd-LightItalic, GrotesqueMTStd, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Bd, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Blk, HelveticaNeueLTStd-It, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Md, HelveticaNeueLTStd-Roman, MFCFranklinCornersFive-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersFive-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersFour-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersFour-Regular, MFCFranklinCornersSix-Regular, MinionPro-Regular, MyriadPro-Bold, MyriadPro-It, MyriadPro-Regular, NewsGothicStd-Bold, NewsGothicStd-BoldOblique, NewsGothicStd-Oblique, NewsGothicStd, NuevaStd-Bold, NuevaStd-BoldCond, NuevaStd-Regular. [Google] [More] ⦿
Talbot Baines Reed (1852-1893) was an English writer of boys' fiction who established a genre of school stories that endured into the second half of the 20th century. Among his best-known work is The Fifth Form at St. Dominic's. He was a regular and prolific contributor to The Boy's Own Paper (B.O.P.), in which most of his fiction first appeared. Through his family's business [his father was Sir Charles Reed], Reed became a prominent typefounder, and wrote the celebrated text A History of the Old English Letter Foundries (Faber and Faber Limited, London, 1887).
From Wikipedia: Reed's father, Charles Reed, was a successful London printer who later became a Member of Parliament (MP). Talbot attended the City of London School before leaving at 17 to join the family business at the Fann Street type foundry. His literary career began in 1879, when the B.O.P. was launched. The family were staunchly Christian, pillars of the Congregational Church, and were heavily involved in charitable works. However, Reed did not use his writing as a vehicle for moralising, and was dismissive of those early school story writers, such as Dean Farrar, who did. Reed's affinity with boys, his instinctive understanding of their standpoint in life and his gift for creating believable characters, ensured that his popularity survived through several generations. He was widely imitated by other writers in the school story genre. In 1881, following the death of his father, Reed became head of the Fann Street foundry. By then he had begun his monumental Letter Foundries history which, published in 1887, was hailed as the standard work on the subject. Along with his B.O.P. obligations Reed wrote regular articles and book reviews for his cousin Edward Baines's newspaper, the Leeds Mercury. He was busy elsewhere, as a co-founder and first honorary secretary of the Bibliographical Society, as a deacon in his local church, and as a trustee for his family's charities. All this activity may have undermined his health; after struggling with illness for most of 1893, Reed died in November that year, at the age of 41.
Early in his career he met the leading printer and bibliographer of the day, William Blades, from whom he acquired a lasting fascination with the printing and typefounding crafts. While still relatively inexperienced, Reed was asked by Blades to help organise a major exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of William Caxton's printing of The Game and Playe of the Chesse. This was thought to be the first book printed in England, and the exhibition was originally planned for 1874. However, Blades's research proved that Caxton's first printing in England had in fact been in 1477, of a different book, so the quatercentenary celebrations were rescheduled accordingly. The exhibition was held during the summer of 1877, at South Kensington, and was opened by William Gladstone, the former and future prime minister. It included displays of Caxton's printed works, together with many examples of printing through the intervening years. Reed's main contribution was to the exhibition's catalogue, for which he wrote an essay entitled "The Rise and Progress of Typography and Type-Founding in England". The exhibition was supported by leading London printers, publishers, booksellers, antiquarians and scholars, and attracted wide public interest. Sir Charles Reed, who had been knighted on Gladstone's recommendation in 1874, died in 1881. A few months later, Talbot's elder brother Andrew retired from the business because of ill health. As a result, at the age of 29, Talbot became the sole managing director of the Fann Street business, a position he held until his death. This was, however, by no means Reed's sole activity in connection with the trade. In 1878, in response to a suggestion from Blades, he had begun work on a general history of typefounding in England, a task which occupied him intermittently for ten years. Published by Elliot Stock in 1887 under the title of History of the Old English Letter Foundries, the book became the standard text on the subject. Its 21 chapters are illustrated throughout with examples of typefaces and symbols used for four centuries. The text is presented in modern style, but with the initial letter of each chapter ornately drawn from a 1544 pattern. Also in 1887 Reed produced a revised and enlarged specimen book for the Fann Street foundry, with many new typeface designs and artistic ornamentations. [Google] [More] ⦿
Foundry in the film type era, est. in the late 1940s by Sam Ardell. Its 1957 catalog shows 408 film types and its 1967 catalog has 1016 typefaces. Some of these types are missing from their 1984 catalog. Peter Bain (Incipit) bought the remaining typefaces in 1994, and they are now in Bain's Incipit collection. [Google] [More] ⦿
Teeline Fonts is a digital typefoundry launched by Craig Eliason (b. 1969, Houston, TX) in 2010. A professor of modern art and design history in the Department of Art History at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN, Craig researches the history of type design, and particularly the history of its classification and vocabulary. He began designing his own fonts in 2008. Craig obtained a Ph.D. from Rutgers in 2002. Read, for example, Face the Nation: National Identity and Modern Type Design 1900-1960. MyFonts link.
Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: The history of humanist types.
That 70's Type
The Digital Past
Article by New York-based calligrapher and type specialist Paul Shaw. It talks about the main events in the timeline of digital type (but forgets to mention Computer Modern, does not stress Metafont enough, and omits any mention of the work of Bezier and de Casteljau on Bezier curves), and ends by formulating a strategy for increasing the price of type. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Evolution of Type
The Fell type collection was a gift made to Oxford University by a bishop of Oxford, Dr. John Fell, in the late seventeenth century. He bought punches and matrices in Holland and Germany in 1670 and 1672 and entrusted his personal punchcutter, Peter de Walpergen, with the cut of the larger bodies. Bibliography compiled by Igino Marini, who revived some Fell types in 2004:
Darry Rehr on the history of typewriters. I cite: ... "It was called the "Sholes&Glidden Type Writer," and it was produced by the gunmakers E. Remington&Sons in Ilion, NY from 1874-1878." ... "The idea began at Kleinsteuber's Machine Shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the year 1868. A local publisher-politician-philosopher named Christopher Latham Sholes spent hours at Kleinstuber's with fellow tinkerers." ... "Sholes proceeded to construct a machine to do the whole alphabet. The prototype was eventually sent to Washington as the required Patent Model. The original still exists, locked up in a vault at the Smithsonian." ... "Sholes lacked the patience required to penetrate the marketplace, and sold all of his rights to Densmore, whose belief in the machine kept the enterprise afloat. Remington agreed to produce the device beginning in 1873. The "Glidden" part of the name came from Carlos Glidden, one of the Kleinstuber Machine Shop gang, who had been something of a help to Sholes." [Google] [More] ⦿
In 1851 a brochure was published for the Second British Exposition of Technology, signed by Albert, Prince of Wales. In it, we find this text: The first patent for a 'writing machine' was given to Henry Mill in 1714. Sadly there are no surviving details to prove its existence as a working machine. The first known typewriter was invented in the United States of America by William Burt in 1830. This was called a Typographer and printed one single letter after another. From this point on there was a flood of designs both in the United States and Europe, causing some dispute over who invented what components. These machines were usually one-offs and it is only in the past year that the inventors of the 'Type-writer', Christopher Sholes and Carlos Glidden, have made an agreement with the Remington company to have their model manufactured in quantity.
The machine writes in capitals and was heavily influenced by the workings of the Remington sewing machines. The original design laid the letters in an ABC format, but Sholes found that this continually jammed his typewriters. To solve the problem, he asked his brother-in-law, a mathematician, to work out an arrangement that would - for the most time - prevent the bars from clashing. The result is a rather unusual arrangement of letters on the keyboard 'QWERTYUIOP' on the top row of keys, 'ASDFGHJKL' in the middle and 'ZXCVBNM' on the bottom row. While this might not seem sensible to the laymen among us, Mr Sholes assures us that it is a highly logical and scientific design for the machine. [Google] [More] ⦿
The choice of Garamonds is confusing, and so is the name Garamond when associated with typefaces. In fact, the most faithful of all garamonds is not even called Garamond. So, here is a brief overview.
Located at the University of Wisconsin, this site offers some copies of old type specimen books for viewing. There are neither PDF downloads nor high resolution scans, but one can get a feel of the contents. The list (as of early 2012) is below:
The Typehead Chronicles of Thomas Christensen
Information and specimen of all historically important typefaces: Akzidenz Grotesk, Aldus, Antique Olive, Avant Garde, Avenir, Baskerville, Bell, Bembo, Bodoni, Bulmer, Caslon, Centaur, Century Old Style, Cheltenham, Dante, Frutiger, Galliard, Garamond, Gill Sans, Goudy Old Style, Granjon, Helvetica, Janson (Kis), Minion, Mrs. Eaves, Optima, Palatino, Perpetua, Sabon, Syntax, Times New Roman, Today, Trump Medieval, Univers, Walbaum. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Typocrafters came into being in 1937 as "a society of midwestern typographic designers". Annual meetings have taken place ever since, interrupted only briefly by World War II. In more recent times, the organization has become "a group of men and women devoted to the preservation of taste, dignity, appropriateness and effectiveness in typography and graphic design. ... There is no formal structure to this group; there are no requirements for membership other than interest and attendance. Some attendees produce a keepsake for exchange, others do not" (Paul Duensing, The Typocrafters, 1981). The documents relating to this society reside at Harvard University. [Google] [More] ⦿
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598, Johanns father) had been a goldsmith in Liège (in present day Belgium). As a Protestant, he was forced to leave that catholic city in 1570. After living in Strasbourg for several years, he moved to Frankfurt in 1588, where he established himself as a bookseller and publisher. Many of his volumes were illustrated with engravings by his own hand. He was aided in this by his sons Johann Theodor (1561-1623) and Johann Israël (ca. 1570-1611). The de Bry firm issued almost two hundred books, including a renowned series of illustrated accounts of the Americas, emblem-books, and the mystical&alchemical works of Robert Fludd and Michael Maier. He designed the intricate set of caps New Kunstliches Alphabet (1595). De Bry together with his sons created many non-Latin alphabets as well. [Google] [More] ⦿
Hymn writer and typefounder (b. New York City, 1812, d. Philadelphia, 1889). At age 14, MacKellar entered the printing company of Harper Brothers. In 1833, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and joined the type foundry of Johnson&Smiths as a proofreader. He subsequently became a foreman, then a partner, in the firm, which from 1860 was known as MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan. [Google] [More] ⦿
Times New Roman
Toni Pecoraro was born in Favara (Agrigento) Italy in april 1958. In 1977 he graduated from the Agrigento Institute of Art. From 1977 to 1981 he studied decoration at Florence Fine Arts Academy. From 1985 to 1990 he taught Engraving Techniques at Macerata Fine Arts Academy. At present he is teaching Engraving Techniques at Bologna Fine Arts Academy, and lives in Montefiore Conca. On his web site, he placed a reedited version of Giovanni Antonio Tagliente's 1530 book published in Venice. [Google] [More] ⦿
Torbjørn Engs typografisider
Pages on Norwegian typography maintained by Torbjørn Eng. He designed Frisianus (1994-1995), a gorgeous script font based on lettering of Gerhard Munthe (1904), which has some Lombardic influences in the capitals, and a totally blackletter set of minuscules. There is also an absolutely gorgeous fat display face called Norges Alphabet (1990), which may or may not be available to the general public. It is supposed to represent all that is good about Norwegian values; quality, minimalism, contrast, originality. Eng discusses fonts that are appropriate for Norwegian [article from 1993]. [Google] [More] ⦿
Wolfgang Beinert's piece in German on the Trajan all-caps alphabet (without H, J, K, U, W, Y, Z) created by Syrian engineer Apollodoros from Damaskus for the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53-117). The Trajan Column near the Basilica Ulpia in Rome dates from 113. People inspired by the elegant lettering include Fernando Ruano, Vespasiano Amphiarea, Wolfgang Fugger, Geoffroy Tory, Albrecht Dürer, Francesco Torniello, Luca Pacioli, Damiano da Moile, Leonardo da Vinci, Felice Feliciano, Claude Garamond, Jan Tschichold (see his book Meisterbuch der Schrift, Otto Maier Verlag, Ravensburg 1952), Günter Gerhard Lange (see his book Die römische Kapitalschrift, Jahresgabe der Typographischen Gesellschaft München, München 1983), and Carol Twombly (who made a digital font called Trajan at Adobe in 1989). [Google] [More] ⦿
Truchet and Types
A great article by Jacques André and Denis Girou on the lettering of father Sébastien Truchet, 1657-1729. Their thesis: the Romain du Roi font (ca. 1702) is the first digital font, as it has the notion of outlines by arcs of circles, grids as in bitmaps and dpi measurements, and even notions of italic transformations and hinting. [Google] [More] ⦿
American type history conference in Seattle, May 4, 2012, followed by workshops on May 5-6. Speakers included Paul Shaw (Oswald Cooper: Attacked by an itch to work with type), Cathleen Baker (Roycrofters to Renaissance: The progression of Dard Hunter's letterforms from arts and crafts to classical), Paul F. Gehl (Ludlow's Mutt and Jeff: Douglas McMurtrie and R. Hunter Middleton), Nancy Sharon Collins (Engraving: The curiously shy stepchild in American type genealogy), Thomas Phinney, Steve Matteson, and Richard Kegler (A second life for vintage American typefaces), and Frank Brannon (Print Your Own Language: The role of letterpress in Cherokee language revitalizationC). [Google] [More] ⦿
Type Designer and Punchcutter
Type Designs by Nicholas Fabian
The informative home page of Nicholas Fabian, who died in April 2006. Check out his gorgeous fonts, like Fabius Art Deco and Fabius Durer. Also nice discussions of typographical issues such as TrueType versus PostScript. And pages on the history of type. He also sold Ugarit fonts. Early masters of type design. Alternate URL. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
The mission of the Type Heritage Project is to discover and record the sources of digital fonts with 19th- to mid-20th-century origins-their legitimate tradename(s), the year, country and designer or foundry of origin. Volume One of a book series on this subject (in preparation) deals with 19th-century display faces. Research of this era, obstructed by nearly two centuries of renaming for good and not-so-good reasons, began c1996 by matching a Type-1 font called Parsnip with historical specimens called Art Gothic. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type timeline by Ben Archer
List of all (metal) typefaces available for sale from these six US typefounders:
Typo Knowledge Base (tkb)
A type portal managed by teachers and students at the Fachhochschule Aachen, Germany, in German. The page contains the basic rules of legibility and good typography. There is a historic timeline, a list of famous type designers, a list of famous typefaces, a timeline of the great typefaces, anatomy of a letter (glossary), lecture notes, and font downloads of fonts that were developed in the courses of K.F. Oetzbach. The latter include Fegron (Marcel Feiter) and Unperfekt, Semiperfekt and Sansperfekt (Niels Vollrath). Finally, there are many useful book reviews. The site was started by K. F. Oetzbach, André Berkmüler, Natascha Dell and Simon (Burschi) Becker. There are about 25 people participating in the growth of this type portal. K.F. Oetzbach is the codesigner in 2005-2006 with Natascha Dell at Fontfarm of several fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
Terrence Chouinard's pages: Typocurious is an archive of print-based typographic material culled from the teaching files once owned by Alexander S. Lawson and Archie Provan, his colleague at the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Printing. Its biweekly posts will be direct transcriptions of previously published material, supplemented with accompanying images when possible, introduced with a few brief sentences when necessary, and conclude with a link to a pdf for our readers' downloading pleasure. Requests for material on certain topics are welcome. As this material is culled from the teaching files of Professors Alexander Lawson and Archie Provan, there is an abundance of type specimens, promotional material, and fistfuls of information on Goudy&Dwiggins. Otherwise, selection of the material will be based solely on the interests¤t research of the moderator. Great biographies of type designers.
In 2012, Typocurious was pronounced dead by its founder: The future of typocurious.com is uncertain. It may be dumped upon the internet scrap heap completely or its content may be folded into the upcoming reiteration of ithacatype.com. All its pre-gobblety-gook content is safe on the laptop, but I haven't the time, patience or love to care for typocurious anymore. [Google] [More] ⦿
Gérard Blanchard (1927-1998) writes one of his last articles on type: Les états de la création typo-graphique contemporaine en France de la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale à l'an 2000. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typography site maintained by Jean-Christophe Loubet Del Bayle. Has sub-pages on Bertham, Bookman, Chelthenham, Clarendon, Copperplate Gothic, Garamond, Garamond ITC, Garamond No3, Goudy Mediaeval, Goudy Old Style, Goudy Sans, Granjon, Optima, Sabon, Stempel, Collection Claude Garamond, Collection Frederic Goudy. [Google] [More] ⦿
He is generally thought to have made the first typeface in France in the 1470s. Quoting the wiki page with more biographical details of this French printer: Ulrich Gering (active as a printer in Paris from c. 1470 to 1508; died 23 August 1510) came from Beromünster in the diocese of Constance. He was one of three partners to establish the first printing press in France. Invited to Paris in 1469 by the Rector of the Sorbonne, Johann Heynlin, and his colleague Guillaume Fichet, Gering together with Michael Friburger and Martin Crantz set up a printing press within the Sorbonne to produce texts selected and edited by his patrons. The press produced 22 works between 1470 and 1472. By the end of 1472 this subsidised venture came to a close and the three printers left the Sorbonne to set up on their own at the sign of the Soleil d'Or on the rue Saint Jacques in Paris. The partnership came to an end in 1477, after which Gering continued to print on his own, moving in 1483 to the rue de Sorbonne at the same sign. Between 1484 and 1494 books printed at the Soleil d'Or carry the names of Jean Higman (1484-1489) and George Wolf (1490-1492). Gering is found there again in partnership with Berthold Rembolt from 1494 to 1508, after which Rembolt worked alone.
At ENSAD in Paris in 2007, Émilie Rigaud started work under the guidance of Alejandro Lo Celso and Philippe Millot on a revival of the first type printed in France, at the Sorbonne, by Ulrich Gering. This work is based on a 1478 edition of Virgilius. Another project at ENSAD, this time headed by André Baldinger and Philippe Millot, in 2009-2010, led to complete revivals of Gering's blackletter and roman faces. The graduate students involved in the latter project are Timm Borg, Anthony Dathy, Perrine Saint Martin and Ok Kyung Yoon. They have thoroughly reworked the letterforms found in the extant incunabula available in the Bibliothèque Nationale, complementing the original characters with italics, small caps, and supplementary weights, as well as all of the glyphs necessary in a 21st century font.
The oldest of the English decorated typefaces. Around 1700, it belonged to the Grover Foundry. It then bacame part of Fry's, then the Fann Street Foundry, and finally Stephenson Blake. Known for its swash capitals and pearl decorations. A sample can be found in Jaspert, Berry and Johnson. [Google] [More] ⦿
University of Amsterdam: Special Collections
The library of the University of Amsterdam has many on-line and hard copy collections. Among these, the following stand out:
Mathieu Lommen is an author and book historian who works as a curator at the Special Collections department of the Amsterdam University Library. Mathieu regularly publishes on 19th and 20th century book typography and type design. He is also editor of the scholarly magazine Quaerendo. His most recent book Bram de Does: Letterontwerper and Typograaf was published in 2003 by De Buitenkant. Mathieu Lommen's talk at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam is entitled Highlights of Amsterdam type design. [Google] [More] ⦿
University Roman is usually attributed to Michael Daines and Phillip Kelly at Letraset who designed it from 1972-1983. However, the origins go back much further. There are two sources that are contradictory, so I will cite both:
Implementations include University Roman (Letraset), University Roman (Tilde), University Roman (Monotype Imaging), University Roman (ITC), University Roman (Bitstream), University (Adobe), Hacky Sack NF (Nick Curtis), Finura (Dino dos Santos), and Speedball (Intellecta).
Very didactic and insightful Spanish language web site devoted to typography and its history. Pages by freelance graphic designer José Ramón Penela from Madrid. Check Penela's comparison of truetype and postscript. [Google] [More] ⦿
Foundry from Hamburg, which existed from 1972 until 1995, when it went bankrupt and its legal successor was URW++ Design&Development, also in Hamburg. That company was started by Svend Bang, Hans-Jochen Lau, Peter Rosenfeld and Jürgen Willrodt in 1995. URW stands for Unternehmensberatung Rubow Weber, named after two of its founders, Gerhard Rubow and Rudolf Weber. The third founder was Peter Karow, who had developed Ikarus, an in-house font editor, and possibly the first one for digital fonts. Many people initially outsourced digital font work to them, and many fonts were allowed to be released by URW as well. This led to a large collection. The bestselling faces at MyFonts. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Swedish art historian who wrote several books in swedish on type design. His masterpiece was written in 1975: Bokstavformer och typsnitt genom tiderna (Letter designs and typefaces through the ages). [Google] [More] ⦿
Catalan author of Introducción al estudio del arte del alfabeto en Cataluña (Verdaguer, 1913), a book about the history of the alphabet. Pic of the Epistolae Sancti Augustini alphabet. [Google] [More] ⦿
Influential typefounder, born in England, 1766-1844 (Peckham). He published several books of type specimens, and designed Gresham (1792), Old English (1815), Figgins Shaded (1816), Figgins Tuscan (1817, digitized by HiH (2005)), Egiziano Black (1815) and Egyptian (1817). Giza (Font Bureau, 1994) is a revival by David Berlow of the latter face. Among the Gaelic typefaces he designed, we mention the later transitional angular face called Early Figgins by Michael Everson (ca. 1815), and the Gaelic modern angular face Everson calls Later Figgins. The latter face resurfaces ca. 1913 as Intertype and Intertype Bold (designer unknown), with versions at ATF (ca. 1916) and Linotype (ca. 1916), and as Monotype Series 24a (ca. 1906, which according to Everson was recast in 1913 by Michael O'Rahilly, and digitized in 1993 as Duibhlinn). Another digitization is Figgins Antique by Tom Wallace.
Epitome of Specimens by V.&J. Figgins was published in London in 1866. Vincent Figgins Type Specimens 1801 and 1815. Reproduced in facsimile. Edited with an introduction and notes by Bernard Wolpe was published in 1967 in London by the Printing Historical Society.
W.D. Teague was a designer of some beautiful border ornaments at ATF in the early part of the 20th century. Later he became an industrial designer, famous for art deco designs of radios and gas stations. [Google] [More] ⦿
Director of Stempel, which he joined in 1898, and the Trajanus Press. He shaped the growth of the Stempel and Linotype library after the war and during the advent of photocomposition. Son of Wilhelm Cunz (1869-1951) who was one of the original shareholders in D. Stempel AG, and brother-in-law of its founder, David Stempel (1869-1927). [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Wilhelm Haas the younger (1766-1838) led the Haas typefoundry in Basel around 1800. Son of Wilhelm Haas the elder (1741-1800), who led the Haas typefoundry before him. Before that, his grandfather Johann Wilhelm Haas took over a foundry in 1737 from Johann Rudolf Genath II. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Publishers of the earliest known type specimen book in the low countries: The Leyden "Afdrucksel" (1582). A facsimile with an introduction and notes by Paul Valkema Blouw was published at Terlugt Press, Leyden, 1983. See here. Willem Silvius was a printer in Antwerp around the midde of the sixteenth century. [Google] [More] ⦿
English publisher and printer active c1786-c1817, b. Newcastle upon Tyne, 1757, d. 1830. He first worked for the printer-publisher John Bell. He came to prominence as a result of being chosen by George Nicol, bookseller to King George III, to produce a major new edition of Shakespeare. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
William Caslon I was born in Worcestershire in 1692. He died in London in 1766. He was a gun smith and a typefounder. His William Caslon Foundry was established by him in 1719, and would operate in London for over 200 years. His Caslon Roman Old Face was cut between 1716 and 1728. The first fonts cut by Caslon were for Arabic (1725), Hebrew (1726) and Coptic (1731), but the designs date back to 1722. The first catalog was printed in 1734. His major influences were the Dutch designers Christoffel van Dijcks and Dirck Voskens. Updike: While he modelled his letters on Dutch types, they were much better; for he introduced into his fonts a quality of interest, a variety of design, and a delicacy of modelling, which few Dutch types possessed. Dutch fonts were monotonous, but Caslon's fonts were not so. His letters when analyzed, especially in the smaller sizes, are not perfect individually; but in their mass their effect is agreeable. That is, I think, their secret: a perfection of the whole, derived from harmonious but not necessarily perfect individual letterforms.
Caslon's fame stems largely from his specimen of 1734, showing types that were considered to be superior to the Dutch types that inspired them. The English reliance on Dutch types had finally come to an end. His types were just as highly regarded in America, where the Declaration of Independence was set in Caslon. His son, William Caslon II, took over the business upon his death in 1766.
There are four generations of William Caslons, numbered I (1692-1766), II (1720-1778), III (1754-1833) and IV (1780-1869), who took turns running the foundry. The foundry, eventually known as H.W. Caslon&Co., passed down through various members of the family until 1937, when the rights were transferred to Stephenson Blake.
Graphion's site. Check out the free scanned version of A Specimen of Printing Types (1785, Galabin and Baker, London) by William Caslon III. A specimen of cast ornaments (1795) is by William Caslon III and Charles Whittingham (1767-1840). Recasting Caslon Old Face discusses Specimens of the original Caslon Old Face printing types, engraved in the early part of the 18th century by Caslon I (1896).
A listing of some digital version/revivals of Caslon's types:
Son of William Caslon I. He managed the Caslon family business from his father's death in 1766 until his own death in 1778. The business was then divided between his widow and their two sons, William Caslon III and Henry Caslon I. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
British typefounder in London, 1754-1833. Son of William Caslon II, grandson of William Caslon I. He co-owned the Chiswell Street family firm from the death of his father in 1778 until 1792, when he sold his share in the foundry to his mother and his sister-in-law, the widow of his brother Henry. In the same year he purchased the Salisbury Square foundry of Joseph Jackson (apprentice to his grandfather and rival to his father), who had recently died, and called the foundry Caslon&Son. In 1807, this business was passed on to his son William Caslon IV who in turn sold up in 1819 to Blake, Garnett&Co. (later Stephenson Blake). Author of A specimen of printing types (1785, Galabin and Baker, London) and A specimen of cast ornaments (1795, C. Whittingham, London).
Images from A specimen of printing types (1785): a crown, Double Pica Greek, English Arabic, English Italic, Five Line Pica Ships, Long Primer Roman No 1, Pica Black No. 2, Pica Coptic, Pica Ethiopic, Two Line Double Pica, Two Line Great Primer, Two Line Long Primer. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Son of William Caslon III, great-grandson of William Caslon I. He took over management of the Salisbury Square foundry (ex-Joseph Jackson) from his father in 1807, and called it William Caslon. He is credited with the first sans typeface, an upper-case only face called Egyptian, in 1816. In 1819 he sold the business to the new Sheffield foundry of Blake, Garnett&Co (later Stephenson Blake), which had started in 1818. He died in 1869. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
First English type founder (b. 1420, 1421 or 1422, Weald of Kent, d. 1491, Westminster). Graphion's site. Many fonts were named after Caxton, such as the Lombardic-styled Caxton Initials (1905, Frederic Goudy, ATF, revived by Alter Littera in 2012), and the ITC Caxton Roman family.
His life's story can be found in Typophiles Chapbook: William Caxton and His Quincentenary (John Dreyfus).
Image of Latin Paslter, 1480-1483.
Designer of Basle Roman (or Howard's, Chiswick Press, London), a face first used in 1854. It is a Vewnetian face based on the romans used in Basle and Germany in the early 1500s. The matrices are now at the St. Bride Printing Library. Samples are in Jaspert's book. [Google] [More] ⦿
Author of Lettering for Commercial Purposes, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1918. He liked full round ovals, condensed vertical elements and a slightly broken alignment. He was one of the main American designers of commercial lettering during the early part of the 20th century. His students included Ross F. George.
Scottish typefounder. He first worked at Alexander Wilson's foundry in Glasgow. Later he started his own foundry in Edinburgh in 1809. In 1838, his son-in-law Walter Richard joined him. The foundry then became Miller&Richard. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Born in Exeter in 1572, he became a master printer and owner of his own shop in London, and died some time after 1638. For the typographer, the main interest in Stansby will be his collection of printers' ornaments used between 1615-1617, that is being catalogued at the University of Virginia. [Google] [More] ⦿
A London printer in the sixteenth century. Their English No. 2 (1582) passed to the John James foundry, bought by Fry and then passed to Sir Charles Reed foundry. It was acquired from Reed by Stephenson Blake in 1904. [Google] [More] ⦿
Hopyl (Hoppyl) was a printer in Paris (1489-1523). He made Textura typefaces (some are now called Hopyl Textura) and his work served as inspiration for many. For example, the Bauersche Giesserei published the Manuskript-Gotisch face (Hopyl, 1514) in 1899 (see also Stempel's version), which was digitally revived by Gerhard Helzel and Petra Heidorn (2004). [Google] [More] ⦿
At the University of Texas, we find a wonderful site that explains the roots, the rise and the decline of American wood type, and provides a timeline. There are four periods:
Born in Alsace, he died in 1535. He was the first printer in England to use italic type in 1524. Originally Jan van Wynkyn, he was a printer and publisher who worked with William Caxton in Westminster. In 1491 following Caxton's death, de Worde took over his printing work. From then until his death he published approximately 750 books. Wiki. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Goryeo Dynasty minister Choe Yun-ui of Korea is credited with publishing the first book printed with metal movable type in 1234. This book, Sangjeong yemun, wdescribed the manners of the Korean court from ancient times through the 1234. He lived from 1102-1162. [Google] [More] ⦿