The Exciting History Of Type

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Interesting facts from the beginnings of today's typography.

Interesting facts from the beginnings of today's typography.

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  • 1. Graphic Design A New History The first book that got me interested in history. Ever.
  • 2. 1 2 Gutenberg’s Bible1 was set in gothic script called Textura2, an example of blackletter type.
  • 3. Roman letters, the kind of type most all of our books are set in, emerged in Venice in the 1460s. A style of handwritten script adopted by Italian humanists during the Renaissance became to be known as Humanist Minuscule, and is the basis for roman forms through to the present day.
  • 4. Bembo, originally designed for the 1495 book De Aetna, is the basis of Old Style fonts. Garamond followed in 1540.
  • 5. First grid based font design was commissioned by king Louis XIV in 1692.
  • 6. Point, the measure used to gauge font sizes, was invented by Pierre Simon Fournier in 1737.
  • 7. Caslon, the first influential English typeface was designed in 1725 by typographer William Caslon.
  • 8. John Baskerville first designed his namesake font in 1757, then had to devise a number of inventions to print the thin shapes accurately: new inks, glossy paper, and hot pressing were his ideas.
  • 9. And surely more to come, when I get to the fifth page.