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Early Printed Book
   Technology ~
   Extending the Manuscript
Overview
The Manuscript, Model for Early Printed Book
Pages and Their Technology
Letterforms
Gutenberg and Moveable Type
Fust &Schoeffer
The Sacking of Mainz – Spread of Printing
Noted Printers of Early Printed Book
Incunabula
Written Manuscripts, Printed
           Books

Gutenberg did not so much start an
information revolution as introduce a second
technology for the creation of the familiar
codex‖ (Brantley, 2007, p. 634).
Origins of Printing
Three Periods of Printing
Period One: Far East and Moveable Type
   Mechanical printing started 8th century;11th century
   introduced moveable type

Period Two: West and Moveable Type
   Mid-15th century – carving & casting of letters &
   characters
   Mechanized press to the base (paper, vellum).
   Units of ―visible language‖ include letters, punctuation,
   characters, spacers)
   Units are assembled and reassembled to print many
   texts

Period Three: Electronic text
What is Printing?
Duplicating images onto or into base through
mechanical techniques – base is usually paper.

Among various techniques there is:
  Letterpress: Gutenberg mechanized method
     Printing Press—moveable type
  Intalgio: Engraved image (lowered) produces
  a raised image (includes: etching, drypoint)
  Planographic: Image is flush with surface and
  produced through chemical process/oil vs.
  water
Paper Technology

Paper, word derived from papyrus, initially created in
China

Took 7-10 centuries for West to acquire

Brought to Spain by Moors

Over 2 centuries, production of rag paper spread

Technology modernized by harnessing water as
energy source for stamping fiber to wet pulp
Laid Paper Production

After beating rags, wet fibrous pulp placed on mould and
dried

Wet pulp shaken on mould & fibers adhere

Fibrous substance placed on a woolen felt and dried flat –
(e.g. laid paper)

Sizing applied to dried sheets

Sheets hung to dry
Laid Paper: Chainlines

Linear wire lines created by mould

Run parallel to each other

Change direction with different formats of books
Laid Paper: Watermarks
Watermarks identify the paper mill

Each mill created their own design

Position on leaves varies with format – folio,
quarto, etc
   Folio (centered on recto)
   Quarto (centered in gutter)
   Octavo (top of inner margin of page)
   Duodecimo (more complex)
The Manuscript,
Model for the Printed
       Book
Manuscripts & Printed Books

The printed codex models the written manuscript
  Alphabet: both technologies use alphabets
  Letters combined into words
  Words combined into sentences
  Sentences into paragraphs
  Paragraphs into pages – as a codex
     Print is segmented into pages (vs. scrolls)
Manuscripts & Codex
Direction of writing is a feature of script – emulated in
codex.

Typeface for the early printed book emulated manuscript

Manuscript page organization emulates manuscripts

Basis for letters in early printed book was Roman:
   Left to right
   Geometric, filled out, harmonious composition
Letterforms
Letterforms and Functions

Font form related to economics, aesthetics, legibility,
space

Square Roman capitals, difficult to write
   The restraint of the form prompted simpler
   letterforms.
   Simpler meant:
      Fewer strokes
      Fewer pen lifts
      More control over writing – faster writing

Same principle prompted changes in EPB typefaces
Letterforms and Scripts

Uncials

Characteristics (rounding off)
       Formal Texts
       Majuscules
       Shortened capitals, less space
       Simple strokes, rounded
       Saved space, time, and money
Letterforms and Scripts

Lower Case letterforms
   Semi-Uncials or Half-Uncial
       Informal Texts
       Minuscules
       Artistic - Elegant
       Basis for lower case typeface
       Tighter, saved space, time
Scripts to Fonts
Scripts
   Precursors of typefaces
   Some majuscule, chiefly miniscule forms—
   half uncials
   Introduced to impose homogeneity of form
   Aesthetic & harmonious rhythms, legible


          Carolingian
          Script
Scripts to Fonts

Gothic Script
Narrowed round forms
Used feet and couplings – clarity between
words, lines, paragraphs, and sections.
Variant forms associated with regions
Gothic Scripts
Basis for font in Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible.

Regional Names --
   Germany – Textura
      Text of Gutenberg Bible
   France – Lettre de Form
   England – Blackletter

History & Comparison of Gothic Blackletter

Gothic Script or Blackletter History & Variations
Compared
Pages ~
Technologies, Books
Pages and the Codex
Units of Writing
   Major step in evolution of writing &
   development of the codex
   Crude? Chopping up a scroll?
   Forming Pages
   Sewing them together
   Codex did for writing text what alphabet did for
   writing – articulation of the text
   Staged the elements of the printed book
Bound Manuscripts

Bound Manuscripts
  Models on which printed book was designed
  Mechanical printing & hand-scripted
  manuscripts were not discrete separate
  technologies of written expression
  Early printed book aimed to replicate
  manuscripts
  Letterforms of first printers, including
  Gutenberg, copied manuscript letterforms,
  pages, size, bindings
Technologies of the Book
Paper

Vellum

Type

Ink

Formats

Bindings
Evolution of Formats

Folio: One fold and 4 pages

Quarto: Two folds and 8 pages

Octavo: Three folds and 16 pages

Duodecimo: 24 pages. Complicated folding – One
sheet is cut or folded across its long side into thirds;
one of the thirds is cut away. Then the piece of 2/3’s
is folded twice the other way. And then the final piece
of 1/3 was folded and quired into the folded sheet.
Common duodecimos were folded by removing an
off-cut (one of the outer thirds).
Illustration
Woodcuts and Woodblock

Key technologies for illustration in the printed
book until the 19th century.

Woodblock printing pre-dated printed book – well
before the 14th century

Also applied to other materials including textiles

What is a print?

Book Illustration Timeline
Gutenberg &
Moveable Type
The Handpress

The printing press that Gutenberg invented is
known as a ―handpress‖ or moveable type

Bed of the press holds the formefor inking sorts
(cast letters) and printing
Gutenberg

Born in Mainz, Germany in about 1397

Lived in Mainz until 1428 and trained as a
goldsmith

Training to work metal gave him skill needed to
cut and cast letterforms

Moved to Strasbourg due to a dispute with trade
guild

In Strasbourg about 1439, court records indicate
that he was inventing the handpress, cutting and
casting letters
Gutenberg Returns to Mainz

Needed money & obtained loan from merchant –
Fust

Offered his print shop & all equipment as
collateral

Needed another loan – ultimately unable to repay
debts & Fust foreclosed, taking the printing shop
& all contents.

Fust hires craftsman, Schoeffer, to help run the
press & produce Bible
Gutenberg’s Technologies
Format: Folio

Font – Blackletter, Textura

Ink – Gutenberg’s ink was new development -- oil
based unlike most that was water based

Oil-based ink was necessary to cling to the press
& not run off -- ink has a high metal content

Paper not necessary for invention of printing
(vellum could be used), but commercial success
required paper
The Gutenberg Bible
Size and format: Royal Folio (pages are 20 by
12.5 inches)

Vellum copies of the Bible survive (the Bible was
produced with both paper – 135 copies – &
vellum – 45 copies)

Several compositors or typesetters worked on
setting the type into words, lines, columns, and
pages

Gatherings vary in the number of leaves among
them
The Gutenberg Bible
Gutenberg Bible commercial success
   All 180 copies sold immediately & many
   survive today
   Buyers were ecclesiastical customers near
   Mainz
   Wealthy gentry – the Bible was expensive

Gutenberg was the visionary

Fust &Schoeffer – firm commercial footing

Schoeffer reputed as technical talent &
typographer
Fust &
Schoeffer
The Mainz Psalter

In 1457, after the Gutenberg Bible appeared, Fust
&Schoeffer printed illustrated psalter: The Mainz
Psalter

Mainz Psalter bears first instance of their colophon

Mainz Psalter noted for two-color printed initials

Textura font used

Became archetypal model of a printed book for
about 15 years following its production
Sacking Mainz
Printing Leaves Mainz

The sacking of Mainz by a neighboring duchy,
forced many printers to move on

This exodus of printers from Mainz effected the
spread of printing through Europe

From 1450-1470, there were only 14 cities with
printing shops.

By 1480, the number grew to more than 400
The Dispersal of Print Shops

Printing arrived in France, Italy, Belgium, Spain &
England among other countries

The Netherlands started printing enterprises in
1473

Netherlands important for the English speaking
population
Early Printers ~
   Cities
Noted Cities for Printing
Evolution of Print -- a few prominent printing
centers of the Early Printed Book included:
   Paris
   Basel
   Venice
   Rome
   Nuremberg
   Bruges
   Westminster/London
Each city boasted a talented printer
Paris, Lyon: Pigouchet

           Aimed to reproduce
           elaborate medieval
           manuscripts
           through print.
           Printed an
           exemplary color
           version of a Livre
           de Heures
Basel: Froben

     Froben’s work is admired for his
     scholarship &collaboaration with
     Erasmus on Biblical & theological
     texts

      Hans Holbein created
     illustrations

      One of the earliest publishers
     whose objective turned on
     scholarship of the text &, in
     particular, controversial Protestant
     texts
Venice: Nichols Jenson


Jenson printed about 150 books & became
legendary for his types or fonts

The Eusebius type is noted for its elegance,
composition, arrangement of letters & close
resemblance to the handwritten manuscript
Jensen & Eusebius Font


                       Until 1465 – the
                        language of the
                        printed book
                        was exclusively
                        Latin
      Eusebius Font    Jensen
                        produced first
                        type in Greek
Rome: Aldus Manutius


Founded the Aldine Press in 1494.
Envisioned using print in reproducing
classic texts. Supported classics
scholars—Erasmus was one—employed
Erasmus to edit texts.
Manutius completed Dante’s ―Divine
Comedy‖ in the vernacular, Italian.
Rome: Aldus Manutius
The visionary:
   Employed great typographer, Griffo
   Griffo created firstitalic font—
     Not cursive
     Based on Chancery Cursive Script

Purpose of creating italic:
   Smaller lettering
   Smaller book, portable
   Enabled first technology for octavo
Nuremburg: Koberger

             Koberger printed
               the extraordinary
               Nuremberg
               Chronicles
             One of the first
               lavishly
               illustrated early
               printed books
             Some woodcuts
               were created by
               Albrecht Durer
Bruges: Caxton

Caxton printed first book in English in Bruges,
Belgium.

Le Fevre’s, Recuyell of the Histories of Troy,
issued about 1475

From: Recuyell of Histories of
Troy
Westminster: Caxton

Caxton opened a print shop in Westminster
(London)

Produced his first dated book: ―Dictes and Sayings
of the Philosophers‖

Issued first edition of Chaucer’s ―Canterbury
Tales,‖ 1478

Printed more than 100 books.
London: Pynson

            Noted for
           converting blackletter
           to roman type.

            Printed Boccaccio’s
           ―Fall of the Princes,‖
           translated by John
           Lydgate

            Technical mastery,
           one of England’s
           greatest early printers
Incunabula
Incunabula ends, 1501

Incunabula
   Refers to any book printed before 1501
   The British Library holds the international
   database for 15th century European printing
     Incunabula Short Title Catalogue
     Additional Resources:
        Essays on the Diffusion of Print
        The Woodcut
Thank You!
Florence M. Paisey, Fall 2011

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Early printed book

  • 1. Early Printed Book Technology ~ Extending the Manuscript
  • 2. Overview The Manuscript, Model for Early Printed Book Pages and Their Technology Letterforms Gutenberg and Moveable Type Fust &Schoeffer The Sacking of Mainz – Spread of Printing Noted Printers of Early Printed Book Incunabula
  • 3. Written Manuscripts, Printed Books Gutenberg did not so much start an information revolution as introduce a second technology for the creation of the familiar codex‖ (Brantley, 2007, p. 634).
  • 5. Three Periods of Printing Period One: Far East and Moveable Type Mechanical printing started 8th century;11th century introduced moveable type Period Two: West and Moveable Type Mid-15th century – carving & casting of letters & characters Mechanized press to the base (paper, vellum). Units of ―visible language‖ include letters, punctuation, characters, spacers) Units are assembled and reassembled to print many texts Period Three: Electronic text
  • 6. What is Printing? Duplicating images onto or into base through mechanical techniques – base is usually paper. Among various techniques there is: Letterpress: Gutenberg mechanized method Printing Press—moveable type Intalgio: Engraved image (lowered) produces a raised image (includes: etching, drypoint) Planographic: Image is flush with surface and produced through chemical process/oil vs. water
  • 7. Paper Technology Paper, word derived from papyrus, initially created in China Took 7-10 centuries for West to acquire Brought to Spain by Moors Over 2 centuries, production of rag paper spread Technology modernized by harnessing water as energy source for stamping fiber to wet pulp
  • 8. Laid Paper Production After beating rags, wet fibrous pulp placed on mould and dried Wet pulp shaken on mould & fibers adhere Fibrous substance placed on a woolen felt and dried flat – (e.g. laid paper) Sizing applied to dried sheets Sheets hung to dry
  • 9. Laid Paper: Chainlines Linear wire lines created by mould Run parallel to each other Change direction with different formats of books
  • 10. Laid Paper: Watermarks Watermarks identify the paper mill Each mill created their own design Position on leaves varies with format – folio, quarto, etc Folio (centered on recto) Quarto (centered in gutter) Octavo (top of inner margin of page) Duodecimo (more complex)
  • 11. The Manuscript, Model for the Printed Book
  • 12. Manuscripts & Printed Books The printed codex models the written manuscript Alphabet: both technologies use alphabets Letters combined into words Words combined into sentences Sentences into paragraphs Paragraphs into pages – as a codex Print is segmented into pages (vs. scrolls)
  • 13. Manuscripts & Codex Direction of writing is a feature of script – emulated in codex. Typeface for the early printed book emulated manuscript Manuscript page organization emulates manuscripts Basis for letters in early printed book was Roman: Left to right Geometric, filled out, harmonious composition
  • 15. Letterforms and Functions Font form related to economics, aesthetics, legibility, space Square Roman capitals, difficult to write The restraint of the form prompted simpler letterforms. Simpler meant: Fewer strokes Fewer pen lifts More control over writing – faster writing Same principle prompted changes in EPB typefaces
  • 16. Letterforms and Scripts Uncials Characteristics (rounding off) Formal Texts Majuscules Shortened capitals, less space Simple strokes, rounded Saved space, time, and money
  • 17. Letterforms and Scripts Lower Case letterforms Semi-Uncials or Half-Uncial Informal Texts Minuscules Artistic - Elegant Basis for lower case typeface Tighter, saved space, time
  • 18. Scripts to Fonts Scripts Precursors of typefaces Some majuscule, chiefly miniscule forms— half uncials Introduced to impose homogeneity of form Aesthetic & harmonious rhythms, legible Carolingian Script
  • 19. Scripts to Fonts Gothic Script Narrowed round forms Used feet and couplings – clarity between words, lines, paragraphs, and sections. Variant forms associated with regions
  • 20. Gothic Scripts Basis for font in Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible. Regional Names -- Germany – Textura Text of Gutenberg Bible France – Lettre de Form England – Blackletter History & Comparison of Gothic Blackletter Gothic Script or Blackletter History & Variations Compared
  • 22. Pages and the Codex Units of Writing Major step in evolution of writing & development of the codex Crude? Chopping up a scroll? Forming Pages Sewing them together Codex did for writing text what alphabet did for writing – articulation of the text Staged the elements of the printed book
  • 23. Bound Manuscripts Bound Manuscripts Models on which printed book was designed Mechanical printing & hand-scripted manuscripts were not discrete separate technologies of written expression Early printed book aimed to replicate manuscripts Letterforms of first printers, including Gutenberg, copied manuscript letterforms, pages, size, bindings
  • 24. Technologies of the Book Paper Vellum Type Ink Formats Bindings
  • 25. Evolution of Formats Folio: One fold and 4 pages Quarto: Two folds and 8 pages Octavo: Three folds and 16 pages Duodecimo: 24 pages. Complicated folding – One sheet is cut or folded across its long side into thirds; one of the thirds is cut away. Then the piece of 2/3’s is folded twice the other way. And then the final piece of 1/3 was folded and quired into the folded sheet. Common duodecimos were folded by removing an off-cut (one of the outer thirds).
  • 27. Woodcuts and Woodblock Key technologies for illustration in the printed book until the 19th century. Woodblock printing pre-dated printed book – well before the 14th century Also applied to other materials including textiles What is a print? Book Illustration Timeline
  • 29. The Handpress The printing press that Gutenberg invented is known as a ―handpress‖ or moveable type Bed of the press holds the formefor inking sorts (cast letters) and printing
  • 30. Gutenberg Born in Mainz, Germany in about 1397 Lived in Mainz until 1428 and trained as a goldsmith Training to work metal gave him skill needed to cut and cast letterforms Moved to Strasbourg due to a dispute with trade guild In Strasbourg about 1439, court records indicate that he was inventing the handpress, cutting and casting letters
  • 31. Gutenberg Returns to Mainz Needed money & obtained loan from merchant – Fust Offered his print shop & all equipment as collateral Needed another loan – ultimately unable to repay debts & Fust foreclosed, taking the printing shop & all contents. Fust hires craftsman, Schoeffer, to help run the press & produce Bible
  • 32. Gutenberg’s Technologies Format: Folio Font – Blackletter, Textura Ink – Gutenberg’s ink was new development -- oil based unlike most that was water based Oil-based ink was necessary to cling to the press & not run off -- ink has a high metal content Paper not necessary for invention of printing (vellum could be used), but commercial success required paper
  • 33. The Gutenberg Bible Size and format: Royal Folio (pages are 20 by 12.5 inches) Vellum copies of the Bible survive (the Bible was produced with both paper – 135 copies – & vellum – 45 copies) Several compositors or typesetters worked on setting the type into words, lines, columns, and pages Gatherings vary in the number of leaves among them
  • 34. The Gutenberg Bible Gutenberg Bible commercial success All 180 copies sold immediately & many survive today Buyers were ecclesiastical customers near Mainz Wealthy gentry – the Bible was expensive Gutenberg was the visionary Fust &Schoeffer – firm commercial footing Schoeffer reputed as technical talent & typographer
  • 36. The Mainz Psalter In 1457, after the Gutenberg Bible appeared, Fust &Schoeffer printed illustrated psalter: The Mainz Psalter Mainz Psalter bears first instance of their colophon Mainz Psalter noted for two-color printed initials Textura font used Became archetypal model of a printed book for about 15 years following its production
  • 38. Printing Leaves Mainz The sacking of Mainz by a neighboring duchy, forced many printers to move on This exodus of printers from Mainz effected the spread of printing through Europe From 1450-1470, there were only 14 cities with printing shops. By 1480, the number grew to more than 400
  • 39. The Dispersal of Print Shops Printing arrived in France, Italy, Belgium, Spain & England among other countries The Netherlands started printing enterprises in 1473 Netherlands important for the English speaking population
  • 41. Noted Cities for Printing Evolution of Print -- a few prominent printing centers of the Early Printed Book included: Paris Basel Venice Rome Nuremberg Bruges Westminster/London Each city boasted a talented printer
  • 42. Paris, Lyon: Pigouchet Aimed to reproduce elaborate medieval manuscripts through print. Printed an exemplary color version of a Livre de Heures
  • 43. Basel: Froben Froben’s work is admired for his scholarship &collaboaration with Erasmus on Biblical & theological texts  Hans Holbein created illustrations  One of the earliest publishers whose objective turned on scholarship of the text &, in particular, controversial Protestant texts
  • 44. Venice: Nichols Jenson Jenson printed about 150 books & became legendary for his types or fonts The Eusebius type is noted for its elegance, composition, arrangement of letters & close resemblance to the handwritten manuscript
  • 45. Jensen & Eusebius Font  Until 1465 – the language of the printed book was exclusively Latin Eusebius Font  Jensen produced first type in Greek
  • 46. Rome: Aldus Manutius Founded the Aldine Press in 1494. Envisioned using print in reproducing classic texts. Supported classics scholars—Erasmus was one—employed Erasmus to edit texts. Manutius completed Dante’s ―Divine Comedy‖ in the vernacular, Italian.
  • 47. Rome: Aldus Manutius The visionary: Employed great typographer, Griffo Griffo created firstitalic font— Not cursive Based on Chancery Cursive Script Purpose of creating italic: Smaller lettering Smaller book, portable Enabled first technology for octavo
  • 48. Nuremburg: Koberger  Koberger printed the extraordinary Nuremberg Chronicles  One of the first lavishly illustrated early printed books  Some woodcuts were created by Albrecht Durer
  • 49. Bruges: Caxton Caxton printed first book in English in Bruges, Belgium. Le Fevre’s, Recuyell of the Histories of Troy, issued about 1475 From: Recuyell of Histories of Troy
  • 50. Westminster: Caxton Caxton opened a print shop in Westminster (London) Produced his first dated book: ―Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers‖ Issued first edition of Chaucer’s ―Canterbury Tales,‖ 1478 Printed more than 100 books.
  • 51. London: Pynson  Noted for converting blackletter to roman type.  Printed Boccaccio’s ―Fall of the Princes,‖ translated by John Lydgate  Technical mastery, one of England’s greatest early printers
  • 53. Incunabula ends, 1501 Incunabula Refers to any book printed before 1501 The British Library holds the international database for 15th century European printing Incunabula Short Title Catalogue Additional Resources: Essays on the Diffusion of Print The Woodcut
  • 54. Thank You! Florence M. Paisey, Fall 2011

Editor's Notes

  1. (stamping natural or cellulose fiber)
  2. This work is said to represent a great technological achievement and aesthetic one – writing and illustrations are integrated exceptionally well