Type History

Development of the printed roman text letterform between 1465 and 1818 can be divided into three main style periods: Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo-classic.


1 Form Models
Early printed books were meant to rival manuscripts.


1.1 Roman Capitals
1.1.1 Trajan Column. Rome. CE 114.


1.2 Carolingian minuscule


1.3 Humanistic minuscule


1.4 Chancery cursive


2 Gothic
Forms containing gothic only characteristics.


2.1 Johann Gutenberg. Mainz. 1450.
First book printed in Europe from moveable type.

2.1.1 Bible in Latin. c.1455. AMB 1455=B5. British Museum.


3 Pre-humanist
Forms containing gothic and roman characteristics.


3.1 Sweynheym (d.1477) and Pannartz (d.1476). Subiaco. 1465.
The only extant books printed at Subiaco.

3.1.1 Cicero. De Oratore. 1464-65. First type printed in Italy.
3.1.2 Lactantius. Opera. 30 Oct 1465. AMB Hawkins 202. British Museum. Newberrry.
3.1.3 St Augustine. De civitate Dei. 12 Jun 1467. AMB Hawkins 203. Beinecke.


3.2 Sweynheym and Pannartz. Rome. 1467.
Second font of Sweynheym and Pannartz

3.2.1 Cicero. Epistulae ad Familiares. 1467.
3.2.2 Lactantius. Opera. 1468.
3.2.3 Rodoricus. Speculum Humanae Vitae. 1468. AMB Hawkins 204.
3.2.4 Bessarion. Aduersus Calumniatorem Platonis. 1469.
AMB Hawkins 205.
3.2.5 Livy. Historia Romana. [1469]. British Museum.
3.2.6 Strabo. Geographica. 1469. AMB Hawkins 206.
3.2.7 Pliny. Historia Naturalis. 1470. AMB Hawkins 207.
3.2.8 Leo I. Sermones et Epistulae. 1470. AMB Hawkins 208.
3.2.9 Cyprianus. Epistolae. 1471. AMB Hawkins 209.
3.2.10 Nicolaus De Lyra. Postillae Super Bibliam. 13 Mar 1472.
AMB Hawkins 210.



Renaissance
Revival of classical learning resulted in dominance of roman forms over gothic forms.


4 Renaissance Italian 1465–1515


4.1 John (d.1470) and Wendelin de Spire. Venice.
1469, the first fully roman type (below).

1469_b_DeSpire

4.1.1 Cicero. Epistolae ad familiares. 1469. British Museum
4.1.2 St Augustine. De civitate Dei. 1470 (1469 type). AMB Hawkins 230.


4.2 Nicolaus Jenson (c.1420–1480). Venice.
Considered the most beautiful roman type (1470).

4.2.1 Eusebius. De Praeparatione Evangelica. 1470.
AMB Hawkins 235.


4.3 Aldus Manutius (1450–1515). Venice.

4.3.1 Colonna. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. 1499. AMB Leaf.
4.3.2 Saint Catherine of Siena. Epistolae. 1500. First appearance of italic type. AMB 1500–C 28.


5 Renaissance French 1515–1547
Coincident with the discovery of America, Venice declined as a center of commerce and book printing. France, particularly Paris, becomes dominant in typeform development.

The Golden Age of French typography


5.1 Simon De Colines (d.1546). Paris.

5.1.1 Ruel. De Natura Stirpium. 1536. Basel UB.


5.2 Jacques Kerver (fl.1497–1552). Paris.

5.2.1 Colonna. Songe de Poliphile. 1546.


5.3 Robert Estienne (1503–1559). Paris. [below 1538]

1538_c_R-Estienne

5.3.1 Giovio. Vitae. 1549.


5.4 Claude Garamond (1480–1561). Paris.

5.4.1 Egenolff-Sabon-Berner specimen sheet. Frankfurt. 1592.


5.5 Jean Jannon (1580–1658). Sedan.

5.5.1 Richelieu. Les Principausx Poincts de la Foy Catholique Defendus. 1642.


6 Renaissance Dutch (1700s)


6.1 William Caslon (1692-1766). London.
Ends the development of the renaissance form

6.1.1 Selden. Opera. 1726. Bern UB ZB.
6.1.2 Specimen sheet. 1734.
6.1.3 Specimen sheet. 1763.



Baroque


7 Baroque French (1700s)


7.1 Philippe Grandjean (1666-1714). Paris.
Begins the development towards the neo-classic forms.

7.1.1 Medailles sur les Principaus Evenments du Regne de
Louis le Grand. 1702.


7.2 Pierre Simon Founier le jeune (1712-1768). Paris.
Formulated first point system; association with Benjamin Franklin.

7.2.1 Modeles des Caracteres. 1742.
7.2.2 Manuel Typographique. 1764. Bern UB ZB.


8 Baroque British (1700s)


8.1 John Baskerville (1706-1775). Birmingham.
Association with Benjamin Franklin.

8.1.1 Virgil. Bucolica, Georgica, and Aeneis. 1757.
8.1.2 Milton. 1758.
8.1.3 Broadside specimen. c.1762.



Neo-classic


9 Neo-classic French (1800s)
Revival of appreciation of antiquity


9.1 Firmin Didot (1764-1836). Paris.
Improved upon Fournier’s point system to develop the standard type measurement system for Europe; association with Franklin.

9.1.1 Virgil. Bucoliques. 1806.


9.2 Pierre Didot l’aine (1761-1853). Paris.

9.2.1 Specimen des Nouveaux Caracteres. 1819.


10 Neo-classic German (1800s)


10.1 J E Walbaum. Goslar, 1799 and Weimar, 1803–36.

10.1.1 Specimen sheet.


11 Neo-classic Italian (1800s)


11.1 Giambattista Bodoni (1740–1813). Parma.
Final development of printed letterforms; association with Franklin

11.1.1 Early Style: Epithalmaia Exoticis Linguis Reddita. 1775.
11.1.2 Specimen sheet. 1788.
11.1.3 Later Style: LaGuiditta. 1813.
11.1.4 Manuale Tipografico. 1818.


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