An Introduction to the History of Printing Types: An Illustrated Summary of the Main Stages in the Development of Type Design from 1440 up to the Present Day: An Aid to Type Face Identification

By Geoffrey Dowding | Go to book overview

Old Style

During the first forty years of the nineteenth century English book typography, with the exception of some notable examples, had little to commend it. Some good work was produced in transitional types of near modern flavour.

William Blades regarded the year 1820 'as a boundary line between the old and new style of punch-cutting. About that time great changes were initiated in the faces of types of all kinds. The thick strokes were made much thicker and the free strokes much finer, the old ligatures were abolished and a mechanical primness given to the page, which . . . could scarcely be called improvement. At the same time, printers began to crowd their racks with fancy founts of all degrees of grotesqueness, many painfully bad to the eye and unprofitable alike to founder and printer.'1 And Mr D. B. Updike writing of the fall in standards of type design in the early years of the nineteenth century blamed Robert Thorne, who introduced the full modern face into this country as 'responsible for the vilest form of type invented--up to that time' ( 1803) & further remarks that 'A tide of bad taste (in modern face) had swept everything before it by 1844--the precise year of the revival of Caslon's earliest types!'2 This revival was the work of the Whittinghams of the famous Chiswick Press whose use of the original Caslon types in The Diary of Lady Willoughby ( 1844) marked the beginning of their return to favour. This revived use of the earliest Caslon types--in the com-

____________________
1
William Blades. Early Type Specimen Books of England, Holland, France, Italy & Germany. London 1875.
2
In Printing Types, Their History, Forms, and Use. Vol II.

-97-

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An Introduction to the History of Printing Types: An Illustrated Summary of the Main Stages in the Development of Type Design from 1440 up to the Present Day: An Aid to Type Face Identification
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Contents xv
  • List of Illustrations xvii
  • Introduction xxi
  • Part One the Book Types I 3
  • Gothic 5
  • Roman Venetian 19
  • Roman Old Face 31
  • The Italics 43
  • The Intermediate1 or Transitional Romans 59
  • The Modern-Face Romans 75
  • The Modernized Italics 87
  • Old Style 97
  • Twentieth- Century Types 101
  • Part Two the Display Types 109
  • II 109
  • Latin or Renaissance Scripts 127
  • Decorated 145
  • Shaded 155
  • Fat Face 161
  • Antique or Egyptian 169
  • Shadowed or Three-Dimensional1 175
  • Sans Serif 179
  • Reversed or Cameo 183
  • Ionic 187
  • Outline or Open 191
  • Clarendon 195
  • Calligraphic 199
  • Stencil 203
  • Typewriter 205
  • Miscellaneous Display Types 207
  • Notes on the Illustrations 209
  • Appendix I 264
  • Appendix II Serifs 267
  • Bibliography 269
  • Index 273
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