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

PART TWO THE DISPLAY TYPES

II

From the time of the invention of printing in Europe up to the beginning of the nineteenth century display types as we know them, that is, types designed specifically for use in jobbing or ephemeral printing did not exist: there was no call for them. Up to that time to be a printer meant to be a printer of books and even in books it was not until some time after 15001 that the page which of all others in a book affords the best opportunity for the use of display types began to be used and accepted as part of a normal format. In the sense in which we are familiar with them, tide-pages in manuscript books were unknown, & in printing, the information later given on the tide-page was, up to the early sixteenth century, usually to be found in the colophon.

When title-pages were first used they were frequently set in the size of type used for the text of the book. Occasionally a larger type was used or the words were cut on a wood block. But such simple arrangements were soon to be superseded by title-pages set in larger types, often in capitals. Black-letter was mixed with roman on these pages and lines in italic were frequently used. By about 1530 large sizes of lower-case began to be employed but in the following century printers reverted to the use of large, heavy capitals. They also crowded these pages, including for instance notes on the contents, the qualifications

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1
Of books with a 'fully developed title-page, giving title, author, and full imprint, Dr Haebler, the German authority on incunabula, knows of only one instance in the fifteenth century.' A. F. Johnson in One Hundred Title-Pages, 1500-1800. John Lane, London. 1928. The most interesting part of this rather dull and heavy page--it has four fines of large woodcut lettering in addition to a considerable amount of minor display matter--all in black-letter--is the pleasant, decorative initial I.

-109-

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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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