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

Ionic

The name Ionic seems to have been used by early Victorian founders as an additional name for Egyptian types. Ideal was an early Victorian, and Cushing Antique an early American synonym for Ionic. The latter is thought to have been first used by Blake and Stephenson in 1833: their specimen is of a modified form of the earliest Antique/Egyptian. A comparison of this type with those of Figgins and of Thorne shows that the serifs are bracketed and not as slab-like, that there is a greater differentiation between the thick and thin strokes, and that the letters are not as heavy and certainly not as sharply cut. Types of this kind are now classed as modified egyptians. Present day revivals would include Stephenson Blake's Consort in its various forms, and Stevens Shanks Antique Nos 3 & 5, and a variety of clarendons, for example that of the Haas'sche Schriftgiesserie.

Originally display types, the types in this group are now primarily newspaper text faces. Some use of them is also made in Bible printing, magazines and advertisements. The present day versions of the Ionics having been designed specifically with newspaper production in mind are usually monoline letters of large x-height, with very short ascenders and descenders, open counters and sturdy, flat, or slightly bracketed, serifs.

'A primary defect of Ionic--from the point of view of text composition--is a certain monotony resulting from the complete uniformity of line throughout every character . . . having no thick and thin, it does not look 'customary' to eyes habituated to the old faces, old styles and moderns employed in 99 per cent of the reading matter which is

-187-

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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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