'The whole question of the evolution of roman from old face to modern face is largely a question of technique, rather than the rejection of one design for another on a definite principle. In typography we shall find that mechanical improvements in the printing press and changes in the texture of paper allowed the engraver of types to produce effects which would have been impossible in the early days. It was useless for a Garamond to cut a delicately modelled serif which the processes of reproduction available would have obscured.'1
Though founders were forbidden to copy the romain du roi many of them did so, but because of the fear of prosecution the plagiarists did not go as far as Grandjean himself in transforming the old-face design. Mr Johnson says that 'thin, flat serifs and vertical shading in capitals are frequently found in the first half of the eighteenth century, when the lower-case was still in the state of transition.'2 See the example on the opposite page.
It has been said that Grandjean's romain du roi foreshadowed the modern face, but, in fact, it was a greater step towards the full development of that face than appears from the works in which it was first used. For this reason: Grandjean's type was well in advance of the printing techniques of his day. It needed the improved printing presses & wove____________________