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19th C. Revivals of Type and Page Design

19th C. Revivals of Type and Page Design
10/30/19, 3(26 PM
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19th Century Type Revivals - Historical Typography
1 The History of Symbols
2 How Handwriting Developed
3 Typographic Milestones
4 A Short History of Books
The Materials of Book Construction
Manuscript Books
Early Printed Books
18 & 19 C. Presses, Type & Paper
19th C. Type & Press Revivals
The Book in the 20th Century
5 Arts & Crafts and the Private Press
6 History of Posters
7 Avant Garde Typography
8 The Birth of Modernism
9 The Bauhaus
10 The Origins of Advertising
11 The Digital Revolution in Design
12 Design After Modernism
13 Design for Social Good
The Chiswick Press, England
With the advent of mechanized
processes in printing and less
reliance on crafts processes, book
design descended into mediocrity.
For an few however looking to past
type designs and manuscript form
helped guide them to quality
Pickering also used the finest
examples of historically based gothic
forms in his 1844 Book of Common
Prayer. He adapted the famous anchor
and dolphin device of Aldus
Manutius, and referred to himself as
the English disciple of Aldus. From
1820–1826 he published a series of
small editions known as the Diamond
14 Site Bibliography & Sources
Printer Charles Whittingham
(1795-1876) and publisher William
Pickering (1796-1854) combined
forces to produce works of fine
typography and quality decoration at
the Chiswick Press.
His most innovative book was Byrne's
Elements of Euclid which introduced
strong primary colors, diagrams,and
symbols to help the learner grasp the
concepts of geography. Notice
however the historical illuminated
letter in an otherwise rather modern
page layout. See a larger page from
the McCune Collection. 3
The pair prevailed upon the Caslon
foundry to cast the original 18th C.
type and then reintroduced the use
of the Caslon to book printing. In
the first extensive use, The Diary of
Lady Willoughby, 1844, the forward
notes that the choice was
appropriate to the time period of the
novel). Updyke considered the
reintroduction of Caslon as the chief
typographic event of the midnineteenth century. "Further, they
not only revived Caslon's typeface
but also used the layout of older
books, as well as the long s [f], with
its many ligatures, which by then
had long fallen into disuse."1
19th C. French Revivals
Private Press Movement
Louis Perrin (1795-1865) of Lyon
argued against using modern faces for
historical works, his theory being they
would best be printed in time
appropriate type designs. "our
punches today, so clean, so correct,
so well-aligned, so mathematically
symmetrical...have their merits no
doubt , but I would reserve them for
printing reports on the railways."
In 1846 he cut an updated version an
upper case typeface based upon old
Roman inscriptions near Lyon—The
Lyon Capitals. 1
In 1888 Sir Emory Walker extolled
the virtues of Caslon, during a
lecture of the Arts & Crafts Society.
Small private presses would carry
forward their own revivals of type,
most often those of Jenson. Link to
Arts & Crafts pages here.
Fifteen years later the Miler &
Richard foundry in Scotland turned
the Lyon Capitals into a complete font
called "Old Style" an updated version
acceptable to the modern reader. (also
named Elzevir in France and
Roemisch, Romanisch, Romaans or
Romana in Germany, Holland and
In the US in 1892, Gustav Schroeder,
at the Central Division of ATF,
expanded the series, adding a
boldface under the name DeVinne. It
was promptly copied, initially in
Europe by Ludwig & Mayer, and spread
rapidly throughout the US and Europe,
becoming the best known member of
the series. ATF made popular an
ornamental form under the name De
Vinne Ornamental.2
Reinterpretation of the Manuscript
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19th C. Revivals of Type and Page Design
10/30/19, 3(27 PM
(Coll.designhistory.org) Click here for larger view.
Artists and the Book
William Blake was an artist, book
printer, author, mystic and poet
—likely the first to be labeled
with the term book artist. "His
works would set the tone for later
artists' books, connecting selfpublishing and self-distribution with
the integration of text, image and
form. All of these factors have
remained key concepts in artists'
books up to the present day."4
Blake's Songs of Innocence, the first
of his illuminated books, was
published in 1789. He used his own
handwriting rather than set type, a
technique more common in the
middle ages. His illustrations often
appeared alongside words in the
manner of earlier illuminated
In his, The Gentle Art of Making
Enemies, 1890, (above) James
Whistler (1834-1903) worked in
double page spreads, carefully
considering the use of white space
against the text and ornaments.
Whistler harkened back to early
manuscripts with his use of gloss
comments in the generous
manuscript-like borders. In this
case the device of gloss was used for
Whistler to comments alongside the
discussion of his famous lawsuit
against the influential art critic John
Whistler, a friend of Symbolist poet
Stèphane Mallarmé, drew parallels
between his work and music—
frequently using terms such as
nocturne or harmony in his painting
titles. Visual balance was an integral
part of Whistler's painting and
printmaking and he carried that
sensibility over to his book design.
Whistler added his own sense of visual
balance, an integral element in his
painting and printmaking now carried
over to his book's asymmetrical
Berkeson, William, Readability and
revival: the case of Caslon, Printing
History. July 1, 2011.
Myfonts, Romana, Link
McCune Collection Link
The Notebook of William Blake, British
Library on line Link
©Designhistory.org 2011
For Permission Info click here
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