Oak Knoll Press and The British Library are pleased to announce the imminent
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF PRINTING TYPES
By Geoffrey Dowding
For anyone interested in type design, some knowledge of the history of
typefaces is invaluable. Many different factors have determined their
development over time, and the changes that have occurred over 500 years (as
shown by how great printers and publishers used type) reflect the often
radically different approaches to the presentation and dissemination of
texts. This work is a succinct and authoritative account, lavishly
illustrated, of the evolution of type design from the earliest Blackletters
to present day forms.
The book is divided into two parts, "Book Types" and "Display Types," and
each is treated chronologically and arranged in groups with similar
characteristics which are defined and illustrated. Reference is made to
current equivalents. Practically all illustrations have been reproduced in
facsimile and many sources have been searched to obtain representative
examples. Fully documented notes accompany each typeface and provide the
reader with a wealth of material for study, while appendixes cover elements
of design such as stress and serif.
Renowned designers such as Baskerville, Bodoni, Caslon, Morison and Goudy
did not create in a vacuum, but they possessed a detailed knowledge of the
solutions offered by past practitioners. Today, when computer-aided design
seems to make anything possible, there has never been a greater need to
study the practical achievements of the predecessors of type design.
For those concerned the with proper use of hundreds of typefaces now
available, this book provides an essential framework on which can be built
an appreciative understanding of the rich heritage of expressive letter
design that lies in the printer's case. It simplifies the problem of
identifying unfamiliar types and encourages that confidence in handling a
variety of typefaces which comes from an understanding of their origins,
history and uses. Many of the illustrations added have been expertly chosen
from the collections of The British Library and the St. Bride Foundation
Printing Library. This work belongs on the bookshelf of every printer,
publisher, graphic designer, and student of the printing and publishing
arts. Co-published by Oak Knoll Press and The British Library.
1997, 7 x 10 inches, illustrated, 304 pages.
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