Old-Style Types by Garamond and Caslon

After the death of Aldus in 1515, leadership shifted to France. There the family Estienne (Stephanus in Latin) printed many books that were beautiful as well as textually significant. Other famous 16th-century French printers were Simon de Colines and Geoffroy Tory. The finest printing of all these Frenchmen was done with types that were designed by Claude Garamond. The Garamond types were the ancestors of Caslon and other faces classified as old style. After 1560 Christophe Plantin, at Antwerp, produced fine work ornamented with engravings after Rubens and other artists.

Early in the 17th century the Elzevir family at Leyden and Amsterdam became major international publishers. Their editions of the classics are still sought by collectors. Their best types, designed by Christopher van Dyck, are a refinement of Garamond. In France under Louis XIV a series of fine fonts was cut about 1693 for the exclusive use of the Imprimerie Royale (Royal Printing House).

About 1722 William Caslon, an Englishman, designed a new face. Caslon's old-style designs are still in use and widely adapted. They suffered a temporary eclipse late in the 18th century. Then the greatest influence was that of John Baskerville, who had his papers, inks, and types especially made to produce a book to be truly elegant in appearance. Baskerville's faces are regarded as transitional between old-style and modern designs.

Sizes of Type - Measuring Width - Fonts Type Casting by Hand and by Machine

Invention and Spread of Type and Printing First Designs for Roman and Italic Types

Old-Style Types by Garamond and Caslon - Bodoni Originates Modern Types

Trends in the 19th and 20th Centuries - Inexpensive Fonts