HISTORICAL TYPES FROM GUTENBERG TO ASHENDENE.
- New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2012.
- 9 x 12 inches
- hardcover with dust jacket
- 104 pages
- ISBN 9781584562986 / Order Nr. 105522
- Price: $39.95 other currencies
Historical Types begins in 1454 with Gutenberg's experiments with moveable type and reaches as far as the Fine Press movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. Every historical example shown in the survey is the result of hand-engraved punches, hand-set type, and pages hand-printed sheet by sheet. The book explores every major development in the design of type and includes some (previously) lesser-known designers whose type designs made significant contributions to the craft. The material is divided into sections by historical period and assigned category numbers for easy reference.
The text of the book provides an excellent historical background to the study of type history, but the primary value of this book is its illustrations. Each entry consists of a double-page spread showing three-fold photographic reproductions of the relevant types - a whole page of the book to show context, an actual-size sample to show scale, and a detailed enlargement to show a closer view of the type. All of the digital photographs for Historical Types have been specially commissioned (with special lighting) to show the type samples in a totally new way, with a size, detail, and clarity not seen before. Each set of illustrations is accompanied by a detailed but concise written commentary. The book also includes an extended introduction describing the book and dealing with significant material outside the scope of the commentaries.
Historical Types stands a step above other books on the history of type because of the size and quality of its reproductions and its straightforward and clear exposition. For these reasons, it should soon become a favorite text for teachers and students of type design, as well as anyone interested in the history of the book.