20 June 2011
Deep in the archives: Caslon Rounded Sans Serif, 1836
There are few new ideas in type design. Look back far enough, and there is a good chance you will find the idea done before. This rounded sans serif, which dates back to 1836, is a good example, wrote Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes in Eye 75.
This came from the endless variations on the basic Modern forms: take a serif, make it into a slab; remove the slabs, make it a sans; condense it, make it a condensed sans; round it, make a rounded sans; inscribe a line, make a ‘shaded’; add some ornaments, make an ornamented; and so on. These days we can do such things quickly, but then it had to be done manually.
Above and top: Specimen of Printing Types by Henry Caslon, London 1842 & Specimen of Caslon & Glasgow Letter Foundry, 1861. Collection of St Bride Printing Library.
‘Deep in the archives’ by Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes was written for Eye 75, Spring 2010.
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