Autumn 2012

Editorial Eye 84

The original Monotype was an ingenious piece of highly disruptive technology that caused the biggest changes to the printing industry since the invention of movable type.

This fiendishly complex example of mechanical engineering enabled every printer to make type for themselves. Its efficiency and accuracy transformed printing and publishing with ruthless speed until succeeding waves of technological progress – from photosetting to the ongoing digital revolution – consigned the Monotype keyboard and caster to typographic history.

For this special issue we have seized the chance to explore Monotype’s rich archives of type design treasures. We also hear from Beatrice Warde and Stanley Morison, both significant personalities in the company’s development, in their own words.

Robin Nicholas and Dan Rhatigan, two designers closely involved in the past and present of Monotype, add their insights. And we catch a glimpse of the Monotype, the machine that started it all, in action at John Randle’s Whittington Press. SE & JLW

First published in Eye no. 84 vol. 21 2012.

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can see what Eye 84 looks like at Eye before You Buy on Vimeo.