100 Type Histories
Author(s): Alexander S. Lawson; Archie Provan
Publication: Arlington, Virginia : National Composition Association
Description: 2 v. : ill. ; 23 cm.
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If we can paraphrase a biblical quotation that refers to books, it would read: “Of the making of printing types there is no end.” Most printers over the past century and a half would agree completely with this statement, but undoubtedly they would still want to maintain this trend which began early in the 19th century. The type founders quickly discovered that there was a demand for a variety in type design to use in advertising the manufactured products flooding the marketplace as a result of mechanical innovations engendered by the industrial revolution. Prior to this time, most printers were perfectly satisfied with possessing only two or three type styles.
Thus, when the manufacture of metal printing types declined in the postwar era, the precedent was already established for the producers of composing machines to transfer many of the older designs to the new devices and to continue turning out still more inventive type forms. Such activity, while most desirable from the creative standpoint, does present problems of recognition to newcomers in the field of typography. With such a multitudinous array of type styles available, it is an arduous task to become familiar not only with the established ones but also to keep up with the new forms constantly issuing from the designers’ drawing boards.
These two booklets represent a reasonably systematic approach to type recognition and should serve to assist present-day practitioners in coming to grips with the seemingly innumerable type designs in everyday use. The one hundred types in this selection are not at all meant to portray the best available styles, but were chosen simply as representative of the typefaces most likely to be encountered not only by the personnel of typographic establishments but by all those engaged in the production of the printed word.
It should be pointed out, however, that while most types may be recognized by certain key characters, many are not so readily distinguished, particularly those faces which are specifically designed for continuous reading and which are most frequently encountered in small sizes. The student of printing types will learn with practice to establish guidelines that include such factors as weight of stroke and the more indefinable “feel” of an entire page. It requires continuous study to carefully delineate those subtle characteristics of letter forms which are part of every design turned out by a skilled type designer. A serious study of printing types can readily bring about the esthetic understanding and appreciation of one of the most fascinating of all art forms, the Latin alphabet as represented by the roman letter.
The preceding introduction also appears in 100 Type Histories, Volume I. The intentions of the authors certainly bear repeating, especially since the reader may find him/herself reading Volume II first. Volume I contains faces from A through H, while Volume II contains faces from I through Z. Also, the reader may wonder why such faces as Caslon, Caledonia, and Bodoni do not appear. These, and 23 other classic text faces have been previously covered in the NCA publication, Primer of Typeface Identification, published in 1976, which is recommended as a complementary text.
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Table of Contents
|ITC Berkeley Oldstyle||30|
|Goudy Lombardic Capitals||102|
|Goudy Sans Serif||104|
|Italian Old Style||20|
|Modern No. 216||46|
|Sapphire Saphir, Festliche Ziffern (Festive Numerals)||78|
|Schneidler Old Style||80|