Typography – history in the making

The Internet Archive has added a copy of the American specimen book of type styles┬áto their large collection. It’s fascinating to flip through and I would love to get my hands on an original.

That’s just not going to happen, so I will have to work with this digital copy. Great designs of complete typefaces and where & how to use them. It includes a full index (small print, so enlarge!) and also a complete photographic list of the buildings where the American Type Founders Company was housed.

Working for a publishing house, you cannot help but be intrigued by fonts and their effects when reading texts on paper or on a screen; as our publications need more unicode characters and diacritic combinations than any of the current fonts contain, a few years ago a decision was made to create our own font: The Brill. Needless to say, I have followed its progress closely, and I cannot wait until we can start using it via the WOFF technology on our online platforms. That does not mean that I cannot enjoy the magically created typefaces of yesteryear, after all, where would we be without the work of Garamont, Caslon and all the others!

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