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Neoclassical Fonts by: Mitchell Hallmark


John Baskerville

Neoclassicism 1760-1850

Artists again looked back at the classical styles of ancient Greek and Rome Louis XIV is on the throne and Jacques Jaugeon is working on what is now considered to be the first Transitional (or Neoclassical) style typeface, the Romain du Roi or King’s Roman, commissioned by Louis XIV for the Imprimerie Royale in 1692 Grandjean’s type : Produced by a committee set up by the French Academy of Science Near the age of enlightenment Famous Typists: John Baskerville Giabattista Bodoni Firmin Didot

type designer, writing master, printer

Born Jan. 28 1706 in Wolverley, Worcestershire, England died 8. 1. 1775 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England 1725: moves to Birmingham 1733–37: writing master in Birmingham 1750: sets up his own type foundry and printing works 1757: his first printed book is published, an edition of Virgil 1758: publishes an edition of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” 1758: appointed printer to the University of Cambridge. Here he produces several editions of the “Book of Common Prayer” and in 1763 a New Testament in a Greek type he designs 1770–73: produces a four-volume edition of Ariosto’s “Orlando Furioso” 1953: Baskerville’s original letter stamps and matrices are donated to Cambridge University Press

Firmin Didot born 1764 in Paris, France died 1836 in Mesnil-surl’Estrée, France – punch cutter, type founder, printer, publisher, author. Studied classical languages. 1783: cuts his first typefaces and reworks his father’s roman alphabets. 1797: is granted a patent for his developments in the field of stereotype printing. His typefaces are used in his brother Pierre Didot’s “Editions du Louvre” series. 1812: he is made director of the Imprimerie Impériale type foundry. 1823: one of his tragedies is performed at the Théâtre de l’Odeon. punch cutter, type founder, printer, publisher, author. Studied classical languages.

Giabattista Bodoni born 16. 2. 1740 in Saluzzo, Piedmont, Italy, died 30. 11. 1813 in Parma, Italy 1758–66: typesetter in the Vatican’s Propaganda Fide printing works. 1766: the Duke of Parma invites Bodoni to set up an run a printing works. 1768: begins working in the Stamperia Reale. 1770: opens his own type foundry. 1771: publishes his first typographical contribution “Fregi e Majuscole”. 1782: Charles III of Spain names Bodoni his court typographer. 1788: the book “Manuale Tipografico” is published, containing 100 roman, 50 italic and 28 Greek minuscule fonts. 1790: the Duke of Parma gives Bodoni permission to open his own printing works, Tipi Bodoni. The first books to be published are volumes of Greek, Roman and Italian classics. 1806: “L’Oratio Dominica in CLV linguas versa” is produced, set in 215 typefaces. 1818: Bodoni’s widow completes and publishes her late husband’s mighty “Manuale Tipografico” in two volumes, a witness to Bodoni’s entire creative working life. It contains roman, Greek, gothic, Asian and Russian fonts, and lines, borders, symbols, numbers and musical notation. 1963: the Bodoni Museum is opened in Parma



Lumieres, Siecle D. “History of Typography: Transitional | I Love Typography, the Typography and Fonts Blog.” Fonts, Typefaces and All Things Typographical. 17 Jan. 2008. Web. 30 Mar. 2012. <>. “Font Designer – John Baskerville.” John Baskerville. Web. 30 Mar. 2012. <http://>

Head serifs generally more horizontal

Greater contrast between thick and thin (sub-) strokes

“Font Designer – Giambattista Bodoni.” Giambattista Bodoni. Web. 30 Mar. 2012. <>. “Typographic Milestones.” An Introduction to the History of Graphic Design. Web. 30 Mar. 2012. <>.

Vertical or almost vertical stress in the bowls of lowercase letters

Neoclassical fonts  
Neoclassical fonts  

A presentation that exaplins the history of neoclassical fonts and the designers involved