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A short history of the Italian

A short history of the Italian

The Italian, one of the earliest non-ornamental display types, was first shown in the 1821 type specimen book of Caslon & Catherwood. The face can be quickly identified by the reversal of stress in the characters strokes. The traditionally thick vertical strokes in the roman character have been made thin and the thin horizontal strokes have been made thick. This type form represents a novel, if not radical, visual break […] Read more – ‘A short history of the Italian’.


Wood Type Research

Wood Type Research is a blog of current research in wood type design, manufacture and use during the 19th and 20th centuries by Professor David Shields, Chair of the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Latest Articles

Aldine & Aldine Ornamented
Aldine & Aldine Ornamented were patented by William H Page — and assigned to William H Page & Co — on March 15, 1870, (US Design No 3,905). The plain face Aldine was first shown April 1870, in Marder, Luce & Co’s quarterly The Chicago Specimen‹1›. Both Aldine and Aldine Ornamented were shown by William H Page & Co in their July 1870 Specimens of Wood Type. In American Wood […] Read more – ‘Aldine & Aldine Ornamented’.
William Hamilton Page
William Hamilton Page was born in Tilton, New Hampshire March 14, 1829 to James & Jane Greenleaf Page. Page spent his childhood on a farm in the Connecticut River Valley, and would go on to be the most important American wood type manufacturer of the 19th century. Page started as a printer’s apprentice at age 14 in Bradford, Vermont. From 1843–1849 he moved from printer to printer in towns and […] Read more – ‘William Hamilton Page’.
Chromatic Gothic Paneled
  This shaded, beveled san serif design named Chromatic Gothic Paneled was first shown as a two color chromatic‹1› in Wm H Page & Co’s 1874 Specimen of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. The schematic design, from which Chromatic Gothic Paneled was derived, was patented March 3, 1874 (filed Jan 5, 1874) as US Design Patent No 7,230 by William H Page. The patent displayed the underlying organizational structure of […] Read more – ‘Chromatic Gothic Paneled’.

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