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Revivals of revivals

Revivals of revivals

In the early 15th century in Florence, Italy an inscriptional letterform was developed in contrast to the existing Gothic and Romanesque forms that would lead to a revival of the classical Roman by the end of the century. By the end of the 14th century the early Renaissance scholars—Petrach and Niccoli—began looking back to Carolingian manuscript forms for inspiration as they transcribed classical texts. This work strongly influenced architects and […] Read more – ‘Revivals of revivals’.


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 David Shields, Associate Professor of the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Latest Articles

Unit Gothic & Uniform Set Gothic: wood type as precursor
“Innovations, being prepared over a long period of time, remained dormant for the most part, undiscovered and misunderstood, only to suddenly awaken, providing a characteristic expression for an entire century.”{1} — Fredrich Friedl The development of the typographic sans serif follows a path of revival and renewal from a crude set of capital letters through a series of stylistic and organizing innovations leading to the formal refinement and complex family […] Read more – ‘Unit Gothic & Uniform Set Gothic: wood type as precursor’.
Chromatic Gothic Paneled
  The shaded, chamfered sans 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 the […] Read more – ‘Chromatic Gothic Paneled’.
The Nicholas J. Werner Typographic Collection
The personal collection of specimen catalogs, periodicals, and ephemera belonging to the multi-talented Nicholas Joseph Werner (1858–1940) are held by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department at St. Louis Public Library in the Nicholas J. Werner Typographic Collection. Werner began his work as a printer in 1873 in Atchison, Kansas at the age of fifteen. He became a compositor at the Central Type Foundry in St. Louis in 1882 and […] Read more – ‘The Nicholas J. Werner Typographic Collection’.

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