AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF PRINTING TYPES
of the authors, etc. arranging this and other information in as great a
variety of types as possible.This custom of crowding the title-pages
appears to have sprung from the fact that copies were at that time ex¬
hibited as advertisements for the books themselves. Such practices did
not make for excellence in the typographic arrangement of title-pages.
Of the seventeenth century Mr Johnson has said that it was 'undoubt¬
edly the worst in the history of typography.'1
In the eighteenth century title-page arrangement improved, becom¬
ing simpler & lighter. Baskerville, for example, thought that type could
well stand alone, that is, without the support of blocks or any manner
of decorative material.The classical school of printers (Didot, Bodoni)
eschewed not only decoration, but the mixing of lower-case and italics
with lines in capitals on their title-pages.They relied, in the main, on
compositions in various sizes of roman capitals only, as can be seen
from the example on pages 84,85.
On the Continent, where 'from the middle of the sixteenth century
the writing masters 6c the copper-plate engravers, especially the French,
had been experimenting with all manner of decorated letters'2 Pierre
Simon Fournier, whose work has already been referred to in the notes
on the intermediate or transitional types, was 'mainly responsible for
one innovation, the introduction of shaded & other decorative capitals
which were so successfully used at Paris.'3 This innovation was soon
taken up by other founders in France and in the Netherlands ¿5c towards
the end of the century by founders in England.
Though these shaded & decorated types were designed for purposes
of display it was with the book in mind that they had been cut.The ad¬
vent of display faces designed for jobbing or ephemeral printing, that
is, of types designed specifically for the purposes of advertisement and
not of bookwork dates from the opening years of the nineteenth cen¬
tury. In this field England took the lead.
* * *
'In One Hundred Title-Pages, 1500-1800.
2A.F.Johnson, a guide то present-day types (Display Types). Paper andPrint.
3A. F.Johnson. One Hundred Title-Pages.
The Display Types
The first three of our groups of display types were designed/or use in
books. Script types were originally used as types for continuous reading
and whole books were set in them. Decorated and shaded types were
of course used on title-pages, as initials, in chapter headings, & in other
parts of the book.
* * *
In our notes on display types we cannot follow precisely the arrange¬
ment used in describing the various groups of book types.We shall
adhere to the same plan in giving short historical notes & listing repre¬
sentative contemporary examples. But in the notes on characteristics
a change will obviously have to be made. In writing of the infinite
variety of display types it will not be possible to be as specific in these
notes as it was in the case of the book faces, e.g. the stress or shading of
decorated types may be oblique or it may be vertical, and the model¬
ling may follow types of either the old-face or modern groups. In most
cases however the characteristics given as peculiar to each group, com¬
bined with an examination of contemporary examples, will serve as
sufficient guides for the purpose of identification.
* * *
The first group of display types, the scripts, is so large & so varied that
only the briefest of descriptions of its two main divisions will be poss¬
ible if the historical notes are to be kept within bounds.