Posted in Publication, Typeface

Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles c.1628—1938 | Taschen


This new (revised) two-volume edition of Taschen’s  ‘A visual history of fonts and graphic styles: 1628–1938’ brings together the incredible and comprehensive Type specimen / ‘Printed Letter’ collection of Jan Tholenaar.

The volumes are beautifully illustrated throughout and explore the most remarkable examples of font catalogs from the history of publishing, with a special emphasis on the period from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, when colour catalogs were at their height, tracing the evolution of the printed letter via exquisitely designed type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad fonts. Borders, ornaments, initial letters, and decorations are also included, along with lithographic examples, letters by sign writers, inscription carvers, and calligraphers.

Featuring works by type designers including: William Caslon, Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke, Peter Behrens, Rudolf Koch, Eric Gill, Jan van Krimpen, Paul Renner, Jan Tschichold, A. M. Cassandre, Aldo Novarese, and Adrian Frutiger.

In order to accommodate a vast amount of material, The collection is divided into two volumes. The first volume covers pre–20th century typeface specimens, with texts by editor Cees de Jong and collector Jan Tholenaar. The second volume covers the period from 1900 to the mid-20th century, and contains a historical outline by Alston W. Purvis.

The two volume set with the addition of a digital Keycard (password) to access an online image library of over 2,400 high-resolution scans of type specimens (downloadable for unrestricted use) make the books great value at £35.00 (UK RRP)

I’d love to see a volume 3 edition covering type specimens from 1939—1980!

The editors and authors:

Cees W. de Jong is a designer and publisher based in Naarden, the Netherlands. He has published numerous books on design, architecture, art and graphic design, and is now working as a design/publishing consultant and author.

Alston W. Purvis is professor of the visual arts division of the School of Arts at Boston University, USA. He is also the author on many books on graphic design.

Jan Tholenaar was a collector of the printed letter in all its various incarnations; especially in the form of design catalogs and specimen books. He lived in Amsterdam, where he passed away in 2009.






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