Type from three centuries

Taschen’s latest epic tome is a history of typefaces – complete with specimens – from 1628 to 1938.

Type. A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles

Based on artefacts held by late Dutch collector Jan Tholenaar, Type: A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, features typefaces from across the eras – from Caslon to Frutiger – via familiar figures such as Eric Gill and Jan Tschichold.

Documenting more than 300 years of typeface design was such a mammoth task that Taschen has split the work into two volumes.

Blickfang Schmuck, Schriftguss AG vorm. Brüder Butter, Dresden, 1927
Blickfang Schmuck, Schriftguss AG vorm. Brüder Butter, Dresden, 1927

The first volume covers everything pre-20th century, with texts by Tholenaar and editor Cees de Jong, while the second deals with the prolific period from 1900 to 1938, with an outline from academic Alston W Purvis.

Those with a Taschen keycard can access the book’s online image library, which features more than 2,400 high-res scans of type specimens, downloadable for unrestricted use.

Specimens of Printing Types, George Bruce and Company, New York, 1848
Specimens of Printing Types, George Bruce and Company, New York, 1848

Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, is published by Taschen priced at £34.99.

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