The Typographic Hub

Aims and objectives

The Baskerville Society is an international society dedicated to the study of the eighteenth-century typographer, printer, industrialist and Enlightenment figure, John Baskerville (1707-75).

John Baskerville [1707–75] was a Birmingham inventor, entrepreneur and artist with a world-wide reputation who made eighteenth-century Birmingham a city without typographic equal, by changing the course of type design.  Baskerville not only designed a typeface, which has become one of the world’s most widely used, enduring and historically important founts, he also experimented with casting and setting type, improved the construction of the printing-press, helped to develope a new kind of paper and refined the quality of printing inks. His typographic experiments put him ahead of his time, had an international impact and did much to enhance the printing and publishing industries of his day. Yet despite his importance, fame and influence many aspects of Baskerville’s work and life remain unexplored and his contribution to printing, the arts, technological change and the Enlightenment are largely unrecognized.

To address this The Baskerville Society will consider Baskerville’s contribution to typographic and eighteenth-century history: it is a cross-disciplinary enterprise covering the fields of printing and typographic history, metals and materials, the history of the book and design, social and industrial history and bibliography.

With the assistance of its membership and delegate committee, the Baskerville Society aims to:

  • Encourage research into and promote public knowledge and understanding of John Baskerville’s life, times and significance.
  • Maintain a website which draws attention to information about John Baskerville and his work, relevant research and activities, publications, primary sources, artefacts and places associated with his life.Disseminate a newsletter to maintain contact between members of the Forum.
  • Facilitate contact and the sharing of information between members of the Forum via a newsletter, conferences and other activities and events.
  • Cooperate with other organisations, societies and individuals to promote research into and public knowledge and understanding of John Baskerville.
  • Support the development of projects and activities which enhance knowledge and understanding of John Baskerville.