This cross-disciplinary project will consider Baskerville’s contribution to typographic history. It will cover the fields of printing and typographic history, metals and materials, the history of the book and design, social and industrial history and bibliography.
John Baskerville [1707–75] is local hero with a worldwide reputation who made eighteenth-century Birmingham a city without typographic equal, who changed the course of type design, and emancipated printers the world over. He 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. He was the complete printer who spent a fortune in opulence and a lifetime of genius in carrying to perfection the greatest of all human inventions. His typographic experiments put him ahead of his time and did much to progress the industry of his day.
Yet despite his importance, fame and influence many aspects of Baskerville’s work and life remain unexplored and his contribution to the arts has gone largely unrecognized.
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