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    * Baskerville *

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    Tabriz_Howard_Baskerville_Carpet.jpg
    (Wikipedia) - Baskerville For other uses, see Baskerville (disambiguation). Category Classification Designer(s) Foundry Variations Shown here
    Serif
    Transitional serif
    John Baskerville
    Deberny & Peignot Linotype
    John Baskerville Mrs Eaves
    Baskerville Ten by František Štorm
    The Folio Bible printed by Baskerville in 1763.

    Baskerville is a transitional serif typeface designed in 1757 by John Baskerville (1706–1775) in Birmingham, England. Baskerville is classified as a transitional typeface, positioned between the old style typefaces of William Caslon, and the newer styles of Giambattista Bodoni & Firmin Didot.

    The Baskerville typeface is the result of John Baskerville''s intent to improve upon the types of William Caslon. He increased the contrast between thick and thin strokes, making the serifs sharper and more tapered, and shifted the axis of rounded letters to a more vertical position. The curved strokes are more circular in shape, and the characters became more regular. These changes created a greater consistency in size and form.

    Baskerville''s typeface was the culmination of a larger series of experiments to improve legibility which also included paper making and ink manufacturing. The result was a typeface that reflected Baskerville''s ideals of perfection, where he chose simplicity and quiet refinement. His background as a writing master is evident in the distinctive swash tail on the uppercase Q and in the cursive serifs in the Baskerville Italic.

    In 1757, Baskerville published his first work, a collection of Virgil, which was followed by some fifty other classics. In 1758, he was appointed printer to the Cambridge University Press. It was there in 1763 that he published his master work, a folio Bible, which was printed using his own typeface, ink, and paper.

    The perfection of his work seems to have unsettled his contemporaries, and some claimed the stark contrasts in his printing damaged the eyes. Abroad, however, he was much admired, notably by Pierre Simon Fournier, Giambattista Bodoni (who intended at one point to come to England to work under him), and Benjamin Franklin.

    After falling out of use with the onset of the modern typefaces such as Bodoni, Baskerville was revived in 1917 by Bruce Rogers, for the Harvard University Press and released by Deberny & Peignot.

    Contents

    Hot type versions

    The following foundries offered versions of Baskerville:

    Cold type versions

    As it had been a standard type for many years, Baskerville was widely available in cold type. Alphatype, Autologic, Berthold, Compugraphic, Dymo, Star/Photon, Harris, Mergenthaler, MGD Graphic Systems, and Varityper, Hell AG, Monotype, all sold the face under the name Baskerville, while Graphic Systems Inc. offered the face as Beaumont.

    Digital versions

    Digital versions are available from Linotype, URW++, Monotype, and Bitstream as well as many others. The Baskerville typeface was used as the basis for the Mrs Eaves typeface in 1996, designed by Zuzana Licko.

    UsageThe ''Canada'' wordmark

    The font is used widely in documents issued by the University of Birmingham (UK) and Castleton State College (Vermont, USA), with the latter using the New Baskerville typeface. A modified version of Baskerville is also prominently used in the Canadian government''s corporate identity program—namely, in the ''Canada'' wordmark. Another modified version of Baskerville is used by Northeastern University (USA), and the ABRSM.

    Effect on readers

    A research study showed that the use of the Baskerville font increased the likelihood of the reader agreeing with a statement by 1.5% as compared to the average of five other fonts, including Comic Sans which had the most negative influence on agreement of the six.

    Tags:American, Bible, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cambridge University, Canada, Canadian, England, Harvard, Harvard University, Isaac, UK, USA, Wikipedia


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