Thursday, October 31

New Baskerville

Screen shot of my 11x17 spread of New Baskerville

* I'm noting that I had trouble finding a lot of information on "New Baskerville", but because of it's direct influence from "Baskerville", I'm including a lot of research on the original typeface. There's little to no information on the designer who revived the design, but the typeface is mainly credited to John Baskerville.

Key information:
- John Baskerville (1705-1775) designed the original Baskerville,
but John Quaranda designed the revived version.

- The original Baskerville made a huge influence in Europe where it circulated among many foundries. Isaac Moore from Bristol's Fry Foundry created it's own Baskerville in 1766, which reflected the sharpness of the Baskerville roman. American typographer, Bruce Rogers, discovered a Baskerville type specimen in Cambridge bookstore in 1917, and once he became printing advisor to Harvard University Press, he recommended that the type be casted from the original Baskerville matrixes, causing a revival to the typeface in the 20th century. ITC gained the rights and releases ITC New Baskerville in 1982.

- John Baskerville designed the original typeface in 1762, revived New Baskerville released in 1982.

- Transitional typeface in between classical typefaces and the high contrast modern faces. Baskerville wanted to create a softer typeface with rounded bracketed serifs and a vertical axis.

Other factual information:
The original Baskerville and it’s revivals share design traits with old style typefaces while foreshadowing the innovations of Didot and Bodoni.

-John Quaranda designed New Baskerville. ITC gained the rights and released ITC New Baskerville in 1982. This release made the design’s roman, semi bold, bold, and black weights (each with a corresponding italic) available to a much larger audience.

-Baskerville was created for setting books, and its modern revivals are ideally suited to the setting of continuous text. Magazines, booklets, brochures and pamphlets are natural uses. New Baskerville is also an exceptionally legible design, with a genial, attractive feel. More than merely east to read, New Baskerville is inviting to the reader.

Baskerville produced a masterpiece folio Bible for Cambridge University and today his types are considered to be fine representations of 18th century rationalism and neoclassicism.

Baskerville grew out of an ongoing experimentation with printing technology. Baskerville redesigned the press replacing the wooden platen with a brass one in order to allow the planes to meet more evenly because the existing printing presses did not capture the subtleties of his type.

- Baskerville is used in the following: The Metropolitan Opera logo, Kate Spade New York logo, Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Canada word mark, and American Gangster film poster 
(just a few examples)

- New York Times did a survey question: Does a certain font make you agree or disagree more often than another font? Turns out that Baskerville confers a 1.5% advantage towards agreement compared to an average of six fonts.

- David Dunning a psychologist involved in the survey called Baskerville 'the king of fonts'.

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