Gotico-Antica, Proto-Roman, Hybrid 15th Century Types Between Gothic And Roman

The book brings together researchers in the fields of typography, palaeography and the history of the book, with an emphasis on characters and letter shapes. The relatively little studied period – after Gutenberg and before the stabilization of Jenson’s model – extends from the first traces of humanistic tendencies to the ‘pure’ Roman type, passing through numerous cases of uncertain drawings, voluntary hybridizations and proto or archaic forms of the roman. In 1459 in Mainz, Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer printed Guillaume Durand’s Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, using a typeface (known today as ‘Durandus’) that was unlike any previous typeface. From there we can follow a wide variety of developments, in part relating to the journeys of the first printers from the Rhine region to Italy and France. By extension, the private press movement initiated by William Morris and Emery Walker at the end of the 19th century in England, brought some of these characters back to life before they fell into oblivion.

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