Sunday, 19 February 2012
Definitely My Type
I had a meeting with the Unbound chaps and my pal Lisa Hunter, last week. Lisa is taking on the task of typesetting the Gin Lane Gazette, which will be quite a complicated business, although I've no doubt she will discharge this duty with her customary brilliance and assiduousness.
Lisa is keen for me to create my own typeface, and I think this is a splendid idea. I'm hoping to create a cartoony, Gillrayesque script, which Lisa can use for caricature captions, speech-bubbles and the like. We also had a chat about the use of the archaic long 's', which is governed by very strict rules. I'm assured its inclusion won't present too much of a logistical nightmare, and I do feel it's essential to lend authenticity to the overall look of the Gazette. Someone once described fonts as 'the clothes that words wear', and I want mine to be in full frockcoat, breeches, and laced hat, cocked at a rakishly jaunty angle.
John Baskerville (1706-1775) was perhaps the 18th century's most famous and pioneering typographer. He was an atheist, but this didn't stop him printing a magnificent folio Bible in 1763. Benjamin Franklin was a big fan of his typefaces, and they were adopted by the federal government for most official publications in the United States. Baskerville was buried upright, at his own request, in unconsecrated ground, "in a Conical Building...Heretfore used as a mill", in the garden of his house, Easy Hill. To date, Lisa Hunter has made no such stipulation.