The first newspapers appeared in Strasbourg in 1609, and by 1611 had spread to all the major cities of Europe. Society was thoroughly enjoying their new found access to information through a proliferation of broadsides, and other materials from the printing press. In 1612, a new 'fad' established "pocket books" printed in condensed type to fit the gentlemen's vest pockets. That same year Robert Baker printed the first Bible in English.
For some however, there were hard times ahead. Let's pick up and continue through the 1600s to arive in a new world, and the Colonial Era.
TO FULLY APPRECIATE the following passages in script, we visit England around 1700. The growing areas of industry and commerce -- and of the rigors of record keeping it involved -- gave way to a new kind of quill. This new quill was no longer chiselled as its predecessors, but rather pointed with a split nib. It was designed to hold a quantity of ink in its ferrule and meter the flow of ink consistently down the split to the point. This gave all handwriting the traditional thick and thin strokes characteristic of the engraver's scripts we see today.
With the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia and the later arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623, the new world could hardly think of printing and typography. The rigors of beginning a new country brought the primary form of communications back to the quill and parchment. Paper, produced only in central Europe at the time, was both expensive to buy and heavy to ship to the new world.
To understand this new life one has but to read the diaries of those who experienced it. I've utilized the wonderful script "1722 Italic" from the pen of Ted Staunton and Sherwood Type to present a passage from an early Pilgrim's Diary. The remainder of the passage can be read in The First Harvest-Home In Plymouth, by W. De Loss Love, Jr (Adapted).
The Sherwood Foundry has crafted a whole line of heritage style fonts that allow you to lend realistic quill script anywhere you need a traditional Colonial look. 1722 Italic is one such font, with carefully crafted characters, and ligatures -- 255 characters in all -- that speak of the Colonial era.
THE FIRST PRINTING PRESS was established in the new world in 1640. With the enactment of "Freedom of The Press" into English law in 1694, those new printing presses coming to America would find a new cause for their ink.
By the early 1700s there were nearly fifty printers in the thirteen colonies. As America was plunged into the Revolutionary War, these presses spread the word around the world through their publications. In fact, without these presses, some say the revolution would not have been possible.
In 1737 a French printer named Pierre Fournier le Jeune established the first standardized measurement system for typography. His original Table of Proportions set forth the sizes for type while at the same time introducing the notion of type families. This landmark development overthrew the popular Rococo design movement -- which mixed and mingled a myriad of faces, flourishes, scrolls and elaborate decoration -- for a uniform approach to typography. Now, with a measuring system and compatible faces in families, designers could produce highly readable and consistent texts. Jeune's points and picas system became the standard, and is still in use today.
Printing was spreading to all corners of the new world... including one particular printer in Philadelphia, operated by an outspoken writer, inventor and statesman, Benjamin Franklin...
Sherwood Fonts include the heritage font we see in our page title, called the Founders Font which is one of the free fonts included with the IndieFonts 2 Book/CD package The 1722 Italic font which adorns our sub titles and the Pilgrim's Diary setting mentioned above, is available from the Sherwood Collection at the P22 Foundry.
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