Type has existed since the dawn of printing. Wood was used as a material for some larger fonts during the nineteenth-century, but in general fonts would be cast in lead alloys. The mechanisation of typesetting in the 1890s allowed for continuous casting, which remained widespread until the 1970s. Since, digital type has been the more dominant form.
A new book by Laurence King The Visual History of Type is exploring the history from its advent to the present day. If like me you have an interest in type design and design history, or are involved in the creative industries, then the book is a must read.
Author Paul McNeil, a graphic designer and a senior lecturer in typography at the London College of Communication, has examined every major typeface, with an emphasis on the direct, faithful representation of 320 key historical type designs presented in their original specimens.
It also makes for a brilliant coffee table book for the general reader interested in the history of communications and visual culture.
The Visual History of Type is published by Laurence King and available from 11 September 2017.