Baskerville: The Biography of a Typeface | Simon Garfield
The classic elegant English typeface, still widely used as a book text more than 250 years since its creation. Baskerville is a transitional design, poised between the first metal types and modern styles, notable for its combination of fat and thin strokes. When it was first used there was genuine concern that it would damage readers’ eyes.
John Baskerville was a maverick lacquer maker and printer in Birmingham, a flamboyant dresser, an important figure in the Enlightenment. Though it earned him little money, he was obsessive about both his typeface and its appearance on the page, a perfectionism culminating in his magnificent Bible. The story encompasses one of the first powerful women of the printing world, his wife Sarah Baskerville, and the many typefaces the Baskervilles inspired. And it examines why John Baskerville’s body was dug up and buried many times before it was finally allowed to rest in peace.