Baskerville

This post is pretty late, but I could not ignore a post about one of my favorite typefaces! Baskerville was developed in England by John Baskerville in the 18th century. At the beginning of the century old-style typefaces were dominant, but by the end of the century the modern style had taken over in typography. The fonts that were formed in the middle of this period were called Transitional type, which is Baskerville.

Baskerville tried to improve upon Caslon Old Style by increasing the contrast between thick-and-thin strokes, making serifs sharper and more tapered, and shifting the axis of rounded letters to vertical. Because of Baskerville’s background as a writing master, he used a calligraphic swash tail on the upper case Q and cursive serifs in Baskerville Italic. Baskerville’s typeface later influenced the modern fonts Bodoni and Didot, which went to the extreme with contrast and geometric refinement.

I love Baskerville, because of the fact that it still holds to organic forms and also has a modern look. I absolutely love the high contrast between the strokes and the geometric feel to the letter forms. My favorite letter forms are…all of them! But if I had to pick a few they would be the lower case f, g, i, k, and the upper case A, Q, and V. The way this typeface looks in body copy is very pleasant and readable. The most notable features of this typeface are the tail on the upper case Q, the open loop on the lower case g, and how lower and upper case w do not cross at the center.

Baskerville is one of those typefaces that I find myself using a lot in my design even when I am not aware of it. I use it more for the body copy of the design, but I think it looks great for headlines and logo type when it is appropriate. Baskerville has been used for many of the University of Birmingham’s documents and a modified version in the Canadian government’s corporate identity program. I hope you love this font as much as me! Comments welcome.

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About Kevin Coté

I am a graphic design consultant and freelance designer by trade. I have been working for M&R Liquors for 5 years now and have enjoied the liquor industry. Here my thoughts that will range from Design and Liquor to Politics and Movies...but mostly Design and Liquor.
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