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Caslon Sans Serif alphabet unavailable

Date: 1816

Designer:
William Caslon IV

Foundry:
Caslon founder and printer

Location:
London, England

Current equivalent:
No direct modern equivalent exists

See also:
FB Caslon's Egyptian, Johnston Sans, Adsans, Engraver's Gothic, Stephenson Blake's Grotesque

Technologies:
Wood
Metal (foundry)
Postscript
Opentype

Famous for:
The first sans serif type.

Applications:
Signage

Ubiquity:
Very rarely used

Category:
Sans Serif Grotesque

Stress: Vertical
Serifs: Sans

Design history:
According to Robert Bringhurst, earlier typefaces exist that do not have serifs (including a type to be embossed for the blind, by Valentin Haüy in Paris, 1786). Caslon is thought to have cut this uppercase titling face from signwriters 'block' letters around 1812, but it makes no appearance until the Caslon 1816 specimen book, in which it is erroneously categorised as an 'English Two Line Egyptian'. This is perhaps understandable when comparing the wide and heavy proportions of the Egyptians with Caslon's Sans Serif and the Grotesques, which followed on from this pattern in the 19th century. Sans Serif designs that incorporated a lowercase were thought to originate in Leipzig in the 1820s.

profile 11

picture: Baseline magazine