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Robert Estienne’S Printing Types

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to describe exhaustively Robert I Estienne's stock of types, to find out which type designers and punchcutters may have served under him, and to try out a methodology for distinguishing and naming historical typefaces. Describing twenty-nine types (nine Romans, four Italics, six Greeks, ten Hebrews), it aims to contribute to a much needed but still awaited conspectusa of all known sixteenth-century printing types. The chapter discusses, in turn, the available sources, Estienne's acquisitions of new typefaces, and the main characteristics of his Romans, Italics, Greeks, Hebrews. A technical description of each type and two tables, arranged by body size and date, respectively, complete the chapter. The chapter's main conclusions address the attribution of the new 1530 Romans and some Italics to Garamont, the use of the Grecs du Roy outside France and Geneva, and the ascription to Picard of the square Hebrews Estienne used from mid-1543 onwards.

Keywords: Grecs du Roy; punchcutters; Robert I Estienne; sixteenth-century printing types; type designers



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