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The Italics Of Robert Granjon

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Chapter Summary

Robert Granjon (1513-90) was the leading artist in the development of the Old-face Italic. An approximate count of his production amounts to nearly ninety typefaces: thirty Italics, twenty Romans, seven civilités, nine Greeks, a dozen exotics, half a dozen music faces, a few Hebrews, and an undefinite number of initials, arabesque ornaments and fleurons. This chapter attempts to identify Granjon's Italics and to ascertain the historical evidence for ascribing them. Apart from contemporary printed material, there are four main categories of archival sources for assessing Granjon's work on Italic types. The earliest is a series of half a dozen legal documents. Thereafter one can follow the Plantin inventories and type-specimens which illustrate Granjon's mature years. Thirdly, there are the 1592 and 1622 Berner type-specimens with showings and ascriptions of some of Granjon's types. Finally, there are two important documents emanating indirectly from the first Guillaume Le Bé.

Keywords: Berner type-specimens; Guillaume Le Bé; Italic types; Plantin inventories; Robert Granjon



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