William Caslon I

Mid-eighteenth century British punchcutter and typefounder, who solidly established British typefounding with well-crafted copies of earlier Dutch designs.

Caslon started work as apprentice to a London gunsmith, and set up his own business in 1716 engraving gunlocks and bookbinding tools. In 1720 William Bowyer the elder took him to see the respected James foundry, and subsequently helped Caslon set up as a type founder himself. His great reputation stems largely from his specimen of 1734, showing types that were (and often still are) reckoned to be superior to the Dutch types that inspired them. Indeed, his success meant the English reliance on Dutch types came to an end. He cut many non-Latin types (including Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Coptic and Armenian) and some beautiful ornaments. His types were just as highly regarded in colonial America, and the Declaration of Independence was set in Caslon. His son, William Caslon II, took over the business upon his death in 1766.

Updike explains the fame and excellence of Caslon’s types thus: “While he modelled his letters on Dutch types, they were much better; for he introduced into his fonts a quality of interest, a variety of design, and a delicacy of modelling, which few Dutch types possessed. Dutch fonts were monotonous, but Caslon’s fonts were not so. His letters when analyzed, especially in the smaller sizes, are not perfect individually; but in their mass their effect is agreeable. That is, I think, their secret: a perfection of the whole, derived from harmonious but not necessarily perfect individual letterforms.”

The foundry, eventually known as H.W. Caslon & Co., passed down through various members of the family until 1937, when the rights were transferred to Stephenson Blake.

15 font families by William Caslon I

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LTC Caslon™ LTC Caslon™

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2 font styles from $29.00

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2 font styles from $35.00
Old English Text™ Old English Text™

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6 font styles from $26.00
Caslon SB™ Caslon SB™
Caslon SB™ Caslon SB™
Caslon SB™ Caslon SB™

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6 font styles from $26.00
New Caslon SB™ New Caslon SB™
New Caslon SB™ New Caslon SB™
New Caslon SB™ New Caslon SB™

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1 font style from $49.00
Caslon Graphique Caslon Graphique

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8 font styles from $35.00
ITC Caslon No. 224™ ITC Caslon No. 224™
ITC Caslon No. 224™ ITC Caslon No. 224™
ITC Caslon No. 224™ ITC Caslon No. 224™

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Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™

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Caslon Bold Caslon Bold
Caslon Bold Caslon Bold
Caslon Bold Caslon Bold
Caslon Bold Caslon Bold

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Caslon 540 Caslon 540
Caslon 540 Caslon 540
Caslon 540 Caslon 540
Caslon 540 Caslon 540

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Colonial Press Colonial Press

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1 font style from $15.00
Sketch Caslon Italic Sketch Caslon Italic

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4 font styles from $180.00

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RM Almanack RM Almanack

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Caslon 540 Caslon 540

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6 font styles from $35.00
Adobe Caslon Pro® Adobe Caslon Pro®

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5 font styles from $35.00

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4 font styles from $42.00 10% off
1822 GLC Caslon Pro 1822 GLC Caslon Pro
1822 GLC Caslon Pro 1822 GLC Caslon Pro
1822 GLC Caslon Pro 1822 GLC Caslon Pro

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13 font styles from $29.00
Bulldog® Bulldog®

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8 font styles from $29.00
Bulldog Slab® Bulldog Slab®
Bulldog Slab® Bulldog Slab®
Bulldog Slab® Bulldog Slab®
Bulldog Slab® Bulldog Slab®
Bulldog Slab® Bulldog Slab®

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Cradley™ Cradley™
Cradley™ Cradley™
Cradley™ Cradley™
Cradley™ Cradley™
Cradley™ Cradley™

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English Monarchs™ English Monarchs™

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6 font styles from $3.99

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13 font styles from $37.00
Bulldog Std® Bulldog Std®
Bulldog Std® Bulldog Std®
Bulldog Std® Bulldog Std®
Bulldog Std® Bulldog Std®
Bulldog Std® Bulldog Std®
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Apple Pie Apple Pie

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1 font style from $39.00
Houston Pen™ Houston Pen™
Houston Pen™ Houston Pen™
Houston Pen™ Houston Pen™
Houston Pen™ Houston Pen™
Houston Pen™ Houston Pen™

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1479 Caxton Initials 1479 Caxton Initials
1479 Caxton Initials 1479 Caxton Initials

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Antique Tuscan No 9 Antique Tuscan No 9
Antique Tuscan No 9 Antique Tuscan No 9
Antique Tuscan No 9 Antique Tuscan No 9
Antique Tuscan No 9 Antique Tuscan No 9
Antique Tuscan No 9 Antique Tuscan No 9

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Alter Gotisch Alter Gotisch
Alter Gotisch Alter Gotisch
Alter Gotisch Alter Gotisch
Alter Gotisch Alter Gotisch
Alter Gotisch Alter Gotisch