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William Caslon

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.

14 font families by William Caslon

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Albums

2 font styles from $29.00
Sixty zippers were quickly picked from the woven jute bag.

Albums

1 font style from $39.00
Jeb quickly drove a few extra miles on the glazed pavement.

Albums

20 font styles from $24.95
Gen. Schwarzkopf’s job quietly vexed him.
LTC Caslon™ LTC Caslon™
LTC Caslon™ LTC Caslon™
LTC Caslon™ LTC Caslon™
LTC Caslon™ LTC Caslon™

Albums

6 font styles from $26.00
Jeez, by TV film Schwarzkopf expunged Iraq.
New Caslon SB™ New Caslon SB™
New Caslon SB™ New Caslon SB™
New Caslon SB™ New Caslon SB™

Albums

6 font styles from $26.00
Jeb quickly drove a few extra miles on the glazed pavement.
Caslon SB™ Caslon SB™
Caslon SB™ Caslon SB™
Caslon SB™ Caslon SB™

Albums

2 font styles from $29.00
Barkeep! A flaming tequila swizzle and a vodka and Ajax, hold the cherry.

Albums

8 font styles from $39.00
Whacky pangram quiz flummoxed Steve Jobs.
ITC Caslon No. 224™ ITC Caslon No. 224™

Albums

3 font styles from $29.00
Schwarzkopf vexed Iraq big-time in July.

Albums

1 font style from $35.00
Five or six big jet planes zoomed quickly by the tower.

Albums

1 font style from $29.00
Jimmy and Zack, the police explained, were last seen diving into a field of buttered quahogs.
Caslon Graphique Caslon Graphique

Albums

9 font styles from $39.00
Beloved Groucho joked with a mix of zany quips.

Albums

2 font styles from $29.00
Will Major Douglas be expected to take this true-false quiz very soon?

Albums

2 font styles from $29.00
Suez sailor vomits jauntily abaft while waxing parquet decks.

Albums

1 font style from $25.00
Fax back Jim’s Gwyneth Paltrow video quiz.
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™
Caslon Gotisch™ Caslon Gotisch™