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First Impressions

Texts through Time

See how printed text would have looked between 1450 and 1500. You can edit the text by clicking on the page below and then select a decade to see how the founts and layout changed. To set the default text back, please click reset.

In principio creavit Deus cælum et terram. Terra autem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebræ erant super faciem abyssi: et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas. Dixitque Deus: Fiat lux. Et facta est lux. Et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona: et divisit lucem a tenebris. Appellavitque lucem Diem, et tenebras Noctem: factumque est vespere et mane, dies unus. Dixit quoque Deus: Fiat firmamentum in medio aquarum: et dividat aquas ab aquis. Et fecit Deus firmamentum, divisitque aquas, quæ erant sub firmamento, ab his, quæ erant super firmamentum. Et factum est ita. Vocavitque Deus firmamentum, Cælum: et factum est vespere et mane, dies secundus. Dixit vero Deus: Congregentur aquæ, quæ sub cælo sunt, in locum unum: et appareat arida. Et factum est ita. Et vocavit Deus aridam Terram, congregationesque aquarum appellavit Maria. Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum. Et ait: Germinet terra herbam virentem, et facientem semen, et lignum pomiferum faciens fructum juxta

Gutenberg B42 Regular

Gutenberg modelled the fount for his 42-line Bible on the formal script called Black-letter or Textura, used by scribes in northern Europe. It is characterised by a strong emphasis on the vertical strokes, making it difficult to distinguish between u, n, m and i.

San Marco Roman

The German printers who moved south into Italy in the 1460s adapted the Textura fount to mimic the local script called Rotunda. San Marco Roman is a modern interpretation of these fonts, designed by Karlgeorg Hoefer.

Jenson Classico Roman

The great typefounder and printer Nicolas Jenson created a number of beautiful founts in the 1470s, modelled on Italian humanist scripts. His founts have strongly influenced later type designers down to the present day. Adobe Jenson is a modern interpretation by Robert Slimbach.

1479 Caxton Normal

William Caxton used a number of different founts, which were generally modelled on the formal book-hands used in Flanders and northern France. 1479 Caxton Normal was inspired by Caxton's first two founts and was designed by Gilles Le Corre.

Bembo Roman

In 1496 Aldus Manutius used a new roman typeface to print the book de Aetna, a travelogue by Pietro Bembo. The fount was designed by Francesco Griffo. In 1929 the typographer Stanley Morrison and the staff of the Monotype Corporation redrew Bembo for machine composition.

Aldus Italic

Aldus Italic was created by the great German type designed Hermann Zapf in 1950. It is inspired by the italic of Aldus Manutius, whose edition of Vergil's Opera (1501) was the first book printed entirely in italics.

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