Baskervilles Impacts and Influences on Society
John Baskerville was born January 28, 1706. By the year of 1723 he had became a skilled engraver of tombstones and was teaching writing. In 1726 he set up a school for teaching writing and book-keeping, as well as maintaining work as an engraver. In 1738 he started his own business of japanning ware which was an early type of enamelling.
Within the decade John Baskerville had became a wealthy man and bought an estate which is on the site of the present day Baskerville house in England.
Up to this point in time he still had more he was destine to accomplish in his life. In the 1750 is when his lifelong passion for lettering and books came into play and paved the way for his memorable accomplishments in history. He had experimented with paper-making, ink manufacturing, type founding and printing.
Baskerville invented a wove paper that was smoother then the old laid paper with ribbing.
He also created a faster drying ink that would aid in the amount of ink that soaked into the paper. He also made several advances in the printing process by improving press platens and packing's. In about 1754 Baskerville created his first font which is a transitional serif typeface that was created by increased the contrast between thick and thin strokes, making the serifs sharper and more tapered. The Baskerville typeface was easier to read than the traditional Old Style typeface that Caslon created.
In 1757 he published his first book, an edition of Virgil. He also published over fifty other classics. His masterpiece, the Holy Bible was printed in 1763 and is regarded by most as the finest book printed in English.
Modern typeface had taken the place for the use of Baskerville typeface but was revived in 1917 for Harvard University Press, and in 1923 in England for the British Monotype Company as part of it program of revivals. Baskerville was also used in 1996 as the basis for the Mrs Eaves typeface. The Canadian government corporate identity program uses a modified version of Baskerville in the 'Canada' word mark.
This is a typeface that is still used today over 250 years later. John Baskerville gave a useful typeface that was a brilliant design even though he was criticised for his design he knew what was great. The Baskerville typeface will no doubt continue to be used well into the future.