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Simon Loxley is a freelance graphic designer, author of Type: The Secret History Of Letters and the forthcoming Printer’s Devil: The Life And Work Of Frederic Warde. He is editor and designer of Ultrabold, the journal of St Bride Library, London.
Serifs, sans serifs and… scripts. In theory not a bad typographic palette to play with, but when it comes to practice, the options are always far fewer. [Links checked March/10/2017]
One member of that stylistic trio could never quite punch its weight. But over the last few years we have seen something of a rebirth and revitalization of scripts, a category that once represented a care home for the typographically underemployed. But why has this come about, and why was one needed in the first place?
I had thought of terms like “intellectual property” or “intellectual theft” as being of fairly recent provenance, so my eye was caught by the latter’s use in a headline of a 1930 edition of the American trade journal The American Printer.
The article it fronted proved to be equally intriguing, a response by the president of American Type Founders to a June 1929 article in the German journal Gebrauchsgraphik by the designer Rudolf Koch calling ATF a “highway robber of German intellectual property”.