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Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

T-55. Type, Lettering, & Calligraphy, 1830-1980

James Mosley

An examination of typefaces and related letterforms. Topics include: commercial typography and the evolution of decorative display types: Perrin, Whittingham, and the revival of old style typefaces; the types of the private presses; art nouveau: the artist and printmaker as letter designer; Edward Johnston and broad-pen calligraphy; type design for machine production: the American Typefounders Company, Mergenthaler Linotype, Monotype (in the USA and England); new types in Germany and France. This course continues the themes developed in T-50.

This course will attempt to bring together coherently a number of points about the history of letterforms during its period, to survey current scholarship in the field, and to point directions for students' future study. The course presupposes a general knowledge of Western history and of the topics covered in T-50. In their personal statement, prospective students - especially those who have not already taken T-50 - should outline their background and previous study in typographic history.

Course Resources

Course History


James Mosley teaches this course for the first time.