Greek Font Society
33 Sp. Merkouri Str.
116 34 Athens
T: +30 210 725 1979
F: +30 210 725 1979
|GFS Bodoni Classic
Giambattista Bodoni was the most prolific Italian typecutter of the 18th century. While he worked in the Vatican Press he was involved in the typecutting of “exotic” languages for which catholic literature was printed. When he established his own press in Parma he did publish many books of the classics with his own Greek typefaces in the last quarter of the 18th century. He was among the first European typecutters to move away from the byzantine cursive tradition with the numerous ligatures which was the norm until then. His Greek types influenced many subsequent designers, yet they fell in disuse by the middle of the 19th century.
John Baskerville (1706-1775) got involed in typography late in his career but his contribution was significant. He was a successful entrepreneur and possesed an inquiring mind which he applied to produce many aesthetic and technical innovations in printing. He invented a new ink formula, a new type of smooth paper and made various improvements in the printing press. He was also involved in type design which resulted in a latin typeface which was used for the edition of Virgil, in 1757. The quality of the type was admired throughout of Europe and America and was revived with great success in the early 20th century. Baskerville was also involved in the design of a Greek typeface which he used in an edition of the New Testament for Oxford University, in 1763. He adopted the practice of avoiding the excessive number of ligatures which Alexander Wilson had started a few years earlier but his Greek types were rather narrow in proportion and did not win the sympathy of the philologists and other scholars of his time. They did influence, however, the Greek types of Giambattista Bodoni. and through him Didot's Greek in Paris.
Download GFSBaskerville Specimen
During the whole of the 18th century the old tradition of using Greek types designed to conform to the Byzantine cursive hand with many ligatures and abbreviations - as it was originated by Aldus Manutius in Venice and consolidated by Claude Garamont (Grecs du Roy) - was still much in practice, although clearly on the wane. GFS Gazis is a typical German example of this practice as it appeared at the end of that era in the 1790's. Its name pays tribute to Anthimos Gazis (1758-1828), one of the most prolific Greek thinkers of the period, who was responsible for writing, translating and editing numerous books, including the editorship of the important Greek periodical Ερμής ο Λόγιος (Litterary Hermes) in Wien.