Last Updated on June 10, 2022
Known for crisp edges, generous proportions, and high contrast, Baskerville was considered as a transitional typeface that was aimed to refine what is now known as old-style typefaces of the 1750s, especially those made by William Caslon.
Know why this is still one of the most sought-after and highly used fonts until today.
John Baskerville of Birmingham started out as a servant in a clergyman’s house, until his penmanship was noticed by his employer. This stoked his interest in calligraphy, and this was reflected in the strokes and embellishments seen on his typeface.
He soon experimented on many printing technologies, from creating a printing ink to his own press that replaced the wooden platen of his time to brass.
The resulting crispness in Baskerville’s work was not received positively then. Being a printer of specialist and elite versions of texts also did not help improve his standing. His typeface found little success inside Great Britain, but won respect in France and Italy after Baskerville’s widow sold his matrixes and punches to the French.
These letterforms paved the way to an emergence in modern typefaces such as Didot and Boldoni. John Baskerville would have not acknowledged his work as transitional, but rather a success of its own line.
A revival of the original Baskerville typeface was done in 1917 for the Harvard University Press. Variations of the font such as italics with additional or no swashes and bold weights appeared throughout the 20th Century.
Timeless Baskerville Font
At least one version of Baskerville is available in most apps, including Microsoft Word. But if you want do download it separately, you can do so from Google Fonts.