Caslon, William [key], 1692–1766, English type designer, b. Worcestershire. He worked first in London as an engraver of gunlocks, then set up his own foundry in 1716. The merits of Caslon's types were rediscovered after a brief eclipse in the popularity of John Baskerville's types. Caslon's individual letters are less impressive than those of Baskerville and Giambattista Bodoni, but their regularity, legibility, and sensitive proportions constituted a remarkable achievement in design. His typefaces were used for most important printed works from c.1740 to c.1800. One such example is the first printed version of the United States Declaration of Independence. Some Caslon types are still in use. His business was carried on by his eldest son, William (1720–78).
See biography by J. Ball (1974).
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