Other styles suggested the letter forms of roman and italic type. Roman type was used by several printers before Nicolas Jenson so improved it as to ensure its triumph as the standard type. Italic type was first used by Aldus Manutius, who also introduced small capitals. Roman type is of two basic sorts, old style and modern. The modern type emphasizes the contrast between light and heavy lines and has conspicuous level serifs; the old style type keeps its lines of nearly the same weight and has inconspicuous serifs, some of them sloping. Qualities of old style and modern types are often combined. Into the mid-20th cent. type characters were usually made by pouring metal into previously cut matrices and, less frequently, by processes using plastics and other synthetic materials. Computerization of type design and photomechanical printing techniques have almost entirely replaced metal type. By the early years of the 21st cent. the computer had made the design of new styles of type, once an arduous task, a relatively simple process. Tens of thousands of type fonts are now in existence, and new styles of type are created on a nearly daily basis.
Famous designers of types include, in addition to those named above, Geofroy Tory, Claude Garamond, Robert Granjon, Christopher van Dyck, William Caslon, John Baskerville, Giambattista Bodoni, François Ambroise Didot, William Morris, Bruce Rogers, F. W. Goudy, and the contemporary American Matthew Carter.
See also typography.
See F. W. Goudy, Alphabet and Elements of Lettering (repr. 1922); H. Lehmann-Haupt, One Hundred Books about Bookmaking (1949); J. R. Biggs, An Approach to Type (2d ed. 1962); S. Carter, Twentieth-century Type Designers (1987); A. S. Lawson with D. Agner, Printing Types (rev. and expanded ed. 1990); W. P. Jaspert et al., Encyclopaedia of Type Faces (5th ed. 2001); D. B. Updike, Printing Types (4th ed. 2001); P. Baines and A. Haslam, Type and Typography (2002); M. Bierut, Seventy-nine Essays on Design (2007); J. Tholenaar and A. W. Purvis, Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles (2009). See also bibliography under
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