The Uses of Italic

The Uses of Italic

By Frederick William Hamilton

  • Category: Art & Architecture, Books, Arts & Entertainment
  • Type: ebook
  • Release Date: 1940-01-01
  • File Size: 263.55KB
  • Developer: Frederick William Hamilton
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  • Price: Free
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The Uses of Italic Details

The first types were cut in imitation of the Gothic or black letter handwriting employed at that period in copying Bibles, missals, and the like. It was large and angular and the lines were very coarse and black. These peculiarities gave it the name. Its characteristics made it easy to read even in the dim light of a church or by the failing eyes of the aged. This form of type, however, was only suitable for large pages. When reduced in size it became very difficult to read, being an almost indistinguishable blur on the page. The cost of materials and the unwieldiness of the great folio volumes soon caused a demand for smaller books. Gutenberg's 36-line Bible was almost immediately replaced by the 42-line Bible. A reduction of one sixth in the number of pages of a book as large as the Bible would effect a very important saving in the cost of material and labor, especially when we remember that the early printing press was a very laborious and slow affair. Gutenberg's press was capable of printing only twenty sheets an hour, or one sheet every three minutes. The invention of the movable bed, about the year 1500, increased the output of the press to two hundred sheets an hour. In 1786 the speed had risen only to two hundred and fifty sheets an hour. Cheap printing waited for the application of power to machinery.

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