Typography in the 16th century

Geoffroy Tory [zhôfrwä' tôrï']


  • Parisian printer, typographer, and author
  • He took up drawing and engraving and returned to Italy to study (1516–18).

Geoffroy Tory 01

His works:
sample 01
| sample 02


  • As designer and engraver he produced beautiful initials, borders, and illustrations, as well as his famous printer's mark

  • His Book of Hours, first appeared in
    1525, This book introduced type design free from dependence on handwriting
    and established book designing as an
    art in France.

Capital from a series of criblé initials

Geoffroy Tory

From Champ Fleury
Geoffroy Tory

Champ Fleury

Fantastic alphabet from Champ Fleury

Geoffroy Tory

Construction of the letter Q from Champ Fleury
Geoffroy Tory
This alphabet of roman capitals brought elegance and “color” to the pages of books printed at Estienne’s press

The thirteen alphabets concluding this book (Hebrew, Greek, Persian, and so on) included this whimsical sequence of pictorial letterforms composed of tools.

A is a compass

B is a fusy (steel used to strike a flint to start a fire)

C is a handle.

Construction of the letter Q:
(image found in your book page 98)

  • He used 5 compass centers in his efforts to construct a geometrically ideal roman O.
  • He used and addtional 2 compass centers to add a tail for the Q.

Garmond, (16th century)

Claude Garamond

website link


  • The first independent typefounder

  • Although not the inventor of movable
    type, Garamond was the first to make
    type available to printers at an
    affordable price.

  • Garamond based his type on the roman font of Griffo

Garamond Roman

  • Compared with Bembo typeface,
    Garamond shows greater contrast of stroke thickness.  

  • Note the subtle swelling of the rising arm of the 'K'.
  • The face has a lighter color on the page and the serifs while being larger, have smaller bracketing than other roman typeface.
  • The 1977 ITC Garamond, drawn by Tony Stan, has a larger x-height, so the lower case is different than the many other digital versions.

website link 01