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Unexpected Baskerville: the Story of LoveFrom Serif

Event ended

Unexpected Baskerville: the Story of LoveFrom Serif

From GBP 8.50

Location

Date

Sep 26 2023 19:00 - 20:30

Description

Unexpected Baskerville: the Story of LoveFrom Serif

With Antonio Cavedoni

Date: Tuesday 26 September 2023
Location: St Bride Foundation (In-person only)

In-person times (BST):
Doors/bar: 6.15pm
Talk starts: 7pm
Talk ends: 8.30pm
In-person tickets: £8.50, £11, £13

LoveFrom is a creative collective of designers, architects, musicians, filmmakers, writers, engineers and artists with studios in London and San Francisco. It was founded in 2019 by Sir Jony Ive, former chief design officer at Apple. Working with Marc Newson and Peter Saville, the first act of the collective was to create its own typeface.

Sometimes looking forwards means looking backwards. After a broad exploration, the team became fascinated by the letterforms designed and crafted by pioneering printer and type designer John Baskerville in the 18th century. Baskerville was a consummate craftsman and no detail of his printing press was overlooked. The design of his letters was groundbreaking because of its sharpness and precision, and Baskerville leveraged his experience as a writing master and letter cutter.

The story of Baskerville’s punches was uncovered by type historian John Dreyfus, and many of the punches survive. After finding their way to Paris when the Baskerville press was acquired by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais in the late 18th century, they were eventually returned to the UK by Charles Peignot in 1953 and are now cared for by the University of Cambridge. Some matrices also survive and are preserved by Oxford University.

The influence of this typeface on the history of European typography cannot be overstated. Yet the many new and often high-profile interpretations of Baskerville raised a particular design problem: how would we make a truly meaningful contribution to the Baskerville tradition?

From a study of Baskerville’s surviving punches and printed books to a look at contemporary writing master’s manuals, this talk gives an overview of the Baskerville letterforms, their historical significance and the design of a brand new interpretation that supports a new identity. LoveFrom Serif greatly extends the dynamic range of the original Baskerville letterforms, providing the studio not just with an identity but with a voice, and a tool to use in selected projects with clients as well as self-initiated work.

Antonio Cavedoni is a designer from Italy. After seven years at Apple in California, where he led the design of the San Francisco family of typefaces, he now lives and works in Milano, Italy. Antonio is part of the LoveFrom collective based in San Francisco, California, and in London. He also runs Fonderia Cavedoni, a type foundry designing and publishing original retail typefaces. Antonio is an active researcher on the history of typography, lettering and writing.

We would like to thank The Wynkyn de Worde Society for their generosity in sponsoring this lecture. 

Organiser

Established in 1891 with a clear social and cultural purpose, St Bride Foundation is one of London’s hidden gems.

Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian building, St Bride Foundation was originally set up to serve the burgeoning print and publishing trade of nearby Fleet Street, and is now finding a new contemporary audience of designers, printmakers and typographers who come to enjoy a regular programme of design events and workshops.

Many thousands of books, printing-related periodicals and physical objects are at the heart of St Bride Library. Volumes on the history of printing, typography, newspaper design and paper-making jostle for space alongside one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of type specimens. The printed, written, carved and cast word may be found at St Bride in its myriad forms. Architectural lettering and examples of applied typography in many media, together with substantial collections of steel punches and casting matrices for metal types are also held in this eclectic collection. The Reading Room is open to visitors twice a month and on other days by appointment. Although we operate on a cost-neutral basis, it is necessary to charge for some of our services. Details are available by emailing the library team at library@sbf.org.uk.

St Bride retains many of its original features, including the baths, laundry, printing rooms and library. As part of the Foundation’s original mission to provide for the community, many of the building’s unique and characterful spaces are available to hire whether for meetings, weddings or classes.

St Bride also houses the popular Bridewell Theatre, and Bridewell Bar (once the laundry), and hosts a year-round programme of plays, comedy, music and exhibitions.

With some 65,000 visitors a year St Bride Foundation is a major London hub for the creative arts in London. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Venue

St Bride Foundation, 14 Bride Ln, EC4Y 8EQ London

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