John Baskerville

I walked past Baskerville House last week when I was in town, it is a beautiful building next to the equally stunning library in Centenary Square, Birmingham.

Baskerville House

I knew John Baskerville the building’s namesake was connected to the typeface of the same name, the clue is in the sculpture at the front of the building, but didn’t know much more about him so a quick google and here’s what I found.

John Baskerville born on this date in 1706 was an Englishman with a passion for beautiful books and typography.  By the age of 17years he had become an engraver of gravestones and teacher and a couple of years later (around 1726) moved from Worcestershire to Birmingham where he set up a school in the Bullring teaching writing.

In 1738 he expanded his enterprises establishing an enamelling business in Moor Street and within a decade had become a wealthy man with an eight acre estate and large house on the site of the current Baskerville House.

He continued to experiment with typography, paper-making and printing and in around 1754 he produced his first typeface.

Baskerville typeface.gif

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