30 July 2013

Only the Magnificent

Daniel Berkeley Updike, Printing Types; Their History, Forms, and Use, Vol. II (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1922), p. 174:
[The type designer Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813)] cared nothing about printing as a means to popular instruction. He did not despise the masses — he forgot all about them! He was a court printer, existing by the patronage of the Lucky Few. His editions were intended to be livres d'apparat. He not alone saw no harm in making them so, but the bigger and more pretentious they were, the better he liked them. In fact, he openly said so, and told Renouard, the French publisher, "Je ne veux que du magnifique, et je ne travaille pas pour le vulgaire des lecteurs." [I want only the magnificent, and I do not work for the common herd of readers.]
Volume I of Updike's book can be found here.

An example of Bodoni's Roman font (1775)