Caslon is a family of serif typefaces that made it to my list of interesting fonts simply because I think it is beautiful.
What does Caslon look like?
There are many versions of Caslon. This is Caslon 540 BT.
These are variations of Caslon Pro.
What do you use Caslon for?
Caslon is a good font for body text. It is used quite a lot in magazines, journals, books, and as a corporate typeface.
The history of Caslon
William Caslon I was an English gunsmith and designer of typefaces. Around 1720 he created an extended set of serif typefaces. These, as well as all of their consecutive revivals, are referred to as Caslon. Among those revivals are two Adobe versions, called Adobe Caslon (1990) and Adobe Caslon Pro (which includes an extended character set). ITC and a number of other foundries also made typefaces that either are pretty close to the originals or loosely based on them.
Benjamin Franklin was not only a scientist and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. He was also a printer and he liked the fonts made by William Caslon so much that he hardly ever used any other typeface.
Other sources of information
There is a Wikipedia page which lists the various versions of Caslon out there.
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3 thoughts on “Caslon”
Actually, Franklin was a good friend of John Baskerville. Both were fellows in The Lunar Society and Franklin bought a font of Baskerville with him to the US where he utilized it for government documents. However, because of Baskerville’s “Well-known atheism” (Baskerville was a Deist, like Franklin, just too outspoken about it), when it came time to print the Constitution, Caslon was chosen.
So, “…hardly ever used any other typeface,” is somewhat misinformed.
I’m a family historian, of sorts. When choosing a font for reproduction of a very old newspaper article in our family book, I chose Caslon because it seemed to be a font that might have been used by newspapers some years ago. I suppose I wasn’t too wrong. I think it’s a beautiful font, too.
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