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>Who says that ’type was more readable than any (handwritten) script’? This is a totally untestable supposition.

Well, I shouldn't have used the word 'any', because someone might very carefully and slowly imitate type, with a steel pen, enough to be approximately the same. But 'almost all' would do. Even if one compares deliberately calligraphic fonts--eg Brioso--with less calligraphic ones--eg Minion--the higher readability of typographic ones is striking to me. Testing readability is difficult in any case, but when better tests come along eg to distinguish eg. sans or all caps, I don't see why they can't test a hand written page against a printed one. I have suggested such tests (testing for fatigue), but they haven't been done, to my knowledge.


You didn't respond to my rebuttal of your hypothetical analysis of how Baskerville might looked at contemporary writing and was influenced. I think my analysis based on what Baskerville said about his own goals is more plausible, because it addresses the actual historical record.

Generally speaking, I suspect the further removed from Jenson we are historically, the less contemporary handwriting influences designers of text types. Writing always remains an "underlying force", as van Krimpen said, based on the origination of our letter shapes in writing. And designers may get ideas from their own experiments in writing, done with an eye to type.

The biggest change in type after Baskerville is perhaps the introduction of fat faces and sans serifs. And I don't see how these have anything to do with writing, aside from high contrast in the case of fat faces. They were, I believe, influenced by architectural lettering and sign painting. Those are important non-type influences on type, but they are not writing. And they were influenced by the needs of advertising--large sized, attention-getting type.

I will respond later on Jenson, Griffo and what is typographic.

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