Sometimes basic is good.

Baskerville typeface is old-fashioned yet professional.

Why I love Baskerville:

Baskerville can be described as classical, versatile, and formal. It is the perfect go-to font for whatever you’re writing. It is easy-to-read but not elementary.

It is classical — Baskerville is an old-typeface created in the mid-eighteenth century. At this time the font was considered shocking as a result of the high contrast in letters and its sharp form. Baskerville font did not become popular until it was reintroduced at the beginning of the 20th century.

It is hard to appreciate the qualities of Baskerville without first understanding its innovative creation. John Baskerville, a master type-founder and printer, was discovered as a servant to a clergyman who noticed his spectacular penmanship. The clergyman sent him away to study writing. Baskerville was illiterate but was very interested in calligraphy and perfected his handwriting during his studies. Baskerville was a major contributor in improving print technique and typography.

Baskerville’s first and overall goal in the creation of Baskerville font was to create the “perfect letter-form.” Baskerville also focused on creating a typeface with sharper definition and thinner elements than ever before. His designs were based on thin strokes and delicate, tapering serifs. This new font was so innovative when it was first released that the letters were too delicate to be reproduced on mid-eighteenth century printing presses.

Baskerville was an attempt at improving Caslon Old Style. Baskerville made the vertical axis of the letters more vertical and increased the contrast between thick and thin strokes. He increased the sharpness of the serifs by tapering them more. Baskervilles calligraphy skills show through certain letters throughout the font such as, the “Q” and the cursive serifs in the italic typeface. Other defining characteristics are the long arm on the uppercase “E” which protrude out like an under bite, the open bowl on the lowercase “g” and the spur on the uppercase “G.”

Baskerville font is categorized as a transitional typeface. Transitional typefaces have sharper serifs and a vertical axis. Transitional typeface characteristics are:

Sharp contrast between thick and thin strokes.

Wider, bracketed serifs with flat bases.

Large x-height.

Vertical stress in rounded strokes.

Height of capitals matches the height of the ascenders; ascenders are the part of the letter that extends above the main part.

Numerals are the same height as capitals, height is consistent.

It is versatile but also formal — the variety of typefaces in this family make it extremely versatile. Baskerville comes in regular, italic, bold, semi bold, semi bold italic and bold-italic. The varieties of typefaces stylize and add contrast to creative typography. While, the regular typeface is perfect for formal assignments and resumes. Baskerville font can be molded into the perfect font for whatever you’re using it for.

Baskerville is an excellent font for both display and text because the letters are readable, simple, and clean-cut. It is the main display font for many well-known companies such as, the American Gangster movie poster and The Metropolitan Opera.

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