Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Dead Typographers Society

Get clued up with 5 fast facts about...


Vincent Figgins?


Yes, the name does suggest he would have been bellowing ‘PARN'D AH WHELKS, TWO BOB!’ from some Dickensian jellied eel stall, but he was in fact one of the most influential type designers of his time.

Unfortunately, William Caslon III (see 'Fast Fact 4' below) declared all images of Vincent Figgins ‘graven’ and had them all destroyed after his death. Photographs of his tomb appear to have escaped this tyranny.

Figgins' grave

Fast Fact 1:
Often mistaken for?

The Parthenon

Battersea Power Station

Fast Fact 2.
London, 1766. The same year that ferocious wolf attacks occur in France (Beast of Gévaudan or Wolves of Périgord) and only 700 years after the Battle of Hastings.

Pictures from London, the place of Figgins' birth...

Fast Fact 3.
Famous for?

The introduction of the first slab serif typeface, called ‘Egyptian’, ‘Egiziano Black’ or ‘Antique’ in 1817.
2. Indecisiveness

Fast Fact 4.
Bitter rivalry with? William Caslon III (see introduction), who took over the type foundry Figgins worked at. 'Vince' left to start his own company the same year, 1792.

William Caslon III leads the mourning at Vincent Figgins' funeral.

Fast fact 5.

Died? London, 1844. A leap year, and the year of the first ever international cricket match, played in New York City, between United States v Canadian Provinces.


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