William Caslon (1692 – January 23, 1766), also known as William Caslon I, was an English gunsmith and designer of typefaces. He was born at Cradley, Worcestershire, and in 1716 started business in London as an engraver of gun locks and barrels, and as a bookbinder's tool cutter. Having contact with printers, he was induced to fit up a type foundry, largely through the encouragement of William Bowyer. The distinction and legibility of his type secured him the patronage of the leading printers of the day in England and on the continent.
Caslon's typefaces were inspired by the Dutch Baroque types, the most commonly used types in England before Caslon's faces. His work influenced John Baskerville and are thus the progenitors of the typeface classifications Transitional (which includes Baskerville, Bulmer, and Fairfield), and Modern (which includes Bell, Bodoni, Didot, and Walbaum).
Caslon typefaces were immediately popular and used for many important printed works, including the first printed version of the United States Declaration of Independence. Caslon's types became so popular that the expression about typeface choice, "when in doubt, use Caslon," came about. The Caslon types fell out of favour in the century after his death, but were revived in the 1840s. Several revivals of the Caslon types are widely used today.
The grave of William Caslon is preserved in the churchyard of St Luke Old Street, London.
Other articles related to "caslon, william caslon":
... Caslon's earliest design dates to 1722 ... Caslon is cited as the first original typeface of English origin, but type historians like Stanley Morison and Alfred F ... did point out the close similarity of Caslon's design to the Dutch Fell types cut by Voskens and other type cut by the Dutchman Van Dyck ...
... In 1998, Justin Howes reestablished the Caslon foundry, under the name H ... Caslon Company Limited, with an expanded version of ITC Founder’s Caslon as the company's initial product ... Caslon Company was no longer in business, and the expanded Founders Caslon is no longer offered in retail market ...