Monday, August 20, 2012

Who are Mrs. Eaves and Mr. Studley?

Just as companies like Chevrolet, Chanel and Walmart were named after their founders, typefaces are often named after their designers, such as Goudy, Caslon or Lubalin.

Sometimes a typeface is named to honor a person important in type design (Garamond), a place (Memphis) or an event (Renaissance). The Inland Type Foundry named typefaces such as Studley to honor important customers. Robert P. Studley was the first printer to use a lithographic press in St. Louis. Some typographic historians claim that Studley (the type, not the man) was not an original design.

The Mrs. Eaves typeface was designed by Czech-American Zuzana Licko in 1996. The face is named after Sarah Eaves, the housekeeper, mistress and wife of famed eighteenth-century type designer John Baskerville According to Wikipedia, "He hired Sarah Eaves as his housekeeper. Eventually her husband Richard abandoned her and their five children, and Mrs. Eaves became Baskerville's mistress and eventual helpmate with typesetting and printing. She married Baskerville within a month of her estranged husband's death. Selection of the name Mrs Eaves honors one of the forgotten women in the history of typography."

Mr. Eaves is the sans serif companion to Mrs. Eaves, created by Zuzana in 2009.

How can you have a typeface named after you? Become important to someone who designs typefaces -- or design your own. 

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This blog post is based on material in my upcoming e-book, Typography for Independent Publishers.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Mr. Baskerville was more studly than Mr. Eaves.