Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giambattista Bodoni, Soap Creative, William Caslon

Giabattista Bodoni
Giabattista Bodoni was born on the 16 of February 1740 in Saluzzo, Piedmont Italy. He was the son of a printer. Bodoni had done his first studies at the Regio Collegio Saluzzese. He died on the 29 of November 1813 at the age of 73 in Parma, Italy.
Giabattista was known as an engraver, type designer, typographer, printer and publisher. By 1780s Giabattista designed typeface called BODONI and it has been regarded as to be one of the first modern typefaces. He moved on to making another 2 main innovations in type design: he gave a vertical alignment to the sloped swellings in the bowls of the letters that derive from the down strokes in handwriting; he made all the horizontal serifs on the upper and lower parts of the letters very thin and uniform; and he increased the contrast between stems and serifs (Quoted-Art Encyclopedia-Grove Art, Oxford University Press). According to the Columbia Electronic encyclopaedia Giabattista was regarded as one of the leaders in originating pseudoclassical typefaces.
At the age of 18, Giabattista moved to Rome and was employed as a typesetter at the Vatican’s Propaganda Fide printing works; Giabattista had worked for Vatican’s for almost 10 years... After battling malaria Bodoni was hired by the Duke Ferdinand of Bourbon- Parma to organize a printing house this is where Bodoni got to work on a range of specimen books, which were very well received. Eventually Bodoni opened his own printing house called Officina Bodoni.

From 1768 Bodoni ran a printing house called Stamperia Reale, in Parma, Italy. After a while doing this he opened his own printing house called Officina Bodoni.

Bodoni's Internet presence is minimal. There is not a lot of extensive information about his life: some can be found on, and other typography websites. His fonts can be purchased from sites such as,, and

Why and what made Bodoni famous
Whilst working in the Vatican's Propaganda Fide printing house in Rome, Bodoni impressed his superiors with a willingness to learn, he had a mastery of ancient languages and types.

Bodoni achieved an unprecedented level of technical refinement, allowing him to faithfully reproduce letterforms with very thin "hairlines".

Bodoni designed and personally engraved 298 typefaces.

Bodoni did away with old style letters and introduced a new clear simple type - the modern typeface. In his influential Manuale Tipografico of 1818, he laid down the four principles of type design, which were: regularity of chracters, cleanness, good taste and charm.

His master piece was Homer's Iliad.

Bodoni was the most successful early proponent of what is referred to as the "modern" typeface, distinguished by a strong contrast between thin and thick strokes.

His coldly elegant books where made to be admired for the typeface and layout and not to be studied or read. (Proof reading was not his strong point).

• In his manuale tipografico (two volume works) contains about 142 roman alphabets, numerous script and exotic typefaces and a striking collection of flowers and ornaments.
• Bodoni emphasized the use of good paper and strong ink.
Our opinions of Bodoni
Although Bodoni is regarded as a "modern typeface", I feel that Bodoni would be more suited to that of a display font and used sparingly. Although in saying this a combination of his typeface and ornaments would create a very clean piece of artwork.

I admire the use of thin and thick strokes throughout his type as I feel that this gives the type a unique definition.

Formal yet fun with thick and thin strokes.

Bodoni has created a classic type face with letters very thin and uniform; and he increased the contrast between stems and serifs.


Soap Creative
Soap Creative is one of Australia's leading Digital Agencies. Soap Creative were named number Digital Agency by AdNews Magazine in 2010.
Soap started out with three guys sharing an office in 2002, and have since grown to company with over 50 staff members spread across offices in Sydney and Los Angeles.
Soap describe themselves as specializing in delivery innovative, hight creative ad strategy-focused campaigns across websites, games, content, social media, widgets, electronic direct mail, standard and rich media, viral and metrics and reporting.
Soap creative have clients that include Unilever brands LYNX, Streets, Bushells, Impulse as well as 3 Mobile, FOXTEL, 20th Century Fox, Activision and Marvel.

You could say that soap has a work hard play hard culture, their claim to fame is that they host weekly BBQs, take their entire team to remote locations for Skiing lessons. Each ember has a soap-o-hero alter ego which they get to choose and illustrate them and place on their business card. They say this is great for client meetings and pitches as it sets them apart from other agencies, it also creates a 'tribe" and creates unity among the staff. The culture of the soap-o-hero is extended through the office where they have different meeting rooms " the hall of justice", emergency meeting room " the scape pod" and mystery room "x".

Big gamers and at the moment have three active gaming clients activision, unilever and naughty dog.

This agency is absolutely amazing!
Soap Creative has had many clients over their nine years of business, including a vast collection of widely recognised companies such as 20th Century Fox, ABC New Media, Activision, Ben & Jerry’s, Dick Smith, Foxtel, KFC, Lynx and Marvel.
Soap Creative offer services in screen-based media such as websites, mobile phone applications, tools and games (including online and CD-Rom). This agency has also created tshirt prints for Bubble-O Bill, and a card game called the Meeting Game.
Their work is very clean and professional its very groovy and all the content that I have viewed has all been very awesome, I never felt negative when interacting or viewing the content it was very attention catching and fun.

The lynx content was a bit sexist however it is targeted towards men and sex does sell as there statistics show, I wasn’t offended it just didn’t hold my attention as the rest did.

They have many notorious clients and deal with a broad medium from games to videos and websites that are all targeted towards a variety of audiences.

William Caslon
In 1716 he built his own type foundary in London, which produced some 16 years later his most famous typeface Caslon. He first started out in his business as an engraver of gunlocks and barrels and as a bookbinders tool cutter. He later established contact and encouragement through the printers William Bowyer and John Watts that lead to cutting type punches for various presses London.
In 1720 he designed an “English Arabic” typeface used in the New Testament. Soon after in 1722 he released his first typefaces, which were based on seventeenth century Dutch old style designs and were used extensively in England because of their practicality. 1726 was when the typeface Caslon was first used and soon after it’s release he received loans and sufficient trade, which enabled him to complete the setup of his foundary. Up until the 1780’s there were few books that weren’t printed in one of his typefaces.
In 1735 his typefaces spread all over Europe and American colonies that lead to the font being used to print the American Declaration of Independence. His son William Caslon II soon joined the company and in 1745 became partner and took over the family business after his death.
William Caslon designed a number of serif typefaces in his lifetime, some of which are still used today. The first three fonts by William Caslon were Arabic, Hebrew and Koptic. He also designed typefaces such as Caslon 540, Caslon Bold, Caslon Old Face, Big Caslon, Caslon Open Face, Williams Caslon Text and most likely in any other that has the name ‘Caslon’ on it.
The United States Declaration of Independence was set in Caslon type, which would have to be one of William Caslon’s greatest accomplishments.
The name ‘Caslon’ comes from the 18th Century typeface that was designed by William Caslon. This serif typeface was printed in the earliest English language texts and is also know to the typeface used for the New Yorker Magazine.
William Caslon’s typefaces immediately became popular and were used for many important printed works. Caslon’s type became so popular that the expression about the typeface choice, ‘when in doubt, use Caslon,’ came about.After William Caslon’s death in 1766, his typefaces fell out of favour but were revived in the 1840s, some of which are widely used today.
William Caslon was born in 1692 in cradley, Worcestershire, England. In 1706 at the age of 13 he began a seven-year apprenticeship as an engraver with a London harness marker. In 1716 he became a self-employed engraver of gunlocks and barrels, and as a bookbinders tool cutter. In 1721 the society for promoting Christian knowledge commissioned Caslon to cast Arabic alphabets where his font became an instant success. In around 1720 William Caslon founded a typeface foundry called the Caslon Foundry. That foundry became the leading English typeface foundry of the 18th and early 19th centuries. He died in 1766. Caslon is cited as the first original typeface of English origin.
Caslon’s font is characterized by its short ascenders and decenders, bracketed serifs, moderately high contrast, robust texture and moderate modulation of stroke. The Caslon’s typeface has become one of the most famous typefaces in the world today. The first copy of the declaration of independence was printed in Caslon. There are many typefaces that have been derived from Caslon’s font in existence. Caslon’s type is now considered a good, readable type

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