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date: 18 November 2019

Fournier, Pierre-Simon [le jeune]locked

  • H. Edmund Poole
  • , revised by Stanley Boorman

Extract

[le jeune]

(b Paris, Sept 15, 1712; d Paris, Oct 8, 1768). French typographer. The son of a typefounder, he was cutting punches and casting type by 1736, and in 1739 was registered in this craft with the printing section of the Chambre Syndicale of Paris. He issued his first specimen book, Modèles des caractères de l’imprimerie, in 1742. It was a tremendous achievement, showing (among other material) 4600 letters that he had cut in a wide range of styles with their sizes correlated in a logical and mathematical way. This system, quite new in typefounding, he had evolved in 1737, and he showed it in his Modèles as ‘Table des proportions des differens caractères de l’imprimerie’.

Fournier’s power of analysis and prodigious technical skill were clearly demonstrated in the six types that he devised for the printing of music. Two were for plainchant, one was for ‘Hugenot music’. Three were for songs and instrumental music. The first of this group was designed for double impression, with the staff lines printed first and the notes and other signs overprinted in a second pass through the press (...

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