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What people read began to change during the Renaissance. The continued expansion of schools and universities and better literacy was bolstered by the European invention of print in the mid-fifteenth century. The rediscovery of classical antiquity and of the New World, the cosmic shifts, temporal and terrestrial, affected by the Reformation and the Copernican revolution, […]

The post Renaissance memes & the chemical pleasure garden appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Written by Niccolò Machiavelli in 1513, The Prince is undoubtedly the most famous political treatise of the Renaissance and a book that is, if not actually read, familiar to many even today. More than 500 years after its first publication, it still remains both popular and controversial, surviving in popular culture through the adjective, Machiavellian, […]

The post The Prince & the fleur-de-lys appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Even prior to the completion of Gutenberg’s landmark Bible in about 1454, the print-run of 180 copies was already sold out. We know this because it was recorded in letters between Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405–1464) and his friend, the Spanish cardinal Juan de Carvajal. In an often quoted passage, De Carvajal writes to Aeneas in […]

The post The Pope’s Romance appeared first on I Love Typography.

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The cathedral of Notre Dame has stood at the heart of France and of Paris for the best part of 1,000 years. It watched as Paris rose from a former outpost founded during the Roman Republic to become the biggest city of medieval Europe. And although European printing was born in Germany, it is in […]

The post In the Shadow of Notre Dame appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Love it or hate it, dread it or revel in it, suck at it or excel in it, math makes the world go round, sending rockets to the moon, forecasting the weather, describing the motions of the planets and everything else in the cosmos. Galileo (1564–1642) famously said that ‘the universe is written in mathematical […]

The post The First Printed Math Books appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Many of the first printed books in Europe were decorated with illustrations, initials and borders. Each served a purpose: initials signaled, via their range of sizes, a textual hierarchy, working in much the same way as chapter headings and sub-headings do today. Decorative borders were employed to demarcate or divide books, chapters or sections and, […]

The post Renaissance Metal appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Magic Printed Today we tend to associate magic either with the sleight of hand tricks performed by magicians and illusionists or with the fictional universes of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. Belief in magic predates any form of religion and in ancient times the belief that magic could be used to do harm led […]

The post Magic Printed appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Last week we visited mid-sixteenth-century Zurich to take a look at an intriguing encyclopedia of animals in Unicorns, Frogs & the Sausage Supper Affair. This week, for the second in our series of Remarkable Renaissance Books, we turn back the clock a couple of decades, and head northwest to Paris to pick up a very […]

The post A Rabbit, One Wedding & Two Funerals appeared first on I Love Typography.

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Recently on Twitter, I’ve been posting some details and full pages from fifteenth- and sixteenth-century books. Some have been retweeted and commented on even more times than my cat pics, which is encouraging. That got me to thinking about a new feature for ILT, Remarkable Renaissance Books: brief posts dedicated to single books from the […]

The post Unicorns, Frogs & the Sausage Supper Affair appeared first on I Love Typography.

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On the rare occasions I get to peruse paper and ink books in a brick and mortar bookstore, after a brief flirtation with the cover and blurb, I will scan the table of contents, then gently – for the book is new, the clean pages crisp – thumb through the final leaves until I locate […]

The post A Brief History of the Index appeared first on I Love Typography.

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