Anglia Ruskin University
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3b. Bishop Sans Full Type Specimen

posted on 2021-03-06, 00:33 authored by Jon MeltonJon Melton

Sans serif Bishop Marks from 1673

Type Specimen text abstract:

Date Stamps on posted letters were first introduced in April of 1661 by Britain’s first 'Postmaster-General' Henry Bishop to counteract accusations of corruption, unwarranted delays and profiteering by unscrupulous employees of the postal service belonging to The Crown. All letters in England and Wales were locally town-stamped and were sent, sometimes ‘post-haste’, via London, or Edinburgh in Scotland and Dublin in Ireland; ready for distribution via the ‘post roads’ throughout the provinces. In 1673 the fourth postmaster general Henry Bennet the 1st Earl of Arlington, introduced a new London date stamp of serif-less letterforms which proliferated for the next one hundred or so years.

Jon Melton of gathers historical research and ephemeral examples of sans serif bishop marks to inform the design of the regular weight of his ETRVSCA Sans family. This typeface, destined for commercial release, represents the primal serif-less letterforms of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century — and is therefore the original sans serif font.

This research was published in part as ETRVSCA—Bishop Sans in the book: Ways of Thinking. pp.31—34, from the Ruskin Arts Publications, Cambridge.


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