Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
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2a. Piranesi's Initials - Type Specimen

Version 4 2021-03-17, 15:15
Version 3 2021-02-11, 16:48
Version 2 2019-09-20, 08:23
Version 1 2019-09-19, 10:59
posted on 2021-03-17, 15:15 authored by Jon MeltonJon Melton

Piranesi's Initials - Type Specimen

Research Type specimens

(Type specimens are defined as typographic design that showcases a typeface design and its use.)

These Initial letters were revived directly from an original engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s of plate 41 Fig. II and III from Le Antichità Romane of 1756, and their design was extended to include all 26 Capitals. Including a specific ‘G’ that reflects the Roman creation of the letter from an Etruscan ‘C’.

These Piranesi’s Initials were presented ‘in their development’ at ATypI18 Antwerp in September 2018. They were derived from an original eigtheenth-century plate engraving of the 'ONIONIANA' letters identified as a first edition from 1756.

ONIONIANA scan/photo: Jon Melton,

Research Question(s): How will engaging in practice-based research inform the development of a new primal sans typeface, lead to new insights into the context of the serif-less letterforms of the eighteenth-century?


Researcher's Website: