Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Local Heroes - Stanley Morison

Stanley Morison (1889-1967) was an English typographer, designer and historian of printing. He was actually born in Essex, but his connection with this area comes from the period in 1921-1923 when he was typographist to the Cloister Press on Didsbury Road (which has now transferred to Bredbury).

Self-taught, having left school after his father abandoned his family, Morison became an editorial assistant on Imprint magazine in 1913. As a conscientious objector he was imprisoned during the First World War but became design supervisor at the Pelican Press in 1918.

In 1922 he founded the Fleuron Society dedicated to typographical matters (a fleuron being a typographic flower or ornament). He edited the society's journal The Fleuron from 1925 to 1930. The quality of the publication's artwork and printing was considered exceptional.

From 1923 to 1967 Morison was typographic consultant for the Monotype Corporation where his research and adaptation of historic typefaces in the 1920s and 1930s, including the revival of the Baskerville and Bembo types. He pioneered the great expansion of the company's range of typefaces and hugely influenced the field of typography to the present day.

Morison was also typographical consultant to The Times newspaper from 1929 to 1960 and in 1931 he was commissioned by the newspaper to produce a new easy to read typeface for the publication. The typeface Morison developed with graphic artist Victor Lardent, Times New Roman was first used by the newspaper in 1932 and was published by Monotype in 1933.

Morison edited the History of the Times from 1935 to 1952 and was editor of the Times Literary Supplement between 1945 and 1948. He was a member of the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica from 1961 until his death.

more on TYPOGRAPHY here

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