William Caslon

An empire of typefounding

William Caslon's work has long been associated with Colonial American printing and letterpress printing in general. It was chosen as the exclusive face for the Printing Office in the 1950's and remains the house face in our demonstrations in front of the public today.

Caslon was fantastically popular during the period and was used by many of Williamsburg's printers. It also enjoyed a resurgence in the nineteenth and twentieth century making it easy to lay hands on and inexpensive to purchase when the Printing Office originally opened to the public. Even though letterpress has all but disappeared in modern printing, its past popularity has made the purchase of second-hand equipment able to produce Caslon type much more viable today.

William Parks was the first Williamsburg printer to use Caslon type in his shop, even though it wasn't until very late in his career. Eigtheenth-century printers quickly recognized Caslon's letterforms as a serious departure in style for English typefounding and responded by making his types among the most widely used on both sides of the Atlantic.


This is an example of Caslon's type.

© Copyright 1996, Williamsburg Imprints Program, All Rights Reserved.