17 Print

What changes with  print?

the look of a book: typeface, paratext

the book business

  • Printers, authors, illustrators
  • Legal issues

spread of  humanist movement across Europe


  • Aldus Manutius, Venice
  • Henricus Stephanus, Paris
  • Christophe  Plantin, Antwerp


Rise and spread  of print

Early printing in Europe:

wood blocks ca 1400

Playing cards, religious prints

for  devotions

movable type:

Johann Gutenberg

  • of Mainz ca 1440
  • first press ca 1450; Bible 1455


Italy: Subiaco (supported by  Nicholas of Cusa):

Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz

Latin  Grammar

Cicero, De oratore; Lactantius; St Augustine

1467  S & P in Rome

1469 printing in Venice

urban literacy (demand)

authors, editors (supply)

distribution networks

Process of printing:

Garamond type ligature copy stick and type in its case

More examples

alphabet;  punch; matrix—letters cast

Letter cases (upper-lower):

copy text; copy stick

print runs: by  1500, ca 1000



  • Printer’s bookshops
  • Itinerants
  • Ciarlatani, story-tellers
  • other shops
  • Book fairs (ex: Frankfurt)

Charlatans in the Piazza San Marco, engraving from Giacomo franco, Habiti d’huomini e donne (Venice, 1609). london, British Museum.

Conspicilla. Inuenta conspicilla sunt, quae luminum. Obscuriores detegunt caligines. ca 1600

privilege, begun by 1480s

Fonts and typefaces: Gothic (Blackletter)

Gothic, Roman


Aldus Manutius  (1449-1515)

humanist ed with Guarino, friend of Pico

former student Alberto Pio (prince of Carpi) offers financial  backing

1490: Venice.  Cretan scholars

Aristotle edition: Aldus Manutius


Aldine Commedia (1502) with hand-done illustrations, Newberry Library

1502  New  Academy: Greek


Robert Estienne and Estienne Press

Robert 1503-1559

Bible edition   (1527-28)

1531:Latin dictionary

connections with King

Royal privilege

King’s printer for Hebrew, Latin works 1539,  Greek 1540

official typeface: 1541  Claude Garamond

Garamond’s type

Stephanus numbers and Plato


Thesaurus linguae sanctae. Paris: Stephanus, 1548


Christophe Plantin (1520-89)


England: Stationers Company: founded 1403

  • 1557 exclusive right to print in England
  • 1586 printing in London only save 1 press each in Oxford and Cambridge

Roman Index begun 1559, new ones issued periodically

Market segmentation

  • Natural Philosophy
  • Ephemera: hard to follow now but very important
    • legal notices
    • religious documents like indulgences
  • New kinds of publications
  • Calendars; Almanacs; manuals for home remedies; witty or funny stories
  • Religious: devotional; controversial
  • Vernacular: greater standardization of written languages; wider reading audiencesNostradamus