The form of our letters, the older handwriting and inscriptions as much as the cuttings in use today, reflects a convention that has slowly solidified, an agreement hardened in many battles. Even after the Renaissance several European countries retained broken, blackletter national scripts in opposition to roman, the obligatory type for all Latin material; yet even today, I hope, the last word about Fraktur has not been spoken.
The punches of Claude Garamond, cut around 1530 in Paris, are simply unsurpassed in their clarity, readability and beauty.
Apart from that, the roman minuscule has been our way of writing for hundreds of years. What followed were merely fashionable variations, here and there even deformations, of the noble basic form, but no improvement whatever. The punches of Claude Garamond, cut around 1530 in Paris, are simply unsurpassed in their clarity, readability and beauty. Garamond appeared on the scene at a time when the occidental book, as an object, cast off its medieval ponderousness and took up the form which today is still the best: the slender and upright rectangular body, comprising folded sheets stitched or sewn at the back, in a cover whose protruding edges protect the trimmed pages.