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Nicholas Jenson

Indices : Designers : Nicholas Jenson

Typefounder, born 1420 in France.

During the 1450s, Charles VII sent Nicholas Jenson to Mainz, Germany to learn the art of printing. There he became an apprentice to Johann Gutenberg.

After a nasty civil war in 1462, most of Mainz’s printers left the city. Many of them travelled to Italy, including Jenson—who ended up in Venice before 1470. There, he cast his famous type, which might be the first non-Blackletter type ever cast in the west.

Jenson died in Rome in 1480.

Most typefaces that are named after Jenson bear little or no relation to his work. However, Bruce RogersCentaur comes very close to capturing its spirit.