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"Caslon Egyptian": The First Commercially Produced Sans-Serif Typeface

1816
<p>The line reading W Caslon Junr Letterfounder is set in Two Lines Egyptian.</p>

The line reading W Caslon Junr Letterfounder is set in Two Lines Egyptian.

In his last type specimen book before the sale of his foundry to Blake & Garnet, typographer and type-founder William Caslon IV, grandson of the first William Caslon, offered the Caslon Egyptian typeface. This was the first sans-serif (sans serif, sanserif) font commercially produced. The font was technically called Two Lines English Egyptian with Two Lines English referring to its size, around 28 modern points, and "Egyptian" referring to the design.

The name of the font alluded to the ancient models on which it was based. The sixth-century BCE stone inscriptions, to which the ancestry of most Roman types may be traced, were without serifs.

Berry & Poole, Annals of Printing (1966) 208.

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