Printers’ Portraits

We’re lucky enough to possess a large collection of artwork featuring the great and good from print’s history, ranging from perhaps the most famous figures involved with the medium to some fascinating, if obscure, individuals. Among the hundreds of prints in our library, we’ve picked a few noteworthy examples:

Edward Johnston
Johnston was a calligrapher whose most famous work – Johnston or Underground type – featured for several decades on the London Underground. The humanist sans-serif Johnston typeface was used across the network from the mid 1930s until the 1980s, when Eiichi Kono created its successor, New Johnston.

George W Jones
In 1901, Jones became the first printer to produce a three-colour book on these fair shores. Prior to this, he produced the first edition of The British Printer and started publishing The Printing World from 1891. Beyond publishing, he was known for his type designs, including the Granjon, Georgian and Estienne fonts.

SBF Printers' Portraits

Robert L Leslie
Leslie started his career as a doctor before founding The Composing Room in 1927 with Sol Cantor in New York. The establishment was the first typography firm to install all-purpose-linotype machines in America. He later founded the A-D Gallery, the first space in the city dedicated to showcasing typographic work, and is recognised for playing a significant role in the advancements of the printing and graphic arts industry of the day.

Johannes Gutenberg
This particular image of Gutenberg dates back to 1900. He was the first man to use moveable type printing in Europe circa 1439, starting a printing revolution. He is also credited for developing a process for manufacturing movable type, but he is perhaps most famous for the Gutenberg or 42-line Bible, the first major print undertaking of its time.


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