“Type Spaces” — How Aldus Measured Text

Written by Christian Palino on February 23, 2005

Type Spaces: in-house norms in the typography of Aldus Manutius by Peter Burnhill, is a book I have had on my desk for about 5 months now. Released by Hyphen Press, Burnhill gathers evidence of a rational measurement system for typography (character size, line-increment, line length, and text area), 200 years before Jean Truchet. With Aldine book scans and keen comparisons, a case is made for the possibility that Francesco Griffo and Aldus Manutius had “in-house norms” that could still be applied today. The book is humble, well-designed and clear — a solid read for typographers and anyone with an interest.

Christian Palino is a designer and educator living in San Francisco. He is currently a Product Design Manager at Facebook and teaches Interaction Design at CCA. He previously worked at OpenTable, IDEO and Adaptive Path.