Habsburg Spain type design?

Could anyone explain the role of the Spanish empire during the 16th and 17th centuries in the history of type design? It seems odd that the largest empire in the world during this period does not seem to have a strong influence on type design. My understanding of type design history is pretty shallow, so in fact in my understanding of 16th and 17th century history.


  • Jeff Kellem
    Kent Lew said:
    In the 16th century the Spanish church patronized the French printer, Christoph Plantin, who in turn procured type from the French typecutters.

    According to a brief type history by Mike Parker (now apparently no longer online, or at least I can’t find it at Type Network):
    Here's the installment on Plantin from Mike Parker's story of type via the Internet Archive:
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,058
    The book to which Ramiro refers is definitely worth consulting.
  • Christopher Swift
    Thanks everyone. I have some reading to do now.
  • Russell McGorman
    Fascinating stuff. Thanks
  • elena Veguillas
    Hi Christopher, 
    If you read Spanish there are a few text that can interest you:

    Albert Corbeto's papers presented in the Spanish congress of typography (CIT)
    'Type and calligraphy in the second half of the XVIII'
    'Eudald Pradell y la fundición del convento de San José de Barcelona'

    and Albert Corbeto's books:
    Especímenes Tipográficos Españoles hasta 1833 (see note here:  and a review here)
    Daniel B Updike y la historia de la tipografía en España and Tipos de Imprenta en España, (a note here. This is a double volume)
    Historia de la tipografia (this one is more general than just about Spain, the review here)

    And there are two books published by the Spanish national library (Biblioteca Nacional), that are based in two exhibitions curated by Jose Maria Ribagorda (also designer of the Ibarra Real typeface):
    the one mentioned by Ramiro, Imprenta Real (read the review in Eye magazine)
    and Caligrafia Española, (I cant find very good links for this one, maybe this one and this)

    Updike included a chapter about Spanish typography and type design in Printing Types. 

    This is all I can think about off the top of my head, I hope its useful.

    PS: I started a pinterest list (now I regret that I did it on pinterest) with every book published in Spanish (original or translated)  about type, typography, lettering, that I came across with (which means there are more, but I don't know them)