Stanley Morison (1889-1967) – Designer of Times New Roman typeface

Stanley Morison featured image
Morison drawn by Sir William Rothenstein in 1923.

Stanley Morison (1889-1967) was a print historian and typographic designer.

Biography

Stanley Morison, widely regarded as one of the most influential typographic designers of the twentieth century, was drawn to the subject by his passionate interest. Early on, he worked for several publishers and printing houses, including Francis Meynell’s Pelican Press and the Cloister Press. In 1922, he co-founded the scholarly typographic journal The Fleuron (1922 – 1930) with Oliver Simon. He began his career as a freelance consultant. He was quickly appointed typographical adviser to the Monotype Corporation. He went on to become one of England’s greatest type impresarios over the next ten years.

The Times New Roman and Italic, Designed by Stanley Morison
The Times New Roman and Italic, Designed by Stanley Morison

Monotype

Morison joined Monotype at a critical juncture in technological history, when hand-setting type was being replaced by hot-metal type casting machines (particularly Monotype’s). In his advisory role, Morison was able to bring about the revival of the best classical faces, most notably Garamond (1922) and Bembo (1929), and was also responsible for introducing Eric Gill, the sculptor and engraver, to Monotype in his search for new types. He commissioned Eric Gill’s designs for Gill Sans (1928) and Perpetua (1929), as well as Berthold Wolpe’s (1938) typeface Albertus, among others. Morison became a typographic consultant to The Times in the late 1920s (at the height of his power). This appointment eventually led to the redesign of the entire newspaper and, more importantly, Morison’s design for its typeface. Times New Roman (1932), possibly the most widely used roman typeface in the world.

Print historian

Morison was also a key figure in the Cambridge University Press’s typographic department from 1925 to 1944. He published more than 170 publications on the history of typography, printing, and other related subjects. The most well-known of which were First Principles of Typography (London, 1936; Cambridge, 1950) and his contributions to The Fleuron.

Sources

Dormer, P. (1999). The illustrated dictionary of twentieth century designers: the key personalities in design and the applied arts. Greenwich Ed.

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