Wove paper

The Romain du Roi typeface confirmed a trend that had begun in Garamont's time – a trend towards characters that were lighter, more refined and graceful. The rough-hewn faces from the origins of moveable type gradually gave way to more slender characters. In Great Britain, John Baskerville (1706–1775) developed a technique that produced a smoother printed page and eliminated embossing. Baskerville also used the first specimen of wove paper, which he had made by the Whatman firm, for an edition of Virgil in 1757.

Wove paper highlights the delicacy of Baskerville's new typefaces.

This new paper, which was much flatter and smoother than traditional papers, highlighted the delicacy of the typefaces he produced and employed. The Baskerville typeface was part of the aesthetic trend that began with the romain du roi, and which reached its apogee in the work of Bodoni in Parma and the Didot family in Paris. In these typefaces, the upstrokes became extremely fine; the contrast with the downstrokes was elegant, but the overall effect was austere, rational and geometric. The generous, supple curves of Renaissance typefaces gave way to a typographic style that was colder and more strict, and which was the undisputed style in the early 19th century – relegating Garamont far into the background.

Display timeline