Phase 4: Week 16

This week I will begin selecting and working with the types that I am mapping out in relation to the Subiaco.

Methodology for collected material as interpreted from ANRT:

  1. Select sources.
  2. Sample sources
  3. Analyse sources from written analysis
  4. Analyse sources through comparison
  5. Manual tracing
  6. Correcting and selecting based on comparison between connections.

Connections to Subiaco

I am basing these connections of the research from The Visual History of Type by Paul McNeil and from Gotico-Antiqua, proto-roman, hybrid, 15th-century types between gothic and roman edited by Jerome Knebusch. The chosen typefaces or scripts to put in connection to the Subiaco based on how relevant they are for my study, how relevant they have been in the development of Roman type in relation to the Subiaco.

Late Carolingian Minuscule

Humanist Minuscule

Fust and Schöffer’s Durandus 118G, 1459.
Source: Rationale Divinorum Officiorum

Subiaco 120R
based on contemporary florentine humanistic hand?

Zainer’s Gotico-Antiqua, 1468

Jenson, 1470

Pannartz and Sweynheym’s 115R ? maybe

The Golden Type, 1890

Subiaco 115R

Subiaco, 1902


Durand, Guillaume, et al. Rationale Divinorum Officiorum. Mainz: Johannes Fust and Peter Schöffer, 6.14. Available at:

Lactantius, et al. Opera. [Subiaco, Italy: Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz], 1465. Available at:

Humanist Minuscule — I may have to change this to a more ‘representative’ one
St. Gallen, Kantonsbibliothek, Vadianische Sammlung, VadSlg Ms. 298: Eusebius Caesariensis, Prosper de Aquitania, Chronicon (

Carolingian Minuscule

I started with the Subiaco, printed and traced from the list of characteristics. The characteristics are drawn from my own research, Mcneil’s (2017) The Visual History of Type and Knebusch’s (2021) Gotico-Antiqua, proto-roman, hybrid: 15th-century types between gothic and roman.

Long ascenders and descenders

Baseline serifs

Some gothic ligatures

quite open aperture

Inward but not outward serifs on capital M N H

a – Double storeyed

d – Upright stem

g – Double storeyed, narrow, ‘humanistic’

h – Curved uncial form

t – Arrow headed


Durandus 118G

Durandus has some variating letters, some with humanist ambition and some of more uncial character. The d for example, comes in two different variations, and so does the g.

Humanist Minuscule from 1400, Jenson upside down, Carolingian Minuscule from ca 1000.

I am considering to work mainly with lowercase letters, since they are more tied to script. However, the uppercase M’s could serve as guiding nodes through the development towards Roman type.

I have started sketching on the two booklet formats, I think I need to find a system for the colour? The colour palette is currently quite broad. I am using these booklets to sort of explore the premises of my visual direction, what I want and don’t want. I am having a bit of a hard time finding coherence and the colour somehow makes it seem immature? Maybe I should try and reduce the colour scale a bit.

Written analysis, reflection on postcolonial semiotics

This week I have written a lot on the analys while also conducting practical experiments. This has let the written and practical connect better. I found a connection in Postcolonial semiotics that can connect to one of the practical outputs of my project.

Postcolonial semiotics is to me a still unexplored territory and so far I have only seen it applied in linguistics. Some of my written analysis, however, is in part built on research from postcolonial semiotics. It is possible from a typographic perspective to create an understanding and problematise from the premises of postcolonial semiotics. However, it is not achievable to think beyond the binaries in the same way Postcolonial linguistic semioticians can through for example Angela Reyes’ (2022) method of ‘theorising a third’. There is a possibility to think and create beyond the binaries, categories and any elite formations using typographic practice.

I am thinking that the theorizing of a third is what I do in the folds where I create relationships between letterforms and other means of expressions. I obviously have to anchor this a bit better. But I think that some theories of linguistic semiotics may not be directly applicable to typography (of course) but the essence of their purpose may at times be translated into practice?


KNEBUSCH, Jerome, 2021. (ed.) Gotico-Antiqua, proto-roman, hybrid: 15th-century types between gothic and roman. Atelier National de Recherche Typographique [anrt], ensad / Poem, Nancy / Frankfurt am Main, pp. 306-323.

MCNEIL, Paul. 2017. The Visual History of Type. London: Laurence King Publishing.

REYES, Angela, 2022. Keynote 4: Dr. Angela Reyes, “Beyond Binaries in Postcolonial Semiotics”. Available at: