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PHINNEY JENSON is a font with deep historical roots firmly planted in the fertile soil of the Italian Renaissance. Twenty years after Lorenzo Ghiberti finished his famous East Doors, the "Gates of Paradise," of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence and about fifteen years before Sandro Botticelli painted his "Birth of Venus," a French printer by the name of NICOLAS JENSON set up a small print shop in the powerful city-state of Venice. The fifteenth century marked the end of the plague and the rise of Venetian power, as the merchants of Venice controlled the lucrative trade of the eastern Mediterranean and sent their ships as far as London and even the Baltic. In 1470, Jenson introduced his Roman type with the printing of De Praeparatio Evangelica by Eusebuis. He continued to use his type for over 150 editions until he died in 1480.
In 1890 a leader of the Arts & Crafts movement in England named WILLIAM MORRIS founded Kelmscott Press. He was an admirer of Jenson's Roman and drew his own somewhat darker version called GOLDEN, which he used for the hand-printing of limited editions on homemade paper, initiating the revival of fine printing in England.
Morris' efforts came to the attention of JOSEPH WARREN PHINNEY, manager of the Dickinson Type Foundry of Boston. Phinney requested permission to issue a commercial version, but Morris was philosophically opposed and flatly refused. So Phinney designed a commercial variation of Golden type and released it in 1893 as Jenson Oldstyle. PHINNEY JENSON is our version of Phinney's version of Morris' version of Nicolas Jenson's Roman.
We selected a view of the Piazza San Marco in Venice for our gallery illustration of PHINNEY JENSON because most of the principal buildings on the Piazza were already standing when Jenson arrived in Vienna in 1470. The original Campanile was completed in 1173 (the 1912 replacement is partially visible on the left). The Basilica di San Marco was substantially complete by 1300. The Doge's Palace (not in the photo, but next to the Basilica) was substantially complete by 1450. Even the Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) may have been completed by 1470 — certainly by 1500.
PHINNEY JENSON is suitable for headlines and short blocks of text. The font contains the following ligatures: ch, ck, ct, fi, fl and ij. The numerals look very nineteenth century to me. We left the serifs a little uneven, as they were in the 1893, preserving some of the crudeness of the original. For comparison, see the more refined Centaur, BRUCE ROGER'S interpretation of Jenson Roman. PHINNEY JENSON has a strong presence that will help your documents stand out from the Times New Roman blizzard that threatens to cover us all.
Features: 1. Added glyphs for the 1250 Central Europe, the 1252 Turkish and the 1257 Baltic Code Pages. Added glyphs to complete standard 1252 Western Europe Code Page. Special glyphs relocated and assigned Unicode codepoints, some in Private Use area. Total of 339 glyphs. 2. Added OpenType GSUB layout features: dlig, liga, onum, pnum, ornm, salt and kern. 3. Added 400 kerning pairs. 4. Revised vertical metrics for improved cross-platform line spacing. 5. Included of both tabular (std) & proportional numbers (optional). Please note that some older applications may only be able to access the Western Europe character set (approximately 221 glyphs).
The zip package includes two versions of the font at no extra charge. There is an OTF version which is in Open PS (Post Script Type 1) format and a TTF version which is in Open TT (True Type)format. Use whichever works best for your applications.