By the 1600s, French oppression had caused the center of typography to shift to Antwerp primarily through Plantin who was based there. This style commercialized the French designs that were so heavily promoted by Plantin. The Dutch influence made the French work more printable, taking out some of the subtleties of Garamond and Granjon.
Their main influence was in England where there was no real typefounding industry until Caslon in the 1700s. These styles were a abandonment of calligraphic roots—mechanically constructed with new elements like the ball terminals of the a, c, g, r and so on.
- The bdpq characters are no longer based on the o.
- The diagonal strokes of the v, w, & y are sometimes bowed out to make for better letterspacing.
- Serifs flattened & strengthened: with almost wedge-shaped brackets
- Modulation increased: there was quite a bit more stroke contrast
- Much thinner hairlines
- Darker, more compact
- Strong horizontal stress
- Ball terminals in the lowercase
Although designed by the protestant Transylvanian Nicholas Kis in about 1690, the model for Janson Text was mistakenly attributed to the Dutch printer Anton Janson. Actually, we would call Kis Hungarian and his name is pronounced Kish—as the s is pronounced in Hungarian with the cs having the s sound.
Lawson sums them up as “not as esthetically pleasing as the French letters, but were more practical for the everyday production of commercial printing.” The stylistic Gestapo of the East Coast has downplayed these fonts as somehow lesser creations. Hoefler, on the other hand, says the Kis’ forms had wonderfully smooth type color with “a typographic rhythm of such evenness” that it was unmatched in oldstyle fonts.
These fonts had huge influence on typography of the 17th and early 18th centuries. They were immensely popular, especially in England. Hoefler says that the English love of the fonts was two-fold: first they were attractive and sturdy—second they were necessary. The English Star Chamber (a secretive court) made newsbooks illegal and so they were all printed in Amsterdam and smuggled into England. Because of these strong restrictions to typefounding, there were no English typefounders throughout the 17th century.