ITC New Baskerville is a modern interpretation of the original types cut in 1762 by British type founder and printer John Baskerville. During the centuries since its creation, Baskerville has remained one of the world's most widely used typefaces.
The first modern revival of Baskerville was in 1923, under the design direction of Stanley Morison for Monotype. This design was released in just two versions, roman and italic, and is still available as a digital font. In 1978, Mergenthaler Linotype Company released a revised and updated version of Baskerville that also included additional weights with corresponding italics.
Through a licensing arrangement with Linotype, ITC gained the rights to the family and released ITC New Baskerville in 1982. This release made the design’s roman, semi bold, bold and black weights (each with a corresponding italic) available to a much larger audience.
Now, with the release of Baskerville as OpenType fonts, the roman and bold also include small caps while the roman, italic, bold, and bold italic designs offer old style figures.
The original Baskerville and its revivals share design traits with old style typefaces while foreshadowing the innovations of Didot and Bodoni. Like an old style, Baskerville’s serifs are heavily bracketed and its lowercase head-serifs are obliqued. Contrast in stroke weight is more pronounced than in Garamond or Caslon, yet doesn’t approach the extremes reached by Bodoni or Didot. As in a Didone, Baskerville’s weight stress is vertical – gone is the inclined axis of curves found in Bembo or Centaur.
Baskerville was originally created for setting books, and its modern revivals are ideally suited to the setting of continuous text. Magazines, booklets, brochures and pamphlets are natural uses. ITC Baskerville is also an exceptionally legible design with a genial, attractive feel. More than merely easy to read, ITC Baskerville is also inviting to the reader.