It should be known that as early as 1816, England, which is ahead in this modern world , invented especially for advertising and the press the first typefaces without serifs, which have the advantage of being more readable and simple, in this graphic flow. Two Lines English Egyptian from the William Caslon foundry in sans-serif and capital letters is born; at the time the word "Egyptian" was a category for new and different characters. English Egyptian , 1816 - Creativemarket.com Later, it was Thorowgood 's " Seven Line Grotesque " which stood out with the first stick and bold characters available in lowercase, in 1832. More neutral, without ornaments or cultural connotations, these monolinear characters are a total break with the characters gothic, roman or elzevir used hitherto in calligraphy and printing, and are therefore a graphic revolution... even if it probably goes fairly unnoticed.
Eight Lines Grotesque and Seven Lines Grotesque, Thorowgood 1832 - Commercialclassics.com Eight Lines Egyptian Open and Seven Lines Grotesque Open, Thorowgood 1840 - Commercialclassics.com These early unornamented typefaces are created for readability and are generally used only in titles. We draw the biggest letters possible in the least space possible. These characters are called background remove service grotesque in comparison with the more sophisticated Roman letters... this name indicates their intrinsic value and the little value given to them. If they mark the beginning of lineals - which a century later will revolutionize the modernist graphic landscape as "universal" typefaces - they are still far from being unanimous. Blake & Stephenson, 1849, 1845 - Commercialclassics.com Column place Denfert Rocherau 1898 - 1st woman poster, September 1908 — Gallica A century before the Bauhaus.
The modernist school par excellence, the first characters with constant thickness and without ornaments came for the first time to eliminate the upstrokes and downstrokes inherited from the pressure of the handwritten pen on the paper, or from the engraving of Roman capitals. . Writing, which until then bore the trace of man, here becomes the visual translation of a purely mechanical, standardized process , which will be completed around 1920 with the creation of geometric lineals (which we will discuss in a future article) . In 1876, Joseph A. David, an American engineer, took the process one step further by inventing the Universal Die Cut Plate . It is a stencil metal plate with circular and linear geometric shapes that allows to draw geometric characters without serifs, designed as an educational object for primary schools. This object brings together the rational and plastic thought (artist / craftsman or engineer / typographer) founding the modernist movement , which will later be used for the designs of the first geometric lineals of the Bauhaus.