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In 1458, Charles VII sent the Frenchman Nicolas Jenson to learn the craft of movable type in Mainz, the city where Gutenberg was working. Jenson was supposed to return to France with his newly learned skills, but instead he traveled to Italy, as did other itinerant printers of the time. From 1468 on, he was in Venice, where he flourished as a punchcutter, printer and publisher. He was probably the first non-German printer of movable type, and he produced about 150 editions. Though his punches have vanished, his books have not, and those produced from about 1470 until his death in 1480 have served as a source of inspiration for type designers over centuries. His Roman type is often called the first true Roman." Notable in almost all Jensonian Romans is the angled crossbar on the lowercase e, which is known as the "Venetian Oldstyle e."
In the 1990s, Robert Slimbach designed his contemporary interpretation, Adobe Jenson™. It was first released by Adobe in 1996, and re-released in 2000 as a full-featured OpenType font with extended language support and many typographic refinements. A remarkable tour de force, Adobe Jenson provides flexibility for a complete range of text and display composition; it has huge character sets in specially designed optical sizes for captions, text, subheads, and display. The weight range includes light, regular, semibold, and bold. Jenson did not design an italic type to accompany his roman, so Slimbach used the italic types cut by Ludovico degli Arrighi in 1524-27 as his models for the italics in Adobe Jenson. Use this family for book and magazine composition, or for display work when the design calls for a sense of graciousness and dignity.
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