Victorian Art & Design
|Morris was very dissatisfied with the design of Victorian
books. In 1888 he decided to design his own typeface. He based it on the type of
the Renaissance printer, Nicholas Jenson and he called it the Golden Type. In
1891 he set up his Kelmscott Press. He printed most of his books on handmade
paper but a few copies were printed on vellum. He took great care in the
arrangement of the letters and the width of the margins and borders. Look at the title page
on the left. The inner border is narrower than the outer one and the bottom
border is deeper than the top one.
Later Morris designed another typeface called the Troy Type. It was a 'gothic' medieval looking type. He designed a smaller 12 point version of it called the Chaucer Type. He used this to print the Kelmscott Chaucer, the complete works of England's first poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. This book had 87 wood engravings designed by Burne-Jones. Each picture had a narrow frame and a full page decorative border by Morris. Shown below is the picture of Hero and Leander.
Pictures of Kelmscott
Press items on Morris Society website
William Morris Quiz Morris places to visit Books on Morris