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    A Very Old Logo

    Posted: 11/11/2014 Author kb

    Venetian Printers Mark

    This is not a modern logo. It is actually a colophon ( a printer’s mark added to a book to show who printed it—so it is actually a kind of logo if you want to debate the issue). It dates back to the incunabula period of typography and printing—so before 1500. It was designed by one of the great, early type designers, Nicolas Jenson, as the symbol of the Society of Venetian Printers in or around 1481. Jenson, who was actually French, made his home in Venice, which had become the premier printing center of Europe before the turn of the century, taking over from Mainz, Germany, the home of Gutenberg. We owe the Venetians a debt of gratitude for this because they influenced the look of our current letterforms—which they based upon Roman and Carolingian models—instead of the dark and almost unreadable blackletter favored by the Germans. Thank you, Nicolas.