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BASKERVILLE

CREATIVE DIRECTION | ILLUSTRATION | TYPOGRAPHY

BRIEFING

"Baskerville" is a type specimen book based on the typeface of its title name. The project's objective was to create a short, themed book for a given typeface that demonstrated its viability as a modern font option. While companies like Emigre and House Industries create these mini catalogs for newly developed fonts, I hoped to breathe new life into Baskerville, a typeface that, aside form its italic ampersand, has been collecting dust.

While researching Baskerville and it's inception, I learned a lot about it's promiscuous creator, John Baskerville. In conjunction with his dedication to crafting the first modern typeface, I felt like there was potential to explore a dramatic crime theme for the book, and I decided to pursue an angle of timeless class only James Bond himself could maintain.

APPROACH

The allowance to write my own content provided endless thematic opportunities. However, the project required many allusions to the context of the typeface, including but not limited to: the history of the typeface, information about its creator or foundry, and contemporaneous critical response. My story follows the path of John Baskerville himself, an agent sent from the M foundry to "take out" the creator of Caslon. Armed with the sharpest, most elegant typeface of its time, Baskerville stalks his prey with lethal precision.

EXECUTION

Aside from being constrained to only use the typeface Baskerville in the book, I was also not allowed to use any imagary, complex illustrations, or any color outside of my chosen spot color of red. By deconstructing the luscious swashes found throughout Baskerville, I was able to create an illustrative kit of parts to recreate John and James' favorite guns, cars and martinis. At other times, all I needed was a little trademark James Bond luck to recreate some of his movie's timeless iconography. On the cover and specimen poster, by simply rotating the first letter of my doppelgänger's names, I not only discovered the similarity of an italic capital J to a (00)7, but also the familiar gun barrel interior that precedes every one of the legend's thrilling spy movies.