George W. Jones (printer)

George William Jones
200 × 271
Born(1860-05-18)May 18, 1860
DiedMay 14, 1942(1942-05-14) (aged 81)
OccupationPrinter and type designer
Spouse(s)Eliza Sophia Ann Durham

George William Jones (1860-1942) was a British printer and type designer of the late nineteenth and twentieth century.[1][2][3]

Jones was born in Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire and developed a considerable reputation as a fine printer, printing among other work elegant stationery. He operated a press at "The Sign of The Dolphin next to Dr Johnson's House in Gough Square", London and designed the custom typeface "Venezia", one of many fine printing types of the period based on the work of fifteenth-century engraver Nicolas Jenson. At his home in Monkbarns, Northwood, Middlesex, he built up a notable library, which he printed an anthology of; it was sold at auction in 1936.[4]

In 1921, he was hired by the British branch of the Mergenthaler Linotype Company to develop new and more elegant typefaces that would enhance their reputation; at the time hot metal typesetting machines were not fully accepted by fine printers who generally used hand-set foundry type.[5] His projects included Granjon and Estienne, two families based on the typefaces of the French renaissance, a Baskerville revival, and Georgian.[6] Later Linotype employee Walter Tracy praised these designs, noting his partnership with Linotype draughtsman Harry Smith, who drew production drawings for the typefaces at Linotype's Altrincham factory, as a major partner in their success.[7]

Jones married Eliza Sophia Ann Durham, who predeceased him in 1912.[8] He retired in 1938 and died at Droitwich Spa in his home county of Worcestershire on 14 May 1942.[9] He is buried at Holy Trinity Church, Northwood, with his wife.[8][10]

Type designs[edit]

  • Estienne (c. 1929-30), based on the slightly earlier type designs owned by Parisian printer Robert Estienne.[13] Very tall ascenders and descenders.
  • Baskerville, a faithful revival of the type of John Baskerville.
  • Georgian (1934), based on the types of Glasgow typefounder Alexander Wilson; not digitised. One of Tracy's favourites of Jones's projects, describing it as "after the Baskerville model but with more colour and character".[14]
  • Victorian, a companion boldface for Georgian.


  1. ^ Martin Hutner; Jerry Kelly (2004). A Century for the Century: Fine Printed Books from 1900 to 1999. David R. Godine Publisher. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-56792-220-2.
  2. ^ Devroye, Luc. "George William Jones". Type Design Information Page. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^ Neil Macmillan (2006). An A-Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press. p. 115. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  4. ^ "Some Books from the Library of George W. Jones formerly at Monkbarns Northwood". Michael R. Thompson Rare Books. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  5. ^ Nickel-Kailing, Gail. "George W. Jones - Printer Laureate". WhatTheyThink. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  6. ^ Warde, Beatrice (1926). "The 'Garamond' Types". The Fleuron: 131–179.
  7. ^ Tracy, Walter. Letters of Credit. p. 10. I think with affection of Harry Smith, who was for many years in charge of Linotype's type drawing office at Altrincham and had himself drawn the production drawings of the admirable Granjon, Georgian and other faces under the keen eye of George W. Jones.
  8. ^ a b Wallis, Lawrence (2004). George W. Jones: Printer Laureate (1. publ. ed.). Nottingham [u.a.]: Plough Press [u.a.] ISBN 9780902813205.
  9. ^ Rudge, William Edwin (1943). "George W. Jones, Superior Printer, 1860-1942". Print. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. ^ Wallis, Lawrence. "George W. Jones: A Preliminary Study of his Life and Work". Bulletin of the Printing Historical Society.
  11. ^ Tracy, Walter. Letters of Credit. pp. 145–6.
  12. ^ "Chauncey H. Griffith" (PDF). Klingspor Museum. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  13. ^ "A Distinguished family of French printers of the sixteenth century: Henri and Robert Estienne". ABAA. Retrieved 12 March 2017.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Tracy, Walter. The Typographic Scene. pp. 22–3.
  1. ^ There seems to be some uncertainty about the later versions of Granjon Bold: the Klingpor Museum describes Granjon Bold as the work of the American Linotype designer Chauncey H. Griffith.[12]

External links[edit]