was an English typographer
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...
, designer and historian of printing.
Born in Wanstead
Wanstead is a suburban area in the London Borough of Redbridge, North-East London. The main road going through Wanstead is the A12. The name is from the Anglo-Saxon words wænn and stede, meaning "settlement on a small hill"....
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...
, Morison spent most of his childhood and early adult years (1896 - 1912) at the family home in Fairfax Road, Harringay
Harringay is a residential area of North London, part of the London Borough of Haringey, United Kingdom. It is centred on the section of Green Lanes running between the northern boundary of Finsbury Park up to the southern boundary of Duckett's Common, not far from Turnpike Lane.-Location:The...
. He was self-taught, having left school after his father abandoned his family, Morison became an editorial assistant on The Imprint
The Imprint was a periodical aimed at the printing trade, published in 9 issues from January to November 1913. The publishers were the Imprint Publishing Company, of 11 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London. Editors were F. Ernest Jackson, Edward Johnston, J. H...
magazine in 1913. As a conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....
he was imprisoned during the First World War
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
, but became design supervisor at the Pelican Press
The Pelican Press was founded in 1971 as an independently-owned monthly newspaper published from Siesta Key, Florida. within a year, it became a weekly publication and circulation was expanded to areas in the greater Sarasota area....
in 1918. This was followed by a similar position at the Cloister Press
In 1922 he was a founder-member of the Fleuron Society
dedicated to typographical matters (a fleuron being a typographic flower or ornament). He edited the society's journal The Fleuron
The Fleuron was a British journal of typography and book arts published in seven volumes from 1923 to 1930....
from 1925 to 1930. The quality of the publication's artwork and printing was considered exceptional. From 1923 to 1925 he was a staff editor/writer for the Penrose Annual,
a graphics arts journal.
From 1923 to 1967 Morison was typographic consultant for the Monotype Corporation
Monotype Imaging Holdings is a Delaware corporation based in Woburn, Massachusetts and specializing in typesetting and typeface design as well as text and imaging solutions for use with consumer electronics devices. Monotype Imaging Holdings is the owner of Monotype Imaging Inc., Linotype,...
. In the 1920s and 1930s, his work at Monotype included research and adaptation of historic typefaces, including the revival of the Baskerville
Baskerville is a transitional serif typeface designed in 1757 by John Baskerville in Birmingham, England. Baskerville is classified as a transitional typeface, positioned between the old style typefaces of William Caslon, and the modern styles of Giambattista Bodoni and Firmin Didot.The...
Bembo is the name given to a 20th-century revival of an old style serif or humanist typeface cut by Francesco Griffo around 1495.The typeface Bembo seen today is a revival designed under the direction of Stanley Morison for the Monotype Corporation in 1929.It is considered a good choice for...
types. He pioneered the great expansion of the company's range of typefaces and hugely influenced the field of typography to the present day.
Morison was also typographical consultant to The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...
newspaper from 1929 to 1960 and in 1931, after having publicly criticised the paper for the poor quality of its printing, he was commissioned by the newspaper to produce a new easy-to-read typeface for the publication. Times New Roman,
the typeface Morison developed with graphic artist Victor Lardent
Victor Lardent , was a British advertising designer and draftsman at The Times, London. He created the font Times New Roman under the direction of Stanley Morison in 1932.-References :...
, was first used by the newspaper in 1932 and was issued commercially by Monotype in 1933.
Morison edited the History of the Times
from 1935 to 1952 and was editor of the Times Literary Supplement
The Times Literary Supplement is a weekly literary review published in London by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation.-History:...
between 1945 and 1948. He was elected a Royal Designer for Industry
Royal Designer for Industry is a distinction established by the British Royal Society of Arts in 1936, to encourage a high standard of industrial design and enhance the status of designers. It is awarded to people who have achieved "sustained excellence in aesthetic and efficient design for...
in 1960 and was a member of the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...
from 1961 until his death in 1967 in London.
Other typefaces designed by Morison for the Monotype Corporation include Blado
(1923) and Bembo
- Four centuries of Fine Printing; Two Hundred and Seventy-two Examples of the Work of Presses Established Between 1465 and 1924, 1924
- Type Designs of the Past and Present, 1926
- The Typographic Book, 1450-1935: A Study of Fine Typography Through Five Centuries, 1963
- Calligraphy 1535-1885: A collection of seventy-two writing-books and specimens from the Italian, French, Low Countries and Spanish schools, 1962
- First Principles of Typography, 1936
- Letter Forms, typographic and scriptorial: Two essays on their classification, history and bibliography, 1968
- A Tally of Types, 1953
- On Type Designs Past and Present: A Brief Introduction, 1962
- Politics and Script, 1972