Summer 2017

Bruce Rogers in the twentieth century

The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers

By Jerry Kelly and Misha Beletsky
David R. Godine, $45


The Centaur types are arguably the greatest achievement of the Indiana-born typographer and book designer Bruce Rogers (1870-1957). In The Noblest Roman – which continues the long association of Bruce Rogers research with staff at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York – Jerry Kelly and Misha Beletsky set out to give the definitive history of Centaur’s many versions and revisions, with particular focus on the foundry type and hot-metal type. The introduction offers several reasons why further study is justified, including the complex origination of the design, issues about ownership of the design and type materials over the years, and deviation from normal procedures in the creation of a version for Monotype composition. The authors’ research has uncovered more information about the story than was previously known, and type design historians will welcome their detailed account.


Cover of The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers showing the Monotype Centaur Types. Book design: Jerry Kelly.
Top: Fra Luca de Pacioli by Stanley Morison, 1933, designed by Bruce Rogers in Centaur capitals.


Sallie Morris, researcher, designer, Buckinghamshire

Read the full version in Eye no. 94 vol. 24, 2017


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can see what Eye 94 looks like at Eye before You Buy on Vimeo.

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