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His almost upright italic design was also imitated in France and would also become influential to twentieth-century font designs.
Bembo showing its diagonal axis (strokes are thinnest to the left of top centre, simulating handwriting done by the right hand) and e with a level stroke.
This gave a cleaner result than historic typefaces whose master punches had been hand-carved out of steel at the exact size of the desired letter.
It also allowed rapid development of a large range of sizes.
His friend printer Giovanni Mardersteig similarly suggested the appeal of the Aldine face in his commentary that "Griffo..himself of the influence of the characteristic round forms of letters written with a pen; he developed instead a more narrow and it might be said a more modern form, which was better suited to [engraving]...whereas Jenson's style made a strong appeal to the sense of beauty prevalent in the period of Art Nouveau, today our taste in architecture and typography inclines towards simpler and more disciplined forms." Bembo's development took place following a series of breakthroughs in printing technology which had occurred over the last fifty years without breaking from the use of metal type.
Pantograph engraving had allowed punches to be precisely machined from large plan drawings.
These were used as a master to stamp matrices, the moulds used to cast metal type. His first printing in the Latin alphabet, in February 1496 (1495 by the Venetian calendar), was a book entitled Petri Bembi de Aetna Angelum Chabrielem liber.
Monotype also created a second, much more eccentric italic for it to the design of calligrapher Alfred Fairbank, which also did not receive the same attention as the normal version of Bembo.
Since its creation, Bembo has enjoyed continuing popularity as an attractive, legible book typeface.
With no need to keep type in stock, just the matrices used as moulds to cast the type, printers could use a wider range of fonts and there was increasing demand for varied typefaces.
Artistically, meanwhile, the preference for using mechanical, geometric Didone and “modernised old style” fonts introduced in the nineteenth century was being displaced by a revival of interest in "true old style" serif fonts developed before this, a change that has proved to be lasting.